Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Biography The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:59:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ramazan Jumazada Sat, 01 Jan 2011 05:35:09 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Ramazan Jumazada

Ramazan Jumazada was born in the Bamyan Province of Afghanistan in 1978. Accepted at the Medical Collage of Balkh University in 1995, he had to leave for Pakistan in 1995, when Mazar-i-Sharif City was occupied by the Taliban.

In Pakistan, Ramazan Jumazada followed lessons in business and information technology. He also taught at the Aga Khan School and was an active member of the Regional Advisory Committee of the Aga Khan Education Program for Pakistan. Furthermore, Ramazan Jumazada served as the deputy of the Afghan Rehabilitation Program (ARP), which was affiliated to the Aga Khan Regional Council for Pakistan.

After the collapse of the Taliban Regime in 2001 he returned back to Afghanistan. From 2002 to 2005 he was appointed by His Highness the Aga Khan as member of the National Council for the Economic Portfolio in Afghanistan. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Board Member of the Focus Humanitarian Assistance for Afghanistan, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

In 2005, Ramazan Jumazada joined the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) – an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce – as Program Manager and then Program Director.

After joining Chemonics, an international development company, as trade specialist in 2008, he started his own business as foodstuff supply chain to big supermarkets and international organizations.

In 2010 Ramazan Jumazada ran for parliamentary elections as a candidate from the Kabul Province and he has been Member of the National Assembly of Afghanistan (Wolesi Jirga) since then

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Hakim Naser Khusraw Balkhi Tue, 28 Sep 2010 00:20:25 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The great and well-known lsmaili Dai (Missionary) Hakim Nasir Khusraw was the celebrated medieval erudite poet, philosopher, traveler and Hujjat of Khurasan. Nasir Khusraw was one of the most important figures of eleventh century Iran, an era which has produced such men of prominence as Omar Khayyam, Hasan bin Sabbah and Al Muayyad fid Din Shirazi.

Nasir Khusraw, who is considered as the Real Wisdom of the East came from Qubadiyan in Balkh. The full name of this  remarkable personality of Persian Literary History was Abu Muinud Din Nasir-i Khusraw. He called himself Marwazi Qubadiyani, as Marw was the capital of Qubadiyan state.

His father was a small landowner in the vicinity of Balkh. He was born in the month of Dhulqad 394 A.H. / 1003-4 A.C. during the time of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi. He was seeking education from his early childhood and devoted about thirty years in achieving it. He pursued every field of knowledge, intellectual, as well as traditional. He memorized the Holy Quran and became an expert in tradition and in the interpretation of the Holy Ouran. Besides Islamic literature, he also studied the new and the old testament, and books of other religions thoroughly. He studied the Al-Magest of Ptolemy, Geometry of Euclid, Alchemy, Physics, Logic, Music, Mathematics, Medicine, Astronomy, Astrology, etc. He excelled in Literature and knew Hebrew, and Sanskrit, besides Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Greek. He studied the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the epistles of Kindi, Farabi and Ibn Sina (Avicenna).

Regarding his original religion, it is said that he was Shia. Nasir calls himself an Alawi in two of the couplets in his Diwan, from which it may be concluded that “Alawi” does not only mean, Shi’ite but there is good  reason to believe that Nasir was really a “Sayyid”. But it is difficult to prove this for he has exercised modesty in this regard.

The inhabitants of Yamgan valley, where Nasir lived during his last days and died, consider themselves as Sayyids and the descendants of Nasir Khusraw.

By birth in the family of the Government officials’ class, he followed the custom of that time and entered the Government service of Ghaznavid and Saljuq administrations. Nasir was employed as a Government Secretary and Revenue Officer.

 Taqi-zada in his book “Ham majlis wa ham piyala” of Kings has accused him of being participant of the assemblies of drunken orgies of Princes and so forth. Scrutinizing Nasir’s own statements, says lvanow, one can see that all this is based on misunderstanding. As a gifted and mentally alert youth, he undoubtedly took much real interest in many things, though this never amounted to anything like his poetry’s years — a long search for Truth. He himself has said in his Diwan, he would hardly have devoted his time to composing indecent or frivolous poetry and practising such vices, that when you remember these, your face becomes dark and mind becomes depressed. This is of course, expressed in poetry in which hyperbolism, exaggeration is often the fundamental rule. Most probably this simply means that he enjoyed his life and composed ordinary love songs, which in the strictly religious outlook of his old age appeared to him as shameful frivolity.

 The change of dynasty took place in his mother country in 429 A.H. / 1038 A.C. when he was 35 years old. Eight years later he set out on his great journey described in his famous book “Safarnama”.

 The Change in his life

 It is generally accepted that Nasir went on to the pilgrimage as an orthodox Muslim and became converted to Ismailism in Egypt through which he had to pass on his way to Mecca. He returned to his native land after some time as an lsmaili missionary of high rank, as a Hujjat.

For Nasir Khusraw obviously the truth was only Islam and it may be easily realized that the truth was the authentic interpretation of religion which can be received only from the Imam. It is quite possible, that he might have been Shi’ite, perhaps a change of dynasty, if it upset his career, the frustation of his youthful ambitions, even his probable contacts with lsmailis — all these together possibly inspired him to espouse the cause of the Fatimids whose star had never risen so high as at that particular time.

Nasir Khusraw has given two statements pertaining to his conversion in his Safarnama. One is the oft-cited story of his religious dream at the beginning of the journey and the second one is his “confession” in the form of the lengthiest of his Qasidas. About his dream, he has written in his Safarnama that on a certain night he saw in his dream someone saying to him “How long shall you go on drinking the wine that ruins the human reason? It is high time for thee to become sober”. He answered in the following words: “The wise have not invented any better means for the purpose of reducing sorrows of the world.”The addresser of the dream said, “Senselessness and unconsciousness do not bring peace of mind. One cannot be called a wise man if one leads people to unconsciousness. It is necessary to search for something that flourishes reason and increases wisdom. He asked,”Where can I find that?” The addresser replied: “Those who search will find,” and waved his hand in the direction of Qibla saying nothing more.

This was the sign indicating the Fatimid Imams who were in Cairo in Egypt. After seeing this dream he resigned from his services and set out on his great journey.

“Nasir”, says Dr. lvanow, “himself well knew the harm that he was causing to himself but obviously the speaker in the dream was some one of especial importance, the Prophet or the lmam, not named by him out of peculiar modesty. It is generally believed that the Prophet may “appear in the dream” only to deserving and pious people and would not visit others. Thus the mention of a holy visitor is equivalent to the narrator’s claim to exceptional piety and virtue. So his sincere devotion to religion of Shi’ite type caused Nasir Khusraw to be converted to Ismailism where he could recover from his chronic drunkness i.e. practising religious life without knowing its real meaning and implications. He was awakened from his intoxication, i.e. he was convinced of the lsmaili faith and later he went to Cairo for higher training and instructions.

In the autumn of the 1045 A.C.Nasir Khusraw being warned by the dream, was determined to renounce the wine and to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca. He was about 40 years old at that time. He performed a complete ablution, repaired to the mosque of Jazjanan, where he then happened to have registered a solemn vow of repentence, and set out on his journey in 437 A.H. / 1045 A.C.

Nasir Khusraw after seeing the dream resigned from his services and set out on the great journey with his younger brother Abu-Saeed and an Indian servant. He traveled by the way of Shaburqan to Merv, then proceeded to Nishapur and visiting the tomb of Sufi Saint Bayazid of Bostam at Qums, came by way of Demghan to Samnan, where he met Ustad Ali Nisai, a pupil of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and lecturer on Arithmetic, Geometry and Medicine. Passing onwards through Qazwin he reached Tabriz on Safar 20th, 438 A.H. / 1046 A.C. and there he made the acquaintance of the poet Qatran. to whom he explained passages in poems of Daqiqi and Maujik. Then he made his way successively to Van, Akhiat, Bittis, Arzan, Mayfaraqin, Amid, Aleppo, and Ma’arratun Nu’man, where he met great Arabic philosophical poet Abul Ala-af Ma’arri of whose character and attainment he speaks in warmest terms. Then he visited Hama, Tripoli, Beirut, Sidon, Tyre, Acre, and Haifa. He spent sometime in Syria in visiting the tombs of Prophets and other holy places, including Jerusalem and Bethlehem, he made his first pilgrimage to Mecca in 1047 A.C. From Mecca by the way of Damascus to Jerusalem, he proceeded by land to Egypt and finally arrived in Cairo on Safar 7th, 439 A.H. / 1047 A.C.

Nasir Khusraw, attracted by the fame of Al Mustansir, came from Khurasan to Egypt, where he lived seven years, performing the pilgrimage and returning to Egypt every year.

 It would be strange that if he remained a Sunni until his arrival in Cairo, he should have been converted by no less a figure than Al Muayyad himself, and at once accepted into the service.

His stay in Cairo marks an epoch in his life, for it was here he became acquainted with the splendor, justice and wise administration of the Fatimid Caliph and Imam Al Mustansir Billah and here it was that he was initiated into the esoteric doctrine of the lsmaili creed, received the commission to carry on their propaganda. During this period, the Muslims were ruled by the Ismaili Imams who were also the Caliphs of the Islamic Empire and this was the period in which Al Azhar, the world’s oldest University was founded.

Nasir Khusraw in his Safarnama has described the city of Cairo, the excellent administration of the Fatimid Imams and Caliphs, the wealth, contentment and security of their subjects. His description of Cairo, its mosques, its gardens, buildings and suburbs is admirable. The details of Fatimid administration given by him are most valuable. He was much impressed with the discipline of the army, maintenance of law, peace and order in the country. Describing the excellent administration in beautiful words, he says. “it seems that Fatimids are the only lawful authorities and the protectors of the garden of Allah.

According to Encyclopedia of Islam, Nasir Khusraw left Persia at the difficult period, when the country was being laid waste by the continued wars between the various Princes. He found the same wretched picture in all the Muslim countries which he had to traverse on his journey. Only Egypt proved a pleasing exception,where he saw prosperity, rich bazars, harmony and tranquility. As the lsmaili dynasty of Fatimids were ruling in Egypt at that time, Nasir concluded that Islam had diverged from the true path and that only lsmailism could save the true believers from inevitable ruin.

When Nasir Khusraw visited Cairo in 439 A.H., he went to the court of Fatimid Caliph, Imam Mustansir Billah. There he met Khawaja Al Muayyad Fiddin Shirazi, who was then one of the twelve ‘Hujjats’ of the lmam. He discussed with him about the allegories of the Holy Ouran and other secrets of the Shariat (religious law) and he found the righteousness of the Fatimid Caliph Imam Al Mustansir Billah and accepted him as his lmam. He says, “I searched in the world for Tawil-e Mutashabihat (The meaning of allegories of Holy Ouran) but I could not find them anywhere except with Fatimid Caliphs”.

He praised his teacher Al Muayyad in his Diwan for his superiority in knowledge.

“Kih kard az khatir-i Khwaja Muayyad Dar-i-Hikmat kushada bar tu yazdan shab-i-man rooz-i raushan kard Khwaja za burhanha-i-choon khurshid-ipakhshan.

Mara binamood hazir har do aakm ba yak ja dar tanam paida pinhan.”

“From the heart of Al Muayyad, God has opened for thee the doors of wisdom. Khwaja changed my night into a shiny day by his right arguments like the sun. He showed me both the worlds in my person, he made me behold them openly as well as secretly, in my person.”

In Noorum Mubin with reference of Rawzatus Safa, Habibus Siyar, Dabistanul Mazahib it is written that Nasir Khusraw acquired the knowledge of Philosophy at Jama Azhar. He made vast studies at Darul Hikmat, held discussions with Khawaja Al Muayyad a diplomat and Intelligent Dai ud Duwa’t, from him acquired deep knowledge of Philosophy. Later on, he was brought before the lmam Mustansir Billah by Vazir Abu Nastre Sadka lbn Yusuf, where he received the blessings of Imam. Later on he was bestowed with the title of Dai ud Duwa’t by the lmam. He was then sent to various tours prior to his departure to his native country where he was designated to carry on the work of preaching.

Thus Sayyidna Nasir Khusraw spent three or five years in the service of lmam and was appointed to the propagation of the Da’wah in Khurasan. He was given the title of Hujjat-i Khurasan and he became one of the twelve Hujjats of the court of lmam.

 Beginning of Da’wah

 In 444 A.H. when he returned to Khurasan, he had already given up all the luxuries and he began to propagate the Da’wah with great enthusiasm and ambition. He started his mission from Balkh and used to send ‘Dai’s’ and ‘Madhoons’ (missionaries and their assistants) to the provinces of the country. Besides being well versed in the different fields of knowledge he had a great ability and power of eloquence and discussions with ‘ulemas’ and praised the glory of the Fatimid Caliphs and assert their lmamat very efficiently and took pride in being a follower of the Fatimid lmams and used to call himself a Fatimi.

 This caused Abbasid minded Ulema to agitate the public to rise against him in enmity because they were the enemies of the Fatimids. Soon the Saljuqs ruled the land, became convinced that Nasir’s activity was a serious threat to them. So he was persecuted and had to flee from Balkh. He took refuge in Mazindaran. The fact that he visited Mazindaran, is alluded in some of Nasir’s poems, and is attested by his contemporary Abul Maali in Bayanil Adyan. He also tried to propagate the Da’wah but unfortunately was confronted with the same enmity as he had to face in Balkh. Once again he directed his efforts towards Balkh and entered Nishapur, where he once again tried his luck at the preaching but had to face the same bitter enemity, so he left for Badakhsan and settled in Yamgan, and started his mission vigorously. He made Yamgan his seat of Dawat, from where he used to send every year a book written by himself to the provinces, in support of his propagation besides missionaries.

 Most of his work was done at Yamgan. Professor lvanow says that the political situations of that time did not let him out of this narrow valley which proved to be his prison and from which only death released him. But then too he had some means of communication with the outer world, even with Egypt, otherwise he would not have written his Qasidas and perhaps other books. He also received Da’wat books from Egypt, where as according to local tradition of Badakhshan, Shah Sayyid was busy with converting local inhabitants and even undertook extensive journeys in the East, during which he visited India. All this is narrated in the book called Gawhar Raz written by Nasir Khusraw.

 It is due to his tireless endeavours that there are millions of lsmailis in Afghanistan, Russia, China, Chitral, Hunza, Gilgit and even in Pamir, the roof of the world. He often used to go to neighboring countries to preach.

 It is said that once he went to a place called Munjgan (Lutkoh) in Chitral where he stayed for a short time. The natives of that place today consider the place where he stayed as a Holy Shrine and claim that they possess some books written by him in Arabic which are translated into Persian and Turkish. They also claim that they have a cloak and sandals of the celebrated Hujjat.

 His Works

 “Except with the spiritual help of the descendants of the Prophet (Tayid-i Al Rasool), I would have neither had any book to my credit, nor anything to teach others. (From Diwan of Nasir Khusraw).

 Many Persians are poets by nature but the poems of Nasir Khusraw are moral, Philosophical and religious. Nasir Khusraw has written numerous works of the highest value and interest both in verse and prose. Most of the works of this great author have been the objects of very careful study by many eminent Western scholars like Bland, Dorn, Ethe, Fagnan. Noldeke, Pertsch, Riev, Ivanow, Schefer and many others. His religious and philosophical views are abundantly illustrated in his verses.

 His great works include the most important great philosophical ‘Diwan’ which was composed in the miserable years of his exile. The artistic value of his poems is not especially high, but the philosophical matter which still awaits its investigator is of very great importance for the history of Persian Literature. It is a complete encyclopedia of lsmaili teaching but of course an unsystematic one. From a linguistic stand point, the work is of extra ordinary interest. A good edition of Persian text appeared in Teheran in 1928 A.C. in which two not very long didactic poems were appended to.

 Rushanai Nama or the book of felicity which sharply criticises the aristocracy of the Kingdom and praises the peasants as “The nourisher of every living I create.”

 The best known of Nasir’s prose works is the Safarnama, a description of his pilgrimage to Mecca, which is a travelogue and a valuable source of the most varied information. In his best work Safar Nama, he describes his outlook as a country squire, always with keen eyes on matters which belonged to the usual circle of interest of his native land. He pays special attention to land, irrigation facilities, bazars (markets), trade and industry. But unfortunately this work has come down to us only in a very mutilated form and has probably been edited by a Sunni hand. The other works of Nasir are mainly Ismaili text books.

 Among them, first place should be given to Zad-al Musafrin. It is an encyclopaedia of a special character which deals with the varied questions of a metaphysical and cosmographical nature. The doctrine of Tawil or allegorical interpretation is clearly explained by him, such as paradise, hell, the Resurrection, the torment of tombs, the rising of sun from the west are all allegorically explained in his work.

 No less important is the Wajhi Din an introduction to lsmailism, which gradually initiates the reader in lsmaili belief by means of quotations form the Holy Ouran, clearly put together. A number of similar pamphlets like Umm al Kitab, which were quite recently fairly widely disseminated among lsmailis of the Pamirs are sometimes credited to our author Sayyidna Nasir Khusraw. He also wrote more than a dozen treatises expounding the doctrines of the lsmailis, among them the Jami al Hikmatain in which he attempted a harmony between theology and philosophy. His other works are, Khwanal lkhwan, Shish Fasi, Gushaish wa Rihaish, Bustanul Uqul, Daliui Mutahhareen etc. Nasir’s works were numerous but many have not survived in perfect form. Modern lsmaili researcher Nasir Hunzai, has done vast studies of his works and has also translated most of them into Urdu, says that although considerable portions of Nasir’s work are now available in good editions, one cannot yet assert that sufficient light has been thrown upon his striking personality. It would be particularly valuable if his philosophical system could be studied as it is of far-reaching importance for the history of thought in Persia and history of lsmailis. Although Hakim Nasir Khusraw was a great philosopher and poet, his main subject remained religion. He used his poetry and philosophy for the propagation of lsmaili dawat. He always took pride in spiritual elevation by Taid-i lmam (the spiritual help of Imam). To him philosophy was nothing in comparison to the spiritual elevation. He says:

“When you will behold the personals of God then you will never be pawned by philosophy. When you will proceed towards God and follow the right path your physical power and spiritual enlightenment will increase.”

 His death

 There is a controversy about the death of Hakim Nasir Khusraw. Some say that he died at the age of 140, but the modern researchers in history are of the opinion that he died between the age of 87 and 100. The great savant Taqi Zadah, in his introduction to the Safarnama holds in support to Haji Khalifa who has mentioned in his book Taqeen-ut Tawareekh that the great Hakim’s death occured in the year 481 A.H. Hakim Nasir Khusraw died at Yamgan and was buried there. His mausoleum is looked upon as a holy shrine by the natives of Badakhshan in Tajikistan.

 Nasir Khusraw was that man of wisdom whose memory would never fade out with time but would live for centuries.

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Burhanuddin Rabbani Mon, 27 Sep 2010 10:45:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Burhanuddin Rabbani

Burhanuddin Rabbani (Persian: برهان الدين رباني – Burhânuddîn Rabbânî) (b. 1940), is a former President of Afghanistan.[1] Burhanuddin Rabbani is the leader of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Society of Afghanistan). He also served as the political head of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (UIFSA), an alliance of various political groups who fought against Taliban rule in Afghanistan. He served as President from 1992-1996 until he was forced to leave Kabul because of the Taliban takeover of the city. His government was recognized by many countries, as well as the United Nations. He is currently the head of Afghanistan National Front (known in the media as United National Front), the largest political opposition to Hamid Karzai‘s government.

Early years

Rabbani, son of Muhammed Yousuf, was born in 1940 in Badakhshan, northern Afghanistan. He is an ethnic Tajik. After finishing school in his native province, he went to Darul-uloom-e-Sharia (Abu-Hanifa), a religious school in Kabul. When he graduated from Abu-Hanifa, he went to Kabul University to study Islamic Law and Theology. During his four years at Kabul University he became well known for his works on Islam. Soon after his graduation in 1963, he was hired as a professor at Kabul University. In order to enhance himself, Rabbani went to Egypt in 1966, and he entered the Al-Azhar University in Cairo where he developed close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.[2] In two years, he received his masters degree in Islamic Philosophy. Rabbani was one of the first Afghans to translate the works of Sayyid Qutb into Dari.[2]

Jamiat-e Islami

Rabbani returned to Afghanistan in 1968, where the High Council of Jamiat-e Islami gave him the duty of organizing the University students. Due to his knowledge, reputation, and active support for the cause of Islam, in 1972, a 15-member council selected him as head of Jamiat-e Islami of Afghanistan; the founder of Jamiat-e Islami of Afghanistan, Ghulam M. Niyazi was also present. Jamiat-e Islami was primarily composed of Tajiks and Uzbeks.[3]

In the spring of 1974, the police came to Kabul University to arrest Rabbani for his pro-Islamic stance, but with the help of his students the police were unable to capture him, and he managed to escape to the countryside.

When the Soviets supported the 1979 coup, Rabbani helped lead Jamiat-e Islami in resistance to the PDPA regime. Rabbani’s forces were the first mujahideen elements to enter Kabul in 1992 when the PDPA government fell from power.

See also


  1. ^ “Rabbani’s Afghan comeback”. BBC News. 2001-11-14. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  2. ^ a b Burke, Jason (2004). Al-Qaeda: The True Story Of Radical Islam. I. B. Tauris. pp. 66–67.
  3. ^ Rogers, Tom (1992). The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Analysis and Chronology. Greenwood Press. pp. 27.

Source: BBC

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Partaw Naderi Mon, 27 Sep 2010 09:20:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Partaw Nadir, as a socio-political activist and poet, has more media and public visibility than any of his contemporaries in the country or abroad. To a large extent, his poetry is also a reflection of his social and political views. In the media and public arena, he is often seen as a literary authority and spokesperson of the second generation of modern Afghan poets. Perhaps more than any poet of his generation, he has used blank verse, with a strong satirical tone, to express his socio-political views and visions. He has also used fixed poetic forms, such as quatrains, couplets and odes, to express his inner feelings, but the modern blank verse remains a major medium of his poetic views and expressions.  
Like many other Afghan artists and intellectuals, he was arrested by the Communist Regime in Kabul on charges of anti-regime activities and imprisoned in the infamous Pul-i-charkhi Prison in the fall of 1984. He remained in prison until the end of 1986. In September 1997, he fled to Pakistan, where he worked for the Dari program of the BBC World Service until 2002.  His cultural reports for the Dari program of BBC Radio enjoyed popularity among the educated Afghans in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and the Gulf. Since the establishment of the Transitional government of Afghanistan, he has worked as a civic education manager for the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Kabul. Nadiri is also a leading member of the Afghan Pen Association based in Kabul
Born in 1952 in an idyllic village in Badakhshan, one of the most beautiful mountainous provinces in northeastern Afghanistan, Nadiri in his poetry expresses his deep love for nature, rural life, and simple mountain people. To escape the suffocating dust, pollution and chaos of Kabul city and perhaps to recreate his nostalgic village life, he has built his own house on the hillside of a small valley in Ghargha in the western part of Kabul, where he lives with his wife and children.  
From his early age, he loved reading literature, particularly poetry. The beautiful mountainous setting of his village inspired him to write his own lyrics. After graduating from Kabul Teacher Training School, he wished to study journalism at Kabul University, but, as a graduate of a government-funded teacher training school, he was required to study either social or natural sciences at Kabul University. Despite this restriction, he believes his study of geology and biology has enriched his poetry and sense of realism.
In addition to poetry, he has published a large number of articles on literary, political and social issues. His published collections include: An Elegy for Vine, Leaden Moments of Execution, and A Lock on the Gate of Ashes.     
Images of poverty, imprisonment, drought, Taliban-style tyranny and obscurantism, destruction and death abound in his poems.  Like many of his contemporaries, he is haunted by the Taliban’s reign of terror, whose images recur in most of his poems. In his poetry, he sees the Taliban movement as a diabolic force bent on destroying or disfiguring what is best in Afghan arts and culture. He often associates the movement in his works with what has been most decadent, chauvinistic, and barbaric in the history of Afghanistan and Islam.  On of his famous poems titled “The Other Side of Purple Waves” is an expression of his poetic rage against the savagery of the Taliban. In this and many other poems written since the rise of the Taliban movement, the poet has used images of war, obscurantism, religious ferocity, drought, famine, and destruction caused by the rabid fanatics of the Taliban movement.
Latif Nazemi, a known Afghan poet and critic, in an introduction to Nadiri’s collection of poems titled Leaden Moments of Execution writes:
            You are a kind country man, coming from a distant village to Kabul city. For several years, you had breathed the prison air, and then exile swallowed you, the way it swallowed me.
            When there was a “Lock on the Gate,” you wrote the “Elegy for the Vine” and from “The Other Side of the Purple Waves” you opened two windows before you — the window of life and the window of nature — and from behind these windows I have known you without having seen you.
In the poem “The Big Picture, the Small Mirror” you wrote the life story of a mother, like many other mothers in villages and cities – the mothers whose bitter destinies are inscribed by the … history, as you have written – women from the green tribe of nobility who speak the language of the people of paradise.

You think that poetry is a kind of crying, crying with one’s fresh and crystal words. Your voice is the imaginative voice of an affectionate villager bringing to one’s ears the fragrance of wheat, rice fields, and the songs of sparrows from the orchards of the north.

Nadir, like many other Dari poets, wrote the bulk of his poetry when the Taliban were threatening to destroy the artistic and literary heritage of the Dari-speaking people of the country. Indeed, this cultural genocide by the Taliban is a dominant theme and obsession in his poetry during and after the Taliban era, and this must not be interpreted as an anti-Pashtun trend in his works when considering the relentless tribal, ethnic and religious ferocity of the Taliban movement in the second part of the 1990s. In many of his poems translated in this selection, particularly in “The Idol-Breaker’s Calendar,” “Auction,” and “In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse,” the poet expresses a haunting preoccupation about the Taliban as an anti-culture movement threatening to destroy the literary and historical legacy of his people. In his public life, he has also defended this legacy as part of his larger continued campaign for democracy and human rights.        

