Acclaimed American author Khaled Hosseini knows what it's like to be a refugee. He was a teenager living in Paris, where his father worked as an Afghan diplomat, when the Soviet Union invaded his homeland on Christmas Eve 1979. His family sought asylum in the United States and as Hosseini was growing up in California and studying to become a doctor, war continued to ravage his homeland. In recent years, his global success as the author of "The Kite Runner" and two other best-selling novels, has allowed him to play a role in raising awareness about Afghanistan and helping the hundreds of thousands of people who remain displaced and in need as well as refugees in other parts of the world.
To this end, he has worked closely with the UN refugee agency, forging a special relationship with our office in the United States, which he represented as a Goodwill Envoy from 2006 until 2013, when he was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Over the years, on field trips with UNHCR, he has seen and supported the agency's humanitarian work in both Afghanistan and Chad and spoken for the organization at major gatherings in the United States, including World Refugee Day, and to the media. He has also helped raise vital funds for refugee and returnee families through The Khaled Hosseini Foundation.
He says that as a native of Afghanistan, the refugee issue is one that is close and dear to his heart and it is a pleasure to try and capture public attention and to give voice to victims of humanitarian crises.