August 2014 NEWSLETTER

With the new school year just around the corner, back to school shopping is in full swing. Don’t forget to purchase a new pencil case for your back to school supplies! Our Farah Clutch Purses are handcrafted by Afghan artisans using 100% cotton fabric and feature a hand-embroidered flower. Available in a wide array of colors, they are the perfect way to kick off the new school year. Consider purchasing one of these stunning bags today and feel proud knowing proceeds from your purchase help the Afghan women refugee artisans making them!

Right-hand side: List of upcoming events
Upcoming Events
See where Khaled will be appearing next!
Article #1A:
Summer is the time to take a moment out of the hectic year to appreciate the joyous laughter of kids enjoying the long summer day or the quiet beauty of the sunset. Whether you have travelled near or far or not at all, we hope your summer was filled with fun times spent with family and friends. We also hope you enjoy reading about what we have been up to over these last few months. It has been a busy summer!
Article #1.1: Khaled’s Corner
Ealier this summer, Khaled participated in an interview by Rosiland Jordan of Al Jazeera America. The article focused on the release of his latest novel, And the Mountains Echoed, experiences as a refugee, work with the UNHCR, and his thoughts on the future of Afghanistan. If you have not yet had a chance to read the article, we hope you will!

© Elena Seibert

Article #1.2: Khaled’s Corner

In July, Khaled participated in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization’s
Conferences of the Americas held in Washington D.C. He led a breakout session with Elizabeth Suneby, author of Razia’s Ray of Hope, to discuss the educational enrichment opportunities developed by The Khaled Hosseini Foundation’s Student Outreach for Shelters (SOS) program for students in the Diploma, Middle Years and Primary School programs. The session illustrated the synergy between SOS and IB, including how curriculum tied to Khaled’s novels (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And The Mountains Echoed) and Elizabeth’s book (Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education) enhances student connection to global issues. The session also outlined how students can perform self-directed or guided service learning projects to break the devastating cycle of homelessness in Afghanistan. Learn more about our SOS program and how your school can participate.

Article #1.3: Khaled’s Corner

We are pleased to announce that Khaled was named the recipient of the 2014 John Steinbeck Award and will receive it at San Jose State University on September 10th. This award is given annually to an artist who captures the spirit of Steinbeck’s empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of the common man.

Article 2:

TKHF issues new Omid Grants!

Join us in congratulating the following grantees on their recently issued Omid Grant: Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP), EMBRACE, Women for Afghan Women (WAW), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, Trust in Education (TIE) and Razia’s Ray of Hope (RRHF)! Find out more about the programs we are supporting to help women and children in Afghanistan.

We are proud to announce that to date in 2014 we have made grants to:

  • provide support for the expansion of Afghan Women’s Writing Project’s Dari-speaking workshop pilot so that it may include an online program component facilitated by mentors, weekly writing prompts and critiques by mentors of work produced by women in Afghanistan, and publication of finished pieces in Dari for distribution to women participating in the program.
  • provide Embrace infant warmers, in conjunction with educational programs that address the root causes of neonatal hypothermia, in Afghanistan. The grant will support the cost of the warmers and education and training so that staff in hospitals in Afghanistan are able to effectively use them.
  • provide support for Women for Afghan Women’s Kabul Children’s
    Support Center in Afghanistan. These are centers for the children of women who are imprisoned. The first children’s shelter opened with 34 residents in Kabul November of 2009. That shelter now houses 65 children. Two additional centers—in Mazar and Kunduz—have opened.
  • provide support for UNHCR’s shelter program in Afghanistan. Selected beneficiaries receive building materials and instructions to construct their own two-room shelter out of mud bricks. The shelters can house a family of six from the brutal elements.
  • provide support for UNICEF’s relief efforts for the victims of the landslide in the Badakhshan province and surrounding areas in Afghanistan where the needs are greatest.UNICEF was among the first humanitarian organizations to reach those affected by the landslide. The agency is supporting the Afghan Government in ensuring that basic survival supplies are distributed to those who have been made homeless by the disaster. “UNICEF, in partnership with other organizations, did an evaluation of basic needs of the displaced people, and provided high-energy biscuits and non-food items to them,” says Farid Dastgeer, UNICEF Child Protection Officer who has been working in Khwaja Du Koh since the calamity struck. “The non-food items consist of children’s clothing, blankets, first aid kits, and kitchen equipment, so that families can use these for basic cooking and survival. Now there has been an improvement to some extent with the waters receding.”

    UNICEF is also broadcasting radio messages on the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene practices and the importance of immunization in reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. Local religious leaders have also been engaged and are delivering these key prevention messages daily during prayers.

