While watching the children from our neighbourhood playing with kites over the last few day, I was reminded of a moving story from Afghanistan, which focuses on the friendship of two children Amir and Hassan :The Kite Runner. Amir wanted to win the annual kite competition held in Kabul. He didn´t know that this would lead him to lose his inseparable friend Hassan, “a Hazara” of “lower class” who had lived in his house since childhood. The day of the competition, Amir was not there when Hassan needed it most and Hassan who felt alone and abandoned was beaten and abused by evildoers. From then on Hassan hid and did not want anyone to see him in that miserable state. He lamented over what had happened to the point of thinking about taking his own life.
From that moment they lived parallel lives. Time passed and both married and had children. While Amir had a comfortable life and went to the USA, Hassan lived in Afghanistan in misery under the Taliban regime. One day Amin received a phone call from Afghanistan announcing Hassan’s death. His childhood friend had left behind a son and Amir felt compelled to rescue him from the oppressive Taliban regime and take him with him.
Amir returned to Afghanistan and was horrified how his country has changed, and by the massacre of his own countrymen. After many vicissitudes Amir managed to find and rescue Hassan’s son. After being badly wounded he fled to Pakistan and after facing legal complications, he managed to take him back to the USA. It took a long time before he finally gained the boy´s trust in spite of everything, and initially he was hostile towards his new adoptive parents. The story closes with another “kite flight”, this time by Amir and Hassan’s son. “The flight of the kites” seems to symbolize the return to his lost innocence. It brought to an end the guilt that Amit felt for having caused Hassan pain and abandoned him. It restored the friendship and fraternity which had been seemingly lost forever.
This story can help us understand the message of the Ascension. There are “broken kites” that are left on the ground without being able to fly, but this isn´t the last word. There is a way to fly a “broken kite” again. That innocence of children can be recovered when we manage to heal our wounds and break the chains that bind us and separate us. We can fly high and unite hearts through forgiveness and reconciliation. Celebrating the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost should lead us to think of so many broken kites that were left on the ground unable to fly. We can repair them and through the experience of reconciliation make them rise to heaven.
Dario Marote SEMD