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First Lady Toasts Afghan Author

Associated Press

First lady Laura Bush gave her imprimatur to a best-selling book about
family, life and children in Afghanistan, as the author of "The Kite
Runner" described the return to his war-ravaged country after a
27-year absence.

In remarks at the Afghan Embassy, Mrs. Bush said she and President
Bush "really, really enjoyed," reading the tender story of hope and
renewal about two young brothers who bond by flying kites in 1970s

The first lady, on hand for the Afghan Children Initiative benefit
dinner, said she recommended the book Thursday at a White House tea.

Author Khaled Hosseini said that with democratic elections in
Afghanistan and efforts to rebuild the country, "there is reason to be
optimistic," but he said the key to the country's future lies in
educating its children.

Mrs. Bush said, "Education will give them a chance to succeed. We can
all have a great impact on all of these children and their families."

Among those at the dinner were the Afghan Ambassador Said T. Jawad;
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

The dinner was sponsored by the U.S. Afghan Women's Council.


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