What are you reading?
"I just finished The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. A friend gave it to me as a birthday present. I haven't talked to her about it yet because she's in France and we don't talk that often. But I've talked to other people about it."
Tell me about it.
"It's about a friendship between two boys, how they grow up, and the turmoil and events that were happening in Afghanistan at the time. There are a lot of ethnic divisions. The main character, Amir, is from a higher class, and his friend Hassan is from a lower class -- the Hazara. Hassan is a servant to Amir's family. Every morning, he wakes up and makes breakfast for Amir, does his laundry -- yet they are still friends, which is unusual. Amir is actually kind of ashamed to have Hassan for a friend, so a lot of times, he tries to hide the friendship. I enjoyed the way the conflicts between the two boys paralleled the conflicts happening throughout the country."
Who was your favorite character?
"Hassan. Throughout the book, he remained so pure; he never did anything wrong. There was tension in Amir. He made very, very stupid mistakes, but it never bothered Hassan because he was so pure, and very moral."
Tell me about the writing style.
"It wasn't a hard read. It was just a story, based on a lot of historical facts about what was happening in Afghanistan 30 years ago. It's pretty gloomy because it's describing war."
Compare this book with others you have read.
"It was similar to Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi." (Persepolis is the story of a young girl's life in Iran during the Islamic revolution.) "I've read books that deal with revolutions that happen in the writer's own country -- how they or their characters deal with it, emotionally and personally, as well as how they see it in the bigger picture."
What book has been most life-changing for you?
"That would be the works of the poet Jelaluddin Rumi. His poems are very spiritual, and they make me think about things like, 'Why am I here?' and 'What am I meant to do?' Also questions of how the universe runs, how I'm meant to connect with it. Some of his books are about people who are searching. I feel like I'm searching -- for everything. For what will make me feel like I fit in, and what I am meant to do. I'm also influenced by my dad -- he likes to think about these sorts of things, and he talks to me about them."
Do you have a favorite author?
"One of my favorites is Paulo Coelho, who wrote The Alchemist — it's a novel. I like it because it contains a certain amount of spirituality. I remember one line: 'When you want something with all your heart, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.'"
What magazines or newspapers do you read?
"I don't really read magazines or newspapers."
Name: Shiva mohazab
Occupation: Student (BIOLOGY MAJOR)
Where Interviewed: San Diego State Campus