The Portrait of Rahim Khan. Nastya Tsidenova, 4th year student, BSU, Ulan-Ude

Rahim Khan is the best friend of Baba and his business partner. They were friends from their childhood, practically, people who were nursed by one woman – those who had the strongest kinship during the whole life. As Baba was an important person in Kabul, sometimes too impulsive and strict, as the author points out a force of nature, a towering Pashtun specimen with a thick beard, the only person who could treat him rather informally and call him with humor, for example Mr. Hurricane, was Rahim Khan.

Rahim Khan was as a second father for Amir. It was he who helped Amir to believe in himself as a writer; who supported him by kind encouraging words Amir needed so much. He was a person, who always “rescued” Amir: I sat on my bed and wished Rahim Khan had been my father.

In the book Rahim Khan is not often described, quite rare, but always his appearing in the book and in Amir’s life is very important and in some way decisive and determinant.

For the first time we see him solacing Amir after Baba said his son is not kind of man who could stand for himself or for anything or anyone important for him. It wasn’t Baba, but Rahim Khan who was the first person to read Amir’s story. Amir believed him and treated him not as a tutor (as he treated his father, loving him and at the same time being afraid of, not only because he could be punished, but because he was afraid to lose his love), but more as a friend he could share bad or good situations in his life.

Amir remembers: Here was Baba and his best friend and business partner, Rahim Khan, standing outside our house, neither one smiling — I am a baby in that photograph and Baba is holding me, looking tired and grim. I’m in his arms, but it’s Rahim Khan’s pinky my fingers are curled around. It reflects the role of Rahim Khan in his life, not always holding in his arms, but very close, a person whom Amir treats as a model.

By supporting Amir, Rahim Khan shows he Amir that he can be good again, that there is always a chance to change everything. He knew all the main secrets of the father, Hassan and Amir. And he kept all of them in himself not revealing. Only in the end of the book , dying Rahim Khan told Amir of how the things were.

He doesn’t judge anybody. Maybe because he himself had a sin to fall in love in Hazara woman that was unbearable for his family and he had to refuse his love. He said he was against the whole world that time. But the world always wins. He told his big secret to Amir, waiting Amir would share his secret as well, waiting for him to become brave enough to confess his guilt.

Living in America Amir doesn’t forget of Rahim Khan. Memories of the person who loves and supports him keep him going in the hard period of his life.

Rahim Khan is an important character in the novel. He is the center of the fusion of destinies: Baba’s, Amir’s, Hassan’s and Sohrab’s. He knew all the secrets and decided to disclose them just the time he understood they need to be disclosed: before leaving the world, the time Amir could accept the chance and become good again.

I think Rahim Khan is one of the most interesting characters Kh. Hosseini portrayed in his novel. He has got an important role of binding everything together when it is needed to be revealed. He is caring and loving to Amir and Hassan as Baba, he is loyal to Baba for the whole life as Hassan was to Amir, and he had the same fault of betraying the person he loved, but couldn’t protect her because of inequality, as Amir had done.  He is a person who finally reveals the basic theme of love and forgiveness in the novel.

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