Most of the poems translated in the following selection are recommended by the poet and reviewed by him for accuracy and quality. He considers “In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse” and “The Other Side of the Purple Wave” as two of his best poems. “The Big Picture, The Small Mirror,” a more popular poem celebrating the purity, devotion, love, humility, patience, forgiveness, and sanctity of mothers, depicts a patriarchal society ruled by a dominating father who symbolizes male chauvinism, dictatorship, and lack of all the virtues epitomized by the mother, but he is survived by his wife, the mother and the son, who symbolize life and freedom. In this poem, Nadiri presents a sentimental, but true, picture of the motherly side of the Afghan society often ignored in many books and studies on Afghanistan.


The Big Picture, The Small Mirror

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She spoke the language of the people of paradise  

She put on a silk chador of faith

Her heart was like God’s empyrean

majestic as His truth

And no one knew that I heard God’s voice

in the beatings of her heart    

And no one knew that God was in our house

And that the sun rose when she began to talk  

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She put on a silk chador of faith

When my mother walked to me

on each of her small footprint a small window would open

into which I could see the green gardens of paradise and

pick my fortune fruit from the top branch of an apple tree

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She put on a silk chador of faith

Her forehead resembled God’s loveliest song’s exordium

which I droned everyday in a lyrical tone

and then knew what a God’s poem meant

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She spoke the language of the people of paradise 

And waited for a white pigeon to come and wash

its lovely feathers every morning

in the paradise’s most crystal springs

And the white pigeon read His message to my mother

from a sacred sphere of the Koran

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She has such an extended family history

that only the sun can remember it

And the sun told me that when she was born

her father lighted a candle in a leprosy home

to mourn the decline of his tall, straight figure

And the sun told me that my mother with her sacred thumb

turned the pages of her life book

to search the meaning of the word “smile”

Unfortunately she couldn’t memorize the happy meaning

of smile until the last moments of her life

My mother was familiar with crying and could derive

a thousand derivates from “crying”

My mother in a thousand languages had kept the bitter meaning

of crying in the dark memory of her eyes

And my mother’s eyes — mirrors of God’s manifestation —

had an excellent memory

My mother was a stranger to the spring;

her life was like a trail of ants

that passed from the grand rock of misfortune

stricken every season by dark clouds of malice and insult

And everyday my mother would pick up from there 

bundles and bundles of flowers of misfortune

My mother was patient as a stone

When my father sailed his small emotion boat

on the red shore of fury

my mother would seek refuge on the beach of tolerance

and wipe her tears with the corners of her chador

            and united with God

My father was a strange man

When my father tied his turban of pride around his head

he thought the sun was a white pigeon

which flew off his high shoulders

And he thought he could ration the sunlight for my mother

And he thought the moon was a colorful worry bead 

that he could hang from his horse’ high mane

My father was a strange man

When he called me before him

I felt a disaster was looming a few steps from him

And my words were like frightened sparrows

which left my mouth’s autumn-stricken orchards

And fear was a dirty shirt, which disfigured my real complexion       

When my father called me before him

my speech blood ceased to flow

in the red vessels of my tongue

And at that time my mother’s heart was a bright crystal

flashing freely in the depth of the darkness valley

And my mother watched her destruction in the broken mirrors

of perturbation and waited for an event to occur 

My father was a strange man

When he tied his turban of pride around his head

his small empire would appear before him

within the four walls of our house

And then he would lash freedom, which was me

and life, which was my mother,

and shackled both of us

May her soul rest in peace!

She still thanked God and prayed for my father:

May God keep his shadow over our heads!  


The Red Epitaph

 This palm tree has lost all hope for the spring

This palm tree has hundreds of scars of war

the scars of a thousand tragedies of everyday

            the scars of a thousand calamities of every night

It’s a red epitaph at the crossroad of the century

Here by the river — this river of tear and blood —

the roots of this tree intertwine with

the blind roots of time

            in the chillness of the tragedy

            in the chillness of the blood

Here the sky from the red sterile clouds

has cast this bloody shroud

            on the broken lap of the coffin —

            the coffin of the rain’s mirror

This palm tree has lost all hope for rain

This palm tree has lost all hope for the spring

This palm tree has hundreds of wounds

            by scourges of the polar night winds

Oh my tree! My only tree!

Oh my spring!

Many years have passed since the blossom bird

            left your yellowing branches

How sad I feel

when butterflies are also leaving you! 



 I drank all night

I drank all night

I used so much of my freedom that I ran out of it  

Why should I worry if Afghanistan falls?

Why should I worry if one hot noon

zealots of lash and iron

with their rope of fanaticism hang my brothers?

Why should I worry if the virgin girls of the Hindo Kosh hills

are auctioned off beyond the Gulf’s salt waters

at the vicinity of Mecca —

who knows?–perhaps at Mecca itself.

Let Islam rule over my homeland;

Islam is the supreme law of Muslims

To the zealots, my father and

            your father are not Muslims

even though the poor old men pray five times a day

at the local mosque

My father and your father

            must believe in such a way

that the one-eyed Amir ul-Mumineen can see them

And Osama Bin Ladin is the last Messiah 

My father and your father must believe

Your father and my father must believe

Peshawar, July 2002


 We Are Afraid of Darkness

(To Naimat Husayn)i

My God!

My God!

I am worn-out in your land

I am worn-out in your land

In your land, there is no chance to bloom

In your land, the sun is beheaded behind my house wall

In your land, all windows of expectations

facing sunrise are closed

We are afraid of darkness

We are afraid of darkness

(Leaden Moments of Execution)

April 2001





 All I had

            was a small knapsack

            which I carried from one house to another

One day I lost it

in one of the old city streets

Kabul, 1981


 The Idol-Breaker’s Calendar

The spring is dead and a flock of black vultures

have laid on the sun’s bloody seat

a feast of stars’ bones and skull of the moon

The spring is dead and nobody measures life and light

with the sun’s breaths

And nobody knows that the sun in my land

has grown several centuries old

in three hundred sixty-five days

Spring is dead and nobody knows

who from the devil party fired the first bullet

during the execution rite of the sun

Spring is dead and the ashamed mourning multitudes

in the blue seclusion of Nirvana

heard only the sound of a blast

that blew apart the history’s millennia-old mind

The spring was dead when the “Islamic Gateway”

was auctioning pieces of our torn body

at the crossroads of conspiracy

at the crossroads of the “Idol-Breaker’s Calendar”

The centuries-old dead bodies died

several thousand times in their old graveyards

And the centuries-old dead bodies

died of shame several thousand times again

in the old graveyards

When the “Islamic Gateway” on

the broken faces of Kabul walls

inscribed in bold-faced letters:

Congratulations on the Victory

April 2001



Lantern of Apprehension

I hang the lantern of my apprehension

from the ceiling of an old cave

fearing the terror of a savage intruder 

I speak in the language of all birds, flowers, and plants

I cause to flow the spirit of the river

            in my permanent isolation’s vessels 

I make a song from the breeze’s disheveled syllables

            to rhyme with freedom

I hang the lantern of my apprehension

            from the ceilings of ancient caves

I become a bird out of freedom

            whose flight links one edge of the sky to another

And I call love by its real name

And I ask life to tell

what ID it has beyond its nickname

And with what a story

            it goes to sleep when cuddling death

I feel a tremor in my heart

            perhaps a bleeding dear is crashing

            in a desert amid some spreading fear

And why so hastily, as the breathings of the wind,

            I hang the lantern of my apprehension      

            from the ceiling of a cave

            in which death is born for the first time

March 2002



Overwhelming Grief

I beg the wind before it blows away:

Wind, oh dear wind!

From where did you bring this aroma of bread?

For in my house, bread is still an unending tale                                             

The wind is also bringing fear from deserts

where wolves are thirsting for the history’s blood

All this caravan of tulips and green thoughts

with swallows once heralding the spring

— all lost and wandering now  —

is rotting in the depth of its grief

And the ringing sound of the caravan’s bell,

with awful grief, warns:

This disaster, still small, is growing in size

The wind arrives and the orchard —

empty as the palms of an orphan—

keeps its gate closed 

for not having much to offer

Save its colorful banquet cloth, everything else is despoiled:

not a piece of bread on its table cloth

not a blade of grass on its stream’s bank

not a lantern under the canopy of its pine trees

not anything else to offer 

This house is in utter ruins, fluttering, like a disaster flag,

over the dome-tops of the tall pine trees

Bodies of green trees are fallen on the ground

like martyred bodies

as if deceitfully stabbed from behind 

Their branches bearing leaves of destruction with

every leaf from the bud turned to ashes

with their eyes searching for water

The wind is no longer humming behind the door

knowing that for years now – to the woe of the orchard!–

fire has flown from the stream’s recollection

in place of that crystal water


In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse

I passed through winters of a remote land

where an old man from a dark history street

stood everyday on the ancient Zenborak Wall*  

to curse the brilliant civilization of his tribe

Then he would roll up his sleeves

and plant the black poplar of his sermons

by the false stream

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where I saw the sun’s hands

failing to put a coin on a child’s small palm

The sun’s generous hands

were empty of any shining generous coins 

in the frozen streets of eclipse

The sun’s generous hands

was rotting in the night’s dark pockets

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where it was possible to offer bread fragrance

            as a rich perfume gift to the most beautiful city girl

And it was possible to graft the blossom of bread image

            to the perfume of illusion 

in the flower vase of the children’s minds

and look forward for rain.

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where by a bakery I saw a people

counting the coins that the king of poverty

had minted “hunger” on both side

As I returned home at night with a bundle of hunger

            my children understood from my hands’ broken lines

the meaning of geographical nothingness

And they drank water from the pot of thirstiness

And for expectation, they expected a flower bouquet 

            at the crossing point of winds

My children, knowing the culture of hunger,

speak foreign languages

translating the word “bread” from morning to evening

            from the kitchen dictionary into a thousand languages 

My children know

            that “bread has overcome

            the amazing prophetic mission.” **

My children know

            that the destruction alphabet has been written

            on the school’s blackboards with a fire-made chalk

And that the red rain of the disaster

            has flooded the school’s orchard of songs

            with the blossom of silence

My children know

that the school is a monkey unleashed

in the black jungle of guns —

            a despised exile in the island of tanks

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where I heard an old man’s voice   

            flowing in the ruptured vein of every explosion

            inviting death to watch the city

And he still shackles life

            in the lowest level of hell

And stones the spring

            in the green mirror of plants

I recognize his voice

            his voice invites the sinister crows   

            to the high branches of the orchard.

His voice sings a lullaby to the child of light

            in the cradle of dawn

            beheading wakefulness

His voice is a carnivorous plant 

            rooted in history’s stench

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where I learned that no person awake at night

            had ever heard the sun’s coughing

            from the other side of the darkness’ hills

And I know there is nothing in the land

save a swarm of the explosion’s vultures

            biting into the ripped body of the day

And the old village farmer thrashes his harvest

in a circle of nothingness

And hunger is measured by a centurial measurement

which the sun has lighted

the human rights as a golden dome

over the pavilion of its awareness

There is nothing on the earth

where nobody trusts his shadow

And the curve of every street is a passage

            linking the Seven Adventures of Rustem ***

            to the reality of history.

I have come from winters of a remote land

            where my feet recognize

the trail of misery in its every span

What should I say?

The silk skirt of my sentences is short

The “button” of my words is broken

What fabric should I design for the tall figure of my pain?

Kabul, April 1996

*An ancient wall built on the Zenborak Mountain in Kabul city

** An allusion to a line from Farogh Farrokhzad, a famous Iranian poet

*** Rustem is the central hero of Ferdowsi’s epic The Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)


The Other Side of the Purple Waves

On my back, I carry a heavy knapsack

            on perilous trails

I come from a great land, in whose streets

the sun is a common currency

And on the high towers of my land

the torch of freedom is green 

And poplars in the gardens of my land 

            touch the stars of love

I come from a great land, where I am a stranger

            and speak a strange language

I don’t know the language of the gun,

            the red bullets and the blood track

And the columns of smoke, blood and explosion

            collide with the rhythms of my poems 

The rhythms of my poems do not rhyme with

            the metallic syllables of rifles and tanks

The rhythms of my poems come from my vibrant soul

The rhythms of my poems respire

            in the growth of a flower in a pot

            in the dance of a bough in the garden

            in the song of a child in the school

            in the smile of a star in the sky

The rhythms of my poems come from

            the brightness of a light in darkness

            the murmur of a spring in a mountain

            the warbling of a bird in a forest

            the dance of a lily in a stream

I come from a great land, where newspapers

            are printed with the ink of the sun

And in the darkest ages of history, one can turn them

into a light to brighten the orchard’s mind

            to see the flowers of truth.

I come from a great land, where newspapers

            have taken over the realm of lies

Therefore, I long for a night-letter

For long I haven’t seen the great figure of truth

            in its small mirrors

For long I have seen people buying from the stands

            lies in bundles to communicate with lies

            and to drown themselves in lies

For long I have seen many poets sailing their paper boats

on the newspapers’ muddy shores

For long I have seen the guardians of the blank verse

standing on the colorful gray towers of infamous letters

measuring the summer heat of jealousy

With borrowed helmets, they have been striking their swords

at all that is lyrical and

throwing stones at the sublime steeple of couplets

And with an unclean prayer renouncing 

the permanent purity of prayer

For long I have seen one who once swelled his black throat

with the night’s strings echoes

letting his voice ring in the sacred spring of the sun

For long I have seen the city sky losing its moon coin in a mist

And the stars, the sky’s virgins, anointed their eyes

with the sunset salve

And nobody knows where the sun has gone

as if that golden boat has hit a huge black rock

at the far end of the purple waves

and dark specters have carried the coffin of its name

to the broken shore of the south.

The windows’ close-minded night

 is a stranger to the delicate passing of light

And the shy girls sitting by their lanterns

watch the fall figure of the wind

from behind the seven curtains of darkness

And the shy girls sitting by their lanterns wash

their permanent veil of modesty

in the pitch spring water

And the children hang their smile by the silk ribbon of their tresses.

I am going



And in the most inaccessible moments of freedom

I pour on my face a handful of water

from the most distant spring

that flows from the most distant mountain

And I tie my sad lyrics to the wings of white pigeons

and open the sail of my bosom 

in the direction of mountain gusts

until the settled particles of this wild civilization

go away from the thin vessels of my thought.

Here all the birds know that the fall with its yellow lash of bigotry

has silenced the green song of blooming

on the tongues of grass, bushes and trees

And the milk of life is being poisoned

in the white thought in the breast of the green moments.

And the budding babies from the lap of the tree mother

fall on the ground.

Here all the birds know that the tall Lady Spring

in the market places of the jungle

has auctioned its green garb to the fall winds

Oh wind, wind, wind!

When these wild loose horses, with their scruffy manes,

neigh in life’s green valleys

the pain of green branches

fill my troubled mind’s mirrors

The mirrors of my troubled mind

paint the hard concept of the stone.

I am going, going, going and take my life with me —

this dark space of my rented room.

And I know that none in this city

will ever say to another one: May you come back!

I am going, going, going and sailing the boat of my steps

            on the green ocean deserts.

And I give my hands to the tall branches of the garden

so that with the nocturnal prayer of the tree

I may embrace the sky

And I will talk to love in the language of the loneliest flower.

And I will take water to watch the desert and

fly the pigeons of my voice

over the rooftop of the sun’s pigeon tower.

And with the red throat of anemones

I will sing a song for martyrdom and for faith and

for the capture of the mountain, desert, valley, and river

I will saddle the white horses of memory.

I am hearing the roar of the laughter of ruthlessness

            from the wounded throat of the blind streets.

I know misery and breathe loneliness.

Misery is running through my veins,

Misery is my permanent twin brother.

Misery puts on my shoes and walks with my feet.

Misery plays chess with me and

            I have never told him: Shoo!

Misery is in my house

Misery is playing with my only child and steals its bread

Misery has given to me its blind eyes as a gift.

And I see the world with its blind eyes.

Misery is singing its poems from my throat

And writes at the end of each poem:

            “Pertaw Naderi”

I feel homesick for the sun

If perchance you see him

             ask him if someday he can enter my house

with a glowing face from light.

I will sacrifice the black sheep of expectation.

I will no longer care for the benefit of these shady flowers.

For how long should I pound my fists

on the chest of the brutality wall?

For how long should the horizons silver their mirrors

from the blood of my hands?

I feel homesick for the sun.

For a long time every day

            I have been turning the pages of

the dictionary of my life’s moments

And I see the entries have new ID cards and

 they have received permits to live in the land of

            the new meanings and odd concepts.

For example, the red apple means

            the clotting of the red blood cells.

The sun is a Rustem in a dungeon who has passed out

            by guffaws of the demon of death

Life is a repugnant leftover bulging out of the death’s mouth

Democracy rots in the gun’s barrel and it is so great

that it is measured with the expansion

            of a bullet flight.

Luck is a lock on the gate of the magic city

whose key leads one to a great misery

            in the deepest pit of vileness.

I feel homesick for the sun.

I feel homesick for the sun.

I will return to my great land.

I will return to my great land.

I will return to my great land.

Kabul, 1993


The Bloody Mouth of Freedom

I don’t drink wine

my pain is sharper than what the wine can relieve

Simple ordinary reliever

relieve the pain that is light from the start

I was raised on a mountainside whose height

the local farmers use to measure the sunlight’s length

I was raised on a mountainside and drank flasks of stars

and slept on the moon lap

And on the loving wing of the sun

I flapped like a lover across the sky

I have given my soul to the mountains whose foreheads

the moon kisses at night and the sun does at dawn

Torrent of rivers start from the mountains of my land

The mountains of my land withstand the Desert Dusty Storms

to pitch their pavilions on their sunny tops.

The mountains of my land have always conquered history

and guarded freedom

I love my mountain land

with its hungry multitudes

My mountain land is a ferocious wounded lion and

its bloody wounds resemble

the bloody mouth of freedom shouting its great life

Let the driveling fools repeat their surrender in English terms

But as always I have a room in Ferdowsi castle

On whose door is written: “Freedom”

(Peshawar, July 2002)

Biography and Translations by
Dr.Sharif Fayez

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Rabia Balkhi Mon, 27 Sep 2010 06:53:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Rābi’a bint Ka’b al-Quzdārī (in Persian: رابعه قزداری), popularly known as Rābi’a Balkhī (رابعه بلخی) and Zayn al-‘Arab[ (زين العرب), is a semi-legendary figure of Persian literature and was possibly the first poetess in the history of New Persian poetry. References to her can be found in the poetry of Rūdakī and ‘Attār. Her biography has been primarily recorded by Zāhir ud-Dīn ‘Awfī and renarrated by Nūr ad-Dīn Djāmī. The exact dates of her birth and death are unknown, but it is reported that she was a native of Balkh in Khorāsān (Afghanistan). Some evidences indicate that she lived during the same period as Rūdakī, the court poet to the Samanid Emir Naṣr II (914-943).



Her name and biography appear in ‘Awfī’s lubābu ‘l-albāb, ‘Attār’s manawīyat, and Djāmī’s nafahātu ‘l-uns. She is said to have been descended from a royal family, her father Ka’b al-Quzdārī, a chieftain at the Samanid court, reportedly descended from Arab immigrants who had settled in eastern Persia during the time of Abu Muslim.

She was one of the first poets who wrote in modern Persian, and she is, along with Mahsatī Dabīra Ganja’ī, among a very few female writers of medieval Persia to be recorded in history by name. When her father died, his son Hāres, brother of Rābi’a, inherited his position. According to legend, Hāres had a Turkic slave named Baktāsh, with whom his sister was secretly in love. At a court party, Hāres heard Rābi’a’s secret. He imprisoned Baktāsh in a well, cut the jugular vein of Rābi’a and imprisoned her in a bathroom. She wrote her final poems with her blood on the wall of the bathroom until she died. Baktāsh escaped the well, and as soon as got the news about Rābi’a, he went to the governor’s office and assassinated Hāres. He then committed suicide.

Her love affair with the slave Baktāsh inspired Qājār poet Rezā Qulī-Khān Ḥedāyat to compose his Baktāshnāma.

Source: Wikipedia

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Raziq Faani Sun, 26 Sep 2010 05:41:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Raziq Faani (Persian: رازق فانی) was a renowned Persian poet and novelist from Kabul. He published more than ten volumes of poetry and novels in Persian.


Raziq Faani was one of Afghanistan’s most celebrated contemporary poets, whose work is described as mystical, compassionate, and patriotic. His poems describe the suffering of the his people through decades of war, destruction, and exile.

Career and family

Faani received his primary and secondary education in Afghanistan, and earned a Master’s degree in political economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1967. He had already published his first book of poetry, “Armaghan-e Jawani”, in 1966. Returning to Afghanistan, it was only following the Soviet invasion that he returned to literary work. His second work, the novel “Baaraana” was published in Kabul in 1983. In 1987, with the situation in Kabul worsening, he published a selection of political satire entitled “Ameer e Ba Salaheyat” (Competent director). He left Afghanistan in 1988, and lived with his family in San Diego, California. His nephew is the Afghan singer Ahmad Shah Hassan. He died on 22 April 2007 at age 63, in California.


Works by Raziq Fani


  • ARMAGHAN-E-JAWAANEE (Collection of poems) Kabul Afghanistan 1966.
  • PAYAAMBER-E-BAARAN (The Messenger of rain: a selection of poetry). Kabul, Government Printing Press, 1986.
  • ABER-WA-AFTAAB (Collection of poems) California 1994.
  • SHEKAST-E-SHAB (Collection of poems) California 1997.


  • BAARAANA (Novel). Kabul, Government Printing Press, 1983.
  • AMER-E-BA SALAHEYAT (Competent director: a collection of satire). Writers’ Association of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan 1987

Source: Wikipedia

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Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Sun, 26 Sep 2010 05:19:50 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Dr. Abdullah in his own words

In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate,

Fifty years ago I was born in the second district of Karte Parwan in Kabul in the same house where I reside today. Both of my parents were born in Kabul, but my father’s family comes from Kandahar and my mother’s from the Panjshir Valley. I have seven sisters and one brother.

When I was two years old, my father, a high-profile civil servant, was transferred to Kandahar. I started elementary education in Kandahar. When my father was transferred back to Kabul, I finished my elementary schooling in Karte Parwan. I completed my intermediate and high school education at the prestigious Naderia High School. After taking the college admission test I was accepted into the Kabul Medical University.

I come from a family in which education is most valued. My parents did everything that they could in support of me pursuing my higher education. My late father served Afghanistan for more than forty years, ranging from various administrative capacities to serving in the last Senate, during the period of King Zahir Shah. He retired in 1972 after the coup d’état staged by President Daoud.

My father was well known for his honesty and dedication in serving his country. Throughout my life, I’ve always followed his example.

From college until migration

I lived in Kabul for all seven years of my medical education. My initial interest for higher education was for the study of Dari literature, however with the encouragement of my family and friends I chose to study medicine. Enthusiastically, I completed my degree. During high school and college, when I wasn’t devoting my time to my studies, I had a special interest in sports. I preferred basketball and ping-pong, but would partake in other sports at times whenever possible.

It was during my college years that the April 1978 coup d’état took place and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. At first, I was not a member or affiliated to any political party. My only political involvement was participating in student rallies or demonstrations. Gradually, however, I began to spend a lot of time thinking about what was happening to my country under Soviet occupation. I was one among three hundred twenty medical students attending college, but by the time we graduated, because of the stresses of the political and military situation, there were only one hundred sixty five of us left. Among those who did not graduate, some were killed, many fled the country, and others chose to join the Freedom Fighters.

Sometimes I would consult with my friends and classmates as to whether we should continue our education or join the Freedom Fighter Front. Some of my friends had no choice but to flee the country, however I continued on with my education and finally graduated in 1983. After graduation I spent a few months working at the Noor Hospital completing my post graduate training. I completed my post graduate training in surgery and subsequently chose ophthalmology as my field of practice. After a few months of working at the Noor Hospital, I decided to leave Afghanistan and migrated to Pakistan. My family remained in Kabul. In Pakistan I worked in an eye hospital for more than a year, primarily serving the Afghan refugees

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Dr. Ramazan Bashardost Sun, 26 Sep 2010 09:31:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Dr. Ramazan Bashardoost

Dr. Ramazan Bashardost is Afghanistan’s former Planning Minister, current Member of Parliament and an Independent Candidate in the upcoming Presidential Elections.

Early years

Ramzan Bashardost was born in 1965 in Qarabagh District, Ghazni Province of Afghanistan in a family of Government employees. He completed his primary and intermediate education in Qarabagh and later in Maimana, capital of Fariyab in northern Afghanistan. Months after the 1978 coup d’etat, Bashardost left Afghanistan for Iran. He finished high school in Iran and then immigrated to Pakistan.

In 1983, he left Pakistan for France where he spent over 20 years, earning degrees in law and political science. In 1989 he enrolled at Garonable University where he did his Masters in Law. In 1990, he did his Masters in Diplomacy from Paris University. In 1992, he did his Masters in Political Science. In 1995, Bashardost received his Ph.D in Law from France’s Tolos University. He wrote his thesis on the UN’s role against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Recent years

After years in exile, Bashardost returned to Afghanistan in 2002 to work in the UN Department of Afghanistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. In 2003, he was appointed as Director of European and Western Political Affiars Department in Foreign Affairs Ministry.

In 2004 Bashardost published his book Basic Political, Military and Diplomatic Laws of Afghanistan- From the era of Ahmad Shah Baba (1225 Hejri) to current years, in which he presented his analysis of the history of laws in Afghanistan. The book won an award at the Academy of Political Sciences of France, the first award won by an independent Afghan scientist and Scholar.

Dr. Bashardost has no affiliations with any tribal, military or political party. He is in an independent scholar and Political activist, well known for his support and defense of Human rights. He is well known as a prominent voice against the corrupt Afghan authorities of the past three decades, and a bold reformer and critic of the government.

In 2004/05 he briefly served as Afghanistan’s Planning Minister. He was critical of the role played by NGO’s and claimed that majority of them were a source of Afghanistan money drain. He particularly highlighted the hefty amounts paid to the NGO employees and ministers as compared to the average income of less than a dollar average national income. Controversy surrounded his stance and he had to resign under government and foreign pressure. However, his outspoke criticism of the government, his firm stance against corruption and for public welfare won him widespread support.

In 2006 he was elected as Kabul’s representative in Parliamentary Elections. He won the third highest number of votes, which spanned across ethnic and linguistic groups.

