Kathryn forwarded me this Washington Post piece by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Here’s an excerpt:
I prefer to discuss politics through my novels, but I am truly dismayed these days. Twice last week alone, speakers at McCain-Palin rallies have referred to Sen. Barack Obama, with unveiled scorn, as Barack Hussein Obama…What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of “traitor,” “liar,” “terrorist” and (worst of all) “kill him!” that could be heard at recent rallies. McCain is perfectly capable of telling hecklers off. But not once did he or his running mate bother to admonish the people yelling these obscene — and potentially dangerous — words. They may not have been able to hear the slurs at the rallies, but surely they have had ample time since to get on camera and warn that this sort of ugliness has no place in an election season. But they have not. Simply calling Obama “a decent person” is not enough.
After reading this, I visited Hosseini’s website, which features a recently updated blog and a number of short videos on topics like becoming a writer and using real people/events in fiction; he also speaks about conditions in Afghanistan. Hosseini devotes part of the home page to raising awareness about Afghanistan’s poor literacy rate and restricted access, even for the literate, to books and education. He points readers to Relief International’s Afghan Libraries Program, whose goal is “to create libraries that children can access easily and safely, allowing them to learn important life skills.”