  • provide support for the before- and after-school classes in the villages of Tangi Saidan, Qaia Luqman and Reshkor and the Aschiana scholarships for 10 street children for Trust in Education.
  • provide support for Razia’s Ray of Hope’s Zabuli Education Center—a school providing free education to more than 400 Afghan girls who have previously been denied educational opportunities.

Find out more about our exemplary grantees and the incredibly important work they are doing.

Lisa, please arrange these photos in a nice array that will work for Mailchimp and then again in a way that will work well on the blog. The formats can be different for each medium.




© Karen Wong, RRHF




Article 3:

Meet the latest schools to join our Student Outreach for Shelters program!

Please join us in welcoming the following schools to our SOS program: Lansing Community College of Michigan, West Lafayette Jr. –Sr. High School in Indiana, International Charter School in Rhode Island, C. Milton Wright High School in Maryland and New Jersey School for the Deaf in New Jersey! All organizations are planning on implementing the program this fall. If you are an educator looking for a high-quality, free curriculum to accompany one of Khaled’s books please explore our program today!

August 2013 Newsletter


The end of summer is near. Start fall off with a beautiful hand embroidered Mobile Phone Case!  We had our artisans design a larger case so that all iPhones and most Smartphones will fit inside.  These handy cases are beautifully hand embroidered with a snap for security and have a long cross-body strap.  Choose from three different colors.  Order yours today!

August 2013 Newsletter
What is Khaled up to?

An interview with HuffPost Books

Have you seen the interview Khaled did with David Henry Sterry of HuffPost Books?Khaled and David were both part of the San Francisco Writers Workshop before Khaled published The Kite Runner. In the interview, they reminisce about that time and discuss Khaled’s writing process.

A fundraiser for TKHF!

Kepler’s Books of Menlo Park is graciously hosting a fundraiser for Khaled’s foundation.Half of the proceeds from the event will be donated to TKHF. Khaled will be speaking with fellow author Tamm Ansary about his books, writing process, and humanitarian work at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City on September 27. There will be a special reception where VIP ticket holders will have the opportunity to meet and chat with Khaled before the event. We will be on hand, selling our products and available to answer any questions you may have about the foundation. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and come out to support the foundation and the work we are doing.Buy your ticket today!

You have helped out Mariam, find out how

Your support has allowed us to make a very real difference in the life of Mariam. She is one in a family of 8 and originally hails from Herat Province. Her father died of cancer and her mother is very ill, needing monthly hospital visits. This has put a financial strain on an already struggling family. Now in Kabul, her mother teaches the Koran in her house to help support the family. Mariam worked on the streets for many years, trying
to sell things that would help supplement the income her mother earned. Through your support and Trust In Education’s program, she is able to attend school. At the young age of 13, she has experienced more than she should have, but now she has the opportunity to go to school, play volleyball, and listen to music. She would like to become a doctor when she grows up.

Learn more about Trust in Education

SOS welcomes Bryant High School!

Bryant High School is our first SOS registration that found us through Twitter! Ms. Khan’s Senior AP English class will be using The Kite Runner as their inspiration for a service learning project. As students start back to school for a new academic year, we hope you will consider utilizing our vast array of curriculum, videos, and other resources to enrich your students while helping those in need. Give them the tools to make powerful connections with a land and people often misunderstood. Let them channel their philanthropic energy into helping the women and children of Afghanistan.

Join SOS today

September 2013 Newsletter


School is back in session! Consider purchasing one of our hand-embroidered bookmarks for your textbook, cook book, or the latest novel you are reading. The delicate embroidered detail work on these bookmarks is extraordinary and proceeds from your purchase help the Afghan women refugee artisans making them!

September 2013 Newsletter

Changes at TKHF!

Have you seen our new look?

We recently completed website changes for our TKHF and SOS sites.  We have streamlined each site and made them easier to use.  Our foundation site now has a special page where you can choose your language.  You may access limited information on the foundation in any of the following languages:  Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.  If you preferred language is not there, please check back with us, as we are adding new languages all the time. We also now have a book club section and our SOS site has an easy to follow path for individuals and organizations interested in signing up for SOS.

Meet the latest member to the foundation family!

We are proud to announce the addition of Parisa Mirza-Khan to the foundation team.  Parisa joins us as a Project Coordinator and will specialize in our SOS program and product sales. Read more to find out about Parisa’s background. 

Khaled’s Corner

What is Khaled watching and reading?