Presidential Nominee

In April 2005, he announced his intention to stand as a candidate in Afghanistan’s upcoming 2009 elections. He claims to be the clear winner unless the election is rigged.


Basic Political, Military and Diplomatic Laws of Afghanistan, written and published in 2004.

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Farkhunda Zahra Naderi Sun, 26 Sep 2010 08:31:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Farkhunda Zahra NaderiFarkhunda Zahra Naderi was born in 19th April 1981 in a spiritual family in Afghanistan. She commenced her primary and secondary education in Kabul and Baghlan provinces, and completed her baccalaureate in 2001 in Harrow female High School, UK.
Thereafter, Ms. Naderi entered A Level in College in England and completed her studies in Tashkent. In 2004, Ms. Naderi joined the Law Faculty at the Westminster International University in Tashkent and from 2004 to 2005 she was the representative to the faculty.  In 2007, Ms. Naderi graduated Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the mentioned University. In 2008 she was a scholar to the International Conference of Munster University International Model of United Nations (MUIMUN) in which she achieved an outstanding participation award in International Court of Justice.

Work Experience
Ms. Naderi volunteered as an English translator at the Women’s Wellness Center in Tashkent focused on Afghan Women. After completion of her higher education, she returned to her home country Afghanistan and worked in various political, social and cultural activities :

Political Activity

Ms.Farkhunda Zahra Naderi is Member of Afghanistan Parliament-Lower House- Representing Kabul Province from  Late 2010 – present
3rd March 2011- June 2nd 2012 – Member of Commission on Women’s Affairs, Human rights and civil Society
March 26th 2013 – Won Membership of Democracy and Human Rights committee of IPU – Inter Parliamentarian Union

Only Female participants in Chantilly conferences on Peace:

She participated in three consecutive Chanilly Conferences organised by Foundation for the Strategic Research

the conferences were hold in following dates:

November 29th- 2nd Dec 2011: Paris Peace Chantilly Conference: Foundation for Strategic Research

June 20th – 24th 2012: Paris Peace Chantilly Conference: Foundation for Strategic Research,

December 10th- 11th 2012: Paris Peace Chantilly Conference: Foundation for Strategic Research

Ms. Naderi joined the Hzbi Paiwandi Meli Afghanistan’s Political Party (HPMA) in order to encourage women’s participation in politics and to corporate with youths.  In 2007, the Central Council of the party appointed Ms. Naderi as the Head of Women’s Committee &Youth Association. From that time, Ms. Naderi was succeeded to develop the following:
1) Organizational structure for Economical, Cultural, Disciplinary and Sport Committees;
2) Weekly Publication of HAPMA Youth Association,
3) Educational Centre; Hapma Knowledge House,
4) Scholarship for youth Higher Education;
5) Sports Club and music teams;

Ms. Naderi continues to encourage the Association towards self-sufficiency for small community projects such as producing documented DVDs, historical posters and informative publications etc.

Social and Cultural Activity
Ms. Naderi began her social and cultural endeavors at Westminster University by opening a Persian/Dari language Club. After returning to Afghanistan, Ms. Naderi took responsibility for the reconstruction of the Hakim Nasir Khusrow Balkhi Cultural Center and Public Library (HNKB) which was founded by her Father, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi.
Until the inauguration of HNKB,  Ms. Naderi worked on small cultural projects to mobilize the newly renovated Cultural Centre. Ms. Naderi has organized many activities at the new facility including:

  • Poetry Night ceremonies in honor of the New Year (Nowroz);
  • A classical theater performance, “Hujat Khurasan”, directed by Ustad Abdul Qaiyom Bessed the “Father of Afghan Theater;
  • Building a relation between HNKB and Universal Peace Federation (UPF) by organizing a Cleaning Campaign and peace Seminars in different districts in Kabul. In view of her community leadership, Ms. Naderi was awarded by UFP, the title of Peace Ambassador along with132 community participants.

Ms. Naderi participated in other honorary activities and recently has been instrumental in the establishment of Matab Healthcare Center in Taimani where she holds the post of President.  Ms. Naderi is enthusiastic to bring a high quality of international standard health services to the community and is planning to encourage free service for eligible needy people at the Center.

N-Peace Award Winner

The international peace Network introduced peace award 2012 among 100 top peace builder figures from 6 south Asian countries in July 2012. Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, been nominated by UNDP for N-Peace Award, won the award on the behalf of Afghanistan.

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Hamid Karzai Sun, 26 Sep 2010 08:23:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Political leader, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Born December 24, 1957 in Karz, Afghanistan to a distinguished family. Educated in Afghanistan and India and rose through the political ranks during the turbulent Soviet occupation to become president of the country after the fall of the Taliban. After a fraud-ridden election in 2009, he was reelected when his opponent withdrew from the run-off election.

Hamid Karzai was born in the small village of Karz, located on the edge of Kandahar City in southwest Afghanistan. He is an ethnic Pashtun of the Popalzai tribe and has six brothers and one sister. His grandfather, Khair Mohammad Khan, served in the 1919 war for independence and was deputy speaker of the Afghanistan Senate. Karzai’s father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, was a popular tribal elder and political figure who served as deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament.

Hamid Karzai was educated in Kabul, graduating from high school in 1976. He then traveled to India as an exchange student and attended Himachal Pradesh University. He is well versed in several languages, including his native Peshto, Persian, Hindi, French and English. In 1980, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Karzai traveled to Pakistan to work as a fund-raiser supporting the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen fighters’ insurgency. During this time, the Mujahedeen were secretly supplied by the United States and Hamid Karzai was a contractor for the CIA.

After the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, Hamid Karzai served as deputy foreign minister in the Mujahedeen transitional government. When civil war broke out between various Mujahedeen groups in 1994, Karzai resigned and helped organize a grand council to resolve differences between the rival groups. One of the political groups Karzai initially supported was the Taliban, seen by many to be a welcome alternative to the corruption, brutality, and incessant fighting of the Mujahedeen warlords. The Taliban offered Karzai the post of UN ambassador, but he declined to serve after discovering the group had fallen under the influence of foreign terrorists.

Hamid Karzai moved to Quette, Pakistan, and worked to undermine Taliban control and reinstate the former Afghan king Zahir Shah. In 1999, Karzai married Zeenat Quraishi, a doctor who was providing medical attention to Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. She too was raised in the city of Kandahar, is Pashtun and a member of the Quraish tribe. She rarely ventures beyond the security zone of the presidential palace. In 2007, the couple gave birth to a son, Mirwais Karzai.

On the morning of July 14, 1999, Karzai’s father was gunned down while returning from a mosque in Quetta. It was presumed that Taliban forces carried out the assassination. Hamid Karzai was selected to succeed his father as Khan of the half-million Popalzais. Defying both Pakistan and Taliban authorities, Karzai led a convoy of tribal mourners carrying his father’s body home for burial in Kandahar, even though it was under Taliban control. This act made him one of the most visible leaders of Pashtun resistance against the Taliban.

By early 2001, Hamid Karzai was working closely with Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military commander of the Northern Alliance, a group composed of former Afghan tribal rivals organized to fight the Taliban. Several times that year, Massoud and Karzai warned the United States that the Taliban were connected with al Qaeda and that there was a plot for an imminent attack on the United States, but their warnings went unheeded. On September 9, 2001, two days before the 9/11 attacks in America, Massoud was assassinated by al Qaeda agents in a suicide bombing.

After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, Mujahedeen forces loyal to the Northern Alliance worked with the U.S. military and CIA operatives to overthrow the Taliban government. Hamid Karzai left Quetta, Pakistan and slipped into Afghanistan, but was mistakenly injured by a U.S. “friendly fireì missile attack. On November 4, American forces flew him out of Afghanistan for medical attention to the wounds he sustained to his face and body.

After the fall of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s political status began to rise. In December 2001, four factions representing the major Afghan ethnic groups met with U.S. political leaders in Bonn, Germany to establish the Bonn Agreement. The ethnic groups decided to set aside old and bitter rivalries and form an interim government. Karzai was selected to serve a six-month term as Chair of the Transitional Administration. During the 2002 Loya Jirga (a traditional Pashtun political meeting held to select a leader) a new constitution was approved creating a presidential government and Karzai was selected to serve as interim president during the two-year transition. Then after the 2004 election, Hamid Karzai became president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan winning 21 of the 24 provinces or 55 percent of the vote. Many saw this event as a new start for the troubled country.

Hamid Karzai faced many challenges in his first term as president. Afghanistan is a historically poor country that has seen very little advancement in the past century. Landlocked, it has experienced hostile relations with its surrounding neighbors. Much of the population engages in subsistence farming and adheres to ancient tribal traditions. Soon after his election, it became apparent that Karzai had limited control of his country. Often called the “mayor of Kabulì Karzai has little political influence beyond the capital city’s boundaries. Historically, the rural areas have been controlled by local leaders and tribal warlords. To his credit and with varying degrees of success, Karzai has been able to negotiate alliances with some of them and purge many former warlords from the administration’s cabinet. Since the 2004 election, the Afghan economy has grown rapidly. Government revenue has increased every year, though the nation is still heavily dependent on foreign aid.

After the U.S. government diverted its military resources from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2003, a resurgent Taliban emerged. Karzai pleaded with U.S. officials to increase resources and not endanger the civilian population in their pursuit of Taliban fighters. But reaction has been slow or incomplete with most Americans and much of the world engrossed in other matters. In what seemed an act of desperation, Karzai offered official pardons to all militants who would lay down their weapons and join in the nation’s rebuilding. He has made clear his distinction between Taliban members who are welcome in the process and foreign fighters who are not. Karzai has been criticized for the slow progress of his nation. The Afghan government is said to be so riddled with corruption that for many Afghan people, the Taliban offer a better alternative.

On August 20, 2009, the second Afghan presidential election was held. Flawed by a lack of security, low voter turnout, and alleged widespread ballot stuffing, Hamid Karzai received just a little over 50 percent of the vote. A UN commission monitoring the election determined that many of the votes for Karzai were fraudulent, reducing his numbers and forcing a run-off election with his chief rival, Foreign Minister Abdulla Abdulla. The run-off election was scheduled for November 7, 2009, but in a not-so-surprising move Abdulla Abdulla announced his withdrawal from the run-off election citing continued corruption and fraud in the voting process. Subsequently, Karzai was declared the winner.

On December 1, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a military surge of 30,000 additional U.S. troops be sent to Afghanistan to constrict the influence of the Taliban insurgency and debilitate al Qaeda’s influence in the region. In his announcement, the president put pressure on Hamid Karzai to clean up the corruption in his government and help build a more affective Afghan army and police force that can play a greater role in protecting and building their nation.


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Fawzia Koofi Sun, 26 Sep 2010 03:52:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]>  

Fawzia Koofi

Fawzia has made her leadership journey in a country of harsh topography, internal conflict, intermittent wars and a militant government. She completed high school during the war ravaged years and entered a competitive medical school. But soon after the Taliban took over in September 1995, and barred women from access to all education! Finding the doors of a university education closed to her, Fawzia focused her energy towards women’s right organizations, and worked closely with one of the most vulnerable group such as Internally Displaced People (IDP), and marginalized women and children. After the fall of the Taliban, she continued law faculty night shift while still working with UNICEF, though her wish was to become a doctor and treat human being which are in dispread need of medical assistance due to war and its consequences , particularly women, her country has highest number of maternal mortality in the world, out of a hundred thousand life birth six thousand five hundred woman die due to lack of access to medical facilities and female doctors, but because of faculty duration which is seven years and that medical faculty had no night shifted , she shifted to law and acquired a law degree and later pursued a Masters in Business and Management from Preston University.

Since 2001, women could participate in all aspects of life particularly in the public sphere. Fawzia’s political family background and orientation to public service propelled her to take hold of these new opportunities that were paving the road for many women. She decided to run for a seat in parliament from the Badakshan province, a northeastern province. Her campaign was a success and she was elected Member of Parliament from that province in September 2005, Afghan parliament is assigned with three main responsibilities according Afghan constitution, people representation, law making, and oversight of the executive branch.

In 2005, right after the first elected parliament after 33 years, Fawzia was elected as the first woman Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the history of Afghanistan.

Fawzia main focus area has been human rights, especially women’s and child rights.  Afghanistan also suffers from rampant corruption and she has been advocating for integrity, accountability and upholding the rule of law .With all the challenges, the fact she managed to make her presence felt in parliament, by participating in debates, initiating legislation and suggesting resolutions to address insecurity, rule of law and other challenges that her government is faced with it, is a giant leap for women in Afghanistan. Some of the key women’s initiatives that she has championed include the improvement of women’s living conditions in Afghan prisons, by approving resolutions, with her efforts a commission to work on the issue of violence against children is established, the commission is chaired by Afghanistan first vice president, is tasked to draw a short term and long term strategy to address violence against children especially sexual abuse of children which is increasing recently in Afghanistan.  She also advocates for amendment of laws that suggests savior punishment for perpetrators of child sexual abuse. She has worked with other human rights activist on the shia personal status law, with her support women were mobilized for advocating and asking their rights through putting pressure on the government to amend this law which puts women on more discriminative environment, with lots of pressure and lobbying finally government has brought amendments to this law. She promoted women and girls education, by advocating for access to good schools, as well as creating opportunities for non formal education for out of school children in her constituents, Badakhshan province.

As a young woman in a heavily traditional country, to come this far, Fawzia has battled male domination, imposition of men’s selective religious interpretation on the rights of women and issues of power between men and women, and the old and new generations. Young people are seen as a threat by traditional power holders who do want the new generation to organize and be in a position to challenge traditional authority.

The current parliament term finishes 2010,  in ten years time, Fawzia wants to see more women take leadership of Afghanistan, and even become president and or prime minister. Her message to world young leaders is to never give up, as things will change one day through continuous effort.

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Shukria Barakzai Sun, 26 Sep 2010 08:20:09 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Shukria Barakzai

Shukria Barakzai is an Afghan politician, journalist and entrepreneur, and a prominent Muslim feminist.

Early life

She was born in 1972 in Kabul, Afghanistan. “Barakzai” is a common name among the Pashtun, one of the country’s main ethnic groups, and was shared by its rulers from the 1830s until the overthrow of the last king, the year she was born. In her childhood, Kabul had nightclubs, and she remembers her mother being able to walk the streets of the capital wearing a miniskirt. She speaks both of Afghanistan’s official languages, Pashto and Dari, as well as English.

Barakzai went to Kabul University in the 1990s. Half way through a degree, she had to break off her studies because of mounting violence between the government and the Mujahideen. In September 1996 the Taliban captured Kabul. By then, many citizens, especially the educated middle classes, had left for a life in exile, but she stayed in the city of her birth. In 1999, she felt ill and went to see a doctor; the religious police caught her on the street without her husband and beat her for what they saw as a crime (see Taliban treatment of women). Barakzai felt that she had to resist in some way, so set up an underground school in her home. She resumed her education right after the Taliban were driven out of Kabul in late 2001 following the American-led invasion, and gained a degree in archaeology and geology.

Campaigning journalism

In 2002 Barakzai founded Aina-E-Zan (Women’s Mirror), a national weekly newspaper. Her mission was to “improve the understanding and knowledge of Afghan women in society” (see Civic Journalism and Advocacy journalism). She began the publication without any resources, lacking even a computer and access to a printing press, hoping to encourage women to fight for their own rights, and to build a strong democracy and civil society.

She campaigns on issues such as maternal and infant mortality, areas in which Afghanistan has great difficulty. (The World Health Organization (WHO) calculated that Afghanistan in 2003 had the world’s highest proportion of women dying in childbirth (Maternal Mortality Ratio) at 1900 per 100 000 live births.) Barakzai states, “Child marriage, forced marriage, and violence against women are still common and accepted practices.” She focuses on large issues, saying, “in my opinion the burka is not that important. What is important is education, democracy and freedom.” She stresses unity among women as well as the role that men have to play.

Barakzai credits technology such as mobile phones, banned under the Taliban regime, with helping young Afghans integrate with the modern world. For example, using text messaging to vote for a participant in a television talent show contest demonstrates how democratic voting can work. She also uses her position to point out the lack of freedom of the press and the risks to journalists. (Reporters Without Borders ranks Afghanistan 156 out of 173 in its list of press freedom, and says the situation is especially difficult for women and those working in the provinces.)

Move into politics

Barakzai was appointed a member of the 2003 loya jirga, a body of representatives from all over Afghanistan that was nominated to discuss and pass the new constitution after the fall of the Taliban. In the October 2004 elections she was elected as a member of the House of the People or Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the National Assembly of Afghanistan. She is one of 71 women out of 249 MPs.

She is one of only a handful of female MPs who speak up for women’s rights, and faces death threats for her views. Her criticisms of the legislature are wide-ranging: “Our parliament is a collection of lords. Warlords, drug lords, crime lords.” She defended Malalai Joya, another female MP who has condemned warlordism, who faced abuse and threats of violence in parliament: “I was I think the only one which is I just announced that some MPs were threatening to rape her. […] That’s why after this, they kept quiet.”


While expressing gratitude for “the support of the international community” in creating the conditions by 2004 in which hundreds of publications and dozens of radio stations could flourish, Barakzai condemns “the support of armed groups and outlaws, a key part of U.S. policy”. Although most of her life has been spent in Kabul, she acknowledges that the capital does not truly represent the country, and refuses to blame the Taliban for all the difficulties that Afghanis face: “When we talk about Afghanistan, we should discuss conditions in the entire country. In many provinces and villages, which are in very bad condition, there is no difference between the period before the Taliban regime, the time of the Taliban, and now.” She opposes U.S. President Barack Obama‘s troop build-up plan, asking for “30,000 scholars or engineers” instead of that many soldiers. She intends to stand for President of Afghanistan in 2014[, as by then she will be over 40, as the constitution requires.

Marriage and family

Barkzai is married to Abdul Ghafoor Dawi, a millionaire who stood unsuccessfully for Parliament at the same time as her. In 2004, 12 years after they were wed, he took a second wife, as is his right under Muslim marriage law. He did this without telling Barakzai, who learned of it through friends, and she admits to feeling “disturbed and hurt” and “a victim of tradition” because of his decision. She has turned her attention to campaigning against multiple marriages, trying to persuade women not to become a man’s second wife She and her husband have three daughters.

Source: Wikipedia

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Khalilullah Khalili Sun, 26 Sep 2010 07:01:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Khalilullah Khalili (1907–1987; Persian: خلیل‌الله خلیلی – alīlallā alīlī; alternative spellings: Khalilollah, Khalil Ullah) was Afghanistan‘s foremost 20th century poet as well as a noted historian, university professor, diplomat and royal confidant. He was the last of the great classical Persian poets and among the first to introduce modern Persian poetry and Nimai style to Afghanistan. He had also expertise in Khorasani style and was a follower of Farrukhi Sistani. Almost alone among Afghanistan’s poets, he enjoyed a following in Iran where his selected poems have been published. His works have been praised by renowned Iranian literary figures and intellectuals. Many see him as the greatest contemporary poet of the Persian language in Afghanistan. He is also known for his major work “Hero of Khorasan”, a controversial biography of Habībullāh Kalakānī, Emir of Afghanistan in 1929.


Khalili was born in Kabul Province, and came from the same village as Habibullah Kalakani. He wrote exclusively in Persian and is sometimes associated with Tajik nationalist ideology. He belonged to the Persian-speaking Safi clan of Kohistan (modern Parwan). His father, Mirzā Muhammad Hussein Khān, was King Habibullah Khan‘s finance minister and owned mansions in Kabul and Jalalabad, but was later dismissed and hanged by Habibullah Khan’s son and successor, Amanullah Khan.[1] His mother was the daughter of Abdul Qādir Khān, a regional Safi tribal leader. She died when Khalili was seven.

Khalili lived and attended school in Kabul until he was 11, when Shāh Habibullāh Khān, king of Afghanistan, was assassinated, purportedly at the behest of his reformist son Amānullāh Khān, who quickly arrested and executed Khalili’s father among others associated with the previous regime. Orphaned and unwanted in Kabul, he spent the turbulent years of Amānullāh’s reign in the Shamālī Plain north of Kabul where he studied classical literature and other traditional sciences with leading scholars and began writing poetry. In 1929, when Habībullāh Kalakānī – a local Tajik from Kalakan – deposed Amānullāh Khān, Khalili joined his uncle Abdul Rahim Khan Safi, the new governor of Herat, where he remained for more than 10 years.

In the early 1940s, he followed his uncle Abdul Rahim Khan Safi, who had been appointed a deputy prime minister, to Kabul. His stay in Kabul was cut short when, in 1945, some elders of the Safi-Clan rebelled and both uncle and nephew were imprisoned. After a year in prison, Khalili was released and exiled to Kandahar where he flourished as a poet and writer.

In the 1950s, Khalili was allowed to return to Kabul where he was appointed as minister of culture and information and began teaching at Kabul University. He became a confident to King Zahir Shah whom he often joined on hunting expeditions.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Khalili, who was fluent in Arabic, served as Afghanistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He was a member of the 1964 Constitutional Assembly and a representative from Jabal al-Siraj.

Following the April 1978 Communist coup, Khalili sought asylum first in Germany and then in the United States where he wrote much of his most powerful poetry about the war in his native land. In the late 1980s, he moved to Islamabad, Pakistan, where he spent his final years. He was buried in Peshawar next to the tomb of the Pashto poet Rahman Baba.


Khalili was a prolific writer, producing over the course of his career an eclectic repertoire ranging from poetry to fiction to history to biography. He published 35 volumes of poetry, including his celebrated works “Aškhā wa ūnhā” (“Tears And Blood”), composed during the Soviet occupation, and “Ayyār-e az orāsān” (“Hero of Khorasan). With the exception of a selection of his quatrains and the recent An Assembly of Moths, his poetry remains largely unknown to English-speaking readers.
Source: Wikipedia

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Dr. Suraya Dalil Sat, 25 Sep 2010 05:55:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Dr. Suraya Dalil, Actining Minister of Afghanistan Public Health

Suraya Dalil was born 1970 in Kabul and went to medical school in Afghanistan in the late 1980s Ms. Dalil’s family remained in Kabul until she graduated from medical school in 1991. 1992, just months after she graduated from the Kabul Medical Institute the Najibullah regime fell and the Muhajedin took over. Dalil moved more than 150 miles north with her parents, two sisters, and two brothers to Mazar-e-Sharif.

Dr Suraya Dalil was officially introduced as Deputy Minister for Policy and Planning and Acting Minister of MoPH. The ceremony convened in this regard at MoPH was attended by Prof. Nematullah Shahrani, Dr Najibullah Mujadadi and Dr Faizullah Kakar Advisors to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Members of Parliament, High Ranking Governmental Officials, Representatives from International Community and UN Agencies, MoPH stakeholders and scores of health professionals.

Talking to the gathering Dr Nadira Hayat Burhani Deputy Minister for the Provision of Health Care Services of MoPH, felicitated the appointment of Dr Dalil on her new job as Deputy Minister for Policy and Planning and Acting Minister for the Ministry of Public Health. She has also mentioned the achievements accomplished during last five years under the leadership of Dr. SMA Fatimie the former Minister of Public Health. Dr Hayat added that Ministry of Public Health has succeeded to raise a large amount of fund from donor community from 2004 to 2009 to support Health & Nutrition Sector in Afghanistan with the focus on the most vulnerable groups of people women and children.

She mentioned that with the diligent efforts by MoPH, and generous support from our donor and partners, it has become possible to reduce Under 5 Mortality Rate by around 38%. Taking the progress in the proxy indicators for Maternal Health we hypothesized there would be around 30 to 40 percent cutback in Maternal Mortality. However, maternal and child health indicators are still daunting in Afghanistan and there is a long way to go.

Later on, Professor Nematullah Shahrani Advisor to President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan appreciated the efforts made by Dr SMA Fatimie former Minister of Public Health. He added: I am introducing Dr Suraya Dalil as Deputy Minister for Policy and Planning and Acting Minister of MoPH and wish her success and prosperity in her new job.

Then, Prof. Shahrani said that the present leadership of Ministry of Public Health is urged to keep all their efforts up in order to contribute to the improvement of health status of people of Afghanistan with focus on mothers and children.

Dr Suraya Dalil admired the efforts made by her colleagues in the Ministry of Public Health and emphasized that she will spare no efforts to improve the health status of Afghan people in future. She mentioned that balanced development, program oriented and objective oriented actions, health system strengthening, effective coordination between central and provincial level, provision of equitable services especially for the most vulnerable groups as well as team work would be her priorities. She put much more emphasis on accountability and transparency especially in procurement procedures and processes.

In the end of the session Dr Najibullah Mujadadi and Dr Faizullah Kakar Advisors to the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan expressed their kindest regards to Dr Suraya Dalil and wish her success in her new job.

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Ali Ahmad Jalali Sat, 25 Sep 2010 09:53:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Ali Ahmad Jalali

Ali Ahmad Jalali (born 1940) is an Afghan American and a Distinguished Professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University, which is located in Washington, D.C. He is also the former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, who served from January 2003 to September 2005.

Early history

Jalali, an ethnic pashtun, was born in Afghanistan in 1940. He has been involved in politics and media for most of his life. He previously served with the Voice of America for over 20 years covering Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East, including assignments as Director of the Afghan Radio Network Project and chief of the Pashto and Persian services.

Military career and politics

He is a former colonel in the Afghan National Army and was a top military planner with the Afghan resistance following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He attended higher command and staff colleges in Afghanistan, the United States, Britain, and Russia, and has lectured widely.

A U.S. citizen since 1987, Jalali left his job as a broadcaster for VOA to become the Interior Minister of Afghanistan. Jalali replaced Taj Mohammad Wardak in January 2003.[1] Prior to joining the Afghan government, Jalali lived with his family in suburban Maryland. His family remains there. He has a son, 36, and a daughter, 31.

He has written extensively about the military of Afghanistan for scholarly journals and the mass media, in addition to reporting on Afghanistan and Central Asia for VOA for almost two decades.

Jalali is the author of several books, including a three-volume military history of Afghanistan. His most recent book, The Other Side of the Mountain (2002), co-authored with Lester Grau, is an analytical review of the Mujahedin war with the Soviet forces in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.

