And the Mountains Echoed

Dr. Idris Bashiri Character Analysis

An Afghan immigrant who works as a doctor in the United States, Dr. Idris Bashiri is a quiet, shy, and somewhat self-righteous young man. He resents his cousin, Timur Bashiri, for being more successful and confident than he is. When Idris visits Afghanistan in the mid-2000s, he develops a close friendship with Roshana, a young girl whom he meets in a hospital. While he plans to use his power and medical influence to save Roshana’s life, Idris’s ease of lifestyle in his adopted country ultimately distracts him from helping Roshana, and causes him tremendous guilt and self-hatred.

Dr. Idris Bashiri Quotes in And the Mountains Echoed

The And the Mountains Echoed quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Idris Bashiri or refer to Dr. Idris Bashiri. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Riverhead Books edition of And the Mountains Echoed published in 2014.
Chapter 5 Quotes

It’s true. Timur has embarrassed him. He has behaved like the quintessential ugly Afghan-American, Idris thinks. Tearing through the war-torn city like he belongs here, backslapping locals with great bonhomie and calling them brother, sister, uncle, making a show of handing money to beggars from what he calls the Bakhsheesh bundle, joking with old women he calls mother and talking them into telling their story into his camcorder as he strikes a woebegone expression, pretending he is one of them, like he’s been here all along, like he wasn’t lifting at Gold’s in San Jose, working on his pecs and abs, when these people were getting shelled, murdered, raped. It is hypocritical, and distasteful. And it astonishes Idris that no one seems to see through this act.

Related Characters: Dr. Idris Bashiri, Timur Bashiri
Page Number: 153-154
Explanation and Analysis:

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“We leave in a week, bro. You don’t want to get her too attached to you.” Idris nods. He wonders if Timur may not be slightly jealous of his relationship with Roshi, perhaps even resentful that he, Idris, may have robbed him of a spectacular opportunity to play hero. Timur, emerging in slow motion from the blazing building, holding a baby. The crowd exploding in a cheer. Idris is determined not to let Timur parade Roshi in that way.

Related Characters: Timur Bashiri (speaker), Dr. Idris Bashiri, Roshana
Page Number: 162-163
Explanation and Analysis:

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He is not a criminal. Everything he owns he has earned. In the nineties, while half the guys he knew were out clubbing and chasing women, he had been buried in study, dragging himself through hospital corridors at two in the morning, forgoing leisure, comfort, sleep. He had given his twenties to medicine. He has paid his dues. Why should he feel badly? This is his family. This is his life.
In the last month, Roshi has become something abstract to him, like a character in a play. Their connection has frayed. The unexpected intimacy he had stumbled upon in that hospital, so urgent and acute, has eroded into something dull. The experience has lost its power. He recognizes the fierce determination that had seized him for what it really was, an illusion, a mirage.

Related Characters: Dr. Amra Ademovic (speaker), Dr. Idris Bashiri (speaker), Roshana (speaker)
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

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Dr. Idris Bashiri Character Timeline in And the Mountains Echoed

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Idris Bashiri appears in And the Mountains Echoed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Power and Wealth Theme Icon
...longer a young man (he’s about forty). Mr. Bashiri, Wahdati’s neighbor, has had a child, Idris, and his brother has also had a boy, named Timur. One day, while Wahdati and... (full context)
Chapter 5
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
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Amra Ademovic stands in the wing of a vast Afghan hospital, speaking to Idris and Timur (two characters Nabi mentioned in the previous chapter). Idris has just returned to... (full context)
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Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
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Idris, Timur, and Amra stand in the hospital, surveying a young girl named Roshana, who is... (full context)
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Amra asks Timur and Idris what they’re doing in this hospital in Kabul. Timur explains: he and Idris are cousins,... (full context)
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Timur and Idris have been sent to Kabul by Idris’s uncle (Timur’s father). Timur’s father wants his son... (full context)
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Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
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Timur and Idris have arrived at Mr. Wahdati’s home, prepared for the party Amra mentioned. The house is... (full context)
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The party proceeds. Idris is uneasy, as he always is at parties. To his surprise, Amra greets him and... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
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Amra explains to Idris what will happen to Roshana, the young girl in the hospital. Roshana lived with her... (full context)
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
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...ahead to the next day. Timur wants to go to the town of Istalif, but Idris refuses, claiming to have a bad hangover. After Timur leaves, Idris finds a cab and... (full context)
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Idris arrives at the hospital, carrying a box. He makes his way through the halls to... (full context)
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Halfway through the film, the power goes out, and Idris decides to leave the hospital. As he leaves, he runs into Roshana’s maternal uncle (not... (full context)
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Idris develops a routine of visiting the hospital to see Roshana. He brings Roshana presents, and... (full context)
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Idris is sitting on a plane back to the United States, next to Timur. Timur brags... (full context)
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Idris returns to the U.S. and reunites with Nahil, his wife. Idris is overjoyed to see... (full context)
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In the next few days, Idris is quiet and thoughtful. He asks Nahil if she thinks they need so much “stuff”... (full context)
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Idris resumes his work. He’s extremely busy—overbooked for the next two weeks. His chief, Joan Schaeffer,... (full context)
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Later in the week, Idris approaches Joan Schaeffer about Roshana’s operation. He explains the circumstances, and asks her if American... (full context)
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The weeks go on, and Idris begins to concern himself more and more with his material needs. He installs a home... (full context)
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The narrative cuts ahead by six years. Idris is standing in line at a bookstore, holding a book. The book, ghostwritten by a... (full context)
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It’s revealed that Idris is standing in a book-signing line, and he’s only a few feet away from Roshana.... (full context)
Chapter 9
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Time, Memory, Forgetting, and Art Theme Icon
Compassion and Selfishness Theme Icon
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...she’s very nervous—she hasn’t seen her brother in 58 years. Pari II remembers something that Idris Bashiri, Abdullah’s doctor, told her: Abdullah needs stability in his life, rather than sudden surprises. (full context)