‘Learning is not always comfortable’: Khaled Hosseini on the need to deconstruct beliefs

Khaled Hosseini, one of the most popular and important literary voices, was awarded with the Vanderbilts Nichols-Chancellor Medal in 2010. In his acceptance speech, he spoke at length on the importance of education. He not only asks this question to the students but also to those who seemingly have nothing at stake, the alma maters and likes of them. "The answer is the college and its graduates are part of our community. People who learn today will work and exercise their ambitions tomorrow. We all have a vested interest in supporting the best thinkers and best learners in our community." He then goes on to recount his time as a student and acknowledges the many people who were there for him. "I recognise that there is a debt that I owe," he says, upon introspection. "We have an appreciation for the process of learning."

"To me, learning is change. It is not an elaboration on a familiar set of knowledge. Learning is a challenge to what you think you know. It is not a confirmation of it. Learning is a re-mapping of the world around you. Learning is not always comfortable. It can alarm you and make you angry. But it will always make you think," The Kite Runner author said.

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He uses the example of burqa to elucidate how the garment is viewed differently when viewed from different lens and confronting the varied implication of it is a way we challenge our learning.