In the loving memory of
My Grandfather Qalhadar Pamirzad
Author: Parniyan Hazhir,
University of British Columbia, Canada
04 February 2013
ز آن دمي كه ز چشمم برفت رود عزيز كنار دامن من همچو رود جيحونست
For us, our poets are our gods. We live by their wisdom, their intricate philosophies hidden between the curves of our beautiful letters. And it is to Hafez that we turn during the worst of times. Hafez, through time and language, somehow knows what you’re going through and never fails to soften your sorrow with an alluring verse or two. I pity myself for writing in this cold and calculating language but I have no choice – I pity all of us. Our homes are empty, our streets changed. Realities once become faded memories, sometimes figments of our imagination. We are caught between those unrealities – we are neither here nor there. We don’t exist here or there. We only exist in our poetry, in our music and in our shared sorrow and joy. Mawlana, you promised us, years ago that we would go back to ourselves.
Today, I imagine a very small boy. I imagine one of those poor children whose pictures you see strewn on the internet. He comes from the foot of ancient mountains – his skin is hard against the winter. But there’s something you don’t know about this obscure child from this obscure place – he lived his life as beautifully as our poets played with words. He brought the same colour, the same expression to his bleak life that our poets once brought to their tattered papers.
Do you know where I come from? I come from him. At the head of the Oxus is where our history begins – the silken sand, a wall of water between two races.
Do you know where we come from? We were once mountains. Once mountains, we walked like Rostam, the land we set foot on went quivering. But we melted. We melted down and out of our home forever. If Jaihun is in paradise as they say, then surely he, like Adam left paradise. And like Adam, the memory of paradise never left his heart- and etched onto ours it was by him. And like paradise, it was all made up. A figment of our imaginations.
Do you happen to know who he married? A warrior, wounded for life. And six warriors he bore. This is our story, of how we came to be – our creation.
Our journey is with the birds, wandering from valley to valley.
But our guide, the hoopoe is gone.
He has found himself but we remain lost in these valleys, looking for ourselves.
هشتم مارچ روز بین المللی زنان
نوشته: پرنیان هژیر
دانشگاه بریتیش کولمبیا، کانادا
۸ مارچ ۲۰۱۳
ای مرد افغان
من یک زن افغان هستم
جهان در باره من می نویسد. انها همه سرنوشت من را پژ وهش می کنند
دل همه برای من خیلی می سوزد
می خواهند زن افغان صدا داشته باشد.
مگر من همیشه صدا داشته ام
ای مرد افغان کجا بودی وقتی فریاد زدم چون در رویم تیزاب پاشیدند
گوش نداشتی آن گاه که من کار و بار را از دست داده گریه نا میدی میکردم
وان روز که طالب پاهایم را با قمچیین زد چرا مات و مبهوت به من نگاه میکردی؟
مرد افغان برایم بگو چگونه ایستاده و تماشاکردی که سینه هایم را گوشهایم را و
بینی ام رابریدند. و این که جسد من را سگهای کوچه های مزار دریدند
شاید چادری ام صدایم را خفه کرده بود یا شاید مراهمچون سنگ آبی روی سرک پنداشتی؟
اما هنوز هم حیران هستم که چطور داد و فریادم را نشنیدی؟
این واقعیت مرا گیچ کرده است
مرد افغان برایم بگو شاید اجازه دادی برای طالب برای مجاهد وکمونیست که
گوش هایت را ببندند. یا شاید کر به این دنیا آمده بودی
مگر چشم و دیدگاه داشتی نه؟
یا جنگ و خشونت کورت کرده بود
مرد افغان چطور به همین رویدادها اجازه دادی واقع شوند
اگر من زن افغان ناموست هستم چطور ناموست را گذاشتی که فرش کوچه ها شود
مگر حالا فهمیدم: مرد افغان این تو هستی که صدا نداری
قادر به داد خواهی نیستی
وکدام دستی نداری که با آن قمچین را ما نع شوی یا ا ز آن چتر بسازی که مرا از باران تیزاب نجات بدهی
تو ناتوانتر از آنی که مرا توانایی ببخشی
وتو ویران تر از آنی که مرا آباد کنی
مرد افغان همیشه این تو بودی و هستی که زجر میکشی.
This is the English translation of something I wrote for my Persian course this semester.
March 8, Women International Day
Author: Parniyan Hazhir,
University of British Colombia, Canada
To the Afghan man,
I am Afghan woman. People across the world write about me, research about me and talk about all I have suffered. They all feel very sorry for me, the Afghan woman
And so, they want to give me a voice. But… I’ve always had a voice. Afghan man, I wonder what you were doing when I screamed of pain at the acid thrown at my face. I wonder what you were doing when I cried of despair when I could no longer practice my profession. I will always wonder why you stood frozen at my moans when the Talib whipped my ankles.
Tell me, did the Chadari muffle my voice? Or perhaps you thought I was one of the many blue rocks on the streets of Kabul.
Afghan man, why did you let them cut off my breasts, my ears and my nose? And my body to be fed to the stray dogs of Mazar-e-Sharif?
Tell me why I was wrapped up in a white sheet and carried out from my home to be married to a man I did not love. Perhaps you thought I was a gift to be given away.
Afghan man, it surprises me how you never heard my screams. It baffles me. Tell me, did you let the Talib, the Mujahed and the Communist cut your ears off? Perhaps you were born with none.
But you had eyes, didn’t you? A vision? Only of war and violence, I suppose.
Afghan man, how did you let this happen? If I am your honour, how did you force my head down and drag me across the ground?
But I think I realize it now: Afghan man, you have no voice. No voice, no strength to call out injustice. No hand to craft a shield against the hail of acid.
You’re too weak to empower me.
You’re too broken to build me.
Afghan man, you’ve suffered so much. Let the world know that the torn and bloodied soul is yours, not mine. The communists carved your heart out and the Taliban threw your senses in all four directions.
I would have done something had you not stifled my voice and distorted my vision with the Chadari.
I would have heard something had you not cut my ears off.
I would have nursed you had you not cut my breasts off.
Afghan man, I would have the smelled the blood on your hands had you not cut my nose off.
Afghan man, I lost you to countless wars and senseless ideologies. I lost you. Please find your way back to me, Afghan man. I need you to come back to me.
Let me be the one to build you.
Let me be the one to empower you.
Afghan man, let us blue rocks build you the most magnificent palace. Just let us; your broken spirit needs a home.
From: the Afghan woman
*Chadari = what afghans call the Burqa.