Biography of Khaled Hosseini


by S. Ghilzai / February 2, 2016

Khaled Hosseini is a writer from Herat, Afghanistan, currently living in America.

Hosseini was born in Kabul, on March 4th 1965, to an upper-middle class family. He grew up in the affluent neighborhood of Wazir Akbar Khan in Kabul. Hosseini’s mother was a Persian teacher at an all girls’ high school, and his father was a diplomat. In 1970, the family, relocated to Iran, where Hosseini’s father worked at the Embassy of Afghanistan. They returned to Kabul in 1973, but left again in 1976, when Hosseini’s father obtained a job in Paris, France. When the Saur Revolution of 1978 took place, the family was unable to return to Afghanistan, for safety reasons, so they sought political asylum in America, and started a new life in San Jose, California. This is where Hosseini attended high school, arriving to the country not knowing any English. However, he graduated high school and went on to receive his B.A in Biology at Santa Clara University. He then went on to study medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He completed his doctoral residency in internal medicine at the famous Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Hosseini worked as a doctor for over ten years, even after his first book, The Kite Runner was published. He has since described his career as a doctor as something like ‘an arranged marriage’, hinting the occupation was not necessarily chosen by him. The Kite Runner (2003), garnered Hosseini world-wide fame, spending 101 weeks on the The New York Times Best Seller list. His subsequent books include A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And The Mountains Echoed. Always being an avid reader of old Persian poetry, Hosseini has received many positive reviews for his books, which deal with pre-war Afghanistan, themes of family, being a refugee, and the homeland. They are often very dramatic, but have provided the world with a different perspective of Afghanistan- a very different perspective than the constant unfortunate news about the country that many Westerners have grown accustomed to hearing.

The Kite Runner was adapted into a film in 2007, and has also had many stage productions around the world. Hosseini is now a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees. He also has his own foundation, called the Khaled Hosseini Fondation. He currently lives in the Bay Area of California, with his wife Roya and their two children, Haris and Farah.

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