A Thousand Splendid Suns Timeline
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330 B.C. - Alexander the Great conquers Afghanistan after defeating the Persians
50 A.D. - The Kushan empire, and its Buddhist doctrines, begin to establish themselves in the region. By 220 AD, however, the empire devolves into a handful of petty dynasties.
962 - The Islamic era begins with the Ghaznavid Dynasty, founded by Turks and giving rise to Afghanistan’s emerging role politically and culturally in Islamic civilization.
1219 - Ghengis Khan, and his Mongol army, successfully invade Afghanistan in their epic and bloody march westward.
1273 - Marco Polo crosses northern Afghanistan on his voyage from Italy to China. The area would become a critical, if at times dangerous stop on the "Silk Route" connecting the West to the East.
1504 - Babur, a founder of India’s Moghul dynasty, takes control of Kabul -- and, in time, much of modern-day Afghanistan. Moghul rule introduces another religion, Hinduism, to the country and sets off more attempted nationalist revolts.
1708 - Mir Wais, considered by some the father of Afghan independence, successfully takes over Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. His son, Mir Mahmud, invades Persia and liberates Herat. But by 1736, the Persians start to re-establish their grip on the region.
1836 - The British, in corroboration with ex-king Shah Shuja, invade Afghanistan in response to growing Russian and Persian influence in the region. Shuja re-takes the throne in 1839 only to be killed three years later. Afghan forces fight fervently against British forces, and by 1843 the nation reasserts its independence.
1885 - Russian forces seize territory in northern Afghanistan. The Russians will keep most of the area, but thereafter pledge to respect Afghanistan’s territorial integrity. Eight years later, another boundary agreement -- this one between Afghanistan and British India -- leaves several Afghan tribal areas in what is now Pakistan.
Anticommunist forces take control, prompting a Soviet invasion. The Soviets lose about 15,000 troops in constant fighting, and withdraw by the late 1980s.
US begins supplying mujahideen with Stinger missiles, enabling them to shoot down Soviet helicopter gunships. Babrak Karmal replaced by Najibullah as head of Soviet-backed regime.
2001 - U.S. and British forces begin airstrikes in Afghanistan after the Taliban refuse to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, blamed for the 9/11 attacks. Osama Bin Laden killed and the Taliban falls making life safer for the population of Afghanistan; primarily children and women.
2009 - US President Obama decides to boost US troop numbers in Afghanistan by 30,000, bringing total to 100,000. He says US will begin withdrawing its forces by 2011
2011 - President Karzai wins the endorsement of tribal elders to negotiate a 10-year military partnership with the US at a loya jirga traditional assembly. The proposed pact will see US troops remain after 2014, when foreign troops are due to leave the country.
2015 - Taliban representatives and Afghan officials hold informal peace talks in Qatar. Both sides agree to continue the talks at a later date, though the Taliban insist they will not stop fighting until all foreign troops leave the country.
Zalmai - The son of Rasheed and Laila who looks up to Rasheed and is distraught when he is killed. Zalmai represents the portion of the children in Afghanistan who are treated well during the hard times of the war.
Aziza - The child of Tariq and Laila who is hated by Rasheed and sent to an orphanage because Rasheed and Laila cannot afford to take care of her. She escapes to Pakistan with Tariq, Laila, and Zalmai. Aziza represents the portion of the children who are treated badly in the hard times of the war.
Mammy - Mother of Laila, Noor, and Ahmad who goes crazy after two of her children leave to fight in the Jihad. She illustates the impact that the war with the Soviets had on families.
Babi - Husband to Mammy and father to Laila. Smart man who is made fun of due to his intellect. Mammy blames him for the death of their children for letting them go off to war. He can be seen as an embodiment of the cause of the Afghan-Soviet war.
Rasheed - Abusive man who marries Mariam and Laila and has Zalmai with Laila. Could be used to show how badly women were treated once the Mujahideen took over in 1992
Nana - Mother to Mariam who was shunned by Jalil and his wives. Represents how women were treated badly by men when the Mujahideen took over in April 1992.
1953 - Mohammed Daoud becomes Prime Minister (friend of Soviets).
Jalil - Father to Mariam and wealthy business man. He can be seen as contrast to the financial state of Afghanistan during war with the soviets from 1979 to 1989
2004 - New Afghan Constitution makes Afghanistan an Islamic state with a president
Mullah Faizullah - He is a Koran tutor who teaches Mariam to memorize and recite daily prayers and scripture. He is the only positive influence she has in her life. the author may have added Mullah Faizullah to contrast against Mariam's whole family and the war in Afghanistan against the Soviets
Laila - Was married to Rasheed and bore him a child. She also bore a child to Tariq and ran away with him to Pakistan. She could be seen as a contrast to the way women were treated after the Mujahideen took control in 1992 as she was treated well by Tariq after Rasheed was killed.
1992 - Rebel invasions in Kabul cause the city to fall; many civilian deaths
1973 - Mohammed Daoud overthrows Afghan monarchy
Mariam - Daughter of Jalil and Nana who kills Rasheed and is later executed. Mariam can be seen as the rollbacks in womens rights as civil conflicts happened throughout history.
1973 - King Zahir Shah is overthrown after ruling for 40 years is overthrown by a bloodless coup (25). Helps foreshadow the change of authority that will occur in Mariam's life.
April 17, 1978 - Mir Akbar Khyber was found mudered which caused a major demonstation two days later (101). Helps illustrate the major problems death has caused throughout the story.
April 27, 1978 - President Daoud Khan is killed along with some twenty members of his family the same night Laila is born (105). This change shows the change that Laila will bring along with her birth.
April 1988 - Treaty of Geneva is signed and the Soviets have to leave within 9 months (158) Such a historic change could represent the major changes coming in the following chapters.
April 1992 - Soviet Union colapses and Lithuania, Estonia, and Ukraine gain their independence (163). This event could be used as a turning point in the lives of our characters.
1985 - Mujahiddeen forms to fight soviets and lots of afghan citizens flee the country.
Tariq - the father of Aziza and takes in Laila and her family once Rasheed is killed. Tariq represents the wealthier class of people who were able to escape from Afghanistan during the times of the war.
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