Summary and Analysis
Amir meets with the "thing made of skin and bones pretending to be Rahim Khan." They spend some time discussing their lives since the time they last saw each other. Readers find out that Baba had sold his house to Rahim Khan, and Rahim Khan describes life in Kabul under the different factions of the Northern Alliance and how the Taliban was initially greeted as heroes to war torn Kabul when they kicked the Alliance out.
Rahim Khan then admits to Amir that he is dying. Amir also learns that Hassan had been living in Baba's house with Rahim Khan. And Rahim Khan asks Amir for permission to tell Amir everything about Hassan's life story.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide both Amir and the reader with a description of life in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. The taxi driver serves as an impartial observer who tells Amir how poor most of the Afghanis in Peshawar are. Rahim Khan's story about how he received the scar above his eye demonstrates the indiscriminate attacks of the Taliban, as well as the stringencies of their rules and the reaction people had to them — even when the Taliban were in error. A secondary purpose is to reintroduce Hassan and his story into Amir's life. Amir, who had not spoken Hassan's name in years, and the reader are now going to find out what happened to his childhood playmate after Amir caused Hassan and Ali to leave Kabul.