America, a country historically viewed as a land of new beginnings and opportunity, is now seen as a place of loss and hollow hope for a father and son. This father, Baba, and son, Amir, are followed in Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner. A former immigrant to the United States himself, Hosseini describes Amir and Baba's journey as a reflection of his own experiences. As a teenager, Hosseini and his family immigrated to the United States as a result of war outbreak in his home country of Afghanistan; arriving poor and without any belongings, his formerly noble and professional parents were forced to take unfit, low-paying jobs. These experiences are directly mirrored in his novel. The Kite Runner details a similar story of Amir and Baba's hardships. They come in search of an improved and more stable life, but instead are faced with poverty, never able to fulfill the American dream they seek. Hosseini's novel evaluates the immigrant experience through the struggle of the characters. Amir and Baba suffer a loss of identity and sense of culture and find emptiness on American soil. Hosseini proves the dream many seek in America is not only unattainable, but totally nonexistent. .
Prior to their move to the United States, Amir and Baba live lavishly as distinguished members of the elite class in Kabul, Afghanistan. Their large home is filled with marble floors, custom furniture, and gold-stitched tapestries. Some even describe it as "the prettiest house in all of Kabul" (4). Two live-in servants cater to Amir and Baba as well as a constant flow of visitors and businessmen. Baba owns and operates "a wildly successful carpet-exporting business, two pharmacies, and a restaurant" (15), and benevolently constructs an orphanage in Kabul. Eager to display his wealth, estate, and personal possessions, Baba yearns to host "extravagant parties, [and does] just that almost every week" (5).