Books and Films

I am frequently asked what I am reading and watching.  See TKHF’s blog for books I am reading currently and enjoying tremendously, as well as some recommended films.

What has Khaled been up to? Where will he be next?

This month, Khaled participated in a Litquake event for San Francisco’s Literary Festival and the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. He also appeared at an event hosted by Kepler’s Arts and Lectures and moderated by fellow Afghan author Tamim Ansary in Redwood City. Half of the proceeds benefited The Khaled Hosseini Foundation.

If you are in the Bay Area and missed the Kepler’s event please consider attending Khaled’s next local event in Palo Alto on November 8.  This is expected to be one of the last few events  Khaled will do in the Bay Area this year and half of the proceeds will benefit The Khaled Hosseini Foundation.  The other half benefits one of our grantees, Trust in Education. We hope to see you there!


Announcing new grants for GoodWeave and EMERGENCY USA.


GoodWeave, a TKHF grantee since 2012, works to eradicate child labor in the handmade rug industry. In 2012, TKHF provided funding for their early childhood education center in Balk Province. The center opened in July 2012, with 30 children attending. Since its opening, there has been 100% attendance. The meal that is provided is often the only and most nutritious meal the children will get all day. In 2013, 25 of the children graduated, making room for a new class of students. We are pleased to announce the continuation of funding for this program. The center ensures that the children are not exploited as child labor or left in unsafe situations while their families work to weave carpets.

GoodWeave © Romano 2012

GoodWeave © Romano 2012


A grantee since 2011, Emergency USA (E-USA) provides free-of-charge, high-standard medical and surgical care to victims of war and also works to promote a culture of peace, solidarity, and respect for human rights. Our grant for 2013 will fund the purchase of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine for the neonatal unit located in Emergency’s Maternity and Gynecology Unit adjacent to the Medical and Surgical Center in the village fo Anabah, in the Northern Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan. More than 300 babies are born every month at EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre, which is the only specialized and free facility in the area. More than 17,000 babies were born at the Centre as of December 2012. Read more in TKHF’s blog.

Meet one of the first patients to use the new CPAP



Student Outreach for Shelters – SOS

A student shares his fundraising story.

Sidhart Krishnamurthi, a high school student at The Harker School took initiative and held a fundraiser for TKHF, raising more than $2,000 in 2013! He kindly shared with us why he chose to help and what he did to effect change.

Sidhart’s story:

In April of 2012, I read an inspirational novel: “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. The plight of the people in Afghanistan as described in the novel really touched me, and I wanted to somehow support the cause of rebuilding futures for families torn by war, poverty and unimaginable living conditions. This led me to the back cover, where I saw a link to The Khaled Hosseini Foundation website. On visiting the site, I got more information on various ongoing efforts to help the refugees. I was greatly influenced by the fact that I could fundraise for the foundation and achieve my objective. Read the rest of Sidhart’s story on TKHF’s blog.

Sidhart and Khaled at the event at The

Harker School.


School is in session – start your SOS campaign today!

School is gearing back up. Your class reading list may include one of Khaled’snovels as assigned or recommended reading. As you are reading, if you are compelled to act, to help, to channel your energy in a way that can effect real change, consider our Student Outreach for Shelters program. We are excited to continue to offer comprehensive and exciting programs that also benefit Afghan children and refugees.

Joining our Student’s Outreach for Shelter’s (SOS) program is simple and can make a huge impact for families in Afghanistan. It’s a simple three-step process that can go a long way. Find out what the steps are on TKHF’s blog! 

Give shelter this holiday season—provide a home to a family in Afghanistan!

Give shelter this holiday season—provide a home to a family in Afghanistan!

As we prepare for the holidays, over half a million returning Afghan refugees, mostly women and children, will face a brutal winter, many thousands of them in nothing more than makeshift tents.  They will face heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures without proper shelter, and some of them –the very young, the elderly, the sick- will die.  It is an all too common tragedy in Afghanistan.

Together, we can and must prevent this needless suffering.

Since 2008, my foundation has partnered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and donors like you to raise more than $750,000 for nearly 500 shelters. These life-saving homes provide shelter, protection, and safety to families, more than 2,800 people in all. I hereby pledge to match your holiday donation, dollar for dollar, as in prior years.*

I cannot put a value on the difference that you have made in the lives of these families. It is immeasurable. By helping build shelters, you have constructed a foundation for hope, health, and happiness. I am thrilled to share with you the story of one of the families that has benefited from the shelter program.

Gul Harama spent 20 years in a Pakistani refugee camp before being able to return home to Laghman Province, Afghanistan. A single mother, Gul and her eight children lived in a poorly constructed hut with a thatched roof that did little to keep out the elements.

