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Khaled Hosseini

Afghanistan's Tumultuous History

These issues of contempt, of rivalry between the ethnicities, for instance, between the Pashtuns and Hazaras, this goes back centuries, and it has very bigger old roots and wounds that have not healed. And this book talks about those things in a very unveiled, open fashion. And for a lot of people, that was a jolt. Things were being said in this book that it would be unimaginable that it would be said publicly within the Afghan community. Lots of people would think it and maybe discuss it privately in their home, but would never blog it, they would never write in the newspaper an op ed or let alone write a book. And so it became -- I understand why it's a subject of controversy, but I feel as a writer that writers, artists, cannot shy away from things merely because it makes people uncomfortable. I don't feel that that's a good reason to not write something. In fact, that's a very good reason to write about things. If things make, if a subject matter makes people uncomfortable, if it touches on those things that people fear, if it touches on those things that are sensitive, then maybe that is what is worth writing about. I don't think we, as writers, shy away from things that are wreathed in reality and shape a society and not write them out of mere politeness. And so in whatever modest way, I hope that The Kite Runner has opened a useful and productive dialog within my community. And I think, to some extent, it really has.
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Ron Howard

Oscar for Best Director

The kids tended to -- I wouldn't say ostracize me -- but to make me uneasy because there'd always be two or three weeks where every day at school was more like some kind of a personal appearance where I was at everybody's disposal. And if one group wanted to get autographs, they'd bug me for autographs. If another group wanted to make fun of me, they'd make fun of me. I wasn't a person. I was this sort of image from TV that they now had at their disposal. It was kind of strange.
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Ron Howard

Oscar for Best Director

Ron Howard: When you're doing something as emotionally risky as working on a TV show or a movie, part of it is that you're facing the real possibility of complete public humiliation. I mean, it's not all that unusual for people to say, "Aw, that was terrible! Did you see that guy? Aw, he was awful! He stinks!" And so, everybody knows that that's out there, because they've participated in that same kind of ragging on shows and movies. They know. They know that you're putting yourself up for that sort of judgment. You're opening yourself. So as a result, you know, there does need to be a kind of trust. But I've found, in the creative community, there's often a sort of an instant trust. And in just one or two conversations, you can actually determine whether that trusts exists in a relationship or not.
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John Hume

Nobel Prize for Peace

John Hume: The IRA and Sinn Fein, what was called the Republican movement, were engaged in violence in order to attempt to solve our problem, and I was strongly opposed to that violence. And, of course, there was violence as well from the Unionist side, the loyalist paramilitaries, and of course, I felt it's everyone's duty to do everything they could to get the violence stopped. And of course, thousands of British soldiers in our streets couldn't stop the violence. And, when I started my dialogue, I was, of course, was very heavily attacked for it. But, as I made clear at the time, if thousands of soldiers in our streets can't stop the violence, if I can save one single human life by talking, it's my duty to do so. And, I engaged directly in dialogue with Gerry Adams. And, of course, the dialogue arose out of the Anglo-Irish agreement of 1985, and my party, we were very heavily involved in the creation of that agreement.
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