Jalali wrote an influential critique in the spring of 2002 of the U.S. military role in Afghanistan, arguing that the way the United States used local chieftains in the War on Terrorism “enhanced the power of the warlords and encouraged them to defy the central authorities.” He later softened his criticism but pointed out that local militias still play a significant role in working with the U.S. military.

In January 2009 an article by Ahmad Majidyar of the American Enterprise Institute included Jalali on a list of fifteen possible candidates in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election.[2] But according to Chapter Three, Article Sixty Two of Afghanistan Constitution an Afghanistan citizen shall be the president of Afghanistan. Since Afghanistan has not signed any dual citizenship accords, it would have been necessary for him to renounce his American citizenship and gain Afghan citizenship before seeking the office.[3] Jalali did not complete these steps, and was not listed on the ballot in August 2009.

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Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar Sat, 25 Sep 2010 05:07:44 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar

Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar daughter of Abdul Ghafar was born in Balkh on 1st February 1957 (Dalwa 1336 of the local calendar) she graduated from Sultan Razia High School in Mazar-e-sharif and obtained her BA and Master’s degree on Literature and Sociology from Stawarpool Qafqaaz in 1362 (of the local calendar). Right after she obtained her Master’s degree she became the scientific cadre of the Literature Faculty of Kabul University. After two years of service as a lecturer in the literature faculty of Kabul University, she went to Petersburg to obtain her Doctrine on Philology. She obtained her doctrine and returned to the country.

In 1382, she was appointed as the Head of the Literature Faculty and was working in this post until she was appointed as the Minister for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In addition to the above-mentioned posts, she has worked as a member of the High Council of the Ministry of Higher Education, member of Speranto International Association of Women, member of the International Association of Turk Zabanan and member of the Board of Directors of Hakim Naser Khesro Balkhi Association. She is fluent in Dari, Pashto, Uzbek and Russian and she knows a little Turkish and English. Her scientific articles and essays have been published in the national and international newspapers. She is a poet and writes excellent works of literature. The books she has written are: The Human Fate, Predations in the 21st Century, The Secrets of Beauty and Attraction and she has translated the book titled Self Realization.

Sixty five years ago (1943), during Zahir Shah’s reign, a twenty-member union of women established an institution called Women’s Grand Organization, in order to organize, train and educate the women, at the center of Kabul city (in a building east of the present Kabul Serena Hotel). Two years later, in 1945, by proposal and follow up of Bibi Zainab sister of late King Amanullah, a land plot was purchased in Shahr-e-Naw area of Kabul city (the present location of MoWA) for this organization, on which a kindergarten, a school, a cinema and offices were built. The cinema was named Zainab Cinema. In the Women’s Grand Organization school, under management of Ms Ruqia, married women, who could not continue their education due to various problems, continued their education.

In 1963, this organization was incorporated into Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and was called Women’s Association, which continued its activities until 1978 under management of Humaira Noorzai, Kobra Noorzai, Saleha Etemadi and Dr. Nilab Mobarez respectively.

In 1978 the name of Women’s Association was changed to Women’s Central Club. In 1986 this club was transformed to Women’s Central Association which continued its activities under this name until 1991.

After the event of 27 April 1978, the Women’s General Council was formed as a social-political organization, which was led by Dr. Anahita Ratebzad; this organization was supported by the government. Women’s Central Association, which had 360 members, became a second division of this council. Women’s General Council had social and political activities among women. This council established its branches in the capital and provinces. The ladies who were leading Women’s General Council were: Feroza Marjan, Masooma Esmati Wadak, Soraya, Belqis Tabesh, Jamila Nahid, Guljan, Shahla Sherzad, Tahera Dardmal and Fawzia Nekzad. The activities of Women’s Association were mostly vocational training such as cloth sewing, carpet weaving, typing, flower making, beauty parlor, internal decoration, needlework, etc, which were limited to Kabul city.

In 1991 when Mujahedin came to power in Kabul, the Women’s Grand Organization was restored, and first led by Mahbooba Hoquqmal and then by Qudria Yazdanparast.


In 1994, parallel to Women’s General Organization, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs restored Women’s Association in its organizational structure, which continued its activities until October 1996.

In October 1996 Taliban entered Kabul, and women and girls were forbidden to go to school or work. Taliban incorporated Women’s Grand Organization with Women’s Association, and hired men instead of women. Taliban regime fell down in 2001. Ministry of Women’s Affairs was established according to agreements of Bonn Conference and became part of the executive of the Interim Administration. The male and female employees of Women’s Grand Organization and Women’s Association were recruited and re-employed. MoWA transformed its strategy from charity activities to policy making.

The first minister of Women’s Affairs was Sima Samar who served in this post from 2001 to early 2003. Dr. Habiba Surabi from 2003 to 2004 and Dr. Massoda Jalal from October 2004 to July 2006 served as Ministers of Women’s Affairs respectively. In July 2006, Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar received vote of confidence from the Parliament to become Minister of Women’s Affairs. The ladies who served as deputy ministers in policy and vocational affairs were Shafiqa Yarqin, Soraya Sobhran, Mazari Safa, and deputy ministers in financial and administrative affairs were Tajwar Kakar, Najiba Sharif and Maliha Sahak.

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Massouda Jalal Sat, 25 Sep 2010 04:58:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Dr. Masooda JalalMassouda Jalal (born January 5, 1962) was the only woman candidate in the Afghan presidential election, 2004.[1] She is from Kabul and has a background as a pediatrician, teacher at Kabul University, and a UN World Food Programme worker.

Born in Gul Bahar in Kapisa Province, one of seven children, Jalal moved to Kabul to attend high school. She later attended Kabul University, where she was a member of the faculty until 1996, when the Taliban government had her removed. Jalal, a psychiatrist and pediatrician, also worked at several Kabul hospitals and, after her removal from the university faculty, as a United Nations employee within the World Food Programme. Her husband is a law instructor at Kabul University; they have three children.

Although she was uninvolved in politics during the Taliban regine, Jalal emerged after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 as a leading voice for the role of women in Afghan society. A representative of her Kabul neighborhood to the 2002 loya jirga, her name was placed into consideration to lead Afghanistan as interim president, but she placed a distant second to Hamid Karzai, with support from only 171 of the 1575 delegates. Dr. Massoda Jalal served as Minister of Women’s Affairs from October 2004 to July 2006, and she has since vocally criticized the Karzai government for not significantly advancing the social position of women.

As an outsider in Afghanistan’s power structure, Jalal stressed her independence from the warlords and past oppressive regimes. Although many of the candidates for the Afghan presidency withdrew from the race and called for a boycott of the election following reports of voting irregularities at some polling places, Jalal was one of the few candidates who did not join the protest. An exit poll taken during the October 2004 election showed Jalal taking about seven percent of the vote among Afghan women.

Jalal received 1.1 percent of the vote in the 2004 election, placing 6th among 17 male candidates. She was a member of the Karzai Administration from October 2004 to July 2006, serving at the Women’s Affairs minister in the cabinet.

In January 2009 an article by Ahmad Majidyar of the American Enterprise Institute included Jalal on a list of fifteen possible candidates in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election.[2] Although Majidyar wrote that Jalal had said she would run again, she did not run. Two other women Dr. Frozan Fana and Shahla Atta did run. Between the two of them they got a smaller share of the popular vote than Jalal got on her own.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Masha Hamilton (September 23, 2004). “Masooda Jalal’s Campaign for President of Afghanistan” ([dead link]). Awakened Woman e-magazine.
  2. ^ Ahmad Majidyar (2009-01). “Afghanistan’s Presidential Election”. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. “Jalal was the only woman candidate in the 2004 election. She was seventh out of seventeen candidates and then served as the minister of women’s affairs. She has said she will run again in the coming election.”

Source: Wikipedia

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Mohammad Ismail Khan Sat, 25 Sep 2010 04:28:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Ismail Khan

Ismail Khan (born 1946), an ethnic Tajik[1][2] from Herat, Afghanistan, was a powerful Mujahedeen commander in the Soviet War in Afghanistan, and then a key member of the Northern Alliance, later the Governor of Herat Province and is now the Minister of Energy for the country. He is a key member of the political party Jamiat-e Islami and the new party United National Front.

Early years

In early 1979 Ismail Khan was a Captain in the Afghan National Army based in the western city of Herat. In early March, there was a protest in front of the Communist governor’s palace against the arrests and assassinations being carried out in the countryside. The governor’s troops opened fire on the demonstrators, who proceeded to storm the palace and hunt down Soviet advisers. The Herat garrison mutinied and joined the revolt, with Ismail Khan and other officers distributing all available weapons to the insurgents. The communist government led by Nur Mohammed Taraki responded, pulverizing the city using Soviet supplied bombers and killing an estimated 24,000 citizens in less than a week.[3] This event marked the opening salvo of the rebellion which led to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Ismail Khan escaped to the countryside where he started to assemble a local mujahideen army, which was widely supported by the population of Herat.[4]

During the ensuing war, he became the leader of the western command of Burhanuddin Rabbani‘s Jamiat-e-Islami. With Ahmad Shah Massoud, he was one of the most respected mujahideen leaders.[3] In 1992, two years after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the mujahideen captured Herat, and Ismail Khan became Governor.

Resistance against the Taliban

In 1995, he successfully defended his province against the Taliban, in cooperation with Massoud. He even attacked the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, but was repulsed. Later, an ally of the Jamiat, Uzbek General Abdul Rashid Dostum changed sides, and attacked Herat. Ismail Khan was forced to flee to Iran with 8,000 men and the Taliban took over Herat.

Two years later, while organising opposition to the Taliban in Faryab area, he was betrayed and captured by Abdul Majid Rouzi who had defected to the Taliban along with Abdul Malik, then one of Dostum’s deputies.[3] Then in March 1999 he escaped from Kandahar prison. During the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, he fought against the Taliban within the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Northern Alliance) and thus regained his position as Governor of Herat.

Post-Taliban era

After returning to Herat, Ismail Khan quickly consolidated his control over the region. He took over control of the city from the local ulema and quickly established control over the trade route between Herat and Iran, a large source of revenue.[5] As Emir of Herat, Ismail Khan exercised great autonomy, providing social welfare for Heratis, expanding his power into neighbouring provinces, and maintaining direct international contacts.[5] Although hated by the educated in Herat and often accused of human rights abuses, Ismail Khan’s regime provided security, paid government employees, and made investments in public services.[5] However, during his tenure as Governor, Ismail Khan was accused of ruling his province like a private fiefdom, leading to increasing tensions with the Afghan Transitional Administration. In particular, he refused to pass on to the government the revenues gained from custom taxes on goods from Iran and Turkmenistan.

Ismail Khan was ultimately removed from power in March 2004 due to pressure by neighbouring warlords and the central Afghan government. Various sources have presented different versions of the story, and the exact dynamics cannot be known with certainty. What is known is that Ismail Khan found himself at odds with a few regional commanders who, although theoretically his subordinates, attempted to remove him from power. Ismail Khan claims that these efforts began with a botched assassination attempt. Afterwards, the forces of these commanders moved their forces near Herat. Ismail Khan, unpopular with the Herati military class, was slow to mobilise his forces, perhaps waiting for the threat to Herat to become existential as a means to motivate his forces. However, the conflict was stopped with the intervention of International Security Assistance Force forces and soldiers of the Afghan National Army, freezing the conflict in its tracks. Ismail Khan’s forces even fought skirmishes with the Afghan National Army, in which his son, Mirwais Sadiq was killed. Because Ismail Khan was contained by the Afghan National Army, the warlords who opposed him were quickly able to occupy strategic locations unopposed. Ismail Khan was forced to give up his governorship and to go to Kabul, where he served in Karzai’s cabinet as the Minister of Energy.[6]

Assassination attempt

On September 27, 2009, Ismail Khan survived a suicide blast that killed 4 of his bodyguards in Herat, in western Afghanistan. He was driving to Herat Airport when a powerful explosion occurred on the way there. Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility and said the target was Khan.[7]

Testimony requested by a Guantanamo captive

Guantanamo captive Abdul Razzaq Hekmati requested Ismail Khan’s testimony, when he was called before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[8] Ismail Khan, like Afghan Minister of Defense Rahim Wardak, was one of the high profile Afghans that those conducting the Tribunals ruled were “not reasonably available” to give a statement on a captive’s behalf because they could not be located.

Hekmati had played a key role in helping Ismail Khan escape from the Taliban in 1999.[9] Hekmati stood accused of helping Taliban leaders escape from the custody of Hamid Karzai’s government.

Carlotta Gall and Andy Worthington interviewed Ismail Khan for a new New York Times article after Hekmati died of cancer in Guantanamo.[9] According to the New York Times Ismail Khan said he personally buttonholed the American ambassador to tell him that Hekmati was innocent, and should be released. In contrast, Hekmati was told that the State Department had been unable to locate Khan.


Ismail Khan is a controversial figure. Reporters Without Borders has charged him with muzzling the press and ordering attacks on journalists.[10] Also Human Rights Watch has accused him of human rights abuses.[11] After the fall of the Taliban when Ismail Khan regained control of Herat, he established an Islamic police, who would beat anyone who was found drinking and then parade them through the city with their heads shaved.

Nevertheless, he remains a popular figure for some in Afghanistan. Unlike other mujahideen commanders, Khan has not been linked to large-scale massacres and atrocities such as those committed after the capture of Kabul in 1992.[3] Moreover, during his Governorship, Herat province has enjoyed relative peace and prosperity, with Khan using the money drawn from customs revenues to repair much of the damage done by the Soviets and the Taliban. Following news of his dismissal, rioting broke out in the streets of Herat, and President Karzai had to ask him to make a personal appeal for calm.[12]

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^ BBC News.
  3. ^ a b c d Ismail Khan, Herat, and Iranian Influence by Thomas H. Johnson, Strategic Insights, Volume III, Issue 7 (July 2004)[1]
  4. ^ Coll, Steve. Ghost Wars. pg 40. 2004, Penguin Books.
  5. ^ a b c Johnson, C. & Leslie, J. “Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace”, New York: Zed Books, 2008. p47-69, 180.
  6. ^ Giustozzi, A. “Empires of Mud: Wars and Warlords in Afghanistan”, London: Hurst & Co., 2009. p259.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Brett Murphy (June 18, 2006). “Guantanamo Bay detainees not given access to witnesses despite availability”.
  9. ^ a b Carlotta Gall, Andy Worthington (February 5, 2008). “Time Runs Out for an Afghan Held by the U.S.”. New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-05. “Abdul Razzaq Hekmati was regarded here as a war hero, famous for his resistance to the Russian occupation in the 1980s and later for a daring prison break he organized for three opponents of the Taliban government in 1999.”
  10. ^ – Afghanistan: Radio Free Afghanistan journalist attacked and expelled fro
  11. ^ Afghanistan: Torture and Political Repression in Herat, John Sifton (November 5, 2002)
  12. ^ Profile: Ismail Khan, BBC News(September 2004)

External links

Source: Wikipedia

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Qahar Asi “the Legend of Poetry” in 21 Century Sat, 25 Sep 2010 02:47:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Qahar Asi is a talented writer, artist and poet in Afghanistan history. He built an amazing place in every Afghan citizen heart and soul .Our people, history and humanity will never forget his bravery and gallantry. He is living immortally in our hearts and we deeply missing him and commemorating his legendary!

Qahar Asi was born in 12, April, 1965 in a village which is called Malema, Panjshir Province .He completed his primary and secondary school in Kabul, than attended Kabul University in faculty of agriculture, and he completed his studies in botany (branch of biology dealing with plant life) .The legend of poetry, Qahar Asi passed away in Kabul Afghanistan on 28th September, 1994 by a skyrocket of Gulbuddin Hakmatyar.

There are many collection of Asi’s poems in different aspect of life .He was a patriotic poet, who worshiped his country, people and humanity. He was writing his poems with his blood under flames of war and chamber of smoke!
Farhad Darya relationship with Qahar Asi:
Farhad Darya was spiritually revealed, emototionally loved and globally recognized and known by the Qahar Asi’s poems. “On TV he (Farhad Darya) initially starts with Classical and semi classical music, Ghazal. Then he gradually moves towards folklore. In Kabul University he gets acquainted with the aroma of “resistance poems”, Qahar Asi. They become two arms to conquer and construct. Darya’s music and Asi’s poem combined, similar to water to wetness, creates tunes of resistance. “Baran” or Rain descends with sincerity from sky and blows life to soil and ash sprouting to flower and plant. Baran’s reputation spreads beyond boundaries increasing thirsty fans of its genuine chants” (*)

Baran reaches at the peak of its career at a crucial time of Afghanistan history i.e. government of communist regime. More vocalists get established through Baran and Darya’s compositions exposed to public. Darya was performed so many songs of Asi’s poems. Daryaha proudly commemorates Asi’s martyrdom anniversary on 28th of September almost every year. “Qahar Asi’s Commemoration Seven years ago, on September 28th, the legendary Afghan poet Qahar Asi lost his life. He was the victim of a skyrocket in Kabul. Usually on this date Darya gets together with some of Asi’s followers and celebrates the eternal life of this nobleman. As some of Darya and Qahar Asi’s fans may recall, on September 28th 2000 Darya performed in Canada to commemorate Asi’s life and raised money in order to publish one of his books. But this year instead on the 28th of September Darya was in his studio working on one of the songs from his new CD “GulAroos”. The title of this song translated in English is “We Are All Brothers”. This particular song has a very significant message to mankind, a message that Asi shared” (*) “Let me songs sing”, fleet the voice from the radio, as means against “the agonies of my homeless around-moving people”. Not only in this song Farhad Daryas had singing forms the words for homesickness of its compatriots scattered over the whole globe. “Can you undertake a journey in loved Kabul?” a text from the feather/spring of the famous Afghan poet asks Qahar Asi, which fell 1994 in Kabul a missile attack to the victim. Darya, which composed the music in addition, took up the song to Paris. It was the first year of its exile” (*)
As the other eloquent wise professor, poet and writer Mr.Wasif Bakhtari described Qahar Asi as a true version of patriotic poet, he was born exactly as a poet. When Qahar Asi born and brought up in the political atmosphere and most of poets, cultural and educational people were flattering, praising and glorifying, none-national figures and politicians. But Mr. Asi, had a natural villager pure talented perception, did not praise who, did not deserve parsing, he always ‘putting the saddle on the right horse’ therefore, no one, can ever deny his revolutionary vision and resistence, and everlasting legacy and legendary! Asi possesses certain (matchless) qualities and supernatural talented in human history.

If we look or exam Asi’s poetry vision and legendary from other group of the poets, it will give us the same explanation and interpretation that, Asi was an independent poet. He was born free and lived freely; he was not colonized or impressed by any ideology, idea or school. The poets in Asi’s era (time) whom appeared on the “market of poems” on the middle of sixteen, they were not under influences of any party, organization and the regime itself .In other word, they were not tools in the hand of the regime .They were (selective and special) (*) With the coming of the Soviets in 1979, many writers were forced to leave as their writings were not supportive of the regime and its modern ideas. In contrast, many Afghans who would never have considered themselves poets began to write poems as a form of resistance to the Soviet occupation and in support of Islam and freedom. Writers in refugee camps along the borders promoted their own groups of revolutionaries or tried to continue the craft in difficult conditions. They included Khalili, Abdul Ghafur Arezo (the director of the Cultural Association in Iran), Kazim E Kazimi, Fazl Allah Godsi and Sami Hamed. Inside Afghanistan at this time, writers included Wasef Bakhtari, Ghahhar Asi, Parto Naderi, Haidery Woojudi and Rahnavard Zaryab. Latif Nazemi. Afsar Rahin.Shabgeer Poladeeyan. Sabor Sya Sang. Who were living independently with dignity and purity..!!

In Mr.Kazim Kazimi, a poet, writer and critique believe, “We must acknowledge and legitimize Qahar Asi as a representative of a generation” and he was greater than the greatest poet.
Source: Wikipedia

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Sayed Mansoor Naderi Fri, 24 Sep 2010 13:03:06 +0000 Read the full article...]]>  

سيد منصور نادری

Sayed Mansoor Naderi

Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi was born in 1936 in a spiritual family of well-known and great religious leader of Ismailia Sayed Nadir Shah-e-Kayani. Primarily, he spent a period of time in his birthplace beside his great father the intellectual, religious leader, poet and author of 58 religious, scientific & educational books. He is gifted the basic and Advance knowledge of early time. He was possessed of high perception, resourceful, thoughtful, strong capability, generous and with unique social behavior.

As well as like his great father enthusiast in poem and literature fields. Believably, he is Nizari Ismailia the follower of worldwide (Ismailia) leader His Highness Karim Aga Khan. Since his youth period, he dedicated to serve with the community in an exceptional manner.

In fact, he proved to be the figure of integrity, generosity, veracity and faithfulness.

He joined the military service in 1955 and completed as of year 1957.Regarding his personality aspects; he is a person with political vision, cultural reflection and humanism sentiment. Based on his considerable sincerity he has been the most influential figure in the community. His great father always would hand him over the people’s relation affairs to execute the rule of law and conducting the social activities. He became a prisoner by past despotic & tyranny ex-regimes in 1967 and missed the public-relation for approximately (2) years. Indeed, the former regimes had a badly intention and negative sense considering his popularity. Sometimes they used to compromise and going through reconciliation with him in somehow for sustaining their political power. On the other hand, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Nadri was born in a country, there existing the fanaticism, tribalism, fundamentalism, ethnicity discrimination, nationalism and lack of independence vision. Furthermore, he (Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Nadri) with his three brothers allegedly, was re-imprisoned and moved to the Demazang jail without any certain cases, in jailed for (4) years as detainee and released after a revolutionary coup occurred by internal oppositions. Repeatedly, he and a number of scholars, cultural personalities, poets and a number of Islamic movements had been illegally, detained and committed for (97) to be in jailed or sentenced to death by early dictatorial states without any legal decision. Obviously, the ex- regimes (states) were just proud of their forceful authority power and they had no awareness of Allah’s secrets. After political changes, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi was released from Pol-e-Charkhi prison during Babrak Karmal’s regimes.

Then he went to pilgrimage in year 1360(1981) After circumambulation from pilgrimage (Mecca) Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Nadri returned home between years 1339(1982)—1360(1981) even as, the opposition groups had already raised up against the early governments as well as opposing the illegal armed groups, including in Baghlan province the Ismailia tribes run out of tolerance and had lost their patience caused of unlawful taxes grabbed by irresponsible gunmen at their region. Perhaps, they always used to bring up their internal complaints to Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, requested him to rescue from horrible problems they were threatening through armed groups. Therefore, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, decided going to his birthplace to defend and protect the dignity & honorary of the

Innocent people living at the harmful areas, Once Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi got to the affected region. Immediately, he contributed his own 3000 sheep to the people of Daimerak and Nikpai, whom their belongings were looted by illegal armed groups. After a while, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi decided providing weapons to defend and rescue the people who were torturing under the domination of plunderers in 1362(1983).

Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi outlined his main objectives, Prioritizing the counter-narcotics, poppy eradication, elimination of drug trafficking and developing the medical facilities drug users. Specially, in sholoktoo village related to the Dana ghori as well as, wado village relating to the Tala –o- barfak districts. That consequently, 1000 drug users were diagnosed and left the opium. Besides, in case of, narcotic growth endangering the large number of peoples using drugs. Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi established a 100 beds hospital located at the valley of kayan in year 1362 (1983) to annihilate the drug elements.

In addition for security efficiency and peacekeeping, he formed a military contingent at the government framework. In order to take an active part in peace & security process, through the salang high way to hairatan where the investment convoys moved the food stuff to Kabul and other provinces. After the establishment of the military unit by Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, the mujahidin logistical convoys could safely, move around the region as well. Particularly, let’s say regarding the kayan (valley) where the most peaceful environment and safest area amongst the entire region were. Means that even two obstinate enemies who were mujahidin groups and government key officials,

Gathering around a table. In year 1367(1988) Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi founded the Hakim Nasir Khosrow Balhki’s cultural association as well as a huge library equipped with (50000) various kind of scientific and educational books, Facilitating for cultural figures and students. At the same year 1367(1988) the national compromise policy was issued by Dr. Najibullah the ex-soviet backed president of Afghanistan. Simultaneously, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi was appointed as senator via Baghlan pious people. After his assignment, he mainly, kept concentrating on counter-narcotics providing medical requirements/care for border district of Badakhshan province, for drug user’s treatment. So, on deployed a large number of doctors and preachers in different required areas, financing by his own budget, as consequence, 3200 drug users had been treated on that process. In year 1371(1992) after fall of Dr Najibullah, the state’s control transitioned to mujahidin, also, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi was playing a prominent and positive role for peace ,stability ,fraternity and national unity among the mujahidin factions in the country.

After Najibullah stepped down, the major parts of the country changed to battleground and led toward instability and anarchism. The illegal armed groups occupied different key positions and damaged the public’s interests and plundered lots of productive resources.

As the rival factions misused from conflicted conditions, fighting between each other, assassinated, destroyed and looted huge number of public’s prosperities. But, fortunately, in Baghlan province due to the strong leadership & management and honest authority of Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, everything was on secure and stable no one had felt fear. Everybody/organization including the governmental employees, factory staffs, teachers and entire inhabitants from variety of tribes (nationality) living at the region was continuing their normal routines without any life- threat or risk. Particularly, in Polikhumri there was as secure as the citizens had felt no political conversion in their country. Meanwhile, the major provinces, districts and villages were turning to horrible harshness and civil war. But, Baghlan province was the most peaceful and safest one. Indeed it wasn’t any restriction for educational process, during that period of time. There were approximately 45000 Teachers, students including male and female teaching and studying. After a year in term of Borhanuddein rabani’s presidency In case of critical situation and security crisis the logistical support (requirements and resources) from Kabul central government to Baghlan province including: the governmental offices, university, schools, productive factory and constructional projects had broken off and no longer continued.

But in spite, there in mentioned province everything went on toward progression and development. Once the Taliban black regime occupied Kabul and expelled the Mujahidin’s controversial government in 1375(1996). After withdrawal from Kabul,

The ex-president Borhanudden Rabani with entire his Cabinet members relied coming to the (kayan) north where Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi was governing. Therefore, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, based on his humanitarian sentiment and brave attitude had. He welcomed the fallen government leader with his entire key members and announced his extraordinary partiality/support for them. On the other hand, he (Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi) was the host of thousand refugees coming from Kabul on that time.

Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi is the one, who follows the prophets and imams directions, pointing his enthusiasm upon knowledge, cultural issues and legal performance for the nation’s profit. Truly, he has never sacrificed his belief and honorary to any material desired. But honorably and bravely lived and saves his valuable reputation. Once, the civil war was on going at Kabul and every where was being burned by flame of hostile attacks. A Pakistani investor named Salim Howlia came to Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, asked him intending to purchase the equipments of Pulkhomri cement production factory For 20 million US $. But, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, constantly, refused him! and said “that” he might come to the wrong direction. Because, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi prioritizes his national identity and patriotism rather than his self-advantages.

Meanwhile, due to the economic crisis threatening, he (Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi) distributed his own (3000 Kg, seeds used)several acres of agricultural arid lands, located near the todak and Scar locations with all it’s legal contracts for deserved peoples. And distributed other several acres of his personal lands which were located near Shah Hassan village- up to Qorqasawi. According to this, is representing the Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi’s generosity nature, brave attitude, honest capability and constant doctrine; that he could secure and protect the Ismailia tribe from different hazardous environment and challenges. In reason of, black fanaticism existed against Ismailia religion.

The Ismailia youth past generation had no participation in political scene even some converted their beliefs, caused of political and religious radicalisms. That case, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, made inexhaustible endeavor to correlate and re-approach the relations between variety of tribes and religions. He could encourage and reinforced the Ismailia community to be desirous for a better tomorrow and leave all hopelessness. If we put a glance in the current condition, there are many high educated Ismailia people available at the political framework.

In year 1375(1996) in respect of people’s recommendations including the regional dignitaries, military, literary figures, scholars and Jihadi allies. Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi as per his suitability, legal capacity for (Afghan) civility affaires that he proved during the time, (he) was unanimously assigned as a vice president of Islamic government of Afghanistan. During his vice presidency, he did consecutive efforts to prevent the foreign invasion to Afghanistan’s internal affairs, and always struggled to ensure the peace and afghan national unity. Particularly, the kayan valley and Polikhumri town was the center of peace and stability among the region. Where all the political and military disputes (between rival groups) were figuring out and always been the principal position for reconciliation among the rival groups.

In year 1377(1998) Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, set out abroad, due to the (historical) critical situation. After September 11th’s attack and political changes in the world, paving the ground for peace process in the country. Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi returned (from exile) to Afghanistan, after discussion with government officials Announcing his considerable support from Bonn conference. In year 1381(2003) Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi together with political scholars, analysts established and constituted the Afghan National Unity Party. In year 1384 (2005) Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi was elect as representative on behalf of Baghlan residents to the people’s house (parliament) by major vote. And so for, he has been as a trustworthy and respectful legislator among the nations in law enforcement and solution for the current statues in the country.

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Dr. Ashraf Ghani Fri, 24 Sep 2010 12:35:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Dr. Ashraf Ghani

Dr Ashraf Ghani grew up in Afghanistan before pursuing his education abroad. Like so many Afghans, foreign invasion and civil war led to the persecution of his family and forced him to remain in exile. Whilst abroad he became a leading scholar of Political Science and Anthropology and then worked at the World Bank where he learned the tools of international development assistance. Following the fall of the Taliban in 2001 he returned to Afghanistan seeking to devote his unique skills and knowledge to the task of rebuilding the country. He advised interim President Karzai and served as the Finance Minister in the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan until December 2004. During his tenure as Finance Minister, he designed a package of reforms and initiated several public investment programs that led to significant improvements in the livelihoods of ordinary Afghans across the country. He declined to join the new elected Government in December 2004. However, he remained an influential voice in the political circles both in Afghanistan and abroad.

Early Life

Ashraf Ghani was born to an influential family in Afghanistan in 1949, and spent his early life in the Province of Logar. He completed his primary and secondary education in Habibia High School in Kabul. Growing up in Kabul under monarchy, where his father worked in various senior capacities, he has been immersed in politics from his early days.

Education and Early Career

As a young man Ashraf travelled to Lebanon to attend the American University in Beirut, where he met his future wife, Rula, and earned his first degree in 1973. He returned to Afghanistan in 1974 to teach Afghan studies and Anthropology at Kabul University before winning a government scholarship to study for a Master’s degree in Anthropology at New York’s Columbia University. He left Afghanistan in 1977, intending to be away for two years. When pro-Soviet forces came to power, most of the male members of his family were imprisoned and he was stranded in the US. He stayed at Columbia University and won his Ph.D. there, with a doctoral thesis (Production and domination: Afghanistan, 1747-1901) and was immediately invited to teach at University of California, Berkeley (1983) and then at Johns Hopkins University (1983-1991). During this period he became a frequent commentator on the BBC Dari and Pashto services, broadcast in Afghanistan

International Career

In 1991, Dr. Ghani joined the World Bank as lead anthropologist, advising on the human dimension to economic programs. He served for 11 years, initially working on projects in East Asia, but moving in the mid-nineties towards articulating the Bank’s social policy and reviewing country strategies, conditionalities, and designing reform programs. In 1996, he pioneered the application of institutional and organizational analysis to macro processes of change and reform, working directly on the adjustment program of the Russian coal industry and carrying out reviews of the Bank’s country assistance strategies and structural adjustment programs globally. He spent five years in China, India, and Russia managing large-scale development and institutional transformation projects. Whilst at the World Bank Dr Ghani attended the Harvard-INSEAD and Stanford business schools leadership training program.

Work after 2001

Following the ousting of the Taliban in late 2001, Dr Ghani was asked to serve as Special Adviser to Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Afghanistan. In that capacity, Dr Ghani returned to Afghanistan and worked on the design, negotiation and implementation of the Bonn Agreement, which set out the roadmap for transition to a new government based on popular consent. During the Interim Administration, Dr Ghani served, on a pro bono basis, as Chief Adviser to Interim President Karzai and was among the first officials to disclose his assets. In this capacity, he worked on the preparation of the Loya Jirgas (grand assemblies) that elected president Karzai and approved the constitution.

Work as Finance Minister

As Afghanistan’s Finance Minister for the duration of the Transitional Administration, Dr Ghani is widely credited with the design and implementation of some of the most extensive and difficult reforms of the period. He issued a new currency in record time; computerized the operations of treasury; institutionalized the single treasury account; adopted a policy of no-deficit financing; introduced the budget as the central instrument of policy; centralized revenue; reformed the tariff system and overhauled customs; and instituted regular reporting to the cabinet, the people of Afghanistan, and international stakeholders as a tool of transparency and accountability.

Dr Ghani has combined personal integrity with extremely tough measures against corruption. When he became Finance Minister he fired corrupt officials from the Finance Ministry, ignoring those who threatened to take revenge. He refused to pay the army until they produced a genuine roster of soldiers, rightly suspecting that the figures were exaggerated so as to claim extra money.

Dr Ghani harnessed his knowledge of the international system to break new ground in coordinating donor assistance. He required donors to keep their interventions to three sectors, thereby bringing clarity and mutual accountability to their relations with government counterparts, and preparing a development strategy that put the Afghans in the driver’s seat regarding accountability for their future.

In recognition of his services, he was awarded the Sayed Jamal-ud-Din Afghan medal, the highest civilian award in the country. He was recognized as the Best Finance Minister of Asia in 2003 by Emerging Markets for his efforts.

On March 31-April 2004, he presented a seven-year program of public investment, Securing Afghanistan’s Future, to an international conference in Berlin attended by 65 finance and foreign ministers. Described as the most comprehensive program ever prepared and presented by a poor country to the international community, Securing Afghanistan’s Future was prepared by a team of one-hundred experts working under the supervision of a committee chaired by Dr Ghani. The concept of a double-compact, between the donors and the government of Afghanistan on the one hand and between the government and people of Afghanistan on the other, underpinned the program of investment in Securing Afghanistan’s Future. The donors pledged $8.2 billion at the conference for the first three years of the program –- the exact amount asked by the government — and agreed that the government’s request for a total seven-year package of assistance of $27.5 billion was justified.

Throughout his career, Dr Ghani has focused relentlessly on poverty eradication through the creation of wealth and the establishment of the rights of citizenship. In Afghanistan, he is attributed with designing the National Solidarity Program, a program of bloc grants to villages in which elected village councils determine both the priorities and the mechanisms of implementation. The program has been rolled out across the country and has become so successful that other countries around the world are seeking to emulate it. Dr Ghani also partnered with the Ministry of Communication to ensure that telecom licenses were granted on a fully-transparent basis. As a result, the number of mobile phones in the country jumped from 100 in July 2002 to over a million at the end of 2005. Private investment in the sector exceeded $200 million and the telecom sector emerged as one of the major sectors of revenue generation for government.

After the election of President Karzai in October 2004, Mr Ghani declined to join the cabinet and instead asked to be appointed as Chancellor of Kabul University. As Chancellor, he was engaged in articulating the concept of shared governance among the faculty, students, and staff and advocating a vision of the University where men and women with skills and commitment to lead their country in the age of globalization can be trained.

Dr Ghani subsequently founded the Institute for State Effectiveness, to help governments and their international partners to build more effective, accountable systems of government. As Chairman of the Institute Dr Ghani co-authored a book , Fixing Failed States, to international critical acclaim.

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Zalmay Khalilzad Fri, 24 Sep 2010 10:59:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Zalmai Khalilzad

Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad (Nastaliq: زلمی خلیلزاد – Zalmay Khalīlzād) (born: 22 March 1951) is an American counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and president of Khalilzad Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. He has been involved with U.S. policy makers at the White House, State Department and Pentagon since the mid-1980s, and was the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Administration of U.S. President George W. Bush.[2] Khalilzad’s previous assignments in the Administration include U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

Early history and personal life

Zalmay Khalilzad is from eastern Laghman Province born in the city of Mazari Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Khalilzad’s father (Khalilullah Khalilzad) was a government official under the monarchy of Mohammed Zahir Shah.[3] He is an ethnic Pashtun[4][5].[6] He is fluent in English, Pashto, Dari and Arabic.

Khalilzad began his education at the public Ghazi Lycée school in Kabul. He first visited the United States as a Ceres, California high school exchange student with AFS Intercultural Programs. Later, he attained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Khalilzad received his Ph.D at the University of Chicago, where he studied closely with strategic thinker Albert Wohlstetter, a prominent nuclear deterrence thinker and strategist, who provided Zalmay with contacts in the government and with RAND.[2]

Khalilzad is married to Cheryl Benard. They have two children, Alexander and Maximilian.

Career history

Presently Khalilzad serves as the President of Khalilzad Associates, LLC a “international advisory firm that serves clients at the nexus of commerce and public policies, helping global businesses navigate the most promising and challenging international markets.” [7] Khalilzad Associates counts among its clients international and US companies which are primarily interested in doing business in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Khalilzad, these include companies in the sectors of energy, construction, education and infrastructure.[8]

Khalilzad also currently serves as a Counselor at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) and sits on the Boards of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), America Abroad Media (AAM), the RAND Corporation’s Middle East Studies Center, the American University of Iraq in Suleymania (AUIS), and the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).[9]

From 1979 to 1989, Khalilzad worked as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University‘s School of International and Public Affairs. During that time he worked closely with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Carter Administration’s architect of the policy supporting the mujahideen resistance to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.[2] (See also: Operation Cyclone.)

In 1984 Khalilzad accepted a one-year Council on Foreign Relations fellowship to join the State Department, where he worked for Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

From 1985 to 1989, Khalilzad served in President Ronald Reagan‘s Administration as a senior State Department official advising on the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Iran–Iraq War. During this time he was a member of the policy planning staff and the State Department’s Special Advisor on Afghanistan to Undersecretary of State Michael H. Armacost. In this role he developed and guided the international program to promote the merits of a Mujahideen-led Afghanistan to oust the Soviet occupation. From 1990-1992, Khalilzad served under President George H. W. Bush in the Defense Department as Deputy Undersecretary for Policy Planning.

Between 1993 and 2000, Khalilzad was the Director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure at the RAND Corporation. During this time, he helped found RAND’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies as well as “Strategic Appraisal,” a periodic RAND publication. He also authored several influential monographs, including “The United States and a Rising China” and “From Containment to Global Leadership? America and the World After the Cold War.” While at RAND, Khalilzad also had a brief stint consulting for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which at the time was conducting a risk analysis for Unocal, now part of Chevron, for a proposed 1,400 km (890 mile), $2-billion, 622 m³/s (22,000 ft³/s) Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and further proceeding to Pakistan. As one of the original members of Project for the New American Century, Khalilzad was a signatory of the letter to President Bill Clinton sent on January 26, 1998, which called for him to accept the aim of “removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power” using “a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts.”[10]

Khalilzad presenting President George W. Bush a ballot from the first democratic election in Afghanistan on 18 October 2004.

In 2001, President George W. Bush asked Khalilzad to head the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and Khalilzad briefly served as Counselor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In May 2001, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice announced Khalilzad’s appointment as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs at the National Security Council. In December 2002 the President appointed Khalilzad to the position of Ambassador at Large for Free Iraqis with the task of coordinating “preparations for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.”[11]

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President Bush came to rely on Khalilzad’s Afghanistan expertise. Khalilzad was involved in the early stages of planning to overthrow the Taliban and on December 31, 2001 was selected as Bush’s Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan. He served in that position until November 2003, when he was appointed to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Khalilzad held the position of U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from November 2003 until June 2005. During this time, he oversaw the drafting of Afghanistan’s constitution, was involved with the country’s first elections, and helped to organize the first meeting of Afghanistan’s parliament (the Loya Jirga). At the June, 2002, Loya Jirga to select the Head of State, representatives of the US convinced the former king of Afghanistan, 87-year old Zahir Shah, to withdraw from consideration, even though a majority of Loya Jirga delegates supported him, a move which angered Pashtuns who were concerned with the disproportionate power of the Northern Alliance in the Karzai government.[12] During Khalilzad’s tenure as ambassador, Afghan President Hamid Karzai consulted closely with him on a regular basis about political decisions and the two dined together regularly.[13][14] During 2004 and 2005 he was also involved in helping with the establishment of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), which is the first American-style higher learning educational institution in Afghanistan.[15]

Time as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq

Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Army General George Casey attend a transfer of security responsibility ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, in September 2006.

Khalilzad began his job as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq on June 21, 2005. He was credited for helping negotiate compromises which allowed the ratification of Iraq’s Constitution in October 2005. Khalilzad also worked to ensure that the December 2005 elections ran smoothly and played a substantial role in forming the first post-Saddam government. Khalilzad also helped establish the American University of Iraq in Sulaimaniya and sits on its board of regents.[16]

In comparison to his predecessors Paul Bremer and John Negroponte in Baghdad, Khalilzad was considered a success as US Ambassador and credited with bringing a cultural sophistication and human touch to the job that helped connect with Iraqis.[17] Khalilzad was one of the first high-level Administration officials to warn that sectarian violence was overtaking the insurgency as the number one threat to Iraq’s stability. After the Al Askari shrine bombing, in February 2006, he warned that spreading sectarian violence might lead to civil war — and possibly even a broader conflict involving neighboring countries. Khalilzad sought political solutions to the problem of sectarianism, in particular working to integrate the balance of power between Iraq’s three main ethic groups in order to head off growing Sunni violence.[17]

Khalilzad’s term as Ambassador to Iraq ended on March 26, 2007. He was replaced by Ryan Crocker, a career diplomat who was serving as Ambassador to Pakistan previously.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations

On 12 February 2007, the White House submitted Khalilzad’s nomination to the Senate to become U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.[18] He was confirmed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate on March 29, 2007 by a unanimous voice vote.[19] This marked a strong contrast to Khalilzad’s predecessor, John R. Bolton, whose often controversial rhetoric caused him to fail to be confirmed by the United States Senate resulting in a recess appointment. Colleagues at the UN noted that Khalilzad has a different, more reconciling style than Bolton’s.[20]

In November 2007, Khalilzad charged that Iran is helping the insurgent groups in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also told the media, soon after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its report on Iran, that the Iranian government is clearly going ahead with its nuclear program. Khalilzad explained that the United States will try to pass another resolution in the U.N. Security Council under Chapter 7, to impose additional sanctions on Iran.[21]

Khalilzad, along with most U.S. politicians, supported Kosovo‘s independence.

In August 2008, he urged the UN Security Council to “take urgent action” and “condemn Russia’s military assault on the sovereign state of Georgia,”[22] in addition to stating that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had told Secretary of State Rice that Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili “must go.”[23]

Writing on U.S. leadership

Khalilzad wrote several articles on the subject of the value of U.S. global leadership in the mid-1990s. The specific scenarios for conflict he envisioned in the case of a decline in American power have made his writings extremely popular in the world of competitive high school and college policy debate, particularly his writing linking the loss of United States hegemony to global war.

  • Khalilzad, Zalmay (1995). “Losing the moment? The United States and the world after the Cold War”. The Washington Quarterly 18:2: 03012.

Rumors of Bid to become “chief executive officer” of Afghanistan

The New York Times reported May 18, 2009 anonymous rumors that Zalmay Khalilzad “could assume a powerful, unelected position inside the Afghan government under a plan he is discussing with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, according to senior American and Afghan officials.” The article also claimed that Khalilzad had pursued the Presidency of Afghanistan but missed the May 8 filing deadline.[24] Khalizad, however, denied having any designs on official or unofficial office in Afghanistan.[25]


  1. ^ Zalmay Khalilzad: US power broker BBC. 2007-01-08. Retrieved on 2009-11-01.
  2. ^ a b c International House at the University of Chicago – Alumni In The News, Ambassador Zalmay M. Khalilzad, PhD ’79
  3. ^ Livergood, Norman D. (2003). America, Awake!: We Must Take Back Our Country. United States: Dandelion Books, LLC. pp. 332. ISBN 189330227X.
  4. ^ USA TodayBush names special envoy to Afghanistan, December 31, 2001
  5. ^ ABC NewsWho Is Zalmay Khalilzad?, by Andrew Chang, September 30, 2004
  6. ^ The Guardian
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Letter Dated: January 26, 1998
  11. ^ The White HouseStatement by the Press Secretary (December 2, 2002)
  12. ^ New York TimesAfghan Democracy and Its First Missteps By S. Frederick Starr and Marin J. Strmecki, Friday, June 14, 2002
  13. ^ Parker, Kathleen (April 11, 2010). “The U.S. can’t ignore Karzai’s tantrum”. The Washington Post.
  14. ^ TIMEInside Karzai’s Campaign (October 4, 2004)
  15. ^ Azizi Hotak General Trading Group
  16. ^ Dagher, Sam (July 14, 2010). “Prospects Abound Among the Kurds”. The New York Times.
  17. ^ a b Steele, Jonathan (April 23, 2006). “The viceroy of Baghdad”. The Guardian (London).
  18. ^ The White House – Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate (February 12, 2007)
  19. ^ Examiner – New U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Starts Job (April 23, 2007)
  20. ^ “A matter of honour”. The Economist. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  21. ^ Pajhwok Afghan News, Iran supports insurgent groups in Afghanistan: Khalilzad (Nov. 16, 2007)
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Cooper, Helene (May 19, 2009). “Ex-U.S. Envoy May Take Key Role in Afghan Government”. The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
  25. ^

External links

Source: Wikipedia

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Mohammad Yonus Qanooni Fri, 24 Sep 2010 09:02:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Mohammad Yonus Qanooni

Yunus Qanuni (يونس قانوني, also transliterated Qanooni and Qanouni) (born 1957) is a politician in Afghanistan. An ethnic Tajik from the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, Qanuni is the leader of the Afghanistan e Naween (New Afghanistan) political party and Speaker of the House of the People (the lower house of parliament or Wolesi Jirga).

Pre Election Life

Following the Soviet Intervention of Afghanistan in 1979, Qanuni joined with the mujahideen force led by Ahmad Shah Massoud based in his native Panjshir Valley. A protégé of Massoud, he was involved in the creation of the Afghan Northern Alliance and served as Interior Minister in Burhanuddin Rabbani‘s government. After the assassination of Massoud in 2001, a trio consisting of Qanuni, Defence Minister Mohammed Fahim and Foreign Minister Dr Abdullah took defacto control of the Northern Alliance and its financial resources.

As a member of the Northern Alliance, he supported the United States invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but opposed Pakistani involvement, as Pakistan favored a reformed Taliban government rather than a new government based upon the Afghan Northern Alliance. In 2001, Qanuni served as chief negotiator for the Afghan Northern Alliance delegation to the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany.

Immediately after the fall of the Taliban government, Qanuni was interior minister in an interim administration. He was eventually made the education minister in the Afghan Transitional Administration (established in June 2002), and served as a security advisor to interim President Hamid Karzai. Along with Fahim and Abdullah, Qanuni was seen as one of the dominant figures of the Transitional Administration

Mr. Qanuni has been accused of multiple charges of corruption. Some Afghan politicians claim they have evidence that Qanuni is paid 200,000$ per month by the MI6 of the UK. In return Qanuni is believed to give UK’s interests in Afghanistan a priority. He was also caught in the Dubai International Airport while trying to transfer 1,000,000$ worth of money to London from Kabul.

Elections for a permanent government were scheduled for 2004. When Qanuni’s ally Mohammed Fahim was passed over as vice-presidential running mate of Karzai, Qanuni entered the race for the presidency himself. On October 5, 2004, Qanuni’s campaign supporter, Abdul Aziz, was assassinated while in Shindand, Afghanistan.

In the election, held October 9, 2004, he placed second to Karzai. On December 23, 2004, the newly-inaugurated Karzai announced his administration, and both Qanuni and Fahim were dropped from their Ministerial posts.

Post Election Activities

Qanuni was elected in the 2005 Afghan Parliamentary elections, placing second in the Kabul province. Since the Presidential election he has generally been seen as the spokesman of the formerly powerful Tajik ethnic group, which dominated the Northern Alliance and the Transitional Afghan Administration, but was largely sidelined after the 2004 Presidential Election. As well as his own party, Qanuni has formed an alliance of several parties called the Jabahai Tafahim Millie or National Understanding Front.

On December 21, Qanuni was chosen to lead the 249-seat lower house of parliament with 122 votes against 117 for his closest challenger, Rasool Sayyaf.


My candidacy is not to obtain positions, it is to save Afghanistan, to build a government of the future of Afghanistan. So no post and position can stop me from my determination. – August 2004

External sources

Source: BBC

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Abdul Rahman Jami Fri, 24 Sep 2010 06:00:50 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami (Persian: نورالدین عبدالرحمن جامی) (August 18, 1414 – November 19, 1492) was one of the greatest Persian poets in the 15th century and one of the last great Sufi poets.


Jami was born in a village near Jam, then Khorasan, now located in Ghor Province of Afghanistan, but a few years after his birth, his family migrated to the cultural city of Herat where he was able to study Peripateticism, mathematics, Arabic literature, natural sciences, and Islamic philosophy at the Nizamiyyah University of Herat.

Because his father was from Dasht, Jami’s early pen name was Dashti but later, he chose to use Jami because of the two reasons which he mentioned in a poem:

مولدم جام و رشحهء قلمم
جرعهء جام شیخ الاسلامی است
لاجرم در جریدهء اشعار
به دو معنی تخلصم جامی است

My birthplace is Jam, and my pen

Has drunk from (knowledge of) Sheikh-ul-Islam (Ahmad) Jam

Hence in the books of poetry

My pen name is Jami for these two reasons.

Afterwards he went to Samarkand, the most important center of scientific studies in the Muslim world and completed his studies there. He was a famous Sufi, and a follower of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. At the end of his life he was living in Herat. His epitaph reads “When your face is hidden from me, like the moon hidden on a dark night, I shed stars of tears and yet my night remains dark in spite of all those shining stars.” [1]

Jami had a brother called Molana Mohammad, who was, apparently a learned man and a master in music, and Jami has a poem lamenting his death. Jami fathered four sons, but three of them died before reaching their first year. The surviving son was called Zia-ol-din Yusef and Jami wrote his Baharestan for this son.

Youth seeking his father’s advice on love
From the Haft Awrang of Jami, in the story “A Father Advises his Son About Love”. See Nazar ill’al-murd Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.


In his role as Sufi shaykh, Jami expounded a number of teachings regarding following the Sufi path. In his view, love for the Prophet Mohammad was the fundamental stepping stone for starting on the spiritual journey. To a student who asked to be his pupil and claimed never to have loved anyone, he said, “Go and love first, then come to me and I will show you the way.”[2]


Jami wrote approximately eighty-seven books and letters, some of which have been translated into English. His works range from prose to poetry, and from the mundane to the religious. He has also written works of history. His poetry has been inspired by the ghazals of Hafez, and his Haft Awrang is, by his own admission, influenced by the works of Nezami.

Divan of Jami

Among his works are:

  • Baharestan (Abode of Spring) Modeled upon the Gulestan of Saadi
  • Nafahat al-Uns (Breaths of Fellowship) Biographies of the Sufi saints
  • Haft Awrang (Seven Thrones) His major poetical work. The fifth of the seven stories is his acclaimed “Yusuf and Zulaykha” which tells the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife based on the Quran.
  • Lawa’ih A treatise on Sufism
  • Diwanha-ye Sehganeh (Triplet Divans)
  • Tajnīs ’al-luġāt (Homonymy/Punning of Languages) A lexicographical work containing homonymous Persian and Arabic lemmata.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Ahmed, Rashid (2001). Taliban, p. 40. Yale University Press.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Shīrānī, 6.


  • E.G. Browne. Literary History of Persia. (Four volumes, 2,256 pages, and twenty-five years in the writing). 1998. ISBN 0-7007-0406-X
  • Jan Rypka, History of Iranian Literature. Reidel Publishing Company. 1968 OCLC 460598 ISBN 90-277-0143-1
  • Ḥāfiż Mahmūd Shīrānī. “Dībācha-ye awwal [First Preface].” In ifż ul-Lisān [a.k.a. hāliq Bārī], edited by Ḥāfiż Mahmūd Shīrānī. Delhi: Anjumman-e Taraqqi-e Urdū, 1944.
  • Aftandil Erkinov. “Manuscripts of the works by classical Persian authors (Hāfiz, Jāmī, Bīdil): Quantitative Analysis of 17th-19th c. Central Asian Copies”. Iran: Questions et connaissances. Actes du IVe Congrès Européen des études iraniennes organisé par la Societas Iranologica Europaea, Paris, 6-10 Septembre 1999. vol. II: Périodes médiévale et moderne. [Cahiers de Studia Iranica. 26], M.Szuppe (ed.). Assocation pour l`avancement des études iraniennes-Peeters Press. Paris-Leiden, 2002, pp.213-228.

