Saturday, June 20, 2015
Portrait of a Refugee: Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini, Afghan-American author, physician and UN Goodwill Envoy, was born in 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini is the son of an Afghani diplomat father and a high school teacher mother. In 1976, following a Paris diplomatic assignment, the family sought 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, and in September 1980 moved to San Jose, California. Hosseini graduated from high school in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1988. The following year he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned a medical degree in 1993. He completed his residency at Cedar-Sinai medical Center in Los Angeles and was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004.
In March 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner. Published by Riverhead Books in 2003, that debut went on to become an international bestseller and beloved classic, sold in at least seventy countries and spending more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In May 2007, his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Together the two books have sold more than 10 million copies in the United States and more than 38 million copies worldwide. Hosseini's much awaited third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, was published in 2014.
In 2006, Hosseini was named a Goodwill Envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Inspired by a trip he made to Afghanistan with the UNHCRr, he later established The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He lives in Northern California.
News stories are covering desperate refugees of all ages from Africa and the Middle East escaping their homelands in dangerous situations.
Who are these refugees and how are nations and the UN responding?
See next Blog on Refugees, Part 2