Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Afghanistan"

Peshawar

I liked Peshawar. I preferred it to hot, racing Rawalpindi, or grand, haughty Islamabad. I think I preferred it to any other city in the world. Indolent in the autumn sun, it was the perfect place for waiting. Although formally it was part of the state of Pakistan, Peshawar belonged to Afghanistan by now. It lived according to Afghan laws and rules, it thought and felt the Afghan way, it spoke Afghan and it looked Afghan. And Afghanistan meant eternal waiting—always,...

The View from Within: An Introduction to New Afghan Literature

In a discussion at the House of Culture in Stockholm just over a week ago, the Afghan writer Atiq Rahimi, having summarized the last three decades of Afghan history, concluded laconically  that the present state was: “un chaos total”—a total chaos. Rahimi is far from alone in his assessment, but he is unusual in that he speaks to the situation as an Afghan, rather than an outside observer. It is the “chaos” this issue has tried to put in words—this...

The Idol’s Dust

Boom . . . m . . . m . . . The terrible sound of something exploding and collapsing . . . The awe of explosion and dynamite . . . A huge amount of explosives had been used. The devastating explosion, accompanied by the loud cries of god-is-greater that made the throats of the Talibs quiver, set the earth atremble; a dense, impenetrable cloud of dust billowed up into the sky. The explosion tore the Buddha from the embrace of the mountain and flung it into the valley. The Buddha had...

To Arrive

When you get off the airplane, it will not be like Kabul airport, or like other cities of Afghanistan for that matter, where they drive stairs up and attach them to the door and then take down the passengers one by one. These days, there have been improvements everywhere, old man. But we, we are lagging behind, and war has taken us further and further back. The only thing we think of is devastation, and not creation . . . they will drive the bridge up and attach it to the airplane door,...

Dasht-e Leili

After the doors were shut, the tomblike cargo container had become dark. With our hands and feet bound with the fabric of our own turbans, we had fallen on top of each other and the only thing we could see was the glitter of each others’ eyes. Outside, the sun was shining, which made the air inside the container hot and close. * They had given us nothing to eat or drink all day. Before, the soldiers in camouflage uniforms, some of whom were constantly riding around us on...

Hate

—That makes exactly four kilos. When she heard these words a smile spread across her lips and she looked at her little son… The shopkeeper kept talking: —Sister, take this money…it’s eight rupees. Once again she reached out her hand from her chador and took the money handed over by the shopkeeper. In the afternoon sun, she set off in a hurry toward her home. She walked in haste and held her little son’s hand tightly.  Her grip was so firm...

The Spectacle

It was late in the evening when he came home. His wife sat on the veranda in front of the house, and he approached their sick five-year-old son who was lying on a bed. He took off his shawl, and as he wiped his head and short beard clean, he asked her how everything was with Bari. His wife, close to tears, answered: —His fever is still high. He is very weak and has been lying there all day. He has no appetite either, I gave him soup a couple of times but he wouldn't eat it....

The Man Who Went into the Hills

He was walking quickly through the alley. His eyes were wide open and he stared frantically straight in front of him. A group of people was tossing banana skins in the middle of the street. The walking man hurried past the skins, then suddenly slipped, and fell. The whole crowd started to laugh at him. Furious, the walking man got up. Wild with rage, he began cursing the laughing crowd, “Hey, look at all of you! Blood is flowing in our country and you’re laughing. You should...

Embraced by the Grave

Oh, I must have fallen asleep really late. This place is cramped, it is hard to breathe. Hold on, let me switch the lights on, how dark it is in here, and why am I having so much trouble breathing? Ouch! What did my head bump into, the roof of the house cannot have tumbled down on me, how could that be? Wait now, let me think a little, where am I and what is this place? Oh! It looks like someone is coming, as if he has brought a lantern with him. Wait now, it does not seem to be a...

The Destiny of a Leaf

A man is not a bird that he might make his home on any shore he flies to. A man has the destiny of a leaf. A leaf, when separated from the heights of its branch, is trampled underfoot by passersby in the streets. Qom, Iran, 28 June 1999

Take a Number on Saturdays

Take a ticket, the prescription, and a handful of torn money, stand at the end of the queue on Saturdays, take a number. Tayyebah’s unwell again—you’ve got to make a phone call and negotiate a day off from the office. No matter what she sees in her random way, be patient: pull the moon or a star out of her sleeve. Shopping isn’t bad, all the colors make her happy; buy her some clothes, bangles, shoes, and earrings. Don’t let your focus stray from the...

The Sewing Machine

The sewing machine’s quiet hum was my mother’s sad song. At my father’s stall it was her peasant trousers that could send me to school answer the landlord and buy medicine. My sister Marzieh, whose illness nobody understands, and cannot be cured even in the shrine, coughs continuously like the sewing machine’s needle and the softness of her bones only feeds the earth’s lust. Mother is the needle’s thread: with Marzieh’s every cough,...

Imaginary Return

1984 It was night. The ninth night. The most silent, the most oppressive. Under the whiteness of snow, in the darkness of time, the edges of the earth were lost. It was night. The ninth night. The smuggler had said: —On the ninth night, we’ll cross the border. Secretly, silently, we approached the border. All fugitives, leaving the land of our birth. Each because of a person, a thing, a word . . . It was night. The ninth night. We reached a pass. The smuggler...

Farsi


Persian


Urdu


Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.