“When it rained, the water leaked into our hut and all of our belongings would get wet,” she said.

More importantly, Gul Harama and her children were not protected from the oppressive heat of summer or the frigid cold of winter. In a country with inadequate medical care and skyrocketing poverty rates, an illness can turn from an inconvenience to a tragedy very quickly. It is not uncommon for villages to lose several children every season. The very young, elderly, and ill are at particular risk of catastrophic illness and death due to substandard living conditions.

Though Gul Harama’s older chlidren worked as laborers, their wages were barely enough to keep the family alive, let alone improve their circumstances. Luckily, the UNHCR selected Gul Harama and her family to receive a shelter.

Gul Harama’s family is one of the lucky ones. Far too many others live homeless, vulnerable to the elements, facing long odds of survival. Join me and let’s help together—one family at a time—transforming fear, loss, and uncertainty into strength, safety, and hope.

The Khaled Hosseini Foundation’s goal is to raise $52,000 in the next six months—enough to give 25 families a home, like the one in this photo.

With your help, I know, together, we can reach this goal!

And look how far your gift goes:

  • Just $80 provides all the tools needed for 4 families to build their homes;
  • $160 provides tool kits for 8 families;
  • $465 provides the doors and windows to complete a home;
  • $2,100 makes it possible for one family to construct their home from start to finish and begin a new life with renewed hope and safety.

There is no easier way to make an immediate and lasting difference for those who desperately need our help.

I thank you in advance for your kindness,

Khaled Hosseini

*The TKHF Shelter program provides funding to the UNHCR to facilitate the distribution of materials to individual families who build their own homes in Afghanistan. 100% of your gift will be donated to the UNHCR, along with my personal match of up to a total of $100,000.


Through your kindness and generosity we were able to raise over $31,000 for Badakhshan landslide relief efforts. While we initially planned to only match the first $20,000, we couldn’t let this opportunity to put our support behind your generosity pass, and have matched the full $31,000! We are thrilled that over $62,000 will be donated to U.S. Fund for UNICEF to provide desperately needed aid to the victims of the Badakhshan landslide


(c) Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

Find out how your donation is making a difference:

UNICEF was among the first aid organizations to reach those affected by the landslide. The agency is supporting the Afghan Government in ensuring that basic survival supplies are distributed to those who have been made homeless by the disaster. “UNICEF, in partnership with other organizations, did an evaluation of basic needs of the displaced people, and provided high-energy biscuits and non-food items to them,” says Farid Dastgeer, UNICEF Child Protection Officer who has been working in Khwaja Du Koh since the calamity struck. “The non-food items consist of children’s clothing, blankets, first aid kits, and kitchen equipment, so that families can use these for basic cooking and survival. Now there has been an improvement to some extent with the waters receding.”

UNICEF is also broadcasting radio messages on the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene practices and the importance of immunization in reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. Local religious leaders have also been engaged and are delivering these key prevention messages daily during prayers.

Thank you again for your generosity and support. While our matching program is complete, we are still accepting donations to help the victims of this tragedy. Our campaign ends July 4th, don’t miss being a part of this much needed relief effort. *

Donate button

* When making donations online or via check please include a note that your donation is for Badakhshan.

With gratitude,


Children affected by the Badakhshan landslide:


(c) AFP


(c) Mohammad Ismail/Reuters


Student Outreach for Shelters announces a NEW book in the program!

Razia'sRayofHopeWe are pleased to introduce a NEW book for the SOS program.  Based on a true story of a brave girl in Afghanistan who must convince the men in her family to allow her to attend the new girls’ school outside of Kabul, “Razia’s Ray of Hope – One Girl’s Dream of an Education”, by Elizabeth Suneby adds a wonderful new story for educators to use with their younger students.

Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small village in Afghanistan, girls haven’t been allowed to attend school for many years. When a new girls’ school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family, and their community. Razia’s Ray of Hope is the latest inspiring story from the CitizenKid collection. It is based on the true stories of the students of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls just outside of Kabul, founded by a generous and resourceful woman named Razia Jan, one of CNN’s 2012 Top 10 Heroes of the Year, who also appears in the story.

Curriculum is now available for grades 1 through 8!







The Khaled Hosseini Foundation is proud to announce a philanthropic collaboration with Ariana Sweets.

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 3.12.59 PM

A family owned business for over 20 years; Ariana Sweets is based in Fremont, CA, and specializes in manufacturing Afghan sweets and sales of rare commodities of dried fruits and exotic teas. Ariana Sweets has graciously agreed to donate a portion of all of their online sales from December 20, 2013 to April 20, 2014.

