A Thousand Splendid Suns

Timeline comparing events in the book with Actual events in the Afghanistan conflict

Events in A Thousand Splendid Suns

Mariam is born

Approx. 04/02/1959

Mariam travels to Herat and her father's house

Approx. 04/03/1974

Mariam gets married

Approx. 04/10/1974


Approx. 04/19/1974

Mariam is pregnant loses the baby 2 days later

Approx. October 1974

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

Tariq steps on a land mine

Approx. May 1981

Laila is attacked by boys on the street

Approx. 04/15/1987

Mariam's father tries to come visit her

Approx. 04/15/1987

Laila's brothers Noor and Ahmad are killed

Approx. May 1987

Laila, Tariq, and Babi visit the Buddha statues

Approx. October 1987

Babi & Laila celebrate signing of Geneva treaty

Approx. April 1988

Soviets leave Herat

Approx. January 1989

Najibullah Surrenders & Mujahideen come to Herat

Approx. April 1992

Hasina's Family and her Fiance move to Germany

Approx. April 1992

Laila drops out of school

Approx. 06/05/1992

Giti and 2 classmates are killed by rocket

Approx. 06/17/1992

Tariq and Laila have sex

Approx. 08/04/1992

Tariq and his parents leave for Pakistan

Approx. 08/06/1992

Laila is almost hit by a bullet

Approx. August 17 1992

Mammy agrees to leave Afgahnistan

Approx. 08/20/1992

Rocket hits the house, Mammy and Babi die

Approx. August 23 1992

Abdul Sharif tells Laila that Tariq is dead

Approx. September 20 1992

Rasheed Proposes to marry Laila

Approx. September 23 1992

Laila tells Rasheed that she's pregnant

Approx. October 1992

Laila & Mariam's big fight

Approx. March 1993

Aziza is born

Approx. May 1993

Laila saves Mariam from Rasheed's beeting

Approx. 07/06/1993

Mariam gives Laila her old baby clothes

Approx. July 8 1993

Laila and Mariam take Aziza and try to run away

Approx. April 1994

Taliban Arrive in Herat

Approx. September 27 1996

Laila considers giving herself an abortion

Approx. December 1996

Laila gives birth to Zalmai

Approx. September 1997

Rasheed gets a tv

Approx. September 1999

Fire burns down Rasheed's shop

Approx. June 2000

Titanic fad comes to Afganistan

Approx. July 2000

Aziza is taken to orphanage

Approx. April 2001

Rasheed begins beating Mariam and Laila, Mariam kills him

Approx. 06/05/2001

Tariq comes back

Approx. 06/05/2001

Laila and Tariq take Aziza and Zalmai and leave

Approx. June 6 2001

Laila and Tariq get married

Approx. June 7 2001

Mariam dies

Approx. 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

Laila wants to return to Afganistan

Approx. 07/03/2002

Visit Mariam's old home in Herat

Approx. 07/06/2002

Laila is now a teacher at the orphanage

Approx. April 2003

Actual Events

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

Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev forms alliance with Afghanistan


Mohammad Doud is forced to resign


Constitutional monarchy introduced


Afghan Communist Party forms


created in secret, led by Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammad Taraki

Khan overthrows king Mohammed Zahir Shah


Establishes the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, names himself president and establishes firm ties to the USSR

Khan is killed in pro-soviet coup


Nur Mohammad Taraki takes control as President with Babrak Karmal as Deputy Prime Minister

American ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed


American assistance is cut off as a power struggle between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin begins

Soviets invade and create communist government

December 24, 1979

Babrak Karmal becomes Prime minister

December 27, 1979

Following the execution of Amin and his followers; opposition sparks violence

Babrak Karmal takes power supported by societs


Mujahideen form in pakistan against soviets


Mujahideen recieve aid


Weapons come in through Pakistan from US, Britain, and China

Peace Treaty


Signed by Afganistan, USSR, US, and Pakistan; soviets begin pulling out troops

al-Qaida is formed

September 1988

Started by Osama bin Laden to continue their "holy war" against the Soviets

last soviet troops leave


Najibullah's government is overthrown


Lead by members of Islam and the Mujahadeen


1995 - 1999

Causes more than 1 million afghans to Pakistan

Taliban seize control of Kabul


Begin to enforce hard-line version of Islam and the introduction of Islamic punishments

Taliban reconginzed as Afganistan's government


By Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia

US launches missle strikes

August 20, 1998

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

Taliban destroy Buddhist statues

March 2001

Ahmad Shah Massod is killed

September 9, 2001

Leader of the Northern Alliance against the Taliban, killed by suicide bombers

World Trade Center and Pentagon are attacked

September 11, 2001

Hit by planes as part of attack orgastrated by Osama bin Laden

US bombing of Afghanistan begins,

October 7, 2001

Response to 9/11 attack and Taliban refusal to surrender Bin Laden, allows Northern Alliance to inter Kabul

Northern Alliance enters Kabul

November 13, 2001

Deal is made for interim government

december 2001

Aranged in Bonn, germany

Taliban government collapses

December 7, 2001

Hamid Karzai is made head of interim government

december 22, 2001

Deployment of NATO peacekeepers

January 2002

Hamid Karzai elected as interim head of state

June 2002

Elected by grand council or Loya jirga

US offensive attacks launched against Kandahar and al-Qaeda

march 2003

NATO controls security in Kabul

August 2003

Fist NATO operational commitment outside of Europe

Afganistan adopts new constitution

January 4, 2004