Literature – ATSS Timeline

Hello! This is my first post of the Literature section, and it is also the most difficult to write about because of course, for the same exam board you can choose different books. For me, I have A Thousand Splendid Suns and Wuthering Heights to compare in the exam. I have two other books but they are a part of coursework, but I won’t talk about them today.

Today, I am simply putting up a timeline of everything that happens in A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I will assume you have read, otherwise SPOILER ALERT!!! In other news, here’s the timeline:


  • Mohammad Doud becomes Prime Minister. Looks to Communist nations for economic and military assistance. Starts social reforms giving women more freedoms in public and for education – 1953
  • Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev forms alliance with Afghanistan – 1956
  • Mariam is born – 04/02/1959
  • Mohammad Doud is forced to resign – 1963
  • Constitutional monarchy introduced – 1964
  • Afghan Communist Party forms. Created in secret, led by Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammad Taraki – 1965
  • Khan overthrows king Mohammed Zahir Shah. Establishes the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, names himself president and establishes firm ties to the USSR – 1973
  • Mariam travels to Herat and her father’s house – 04/03/1974
  • Mariam gets married – 04/10/1974
  • Consummation – 04/19/1974
  • Mariam is pregnant loses the baby 2 days later – October 1974
  • Khan is killed in pro-soviet coup. Nur Mohammad Taraki takes control as President with Babrak Karmal as Deputy Prime Minister – 1978
  • Learns of the murder of Mir Akbar Khyber & communist party – April 17, 1978
  • Laila is born – April 27,1978
  • Sound of Gun fire and airplanes start, fall of Daoud Khan – April 27, 1978
  • American ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed. American assistance is cut off as a power struggle between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin begins – 1979
  • Soviets invade and create communist government – December 24, 1979
  • Babrak Karmal becomes Prime minister. Following the execution of Amin and his followers; opposition sparks violence – December 27, 1979
  • Mujahideen form in Pakistan against soviets – 1980
  • Babrak Karmal takes power supported by society – 1980
  • Tariq steps on a land mine – May 1981
  • Mujahideen receive aid. Weapons come in through Pakistan from US, Britain, and China – 1986
  • Laila is attacked by boys on the street – 04/15/1987
  • Mariam’s father tries to come visit her – 04/15/1987
  • Laila’s brothers Noor and Ahmad are killed – May 1987
  • Laila, Tariq, and Babi visit the Buddha statues – October 1987
  • Peace Treaty. Signed by Afghanistan, USSR, US, and Pakistan; soviets begin pulling out troops – 1988
  • al-Qaida is formed. Started by Osama bin Laden to continue their “holy war” against the Soviets – September 1988
  • Babi & Laila celebrate signing of Geneva treaty – April 1988
  • Soviets leave Herat – January 1989
  • Najibullah’s government is overthrown. Lead by members of Islam and the Mujahadeen – 1992
  • Najibullah Surrenders & Mujahideen come to Herat – April 1992
  • Hasina’s Family and her Fiancé move to Germany – April 1992
  • Laila drops out of school – 06/05/1992
  • Giti and 2 classmates are killed by rocket
  • 06/17/1992
  • Tariq and Laila have sex – 08/04/1992
  • Tariq and his parents leave for Pakistan – 08/06/1992
  • Laila is almost hit by a bullet – August 17 1992
  • Mammy agrees to leave Afghanistan – 08/20/1992
  • Rocket hits the house, Mammy and Babi die – August 23 1992
  • Abdul Sharif tells Laila that Tariq is dead – September 20 1992
  • Rasheed Proposes to marry Laila- September 23 1992
  • Laila tells Rasheed that she’s pregnant- October 1992
  • Laila & Mariam’s big fight- March 1993
  • Aziza is born – May 1993
  • Laila saves Mariam from Rasheed’s beating – 07/06/1993
  • Mariam gives Laila her old baby clothes – July 8 1993
  • Laila and Mariam take Aziza and try to run away – April 1994
  • Drought. Causes more than 1 million Afghans to flee to Pakistan – 1995-1999
  • Taliban seize control of Kabul. Begin to enforce hard-line version of Islam and the introduction of Islamic punishments – 1996
  • Taliban Arrive in Herat – September 27 1996
  • Laila considers giving herself an abortion – December 1996
  • Taliban recognised as Afghanistan’s government. By Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia – 1997
  • Laila gives birth to Zalmai – September 1997
  • US launches missile strikes. Attempt to hit base of Osama bin Laden for bombing of US embassies in Africa. Attempt fails and UN sanctions are placed on Afghanistan restricting trade and economic development – August 20, 1998
  • Rasheed gets a tv- September 1999
  • Fire burns down Rasheed’s shop – June 2000
  • Titanic fad comes to Afghanistan – July 2000
  • Taliban destroy Buddhist statues – March 2001
  • Aziza is taken to orphanage – April 2001
  • Rasheed begins beating Mariam and Laila, Mariam kills him – 06/05/2001
  • Tariq comes back – 06/05/2001
  • Laila and Tariq take Aziza and Zalmai and leave – June 6 2001
  • Laila and Tariq get married – June 7 2001
  • Mariam dies – June 16 2001
  • Laila and Tariq learn of the murder of Massoud – September 9 2001
  • Laila and Tariq watch the twin towers fall on tv – September 11, 2001
  • Ahmad Shah Massod is killed. Leader of the Northern Alliance against the Taliban, killed by suicide bombers – September 9, 2001
  • World Trade Centre and Pentagon are attacked. Hit by planes as part of attack orchestrated by Osama bin Laden – September 11, 2001
  • US bombing of Afghanistan begins. Response to 9/11 attack and Taliban refusal to surrender Bin Laden, allows Northern Alliance to inter Kabul – October 7, 2001
  • Northern Alliance enters Kabul – November 13, 2001
  • Deal is made for interim government. Arranged in Bonn, Germany – December 2001
  • Taliban government collapses – December 7, 2001
  • Hamid Karzai is made head of interim government – December 22, 2001
  • Laila wants to return to Afghanistan – 07/03/2002
  • Visit Mariam’s old home in Herat – 07/06/2002
  • Deployment of NATO peacekeepers – January 2002
  • Hamid Karzai elected as interim head of state. Elected by grand council or Loya jirga – June 2002
  • US offensive attacks launched against Kandahar and al-Qaeda – March 2003
  • Laila is now a teacher at the orphanage – April 2003

Everything in pink is real life, the black is what happens in the book, just so you know. Anyway, I hope you like this, and I will be posting various themes from the two books I am comparing over time, and they vary in size, so sorry if some of those are small or just don’t apply, but sorry, it’s going up! Comment if you’re doing this book! See you soon!!

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