Source: Wikipedia

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Abdul Rashid Dostum Fri, 24 Sep 2010 04:03:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Abdul Rashid Dostum (‘Abd al-Raszhid Dostum or Dostam) (born 1954) is a former pro-Soviet fighter during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and is considered by many to be the leader of Afghanistan’s Uzbek community and the party Junbish-e Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan. He joined the Afghan military in 1978, fighting with the Soviets and against the mujahideen throughout the 1980s before joining the mujahideen in 1992, after the Soviet withdrawal, to assist in the capture of Kabul. He is a general and the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army a role often viewed as ceremonial. In early 2008 he was removed from his army role because of the Akbar Bai kidnapping incident. Dostum spent a year living in Turkey. In June 2009, shortly before the presidential elections, Afghan President Hamid Karzai reappointed Dostum to his post.

Human rights groups have accused his troops of human rights violations, charges which Dostum denies.

Military career

Early life

Dostum was born in Khvajeh Do Kuh, Afghanistan. In 1970 he began to work in a state-owned gas refinery in Sheberghan, Jowzjan Province, participating in union politics, as the new government started to arm the staff of the workers in the oil and gas refineries. The reason for this was to create “groups for the defense of the revolution”. Because of the new communist ideas entering Afghanistan in the 1970s, he enlisted himself in the army. Dostum received his basic military training in Jalalabad. His squadron, in response to increasing conflict, was deployed in the rural areas around Sheberghan, under the auspices of the Ministry of National Security

By the mid 1980s his platoon had grown in stature, reaching a company level and by the mid-1980s he was in command of over 20,000 militia and had reached a regimental level. While the unit recruited throughout Jowzjan and had a relatively broad base, many of its early troops and commanders came from Dostum’s home village, Khoja Dukoh, and these represented the core of the unit at that juncture and again when it was reconstituted after the American Invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. He left the army after the purge of Parchamis, but returned after the Soviet occupation began.

Soviet war in Afghanistan

As the situation in the Republic of Afghanistan deteriorated with massive uprising occurring all over the country, the then prime minister Hafizullah Amin, seized control when he overthrew president Nur Mohammad Taraki. The KGB reported that Amin sought to cut ties with the Soviet Union and instead ally itself with the People’s Republic of China and Pakistan. This prompted the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan and assassinate president Amin in 1979. Soviet military commander announced to Radio Kabul that Afghanistan had been “liberated” from Amin’s rule.

Mujahideen attacks were still a problem in the country. By this time Dostum was commanding a militia battalion to fight and rout rebel forces. This eventually became a regiment and later became incorporated into the defense forces as the 53rd Infantry Division. Dostum and his new division reported directly to then-President Mohammad Najibullah. Later on he became the commander of the military unit 374 in Jowzjan. He defended the communist Republic of Afghanistan against the American and Pakistani-backed mujahideens in the 1980s. While he was only a regional commander, he had largely raised the militia he fought with by himself. The Jowzjani militia Dostum controlled was one of the few militia forces in the country which was able to be outside of its region. The militia forces were deployed in the city Qandahar in 1988 when Soviet forces withdrew in 1989.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the communist regime faced economic problems. The new Russian government did not want anything to do with their old communist allies. So they stopped sending supplies to the country, which began an economic crisis in the country. The Soviet Union was Afghanistan’s main trading partner from the start in 1978. This eventually led to government officials swapping allegiances and would eventually lead to Mohammad Najibullahs governments fall in 1992.

Dostum army forces would become an important factor in the fall of Kabul in 1992. On 18 April 1992 the mujahideen began their revolt against the government of Najibullah. He allied himself with mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, Sayed Jafar Naderi, the head of the Isma’ili community and Baghlan Province, and together they captured the city of Kabul.

After the siege in 1992 he and Masoud fought in a coalition against Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Masoud and Dostum’s forces joined together to defend Kabul against Hekmatyar, with some 4000-5000 of his troops, units of his Shiberghan-based 53rd Division and Balkh-based Guards Division garrisoning Bala Hissar fort, Maranjan Hill, and Khwaja Rawash International Airport.

Civil War

In 1994, Dostum allied himself with the forces of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Again, Dostum was laying a siege on Kabul which started in 1995 and ended in 1997. This time he was fighting against the government Burhanuddin Rabbani and Massoud.

Following the rise of the Taliban and their capture of Herat and Kabul, Dostum aligned himself with Rabbani against the Taliban. Dostum however retreated to the city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

At this point he is said to have had a force of some 50,000 men supported by both aircraft and tanks. He was supported by all opponents of the Taliban including Russia, Iran and India. He ruled what was, in effect, an independent region. He printed his own Afghan currency and ran a small airline named Balkh Air.

In October 1996 Dostum came to an agreement with Massoud to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance. They vowed to set up a non-fundamentalist government in the nine Northern provinces under their control. Their pact was also signed by Abdul Karim Khalily, leader of the Shiite Muslim minority in Afghanistan, whose forces controlled a 10th province. The Taliban controlled all the other 19 Afghan provinces, except a part of Parwan Province north of Kabul that was held by the Massoud forces.

Much like other northern alliance leaders, Dostum also faced infighting within his group and was later forced tor retreat from power thanks to his General Abdul Malik Pahlawan. Initially, Malik was one of Dostum’s subordinates, but in 1996 he blamed Dostum for the murder of his brother Rasoul. He then entered into secret negotiations with the Taliban, who promised to respect his authority over much of Northern Afghanistan, in exchange for the capture of Ismail Khan, one of their most powerful enemies. Accordingly, on 25 May 1997 he arrested Khan and handed him over and let the Taliban enter Mazari Sharif, giving them control over most of Northern Afghanistan. Because of this treason, Dostum was forced to flee to Turkey. However Malik quickly realized that the Taliban were not going to keep their promises as they started to disarm his men. He then rejoined forces with the Northern Alliance, and turned against his erstwhile allies, helping to drive them from Mazar-i-Sharif. In October 1997, Dostum returned from exile and defeated Malik, briefly regaining control of Mazar-i-Sharif, and forcing Malik to escape to Iran. But in 1998 he was forced to flee to Turkey again.

Dostum returned in 2001. At this time Massoud had used his CIA funds to fly Dostum and his commanders back to open a new front in the campaign against Taliban. Along with General Mohammed Fahim and Ismail Khan, Dostum was one of three leaders of the Northern Alliance.

US invasion of Afghanistan

In November 2001, with the beginning of the US invasion of Afghanistan, and against the wishes of the CIA who distrusted Dostum, a team including Johnny Micheal Spann landed to set up communications in the Dariya Suf. A few hours later 23 men of Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 595 landed to begin the war.

On 24 November 2000, 300 Taliban soldiers retreated after the Siege of Kunduz by American and Aghan military forces. The taliban laid down their weapons a few miles from the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. They eventually surrendered peacefully to Dostum.

A small group of armed foreign fighters drove to Mazar-i-Sharif and were moved to the 19th century prison fortress, Qala-i-Jangi. These fighters would use concealed weapons start the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi against the Northern Alliance and later British and American forces. The uprising eventually overpowered the Northern Alliance soldiers placed to defend the prison.

There were unproven allegations in 2001 that Dostum and his forces, who were fighting jointly with US Special Forces, suffocated as many as 2,000 prisoners in container trucks following the Taliban surrender of Kunduz in an incident that has become known as the Dasht-i-Leili massacre.

Political career

Afghan Government

Dostum served as a deputy defense minister for Karzai in the national government in Kabul. In March 2003, Dostum established a North Zone of Afghanistan, against the wishes of interim president Hamid Karzai. On 20 May 2003, after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt, Dostum assumed the position of “Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan Armed Forces”.

In the aftermath of the Taliban’s removal from northern Afghanistan, forces loyal to Dostum frequently clashed with forces loyal to Tajik General Ustad Atta Mohammed Noor after Atta’smen kidnapped and killed a number of Dostum’s men and constantly agitated to gain control of Mazar i Sharif. Through the political mediations of the Karzai regime, the U.S.-led international military coalition, and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, as well as the UN-run Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration program, the Dostum-Atta feud has largely ended. The two are now generally politically allied as part of a broader ideological effort to protect the interests of Afghanistan’s war veterans and to preserve their own power. On 1 March 2005 President Hamid Karzai appointed him Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief.

Akbar Bai Incident

On 2 February 2008, about 50 of Dostum’s fighters reportedly attacked Akbar Bai, a former ally of Dostum who had become his rival.[26][27][28][29] In this attack, which occurred at Bai’s home, Bai, his son, and a bodyguard were said to have been beaten, and another bodyguard was said to have been shot. Early on 3 February, Dostum’s house was surrounded by police. Bai and the three others were freed and hospitalized. According to the authorities, the stand-off at Dostum’s home between his fighters and the police ended with Dostum’s agreement to cooperate with the authorities in an investigation of the incident.[31] Radio Free Europe reported on 6 February 2008 that Afghan Attorney-General Abdul Jabar Sabit said charges against Dostum were pending., Sabit said that the political and security situation would make it difficult to prosecute Dostum. The charges, according to Sabit, included kidnapping, breaking and entering, and assault. They were dropped by mutual consent and Dostum was reinstated by President Karzai.

“These are not political accusations — it is a criminal case … Anyone who commits a criminal act must be brought to justice,” Sabit says. But in reality, I must admit that there will be some difficulties. In this war situation, in many cases, it is difficult for us to implement the law … seven or eight [northern provinces could slide into civil war] if anyone touches even one hair on Dostum’s head.

According to a spokesman for the United National Front of Afghanistan, Sayed Hussain Sancharaki says that General Dostum has a high profile among his people and is one of the famous political and military figures of Afghanistan. He is Karzai’s chief of staff for the armed forces and he is a senior member of the United Front of Afghanistan. It is natural that any kind of action against him will have repercussions. The consequences will be very dangerous—catastrophic—for the stability of Afghanistan.”

Human Rights Watch spokesmen Sam Zia-Zarifi, called the charges a sign of Afghanistan’s “growing balkanization”. He asserted that the size of warlords private armies was increasing, fueled by illicit profits from Afghanistan’s Opium trade.

On 19 February, it was announced that Sabit had suspended Dostum from his position as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief after he failed to appear when summoned for the investigation. According to Dostum, this was “not in line with the law”, and he said that he would request Karzai’s intervention. Three allies of Dostum—Latif Pedram and two members of parliament—were also summoned for the investigation.

Time in Turkey

Some media reports beginning 4 December said that Dostum was “seeking political asylum” in Turkey  while others said he was exiled. One Turkish media outlet said Dostum was visiting after flying there with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan during a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Like most rumors spread about Dostum, it turned out to much less dramatic: Dostum was visiting his Ankara-based wife and children during the holiday of Eid.[citation needed] He continues to maintain strong ties with Turkey.

Political and social views

In most ethnic-Uzbek dominated areas in which Dostum has control or influence, he encourages women to live and work freely, as well as encouraging music, sports and allowing for freedom of religion.[citation needed] While Dostum was ruling northern Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover in 1998, women were able to go about unveiled, alcohol was sold freely, and the cinemas showed Indian films.

He views the NATO attempt to crush the Taliban as ineffective and has gone on record saying that he could mop up the Taliban “in six months”, if allowed to raise a 10,000 strong army of Afghan veterans. Senior Afghan government officials do not trust Dostum as they show great concern that Dostum is covertly rearming his forces.

Return to Afghanistan

Late at night on 16 August 2009, Dostum made a requested return from exile to Kabul to support President Hamid Karzai in his bid for re-election. The next day, the last day of campaigning, he flew by helicopter to his northern stronghold of Sheberghan, where he was greeted by 20,000 supporters in the local stadium. He subsequently made overtures to the United States, promising he could “destroy the Taliban and al Qaeda” if supported by the U.S., saying that “the U.S. needs strong friends like Dostum.”


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Parvin Etisami Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:11:52 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Parvin E’tesami (Persian: پروین اعتصامی, March 16, 1907– April 5, 1941), also Parvin Etesami was a 20th century Persian poet of Iran[1][2]. According to Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, her given name was Rakhshanda(Persian: رخشنده).


Parvin E’tesami was born in 1907 in Tabriz to Mirza Yusuf Etesami Ashtiani (E’tesam-al-Molk), who in turn was the son of Mirza Ebrahim Khan Mostawfi Etesam-al-Molk[3][4]. Mirza Ebrahim Khan Mostawfi Etesam-al-Molk was originally from Ashtiyan[5], but moved to Tabriz and was appointed financial controller of the province of Azerbaijan by the Qajar administration. Parvin had four brothers and her mother died in 1973.

Her family moved to Tehran early in her life, and in addition to the formal schooling, she obtained a solid understanding of Arabic and classical Persian literature from her father.

She studied at the American Girls College in Tehran, graduated in 1924 from the Iran Bethel, an American high school for girls. Afterwards, she taught for a while at that school. In 1926, she received an invitation to become the tutor of the queen of the new Pahlavi court, but she refused.

In 1934, she was married to a cousin of her father and moved to the city of Kermanshah. But the marriage only lasted for ten weeks and she returned back to Tehran.

In 1938-39 she worked for several months at the library of the Teacher Training College (Danesh-saraayeh ‘Ali). Her father’s death in 1938 bereft Parvin of his loving support and virtually severed her contact with the outside world. Her sudden death only three years after her father shocked the country and was mourned in many elegies. She was buried near her father in Qom.


Parvin was around seven or eight years old when her poetic was revealed. Through her fathers encouragement, she versified some literary pieces which were translated from western sources by her father. In 1921-22, some of her earliest known poems were published in the Persian magazine Bahar (Spring). The first edition of her Diwan (book of poetry) compromised 156 poems and appeared in 1935. The famous poet and scholar Mohammad Taqi Bahar wrote an introduction to her work. The second edition of her book, edited by her brother Abu’l Fatha Etesami, appeared shortly after her death in 1941. It consisted of 209 different compositions in Mathnawi, Qasadia, Ghazal, and Qeta, and stanzaic forms. It totaled 5606 distiches.

In her short life, she managed to achieve great fame amongst Iranians. Parvin’s poetry follows the classical Persian tradition its form and substance. She remained unaffected or perhaps ignored the modernistic trends in Persian poetry. In the arrangement of her poetry book, there are approximately 42 untitled Qasidas (a form of Persian poetry) and Qet’as (another form of Persian poetry). These works follower a didactic and philosophical styles of Sanai and Naser Khusraw. Several other Qasidas, particularly in the description of nature show influences from the poet Manuchehri. There are also some Ghazals in her Diwan.

According to Professor Heshmat Moayyad, her Safar-e ashk (Journey of a tear) counts among the finest lyrics ever written in Persian.

Another form of poetry, the monazara (debate) claim the largest portions of Parvin’s Divan. She composed approximately sixty-five poems in the style of monazara and seventy-five anecdotes, fables, and allegories. According to Professor Heshmat Moayyad: “Parvin wrote about men and women of different social backgrounds, a wide-ranging array of animals, birds, flowers, trees, cosmic and natural elements, objects of daily life, abstract concepts, all personified and symbolizing her wealth of ideas. Through these figures she holds up a mirror to others showing them the abuses of society and their failure in moral commitment. Likewise, in these debates she eloquently expresses her basic thoughts about life and death, social justice, ethics, education, and the supreme importance of knowledge“.


Among editions of her diwan the following may may be mentioned: ed. H. Moayyad, Costa Mesa, Calif., 1987 (includes a new introduction, a letter by Abu’l-Fathá Etesami, dated 20 April 1986, and a bibliography); ed. M. Mozaffariann, Tehran, 1364/1985; ed. A. Karimi, with an introduction by S. Behbahani, Tehran, 1369 ˆ./1990.

A partial English translation may be found in: H. Moayyad and M. A. Madelung, tr. A Nightingale’s Lament, Lexington, Ky, 1985 (tr. of eighty-two of Parvin’s poems).
Source: Wikipedia

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Haji Mohamamd Mohaqiq Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:34:52 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Haji Mohamamd Mohaqiq

Hajji Mohammad Mohaqiq is the founder and chairman of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan. He took an active part in the war against the invading Soviet Union to Afghanistan in 1979. He was fighting the Soviet Army from the northern parts of the country in the Balkh Province.

After the withdrawal of Soviet Union from Afghanistan in 1989, Ustad Mohaqiq was appointed as the Wahdat Party leader in the Northern Zone.

He is amongst the few Mujahideen leaders who never left the country. Even when Taliban controlled 95 per cent of Afghanistan’s soil, he was fighting against them in Dar-e Suf in Samangan Province and in Yakawlang and Panjab of Bamiyan Province.

After the fall of Taliban, he was elected as one of the five key members of the government under the Bonn Agreement in December 2001. He was appointed as the Vice-President and the Minister of Planning in the interim government of Afghanistan.

Ultimately, due to some differences between him and the Hamid Karzai (President) and Ashraf Ghani (former Finance Minister), he was ousted from the cabinet by Hamid Karzai.

Ustad Mohaqiq was a prominent Presidential candidate in the Presidential Election of 2004.[1] In some provinces like Kabul, Bamiyan, Daikundi, and even in Iran amongst the Afghan refugees over there, he got the majority of the votes. Finally, he came in third position after Hamid Karzai and Yunus Qanuni with 11.7 percent of the votes.

He is currently a Member of Parliament and the chairman of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan.

Recently in the wake of Kuchi (Pashtun nomads) invasion to the Hazara villages in Behsud and Daimirdad of Wardak Province and the indifference of the Government and the international community to this tragic event, he went onto a hunger strike protesting peacefully and in a civilized manner against this invasion and negligence on the part of government, security agencies and the international community present in Afghanistan.

In July 2008 around 10,000 Hazara people came out on the Kabul streets in support of Ustad Mohaqiq and protested against the invasion of Kuchis and discrimination by the government.[2]

Finally with the decree of the President, Hamid Karzai, for a temporary removal of invading Kuchis from Hazara villages, and requests from various Mujahideen leaders and the people to end the hunger strike, Ustad Mohaqiq ended his 8-day hunger strike.

In January 2009 an article by Ahmad Majidyar of the American Enterprise Institute included Mohaqiq on a list of fifteen possible candidates in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election.[1]

Mohaqiq was one of the most powerful supporters of president Hamid Karzai in 2009 election.

In 2010, Mohaqiq broke with Karzai and became an outspoken opponent of his policy of appeasement towards the Taliban insurgency: “The new political path that Karzai has chosen will not only destroy him, it will destroy the country. It’s a kind of suicide.”[3]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Ahmad Majidyar (2009-01). “Afghanistan’s Presidential Election”. American Enterprise Institute. Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. “Mohaqiq is the chairman of Hezb-e Wahdat. He took an active part in the Afghan jihad against the Soviets and joined the Northern Alliance to fight the Taliban. He served as planning minister in Karzai’s cabinet, and his party recently joined the UNF. He contested the 2004 presidential election and came in third with 11.7 percent of the votes. He is said to run as an independent candidate.”
  2. ^,463af2212,47b9986c2,4889d087c,0.html
  3. ^ “Minority leaders leaving Karzai’s side over leader’s overtures to insurgents”

Source: Wikipedia

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Amrullah Saleh Thu, 23 Sep 2010 08:48:56 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Amrullah Saleh

Amrullah Saleh or Amarullah Saleh (Persian: امرالله صالح) was the head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security. In 1997, at the age of 24, he was appointed by Ahmad Shah Massoud to lead the United Front’s (Northern Alliance) office in Dushanbe. After the fall of the Taliban regime, Saleh was appointed by President Hamid Karzai in early 2004 to lead the National Directorate of Security, succeeding Muhammad Arif Sarwari. He is an ethnic Tajik.


Saleh was born in the Panjshir Province of Afghanistan. He has worked for the United Front (Northern Alliance) under Ahmad Shah Massoud in the past. In 1997 he was appointed to lead Massoud’s Dushanbe office, where he served as an informal ambassador and coordinator of non-governmental organizations also handling contacts to the CIA. With the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States and the beginning of the US-led war in Afghanistan, Saleh helped lead United Front intelligence in Afghanistan. The newly created Afghan interim government took over Afghanistan’s existing intelligence apparatus, the National Directorate of Security (NDS); while Sarwari became director, Saleh was appointed to head Department One, whose duties included liaison with foreign military, diplomatic, and intelligence organizations. Sarwari and Saleh reportedly had a falling out over the latter’s enthusiasm for greater reform, leading to Saleh’s assignment to a lesser post in late 2003. Sarwari was removed from his post as leader of the NDS in early 2004 amidst various criticism that he had, amongst other things, abused his powers, worked against the government, and that the NDS had committed human rights violations. Amrullah Saleh was appointed as Sarwari’s successor by President Hamid Karzai in 2004. In June 2010 Saleh resigned from his position.

National Directorate of Security

Saleh helped rebuild the Afghan intelligence service and was considered as someone in the Afghan government with a clear understanding of the security challenges facing the country.[1] The United States considered Saleh and former interior minister Hanif Atmar two of the most effective ministers in Karzai’s Cabinet.[1]

On June 6, 2010, Amrullah Saleh resigned from the NDS after a militant attack against the national peace jirga. (The attack was thwarted and none of the assembly participants was hurt.)[1] Interior minister Hanif Atmar resigned the same day as Saleh. A few days after the jirga, Karzai had summoned Hanif Atmar and Amrullah Saleh to discuss the attack against the Jirga. Both men officially resigned because of the failure to stop the attack on the jirga.[2][3][4] CNSNews writes: “Saleh told reporters he had submitted his resignation as general director of National Security because he had lost Karzai’s trust as a result of the attack. He said he and Atmar had briefed the president on the security preparations for the jirga, and the subsequent “success in … capturing the facilitators,” but Karzai had not been satisfied. He had therefore felt unable to continue in his post. He also said there were “tens” of reasons for leaving his position, but would not elaborate on others.”[5] The two men’s resignation/removal lead to widespread concerns among Afghanistan experts.[1] Their departure raised concerns about the direction in which the country is moving.[5] President Karzai’s national security adviser, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, was quoted as saying:

“With Amrullah Saleh, the Afghan people have lost a huge treasure of commitment, awareness and experience in this struggle against terrorism, Al Qaeda and the ISI. I can’t think of anyone who will be able to even slightly fill the vacuum that he leaves behind. Besides being a highly efficient chief at the N.D.S., he is a man of knowledge and research with an incredible memory and intellect. When he analyzed issues at international meetings, he exhibited tremendous ability at logical reasoning. He was head and shoulder above others. … I had many differences in arguments with him, but I always saw his presence at the N.D.S. as a huge advantage to this country and this government. Despite my high respects for the president’s decisions, I am extremely mournful about Saleh’s departure. Extremely mournful.”[6]

—Rangin Dadfar Spanta, June 2010

The Afghan media also extensively covered the resignations with the daily newspaper Hasht e Subh headlining an article: “Resignation of Atmar and Saleh: Accountability to the People or Tribute to Pakistan?”[7]

The resignation of Saleh and Atmar came amidst heavy disagreement between Hamid Karzai and Amrullah Saleh on how to proceed against the Taliban.[8] “I’m sure the disagreement between the two men and the president have been going on for awhile,” said Daoud Sultanzoi, a member of Parliament from Ghazni who is a businessman and is viewed as independent.[9] Saleh publicly blamed the Pakistani government and army for its support of the Taliban and other extremists groups.[9] Meanwhile Karzai has been moving closer to Pakistani suggestions. Pakistan had repeatedly urged Karzai to oust Saleh from his position.[9]

Amrullah Saleh said he considered Hamid Karzai a patriot. But he said the president was making a mistake if he planned to rely on Pakistani support.[9]

“They are weakening him under the disguise of respecting him. They will embrace a weak Afghan leader, but they will never respect him.”[10]

—Amrullah Saleh, June 2010

Current Activity

In 2010 Saleh launched a peaceful campaign to warn that Hamid Karzai had lost conviction in the fight against the Taliban and was “recklessly” pursuing a compromise. In speeches he criticized Karzai’s appeasement policy, which he called a “fatal mistake and a recipe for civil war”, endangering democracy and women’s rights.[11]

External links


  1. ^ a b c d Rodriguez, Alex; Cloud, David S. (2010-06-07). “Afghan interior minister, top security official resign”. Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ “Officials Resign in Afghanistan Over Attack by Militants”. Associated Press. The New York Times. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-06. [dead link]
  3. ^ “Afghan interior minister, top security official resign – They take the blame for the Taliban’s attack on a peace assembly organized last week by President Hamid Karzai”
  4. ^ “Afghan interior, intel chiefs replaced over attack”
  5. ^ a b “Removal of Two Key Afghan Officials Seen As A Blow to the West”. CNSNews. 2010.
  6. ^ Afghan Media Criticize Security Officials’ Resignations
  7. ^ Mashal, Mujib (2010-06-14). “Afghan Media Criticize Security Officials’ Resignations”. New York Times.
  8. ^ “Former Afghanistan Intelligence Chief Says He Quit Because of President Karzai’s ‘Soft’ Policy on Taliban, Says: ‘This Soft Behavior Makes the Enemy’s Intention Even Stronger and Makes the Confidence of Friends Shaky'”
  9. ^ a b c d Rubin, Alissa J. (2010-06-06). “Afghan Leader Forces Out Top 2 Security Officials”. New York Times.
  10. ^ Karzai Is Said to Doubt West Can Defeat Taliban
  11. ^ “Minority leaders leaving Karzai’s side over leader’s overtures to insurgents”


Source: Wikipedia

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Dr. Omar Zakhailwal Wed, 15 Sep 2010 06:42:31 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Mohammad Omar Zakhailwal

Dr. Omar Zakhilwal (Pashto: ډاکتر عمر زاخيلوال ; born 1968), is an economist and a prominent politician in Afghanistan. He is the current Finance Minister as well as the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan.

