Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Basir Beria, 47, uses a spool to reel in his handmade kite string -- cotton thread coated with glass -- while flying a fighter kite in front of his store in North Hollywood. The expert kite flyer is from Kabul, Afganistan, where kite fighting has a long tradition. Beria, who came to the United States in 1984, served as kite master on the recent film "The Kite Runner."
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