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Cast of The Kite Runner at Cleveland Play House includes an Afghani actor
Zarif Sadiqi draws on his childhood memories of life in Kabul

Vivian Goodman
Courtesy of Cleveland Play House
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The Cleveland Play House presents the Midwest premiere of the Kite Runner through November 7th. The story has special significance for a member of the cast who was born in Afghanistan. Zarif Kabier Sadiqi lived in Kabul under the Taliban regime.

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Zarif Kabier Sadiqi lost his father, a physician in the Afghan army, when he was four. When the Taliban came to power his widowed mother was forbidden to work to support her four young children.
Zarif Kabier Sadiqi plays a brutal bully in the Kite Runner. Sadiqi hoped for a career as a professional wrestler before turning to acting.
Zarif Kabier Sadiqi has been a professional actor since December of 2009. He lives in Los Angeles.
The Kite Runner is set in Kabul, Afghanistan from 1973-1976 and the Bay Area of California, Pakistan, and Afghanistan from 1981-2002.
Kite fighting is now banned by the Taliban, but it was a popular sport when Zarif Sadiqi was growing up in Kabul.
Amir grows up to be a writer living in California but returns to Afghanistan to atone for his betrayal of his childhood friend, Hassan.
The brutal bully Sadiqi plays, Assef, always carries brass knuckles.
The Kite Runner tells the story of the friendship of Amir and Hassan, a rich boy and the son of his father's servant.
Michael B. Raiford, the scenic designer for the Kite Runner also designed the sets for Cleveland Play House productions of Inherit the Wind, Well, and The Chosen.
World-renowned tabla player and composer Salar Nader is the musical supervisor for The Kite Runner. He was born in Germany but is of Afghan origin.
The title character in The Kite Runner, Hassan, stands up to the bully, Assef, played by Zarif Sadiqi.
Zarif Kabier Sadiqi was born in Kabul in 1988. Ten years later his family escaped to Pakistan and eventually to the U.S.

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