Ariana Sweets has a wide array of goods from sweets to teas, dried fruit, and candy. With most of their products under $10, the items are both reasonably priced and delicious! Ariana Sweets can ship anywhere in the United States.

If you have ever wanted to try some of the traditional Afghan sweets you may encounter at weddings or on other special occasions, now is your chance to sample a selection, knowing your purchase will also help The Khaled Hosseini Foundation’s shelter program. These goodies are also perfect additions to book club discussions and other social events you may be planning!

Buy Afghan sweets, tea and other goodies here.


Thank you for giving the gift of shelter!


We asked you to give shelter this holiday season and provide a home to a family in Afghanistan, and you have. Thanks to our incredibly generous supporters, we have raised over $50,000 in just two short months!  With current shelter costs of $2,100 per shelter we can provide 24 homes for 144 people and with Khaled’s matching gift this amount is doubled to 48 homes for 288 people! The gifts you have made will change the lives of these families in profound ways.  They will be able to protect their families from the brutal cold and oppressive heat.  Once their basic need of shelter has been met, they can focus on finding work, educating their children, and pursuing opportunities that were out of reach before.  We can’t thank you enough for your kindness this holiday season. You have made a difference!  If you have not yet had the opportunity to make a life-changing gift to the shelter program, you still can!  Don’t miss out on having your gift matched by Khaled. Find out more about the shelter program.

Images © UNHCR

Afghan Friends Network receives our OMID Grant!


We are proud to announce our support for Afghan Friends Network (AFN) once again this year!  We will continue our support of AFN’s Girls Khurasan Learning Center in Qalai Qadam and Boys Khurasan Learning Center near the City Center, both in Afghanistan. Our grant will help fund courses at the centers that will help boys and girls in grades 7 -12 receive supplementary education in math, physics, chemistry and English.

Find our more about AFN and the work we are supporting.


Khaled’s Corner

What is Khaled reading and watching?

KhaledH copy

Books and Movies

I am frequently asked what I am reading and watching.  See below for books I am reading currently and enjoying tremendously, as well as some recommended movies.

Recommended Films:

American Hustle: Very funny film about The Abscam sting of the 1970’s, has some of the year’s best dialogue and a couple of crackerjack performances by Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale.

Shame:  Sexually graphic, be warned, but heartbreaking film about a man’s struggle with his sex addiction.  Michael Fassbender brilliantly brings to life the self-loathing, helplessness, and profound sadness of the tortured soul at the center of this film.

Mother of Mine:  This gem, about a Finnish boy who comes to live with a Swedish family during WWII, is a real tearjerker, and comes with a powerful performance by Maria Lundqvist as the grieving Swedish farmer’s wife who slowly warms up to the boy.

The Hunt:  One of the my favorite films of the year, a Danish story about a sweet, mild-mannered kindergarten teacher who is falsely accused of molesting a young girl and tries to reclaim his reputation and dignity.

The Big Picture: If you like Patricia Highsmith’s, The Talented Mr. Ripley, you will really like this film about a man who accidentally kills his wife’s lover and then assumes his identity.   Beautiful Montenegro scenery to boot.

Recommended reads:

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain: This wryly funny, sad, and powerful novel will go down as one of the definitive pieces of writing about the Iraq war.  In reading it, I had to reanalyze what “Support Our Troops” really means.

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman:  A fantastic mix of Americana, folklore, and dark fantasy, as imagined by one of the best minds in the speculative fiction market.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men:  David Foster Wallace’s short story collection, written as a series of Q & A’s conducted by an anonymous female interviewer, is the late writer at some of his best.  Some of the interviews are only a paragraph long, others are much lengthier pieces, but all of them shed light, in David Foster Wallace’s inimitable style and with his clinical precision, on the tortured souls of his male subjects and how they view women, sex, money, class, power, etc.  The last story is a stunner.

The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout:  I promise that this is the only and last time I am recommending a book I have not read!  I loved Olive Kitteridge so much that I can’t wait to read this one.

Waiting, by Ha Jin:  A lyrical, ironic novel about a Chinese military doctor who tries to divorce his wife so he can marry his mistress.  Set in communist China, this novel is part political allegory, part a very human story about the conflict between desire and duty.

The 49ers, Candlestick Park and Khaled

Did you see Khaled’s recent article on about the last 49er game at Candlestick Park? Fans of the game, especially those from the Bay Area, will enjoy Khaled’s look back at the magic and memories that encompass all that was Candlestick Park.