79th Season Speakers
Opening Minds · Stirring Curiosities
"Afghanistan Through the Decades: An Emigre's Personal Perspective"
• Best-selling Author
• Internationally Acclaimed Lecturer and Humanitarian
• Goodwill Envoy to United Nations Refugee Agency
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. His father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul. In 1976 the Foreign Ministry relocated the Hosseini family to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then their homeland had witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion of the Soviet Army. The Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in the United States. In 1980 they settled in California, where Hosseini completed high school, college, and medical school. He was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004.
In 2001 while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, published in 2003. That novel was sold in seventy countries and spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2007 his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. These two novels broadened the world's view of Afghanistan, offering millions of readers an intimate, highly personal understanding of that nation and its people. Now Hosseini has significantly expanded his scope and ambition with his newest novel, And the Mountains Echoed. Set throughout Europe and America, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan, this latest work offers a profoundly moving global perspective on the fine line between rightdoing and wrongdoing, how our lives are intertwined with so many others, and how our losses and kindnesses echo around the world.
In 2006 Hosseini was named a United Nations Goodwill Envoy as part of UNHCR, The United Nations Refugee Agency. His deep affinity for his homeland galvanized the creation of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.