Early life

Zakhilwal was born in 1968 in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. He is an ethnic Pashtun. In 1984, at the age of 17, Zakhilwal along with his family fled his country among the Afghan refugees and settled in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Education and academics

Dr. Zakhilwal obtained his Bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Winnipeg, in Manitoba, Canada. He then moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he earned a Master’s degree in economics at Queen’s University. Soon after that he found a job with Statistics Canada in Ottawa, where he completed a doctorate in economics at Carleton University. He graduated in 2001.[1]

Zakhilwal has published numerous articles and research papers on political, economic and social issues related to Afghanistan for some well known newspapers, magazines and journals such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Wahdat, Forum of Federation Quarterly, Human Rights Tribune, Al-Ehram, Afghan Post, Heela, Dawat, Mujahid Wolus, Afghan Mosaic, Afghan Mirror, and etc.[2] His work is in English, Pashto and Dari, and his articles are on the internet and can be accessed through any search engine.[3]

In Politics

Over the course of his stay in Afghanistan, Dr. Zakhilwal has been part of the two Loya Jirgas that elected the president for the Afghanistan Transitional Government (June 2002) and ratified Afghanistan’s Constitution (Dec 2003). served as an author of Afghanistan’s First National Human Development Report (released by UNDP in Feb 2005); and has been part of many other initiatives with respect to rural Development. He also worked as an Afghan counter-part to the North-South Institute-led “What Kind of Peace is Possible?” research project, examining the role of community led development in sustainable peace building, as well as working on a strategy for Counter-Narcotics Alternative Livelihood in Afghanistan. Moreover, he has done consulting work for the World Bank, UNDP, CIDA and other organizations.[3]

Dr. Omar Zakhilwal is the Minister of Finance as well as the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan. Prior to his current position, Dr. Zakhiwal served as the President of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), a member of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, Acting Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and the Chief Advisor to the Minister of Rural Development of Afghanistan.[1]

Since 2003, Dr. Zakhilwal has been part of many initiatives pertaining to economics and development issues in the country. He was the author of the first Afghanistan National Human Development Report, released by UNDP in February 2007. He also worked as an Afghan counterpart to the Ottawa based North-South community-led development project in sustainable peace building, as well as on a number of other development related initiatives. Moreover, he has done consulting work for the World Bank, UNDP, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and other organizations.[1]

Work History

Zakhilwal’s Posts[1][2][2]
Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan
Ministry of FinanceFinance Minister
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB)Chairman
Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA)President
Transport and Civil AviationActing Minister
Da Afghanistan BankMember of the Supreme Council
Minister of Rural Development of AfghanistanThe Chief Advisor
Government of CanadaSenior Research Economist
Carleton University in OttawaProfessor of Economics
Board of Directors of Partnership Afghanistan CanadaPresident


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b

Source: Wikipedia

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Sayed Mustafa Kazemi Sun, 12 Sep 2010 07:49:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Sayed Mustafa Kazemi

Sayed Mustafa Kazemi (c. 1962 – November 6, 2007) (سید مصطفی کاظمی ) from Parwan was a prominent Afghan politician. He was one of the leaders and the spokesmen for the opposition movement known as the United National Front. He was a former minister of commerce in the Afghan Transitional Government. Kazemi was amongst a delegation of politicians and lawmakers killed in a suicide bomb attack in Baghlan, northern Afghanistan, on November 6, 2007

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Ahmad Shah Masoud Sat, 11 Sep 2010 01:16:02 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Ahmad Shah Masoud

Ahmad Shah Massoud was born 10.06.1332 (01.09.1953)[2] in Jangalak[3]/ Panjsher[5]as son of police commander Dost Mohammad Khan. At the age of five, he started grammar school at Bazarak and stayed there until second grade. Since his father was promoted to be police chief of Herat, he attended 3rd and 4th grade at the Mowaffaq School in Herat. He also got religious education at the so-called “Masjed-e-Jame”[6] mosque in Herat. Later his father was moved to Kabul so he attended intermediate and senior grades at the Isteqlaal School in Kabul.

Since his childhood, he was considered exceedingly talented; from 10th grade on his school acknowledged his being a particularly gifted student.
His native tongue was Persian, but he was also fluent in French, Pashto, and Urdu. Furthermore, he had a good working knowledge of the Arabic language.
Massoud: “For me, North, South, Persian, Pashto is absolutely meaningless. In our home, we can talk in every language.“
He always inspired his peers with his love for culture and sports.
1346/47 (1967/68), the then 14 year old Massoud put together the first volleyball team in his home-village Jangalak. During summer breaks, he organized volleyball tournaments that were attended by youngsters from Jangalak and the neighbouring villages.

His humble, open-minded, and disciplined character made him not only popular but also a natural leader among his many friends.
Massoud[7]: “We lived in Karte Parwan, where I had some very good friends. We were about 50 to 60 people. At that time I was in 7th grade at the Lycée Isteqlaal[8], where I was in charge of the team.”

Massoud had many interests, which he could not spend any more time on later. His favourite sports were soccer, horse riding, swimming and Karate. He was also the dedicated coach for a soccer team, which was composed mostly of his friends from Karte Parwan.
Moreover, he was a passionate chess player and reader. Among his favourite literature in prose were books of travels and works about history. For lyrics, he favoured the writings of Mowlaanaa Jalaluddin-e Balkhi[9] Sanayi Ghaznawi, Bedil, and Hafiz.

Massoud: “I love Hafiz’ poems. I always read them. They change and inspire me. Music talks to the innermost feelings of a human being. Poetry and music have influence on every one.”

1351 (1972) he formed a mathematics course which was called “Aarian”, which met in the close vicinity of his domicile in Baharestan-e Jami – a part of Karte Parwan in Kabul. Not only had his classmates taken advantage of this course but all students who lived there.

Questioned, how his interest for politics came about, Massoud said[10]: “My father had many friends who knew a lot about what was going on in the political world. They came to our home and had many discussions about national and international politics. Therefore, it was only natural that I became interested. These discussions and disputes had an influence on my future. My first political activities began when I was in 9th grade at Isteqlaal. “

The Communist movement started their first riots in Kabul’s schools when Massoud was in 8th and 9th grade. Since his beliefs were different, he had some problems with classmates who supported the communist viewpoint. To actively oppose a movement the inexperienced Massoud had not many options, since most political movements at that time were indeed squabbling among each other but what they all had in common was that they were leftist. So he became aware of the Islamic movement.

1352 (1973) after passing the entrance examination for academic education, Massoud – according to his preferences – enrolled at Kabul Polytechnic Institute for Engineering and Architecture.

That year he also officially joined the „Hezb-e Jamiat-e Islami“(Jamiat-e Islami party) and were acquainted with Engineer Habib Rahman, who was at the forefront of the Islamic movement.

During the time of the Daoud[11] regime, which was considered to be too close to communism and therefore the Soviet Union, the first plans for an insurrection under the command of Habib Rahman and with Massoud’s participation were made. Those plans were exposed and Rahman was jailed for 6 months; Massoud fled Kabul. Hekmatyar, who commanded military activities of the Jamiat-e Islami at that time, was convinced that terrorism would be successful. He did not exclude planting bombs, acid attacks, and assassination of political enemies as a means to achieve their goals. Even then, Massoud voiced his dislike also of Islamic extremism, a concept, which some in the movement shared.

Massoud and Hekmatyar subsequently had vehement disputes since Massoud absolutely opposed terrorist activities. He saw in them just the destruction of the people he actually wanted to serve.

Ahmad Wali Massoud about his brother:[12] “He was in any case a Muslim. At the same time, he was moderate. What I want to say is that he was never an extremist, neither in his private nor political life. He believed that a modern moderate Islam could work in Afghanistan. He said that the extreme left or right failed in Afghanistan, since both had neglected the needs of the people. Therefore, we could not govern Afghanistan like any traditional Muslim country. “

In 1353 (1973/1974) the Hezb-e Jamiat ordered Hekmatyar to try another insurrection. It also failed and ended with hundreds of students put in jail.

Massoud was a diligent and determined student who nevertheless concentrated on his studies. His goal was to successfully complete his university education in order to serve his country and its people.

Being warned by his uncle, military commander Abdul-Razaq Khan, a high-ranking official in Daoud’s government, about his impending arrest, Massoud left the Polytechnic Institute an, together with Engineer Jaan Mohammad, went to Pakistan for the first time in 1353 (1974). After some time, Massoud was ordered to resume his political activities in Kabul. These activities, i.e. trying to win over the government forces for the cause, took him until 1354 (1974), when the first armed rebellion in Panjsher took place. The Hezb-e Jamiat, led by the then 22-year-old Massoud, was able to conquest the whole Panjsher – with some casualties – and disarm the government forces.

Hekmatyar had promised Massoud that as soon as some terrain outside Kabul had been conquered, the army would march out and a military coup d’état would happen. Massoud and his troops had been betrayed, though, since this information was wrong and therefore the resistance forces in Panjsher had to give up. Only a handful of men could escape. Massoud went back to Kabul after a month and from there he went to Peshawar in Pakistan where he had to lie low as well, since he was also observed by the Pakistani secret service.

After the failed insurrection, the party’s mood changed. Some members had backed the insurrection; others thought it had been a mistake since it was uncoordinated. Finally this dispute led to a split of the Jamiat into two groups. Those who opposed the insurrection – among them Massoud – stayed with Rabani. The others joined Hekmatyar.

The two groups sometimes became reconciled then drifted apart again, until they finally reunited and declared Qaazi Amin e Waqa‘ as leader of both groups. Hekmatyar disclosed all his enemies to the Pakistani government; he had them arrested and murdered. Eng. Jaan Mohammad was one of those who where among the betrayed. Hekmatyar and his Pakistani mentors, Kelo and Babor, also had Massoud, who stayed at Hekmatyar’s home at that time, arrested. When Massoud realized how dangerous the situation was, he threatened the Pakistani guards using two pistols he always carried with him and managed to get away; officially, he stayed in Pakistan until Zia Ullhaq seized power.

After these incidents, the Hezb-e Jamiat decided to act independently. Massoud was again sent into action in Kabul until the communist insurrection in 1357 (1978). His closest confidants only knew the fact that Massoud did not exclusively stay in Pakistan. According to one of his closest friends, he also spent some time in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces in order to escape the Kabul police’s attention.

Massoud went to Nooristan and other areas where the war had just started. He wanted to find out about the Afghans’ opinion regarding the war against the Communists. As soon as he was sure about their determination he departed with a group of 20 young men to Panjsher in 1358 (1979 – Soviet invasion in Afghanistan). In Konar, where their comrades had already begun resistance, they were welcomed heartily. Since Massoud’s men only were scarcely armed, they were given some weapons, which their comrades in Konar had captured, from the Soviet soldiers.
Still not sufficiently armed Massoud and his troop marched on to Panjsher, Massoud’s home. Eyewitnesses report that Massoud contacted all the elders of the villages in the region to gain information about the willingness of people to fight, the weapons they had and how many volunteers there were. For Massoud and his fight to free his country and people from tyranny, the inhabitants of Panjsher were determined to do everything.

Despite everyone, whether old or young, man or woman being convinced that armed resistance was necessary and being therefore ready to fight, Massoud made sure that it was not the sole breadwinner of a family who was called to duty. He told to those who had volunteered that providing for their families was also an essential part of the resistance. Their enemy was a superpower and those who were weak or required help had to be protected; especially one’s own family.

Again, an armed insurrection in Panjsher took place, this time under Massoud’s leadership. The fight lasted 40 days, during which the whole Panjsher, Salang, and Bola Ghain could be freed from enemy troops. After these 40 days Massoud`s leg was injured and the fighters had no more weapons and ammunition. Despite 600 relief fighters from Nooristan, who came to help them, the enemy finally defeated them. Massoud went back to Panjsher with “Kaakaa” (uncle) Tajuddin. On pondering the outcome of the fight, Massoud decided to opt for a new tactic, guerrilla war. Massoud became the world’s best guerrilla warrior.

Robert D. Kaplan wrote in his book “The Soldiers of God” 1991: “Ahmad Shah Massoud has to be considered one of the greatest leaders of guerrilla movements in the 20th century. He defeated his enemy just like Marshall Tito, Hu Chi Minh and Che Guevara did. Massoud controlled a bigger terrain that was much more difficult to defend militarily and was under constant attack from the enemy. His territory suffered much more attacks from enemy forces than those areas which were under the control of the resistance movements of Tito, Hu Chi Minh, or Guevara.”

From that time on Massoud’s name was inseparably connected with the Panjsher, he proved to be the greatest resistance fighter in history against the Red Army, since Massoud caused 60 % of all damages and casualties of the Red Army according to international observers. He became the “Lion of Panjsher” and ruined the reputation of the “Invincible Red Army” as it was called. Many people simply called him “Amer Sahib” (commander) to express their affection as well as their respect[13].

Sebastian Junger writes[14]: “I found it impossible not to listen to Massoud when he spoke, even though I didn’t understand a word. I watched everything he did, because I had the sense that somehow-in the way he poured his tea, in the way his hands carved the air as he talked – there was some secret to be learned.”

His military success and the love of his people caused a lot of hatred and envy in others; especially Gulbuddin Hekmatyar became Massouds most hostile enemy.

Every one of those enemies made attempts on his life and tried everything to reach and kill him. Soviet officials had offered money for his capture, but because of his well functioning intelligence service all these attempts were thwarted.

1358 (1979), when his leg was severely wounded, Massoud’s resistance fighters were sieged by government troops, but he managed a narrow escape.

1359 (1980), a young soldier took advantage of the darkness and shot at Massoud’s car from a 3m distance. Massoud told him: “Friend, your hands are trembling and you are not used to shoot Anyone,” and let the attacker go.

1361 (1983) Soviet special troops had blocked the way out of the mountain tunnel near Malaspa in Panjsher. However, Massoud and his men managed a breakthrough and could slip away without attracting the Soviets attention.

1361 / 1362 (1983 / 84) – the year of truce between Massoud and the Red Army – the Soviets tried to murder Massoud employing two different tactics:

First, they tried to lure him into one of their camps in Onaba – a part of Panjsher – with promises of talks and negotiations, and then have him arrested. A Tajik interpreter thwarted this try. The second strategy was to have him assassinated by his own men. The Russians had bribed a mujahid named Abdul-Qader Naachaar, who was in charge of the Muajhideen’s food. He was told to poison Massoud, but could be apprehended in time.

Dr. Najibullah, later President and at that time chief of the Afghan government’s intelligence service, tried to murder Massoud with the help of a former classmate, Kamran. Dr. Najibullah knew Massoud since his youth in Kabul, he also knew how friendly, complaisant Massoud was, and how unceremoniously he welcomed friends. Kamran then was captain of the Afghan national soccer team. He went to Panjsher and spent a few days together with Massoud. Kamran finally understood Massoud’s reason to fight and handed over the specially muffled weapon he was given by the Afghan government to carry out the planned assassination. Kamran then took refuge in Germany and asked for political asylum.

1368 (1989), after a meeting of the commanders of the Shoraa-ye Nezaar in Farkhar Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami trapped the members of the Shoraa and and drew them into an ambush. Dozens of them were killed, among them several close friends and confidants of Massoud. Though Hekmatyar was able to stop the major offensive planned by the assembly, Massoud, who had been the main target of the ambush, could escape.

1372 (1993) when there was growing discord between him and Shoraa-ye Hamahangi, under the leadership of Hekmatyar, his helicopter was shot at by enemy jets (under the command of Shoraa-ye Hamahangi), but the helicopter’s pilot managed an emergency landing. After this attempt, Massoud decided to learn how to fly a helicopter. That same year he was ambushed in the region of Wazir Akbar Khan in Kabul and came under heavy fire, caused by Dostum’s militia.

1361 (1983), after two defeats of the whole Soviet military forces the then commander-in-chief of the Soviets agreed to negotiate with Massoud about a truce. Because of this move the Soviet Union officially recognized for the first time that the Mujaheddin[15], especially Massoud, were serious political opponents. The truce was considered by all experts to be one of the greatest triumphs of the Afghan resistance. It lasted one year.

Massoud made the most out of his success and was able to make a long journey around the northern regions of Afghanistan for the first time. This journey was very successful and therefore in winter 1362 (1984) Massoud was able to unite all resistance commanders, who were members of different parties, in a council, the so-called “Shoraa-ye-Nezaar” (Controlling Council). His goal was to build a united Afghan political strategy and united military forces that would not be guided by the parties, which were created in the neighbouring countries. The members of the Shoraa-ye-Nezaar fought for the common goal of a free Afghanistan.

Despite the fact that the Soviet attacks on Panjsher had resumed Massoud was convinced that Panjsher could offer resistance under the leadership of other commanders without his presence. He left the command of Panjsher to the former district attorney Abdul-Mahmood Daqiq. Furthermore, the regions Andaraab, Khost-e Fereng, Eshkamesh, Nahrin, and Keshm had been turned into strongholds by Massoud. They were now known as “Panj Sher” (Five Lions).

1366 (1987) the provinces Parwan and Kapisa could also be handed over to the command of Azimi, since Massoud had created an autonomous democratically structured administration, information and organisation system in those regions under his command. This was different from how the so-called “warlords” used to control their territory. It enabled Massoud to concentrate on the unification of all resistance forces, but his system also allowed the inhabitants of the different regions complete self-determination.

Massoud: “The future government should be formed through elections by the people. Men and women should take part. The only form of government, which can balance the different ethnicities, is democracy.”

Massoud had created an administration and legal system, which was unique in Afghanistan’s history. In the regions, he controlled the import and the use of any drugs or tobacco products – including cigarettes – were strictly forbidden. The prohibition was supported by the region’s inhabitants and lasted firstly until the entry into Kabul in 1992 and again from 1996 on until Massouds death. It also included the cultivation and manufacturing of these substances. The ban applied even to commanders and other high-ranking officials.

Massoud[16]: “Cigarettes have been banned since the beginning of the resistance against the Russians – for economic reasons. People smoke too much. The region spends too much money on cigarettes, and they don’t eat as much as they should.”

Eugen Sorg[17]:“In the areas you control, Opium is grown as well. We saw the fields in the villages.”

Massoud: “There are some cultures in Badakhshan province. Ismailites are living there, an islamic cult whose followers are addicted since centuries. They are planting drugs for their own use. But if you go to Chay Ab to the local jail, you will find Ghollam Salim there, a drug tycoon. In one raid we seized half a ton of Opium on his estate. Now he is in jail for the third year. Despite all his money and influence.”

1367 (1988), at the age of 35, Massoud married the daughter of his comrade Kaakaa Tajuddin. This fact was kept secret for security reasons. Even his longtime companions were not informed for several years.

Since Massoud did not want to tolerate the meddling of the Pakistani secret service ISI, he had to fight on different fronts. On one side, he had to put up resistance against the Soviet Union and the Afghan government, which depended on the Soviets, on the other side he had to fight Pakistan and their puppet Hekmatyar.

Massoud[18]: “Our policy was always to have good and friendly relations with everyone. But we never have accepted being oppressed and we will never accept it.”

In winter 1362 (1983/84), the communist Afghan regime brought about a trial “in absence”[19] in which Massoud was charged with high treason. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to Death. Even before their major attack on Panjsher, the government gave out information that “the court’s judgement had been executed,” meaning Massoud had been killed, and that “his group has been eradicated.” That strategy was meant to lower the morale among Massouds followers outside of Panjsher, especially in Kabul. It was also a tactic to outlaw Massoud.
Massoud anticipated that these actions would bring about heavy attacks on Panjsher.
After exhaustive conferences with representatives of every region of Panjsher, he decided that a total evacuation of Panjsher within a short time would be the best solution to avoid a massacre among the civilian population.
While in spring 1363 (1984) the Soviet Union planned their big attack on Panjsher. Therefore Massoud asked the inhabitants to evacuate the valley completely.
The people’s love for Massoud and their devotion to the resistance was infinite and therefore they were willing to make this enormous sacrifice for the cause. On Massoud‘s request up to 130.000 people, which was actually the whole civilian population of Panjsher, left their homes within two weeks. They left behind everything they had built up with great efforts during generations. It was not only one of the greatest sacrifices of the Afghan people but also passive resistance against the “almighty” Red Army and one of the reasons for the latter is defeat.

The Red Army was vanquished in Panjsher eight times between 1358 -1367 (1979 – 1988). The Soviet Union’s defeat was not only a defeat in Afghanistan, but led to the collapse of the Soviet system and was followed by the liberation of the Central Asian and Eastern European countries from Moscow’s control.

This caused international authors, e.g. Robert Kaplan in his book “Soldiers of God” to declare Massoud as the “Victor of the Cold War.”
Kaplan writes: “Until he is not forced to do so, Massoud does not decide to start battle. That was his strategy during the 14 years of resistance. With his victory over the Najibullah regime Massoud proved how much the planners and strategists of the American policy regarding Jihad[20] (generally) and the distribution of their help (to the parties involved) were wrong. Massoud’s genius and experience and the devoted support of his people enabled him to become the victor of the Cold War.” This also attributes the fall of the Berlin wall to Massoud.

After the last Soviet soldier had left Afghanistan on 25.11. 1368 (14.02.1989)[21], the”Shoraa-ye ?Aali-ye Farmaandehan-e Arshad-e Jahadi Afghanistan” (High Council of the Commanders of Islamic resistance forces of Afghanistan), which had been summoned by Massoud, met to decide on future proceedings in Afghanistan. This council took place on 17.07.1369 (09.10.1990) in Shah-Salim in the province of Badakhshan. From there Massoud went on a short, but at that time desicive journey to Pakistan to talk about the future government with the so-called “Shoraa-ye Rahbari” (Leading Council)[22], which had been formed to establish a new government in Afghanistan.

Despite being only scarcely equipped, never really sufficiently supplied on weapons and ammunition and of only limited financial means, he was able to win people’s hearts, to expand his radius of action, to inflict destructive blows on the communist regime until 1371 (1992) and finally free Kabul because of his moderate politics, which were not determined by fundamentalism. He succeeded in doing that without any help from the neighbouring countries. This was one reason why he became the “Hero of the Afghan resistance.”
In one of his last speeches as president Dr. Najibullah acknowledged that and declared that he would cede power to Massoud, although he was convinced that Massoud would not have a chance to build an efficient government, since Hekmatyar and the ISI would not allow that to happen.

In 1371 (1992) Massoud considered the Mujahedin forces to be unable to govern. However, after an exhaustive meeting of the Mujahedin leadership in Daalaan Sang / Panjsher he decided that the overthrow of the Kabul communist government was inevitable but should not be carried out immediately. Despite everyone agreeing with this plan, Hekmatyar objected and wanted to invade Kabul at once. In a recorded conversation[23], Massoud tried to convince Hekmatyar not to attack Kabul, since the government was ready to surrender, but Hekmatyar would not listen.
Before Massoud’s Mujahedin marched towards Kabul, he gave them distinct orders regarding their behaviour once they were in Kabul. He reminded them of their duties as protectors of Kabul’s population. It was especially important to him that his soldiers would treat people respectfully and that the Mujahedin would not be diverted from their tasks by living in Kabul.
After the last of the government’s positions in Bagram had been captured, Massoud’s troops marched into Kabul on late afternoon of 04.02.1371 (24.04.1992). This action had been forced; the attack was only conducted to prevent Hekmatyar’s men from entering the capital and cause danger for the population. The Hezb-e Islami followers could nevertheless enter the city. They broke up all prison doors, freeing even dangerous criminals. Ministries and their archives were pillaged; every file they could find was destroyed. Because of that, the new government was already in a bad starting position since important documents were missing.
In addition, there were now more than ten thousand heavily armed criminals in Kabul; the released prisoners had robbed the military depots. There was no army, no police, no intelligence service, not even intact buildings, and structures.
Dr. Najibullah, the former president, had asked for asylum in the Kabul UN office. Massoud had the building guarded by his own troops in order to prevent encroachments on Najibullah.

Friends of Massoud, who knew about his popularity among the population, asked him to form the new government and lead it himself. Although Kabul was surrounded by Massoud’s forces he handed over the responsibility to the political leaders and withdrew himself in order to give nobody reason to continue the war.
The leading council – before its arrival in Kabul – proclaimed Massoud president of the High Council of Commanders “Shoraa-ye Farmaandehan” and Defence Secretary via a radio message, on 05.02.1371 (25.04.1992). The new president, Mujadedi, and the cabinet, arrived in Kabul on 08.02.1371 (28.04.1992).
This represented not only a victory over the Soviet Union, but also over the secret service of Pakistan, the ISI. The Mujaheddin’s victory was a political defeat for the government of Pakistan, because it had always pinned its hopes on Hekmatyar and had supported him against Massoud.
This compelled Iran, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan to call for more power in the government for their respective party. With the interferences of these countries the war in Kabul started.
The respective governments exaggerated this war as “civil war,” in order to camouflage their interferences in Afghanistan. This had already been handled similarly by the Soviet Union.

Pakistan changed its tactics of influence and control with the help of different Arab states. The ISI created the Taliban[24] and equipped it with the entire power of the army of Pakistan. Exactly like the international terrorists, the troops of the Taliban were shifted over the border to Afghanistan into the southern provinces. The triangle of Taliban, Pakistan and international terrorists wanted to make Afghanistan a safe haven for their sinister machinations and just one man opposed them: Ahmad Shah Massoud. Even Bin Laden had to admit that and said that as long as this man alive was, no victory was possible.

Massoud’s family had also attracted the attention of the communist regime: his parent’s home had been seized and converted into a school. Now that Massoud was back in Kabul, he decided that the school should keep the house[25].
In 1372 (1993) Massoud created the “Bonyad-e Farhangi wa Ta’wani Mohammad-e Ghazali” (The cooperative Mohammad Ghazali culture foundation[26]). Massoud called all scientists, scholars, authors, and artists without consideration of their respective ideology to participate in this foundation. The commission for women made it possible for female Afghan artists – above all widows – to make a living through arts and crafts.
The department of family consultation was a free advisory board, which was accessible seven days a week for the indigent. The foundation’s department for distribution of auxiliary goods was the first partner of the Red Cross.
During the practice of their honorary activity two members died being hit by rockets of the Hezb-e Islami. The physicians of this foundation treated twice a week half-daily all those patients free of charge, who could not afford a physician‘s attendance. They also got the necessary medicines for a very small compensation or sometimes free of charge from the associated pharmacies.
After “Matbo’a ye Dawlatti” (the state publishing house) was burned down by Hezb-e Islami, all newspapers, magazines and weekly papers were printed by the printing-house of the Ghazali foundation. Massoud wanted to make sure that the freedom of press was ensured despite the difficult conditions. Although Massoud was responsible for the financing of the foundation, he did not interfere into its work. A council consisting of Gol Mohammd Yama, Dr. Mahdi, Haidari Wojoodi, Azizullah Ima, Engineer Said Yaqoob Nawid, Rahim Rafat and Sher Mohammad Khara in cooperation with the internationally well-known Afghan author Wasef Bakhtari led the foundation. The Ghazali foundation enabled Afghan artists to exhibit their works at different places in Kabul. Numerous artists and authors were honoured for their works; among others also Ustad Zabardast and Aziullah Ahmadi for best painting and Is’haaq Nangyaal for best poetry in Pashto.
Nangyaal was neither a proponent of Massoud nor the government. The jury however consisted of impartial university lecturers, who had made the quality of the works the center of their attention. That was exactly what Massoud wanted for the Afghan artists.

Establishing this foundation was one of Massoud’s most important achievements in the cultural field. He wanted cultural institutions to create a common ground for mutual understanding, far off from political ideologies.

The opponents of a sovereign Afghan government were now united in the “Shoraa ye Hamaahangi” (Council of Harmony), which had been forged by Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. On 11.10.1372 (01.01.1993), they tried an insurrection against the new Afghan government. Massoud, then Afghan Secretary of Defence, could strike down this insurrection, which was supported by substantial military force.

Hekmatyar, on behalf of the government of Pakistan, wanted to proclaim a “Confederation Pakistan – Afghanistan” under guidance of Pakistan. Thus, Afghanistan would have become a part of Pakistan and its independence would have been lost. Hekmatyar fought for this goal trying everything he could. The Pakistani government assigned Hekmatyar to take the city Kabul under rocket bombardment. This vigorous military support and influence by Pakistan went so far that daily up to 3.000 rockets were shot on Kabul, ten thousands civilians were murdered, and the city was nearly completely destroyed.
Meanwhile there were still Massoud‘s innumerable conferences, negotiations, discussions and agreements with the diverse parties, groups and alliances, which were patched together by neighbour states depending upon those countries’ interests. Against so many enemies, who constantly brought up new points, like ethnical affiliation, language, race or regional special rights, but under the cloak of making their demands and claims to power against the government had only one goal in mind – the destabilization of the government – even Massoud was powerless. Still he did not give up his efforts to find a peaceful solution. Massoud’s opponents conducted great military offensives, massive missile attacks and hidden psycho terror against the civilian population. Hekmatyar, whose own representative was acting as Prime Minister in Kabul, blocked all roads to Kabul and thus cut off the city from any supplies. Such extortionate measures served his own position since he hoped for support from the population.
By officially blaming Massoud for their dirty war, Hekmatyar and his followers effectively achieved character assassination, which resulted in Massoud continuously losing support among the population. The population of Kabul was now besieged, starved out, bombed, had rockets fired at them and lived like in a cage full of armed criminals. In this chaos, Massoud was expected and demanded to be fully in control.
Massoud tried everything to get Hekmatyar not to shoot on the civilian population of the city but only on military positions. However, since Pakistan knew that Massoud was not to be defeated militarily, its government continued with its inhumane policy. One year later Hekmatyar made Massoud‘s resignation the condition for the end of the war. Massoud consented, which did not entail however under any circumstances an end of the attacks on the part of the Hezb-e Islami, Hekmatyar’s party.
After Massoud had resigned from the office of Secretary of Defence, he assumed the command of the armed forces against the invasion from the neighbour states. The efforts of Pakistan to destroy the troops of Massoud had failed.
Pakistan could win members of the different parties for her cause by bribery and promises, which equalled a character assassination of the entire Afghan resistance among the population. Since every armed person in Kabul was considered to be Massoud‘s follower and whatever he did was regarded as Massoud’s responsibility. Forgotten was the political affiliation of those who had been bought by the Pakistanis to different parties and leaders.

In spring 1373 (1994) a conference in three parts was arranged. In the first meeting representatives from 15 different Afghan provinces met, in the second meeting there were already 25 provinces participating. From 29.04.-03.05.1373 (20.07.-25.07.1994) the conference of the High Islamic Council “Shoraa ye Aali Islami” was held as closing round of these three meetings.

Massoud had united political and cultural personalities, governors, commanders, clergymen and representatives of the Mujaheddin in this council, in order to deliberate about the future president and his tasks and to reach a personnel agreement. Massoud, like most people in Afghanistan, saw this conference as a small hope for democracy and for free elections. His favourite for candidacy to the presidency was Dr. Yosuf, the first democratic Prime Minister under Zahir Shah, the former king. To avoid any influence on the council it was decided that acting President Prof. Rabani should not appear at the conference. Rabani did not stick to this decision and participated nevertheless in the conference.This led to the fact that the influence of the president and his fundamentalist followers grew to such a substantial extent that no decision about the future presidency could be reached.

Meanwhile the Taliban conquered and acquired one area after another, until they finally stood at the gates of Kabul. They also conquered the terrain of Hekmatyar, Pakistan’s former favourite. Although Massoud enjoyed a high reputation within the Leading Council and his negative attitude for Hekmatyars opinions was well known, he had to accept Hekmatyar‘s entry in Kabul silently, since there were a lot of fundamentalists within the government, which endorsed Hekmatyar‘s politics. These fundamentalists had invited Hekmatyar to Kabul, who otherwise had lost everything, so he could take over his office as Prime Minister, despite the fact that he had tried his utmost within the last years to destroy that very government. Therefore, Massoud had enemies within his own camp that he could not subdue.

At the beginning of 1375, (1996) Massoud went without company[27] to Maydan Shahr, Hekmatyar’s former stronghold, in order to induce the Taliban, which were represented by Mullah Rabani, to end the war. It was decided there, that the representatives of the Taliban should come to Kabul, to confer about the differences between the government and the Taliban and to find a possible solution. That happened and the decision was made those 40 representatives of the clergy, who should represent the government, should again meet with 40 representatives of the Taliban for further and more comprehensive consultation. The government expressed its readiness repeatedly, but without any reaction from the Taliban. Instead, they started their massive offensive against the government and against Kabul. The fact that Massoud had been able to leave their camp alive was very much regretted by the Taliban’s leadership. Mullah Rabani paid with his life for this lost opportunity to eliminate Massoud.

When on 04.07.1375 (26.09.1996) the city of Kabul came under solid bombardment from the Taliban, Al Qaida[28] and Pakistan, Massoud ordered the retreat of the entire armed forces from Kabul, although he would have militarily been able to hold the city by street fights for an infinite time. For the protection of the civilian population of Kabul however, he preferred a retreat to Panjsher.

Hekmatyar, who now had no more support from the ISI and who still was the official Prime Minister of the Afghan government, had no other option than to seek protection in Panjsher under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Massoud gave him, like all other ministers and government members, safe-conduct abroad. Hekmatyar flew to Iran and stated then, Massoud had intended to have him assassinated in Panjsher through a terrorist attack.
At a time where everyone friend or foe regarded that retreat as the irrevocable victory of the Taliban and the end of the Afghan resistance, that resistance started anew. When all other leaders already were abroad, the Afghan people, regardless of political, ethnical, ideological pr religious ties, fought for their freedom under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud.
When Massoud was asked by his brother Ahmad Wali in a telephone conversation to leave the country, something the political leadership insisted upon, he said: “Is it just that when we were in Kabul leading the country, when we had the people’s consent, we promised to protect them, to defend our independence and to take care of Afghanistan and its people and now that these people are in great danger we would leave them? Is this really justice? I do not think it is justified. I will stay in this country until my last breath and resist. I am convinced that, God willing, Afghanistan one day will be free.”

The five-year resistance under Massoud against the Taliban, Bin Laden and Pakistan was one of the most impressive fights of the Afghan history.
Massoud’s unparalleled skills in commanding an army, his tactical and strategical superiority, and his political ability earned him the nickname “Eagle of the Hindu Kush.”

In winter 1375 (1996) Massoud was in a position to unite all opponents of the Taliban under his guidance in the first so-called “Jab-e Nejaat-e Melli bara-ye Aazaadi Afghanistan” (Front of National Rescue for the liberation of Afghanistan) and “Jabh-e Motahed-e Melli” (National United Front). This union did not consist, as spread in the Pakistani media and later in the West, of a “Northern Alliance,” thus only the “northern states” of Afghanistan, but included resistance forces from all parts of the country. The best-known members of the United Front were:
From the Northern provinces were Haji Rahim, Commander Piram Qol, Haji Mohammad Mohaqeq, General Dostum, Qazi Kabir Marzban, Commander Ata Mohammad and General Malek. From the east were Haji Abdul Qadir, Commander Hazrat Ali, Commander Jaan Daad Khan and Abdullah Wahedi. From the northeast areas, Commander Qatrah and Commander Najmuddin participated. From the southern provinces, there were Commander Qari Baba, Noorzai, and Hotak. From the western and southwest provinces came General Ismail Khan, Doctor Ibrahim, and Fazlkarim Aimaq. From central Afghanistan Commander Anwari, Said Hussein Aalemi Balkhi, Said Mustafa Kazemi, Akbari, Mohammad Ali Jawed, Karim Khaili, Commander Sher Alam, and Professor Rassul Sayaf were members of this union.
Therefore, there never existed an alliance that was only composed of leaders coming from the north, which would justify the name “Northern Alliance.” By using such propaganda, the claim of the Afghan resistance to represent the whole of Afghanistan was questioned and discredited.

During all the years of resistance against the Soviet Union and later the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Massoud was well known for his benevolent treatment of prisoners. They were given the same food like the Mujahedin, were allowed to move freely within Panjsher and to see visitors as well as write and send letters.
Mullah Yar Mohammad, a Taliban leader, said after being released from imprisonment by Massoud’s troops: “Massoud really is the son of the Afghan nation. He already fought once and now again he fights a foreign invader.”

1376 (1997) Massoud summoned again a conference under his leadership to decide on the future Prime Minister. Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai, who was not affiliated with any party, was the candidate at that time and without dissenting votes was elected as new Prime Minister. The new official and his political program were introduced via TV in Balkh. His program was cordially received by wide sections of the population. After the failed conference in Herat 1373 (1993), this was again a first step towards a new popular government.
Massoud had the Afghan army equipped with newly acquired military uniforms and advanced after a few large offensive to the gates of Kabul. However, exactly at that time the new Prime Minister’s airplane crashed over Bamiyan. By Ghafoorzai‘s death, Massoud lost his hope for a stable government in Kabul.

After awhile Massoud withdrew his troops from the north of Kabul again to Panjsher, since he did not intend to march into Kabul this time without having formed a government before which would be acceptable for all especially for the civilian population.

After the retreat from Kabul and the following stream of refugees, which had multiplied the number of inhabitants in Panjsher, with the help of international organizations Massoud could build several schools in Panjsher, among them also some girlschools. His means were very scarce and the accommodation provisional, however this was his only possibility to ensure education for the children.

When Massoud spoke about international terrorism, Al Qaida and Bin Laden, almost nobody in the West could envision what that meant[29].

In the year 1377 (1998) Olivier Roy and Christoph De Ponfilly wrote in an essay: “Massoud never understood why CIA and Pentagon decided to support his enemy Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the fight against him. Massoud always dreamed of a united and equal people in Afghanistan and also of free elections in this country.”

On the insistence of delegates who had the opportunity to meet Massoud, and who were convinced by his opinion and the proof for foreign interference, Massoud was invited by the European Parliament in April 2001 to come to Paris and draw attention to his fight in Afghanistan. For his long standing efforts – especially for womens’ rights – the president of the European Parliament, Nicole Fontaine, called Massoud the “pole of freedom”.

Roy & Ponfilly: “Ahmad Shah Massoud is, contrary to today’s political personalities, in no case on the search for a task to which he is not up to. It is correct that Massoud talks to those who visit him; he does however not do anything that would cause them to visit him. It is difficult to make Massoud talk to the media. He permits filming him since he has nothing to hide.”

Massoud appealed to all nations not to leave the Afghan people alone in their resistance, for if Afghanistan would lose against terrorism the whole world would lose. Only a few months later it turned out clearly that Massoud had been right.

Changiz Palewan: “Afghanistan is grateful for this resistance. The international community is grateful for this resistance. In fact, the whole region is grateful for this resistance. For centuries, there was no leader in the region, who brought unity. There was no one, not in Iran nor anywhere else. Afghanistan gave us this leader.”

Two foreign suicide assassins, who had camouflaged themselves as journalists murdered Ahmad Shah Masood on the 18.06.1380 (09.09.2001) in Khoaja Bahauddin in the Takhar province. On 24.06.1380 (15.09.2001), he was buried on the hill of Saricha in Panjsher. He himself had selected this place for his burial place before. Altogether, he spent 31 of 48 years of his life serving his country and his people and he knew that he would also lose his life in that service.

Sebastian Junger remarks”: Despite him not being able to see the defeat of the Taliban, his war is finally won.”

A wife and six children survive Massoud.

Posthumously the Afghan Interim Government under president Karzai awarded him the title of “Hero of the Afghan Nation.”

Reza: “Life is beautiful, my friend. I strongly believe this. One can kill a man, destroy his body, eradicate his flesh and blood, but not extinguish his thoughts.”


[1] The name has different forms of spelling; all combinations are used from the following options: Ahmad / Ahmed / Akhmad / Achmad, Shah / Schah / Chah, Massoud / Massud / Massood / Mas’ud.

[2] According to the calendar “The Lion of Afghanistan“ published by the office of culture and education of the Shaid Ahmad Shah Massoud Foundation “Daftar-e Farhangi wa Amozeshi Bonyad-e Shahid Ahmad Shah Massoud“ for the year 1382 (2003/2004)

[3] Also, found in several different spellings like Jungalak.

[4] Also written as Panjshir.

[5] Also found written as “Jami.”

[6] From an extensive interview with authors Farzan and Ghiasi; published under the title “Marde Ostuwaar wa Omedwaar ba Ofoq haaye dur” ( A resolute man, hoping for far horizons)

[7] Comparable to Highschool; as first foreign language French was taught at that school.

[8] Also known as Mowlaanaa Jalaluddin-e Balkhi Rumi since he lived in Turkey for several years.

[9] From the interview with Farzan / Ghiasi.

[10] First president of Afghanistan 1351 – 1357, abolished the monarchy through an insurrection; he was the cousin of the then king Zahir Shah. His name also exists in various spellings as Dawood, Daood oder Dawud.

[11] From an interview with Brigitte Sommer, the full text can be found on

[12] It should not be overlooked that this title had been invented by the people and was only later used by the media and by several authors.

[13] From an interview with an engl. newspaper.

[14] This is the plural of the word Mujahed: Also written as Mujahedin, Mujahideen, Mujahiddeen, Mudschahedin, Mudschaheddin, Mudschahidin, Mujahidin. The dictionary translates as follows: effort, exertion, struggle for faith, self- control, and castigation.

[15] From an interview with Pepe Escobar

[16] The complete interview was published in “Frankfurter Rundschau“ under the title “Das Vermächtnis des Löwen“

[17] From an interview with Payame Mujahid

[18] The trial was broadcast in Kabul evening TV. It was less a trial but more a sentencing with the outcome already decided.

[19] Written also as Jehad or Jahad; for its meaning see Mujahideen.

[20] To let the goodbye ceremonies for the Soviet soldiers happen in their full glory, the communist regime declared that the Islamic celebration after the Fasting Month of Ramadan, which was due the exact same day, had moved one day further.

[21] In this council, all seven groups, including Hezb-e Islami and Hezb-e Jamiat-e Islami, participated. It was decided that after a 3-month term of office by Mujadedi Prof. Rabani would take over the presidency and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar would become Prime Minister.

[22] The conversation was broadcast several times on Afghan TV.

[23] “Taleb” means a student who strives for Islamic religious education; the plural is “Taliban”; the terms are also written “Talib” and “Taliban.”

[24] In this school children from first to eighth grade were taught in two shifts; its name was “Maktab-e Ebteda’yi Amir Scher Ali Khan”.

[25] Mohammad Ghazali 450 – 505 (1058 – 1111), author, theologian, philosopher and Sufi; his most famous work is “Kimiya-ye Sa’adat” (The Elixir of Bliss).

[26] This was a request by the Taleban. Massoud agreed to it to demonstrate his peaceful and cooperative intentions.

[27] Al Qaeda is a terror network, founded by Osama bin Laden (also Usama bin Ladin). Al Qaeda means “the base”.

[28] In contrast to that, countries like Pakistan and the USA tried very hard to have Massoud surrender his weapons to the Taleban and cease resistance. Unlike the invasion by the Soviet Union, the Pakistani invasion was not even recognized in western media.

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Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara Wed, 08 Sep 2010 06:03:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara

Historian, writer and intellectual, Faiz Mohammed “Hazara” was among the renown group of Afghans seeking social and political changes in the country, at the beginning of the 20th century. He was a member of what became known as Junbish-i Mashrutiyat or The Constitutionalist Movement.

He is the son of Sa’eed Mohammed Hazara of Ghazni province of Afghanistan. Born in Qarabaq, Ghazni in 1279 Lunar year, Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb passed away in 1349 Lunar year in Kabul. 24th of September, 2007 (2nd of Mizan 1386 LHY) was contemporary with 78th anniversary of Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara’s death, the immortal and permanent teacher in the history of Afghanistan. Being a religious undertaking figure, he lived for about seventy years, and wrote many precious works. His unpublished works written by his nice Naste-aligh handwriting are present inside and outside Afghanistan. Faiz Mohammed is, perhaps best known for his history book of Afghanistan called “Sarajul Tawarikh”, which provides one of the best references on the 19th century Afghanistan history.

The book was written by the encouragement of the court of Amir Habibullah Khan. He was a court clerk, initially, thus the title of Kateb (clerk) in his name. Faiz Mohammed was also the biographer of the Amir. Amir Habibullah Khan imprisoned him in Sherpur for his political activities and his role in the Constitutionalists Movement. But was soon released by the Amir due to their personal friendship and for having labored to author the famous ‘Sirajul Tawarikh’. Beside Sirajul Tawarikh (5 volumes), he worte the following books:

1-Tuhfatul Habib: Afghan History (1747-1880), in two volumes. (The original script, hand-written by Faiz Mohammed, exists in the National Archive in Kabul)

2- Faiz-i az Fayoozat

3- Tazkeratul Enqilaab: accounts of the days of Habibullah, Bacha-e Saqaw

4- History of Ancient Prophets/Rulers, from Adam to Jesus (in Dari)

Kateb Hazara proceeded writing history as ordered by an Emir. Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb was a person who has described the situations of his time elaborately, particularly he has expressed the depth of oppression, religious and tribal discriminations which were applied by sectarian rulers, it means he has not limited his writing to description of Emirs and Khans around him, this is why he was criticized and mistreated by sectarians, influential and monarchy system, Amanullah Khan, accused of treason. Probably, he was aware that principle historians and Eastern-legists will choose his works as credible source. Competent figures such as Qulam Mohammad Qubar, Ludwick Adamc, Baslui Dupri have frequently benefited the sources.

In 1929, Habibullah, Bacha-e Saqaw, issued a decree on the names of the renown Shi’ites of Kabul such as Mohammed Ali Jauntier Chandawali, Qazi Shuhaab, Khalifa Mohmmed Hussein, Ustad Gholam Hassan, and Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara. They were asked to travel to Dai-Zangi and obtain the support of the Hazara populace in that area. But the Hazara people refused to do so, and the Shi’ite leaders of Kabul city returned without any success.

The disappointed Amir Habibullah then order them to be punished for failing in their mission. In the result of the brutal beating, Mulla Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara got sick for a few days, but later died on Wednesday, 4th-Ramadhan.

Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb is considered the father of modern Afghanistan history-writers, and subsequent historians have often used his writings. Additionally, he was one of the pioneers of The Constitutionalist Movement in the country, Afghanistan liberalists are in debts for his efforts. Feiz Mohammad Kateb has with his writing ability, recorded significant points which have had prominent effects in political and national fate our country. This is how he has done his duty and mission as a historian, and probably the historians in his time were not able to do so.

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Maulana Jaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Fri, 03 Sep 2010 05:09:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Jalāl ad-Dīn Muammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), and popularly known as Mowlānā (Persian: مولانا) but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi[3] (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian[1][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] muslim poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.[11] Rūmī is a descriptive name meaning “the Roman” since he lived most of his life in an area called Rūm because it was once ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire.[12]

He was likely born in the village of Wakhsh,[13] a small town located at the river Wakhsh in what is now Tajikistan. Wakhsh belonged to the larger province of Balkh, and in the year Rumi was born, his father was an appointed scholar there.[13] Both these cities were at the time included in the greater Persian cultural sphere of Khorasan, the easternmost province of Persia,[1] and were part of the Khwarezmian Empire.

His birthplace[1] and native language[14] both indicate a Persian heritage. His father decided to migrate westwards due to quarrels between different dynasties in Khorasan, opposition to the Khwarizmid Shahs who were considered devious by Bahā ud-Dīn Walad (Rumi’s father),[15] or fear of the impending Mongol cataclysm.[16] Rumi’s family traveled west, first performing the Hajj and eventually settling in the Anatolian city Konya (capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in present-day Turkey). This was where he lived most of his life, and here he composed one of the crowning glories of Persian literature which profoundly affected the culture of the area.[17]

He lived most of his life under the Sultanate of Rum, where he produced his works[18] and died in 1273 AD. He was buried in Konya and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage.[19] Following his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawīyah Sufi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for its Sufi dance known as the samāʿ ceremony.

Rumi’s works are written in the New Persian language. A Persian literary renaissance (in the 8th/9th century) started in regions of Sistan, Khorāsān and Transoxiana[20] and by the 10th/11th century, it reinforced the Persian language as the preferred literary and cultural language in the Persian Islamic world. Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His original works are widely read in their original language across the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular in other countries. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Punjabi and other Pakistani languages written in Perso/Arabic script e.g. Pashto and Sindhi. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the “most popular poet in America.”[21]


Rumi was born on 30 September 1207 in Balkh (Modern-day Balkh Province, Afghanistan). He died on 17 December 1273 in Konya in present day Turkey (then Seljuqids of Rum). He was laid to rest beside his father, and over his remains a splendid shrine was erected. The 13th century Mevlana Mausoleum, with its mosque, dance hall, dervish living quarters, school and tombs of some leaders of the Mevlevi Order, continues to this day to draw pilgrims from all parts of the Muslim and non-Muslim world. Jalal al-Din who is also known as Rumi, was a philosopher and mystic of Islam. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to people of all sects and creeds. A hagiographical account of him is described in Shams ud-Din Ahmad Aflāki’s Manāqib ul-Ārifīn (written between 1318 and 1353). Rumi’s father was Bahā ud-Dīn Walad, a theologian, jurist and a mystic from Wakhsh, who was also known by the followers of Rumi as Sultan al-Ulama or “Sultan of the Scholars”. The popular hagiographer assertions that have claimed the family’s descent from the Caliph Abu Bakr does not hold on closer examination and is rejected by modern scholars[22][23][24]. The claim of maternal descent from the Khwarazmshah for Rumi or his father is also seen as a non-historical hagiographical tradition designed to connect the family with royalty, but this claim is rejected for chronological and historical reasons[22][23][24]. The most complete genealogy offered for the family stretches back to six or seven generations to famous Hanafi Jurists[22][23][24]. We do not learn the name of Baha al-Din’s mother in the sources, but only that he referred to her as “Mama” (Mami)[25] (colloquial Persian for Mother), she was a simple woman and that she lives in 13th century. The mother of Rumi was Mu’mina Khātūn. The profession of the family for several generations was that of Islamic preachers of the liberal Hanafi rite and this family tradition was continued by Rumi (see his Fihi Ma Fih and Seven Sermons) and Sultan Walad (see Ma’rif Waladi for examples of his everyday sermons and lectures).

When the Mongols invaded Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, Baha ud-Din Walad, with his whole family and a group of disciples, set out westwards. On the road to Anatolia, Rumi encountered one of the most famous mystic Persian poets, ‘Attar, in the Iranian city of Nishapur, located in the province of Khorāsān. ‘Attar immediately recognized Rumi’s spiritual eminence. He saw the father walking ahead of the son and said, “Here comes a sea followed by an ocean.” He gave the boy his Asrārnāma, a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact on the eighteen-year-old Rumi and later on became the inspiration for his works.

From Nishapur, Walad and his entourage set out for Baghdad, meeting many of the scholars and Sufis of the city.[26] From there they went to Baghdad, and Hejaz and performed the pilgrimage at Mecca. The migrating caravan then passed through Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri and Nigde. They finally settled in Karaman for seven years; Rumi’s mother and brother both died there. In 1225, Rumi married Gowhar Khatun in Karaman. They had two sons: Sultan Walad and Ala-eddin Chalabi. When his wife died, Rumi married again and had a son, Amir Alim Chalabi, and a daughter, Malakeh Khatun.

On 1 May 1228, most likely as a result of the insistent invitation of ‘Alā’ ud-Dīn Key-Qobād, ruler of Anatolia, Baha’ ud-Din came and finally settled in Konya in Anatolia within the westernmost territories of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm.

Baha’ ud-Din became the head of a madrassa (religious school) and when he died, Rumi, aged twenty-five, inherited his position. One of Baha’ ud-Din’s students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din Muhaqqiq Termazi, continued to train Rumi in the religious and mystical doctrines of Rumi’s father. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240 or 1241. Rumi’s public life then began: he became a teacher who preached in the mosques of Konya and taught his adherents in the madrassa.

During this period, Rumi also traveled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.

It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that completely changed Rumi’s life. Shams had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could “endure my company”. A voice said to him, “What will you give in return?” Shams replied, “My head!” The voice then said, “The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya.” On the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumored that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Rumi’s son, ‘Ala’ ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.[27]

Rumi’s love for, and his bereavement at the death of, Shams found their expression in an outpouring of music, dance, and lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realized:

Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself![28]

Mawlana had been spontaneously composing ghazals (Persian poems), and these had been collected in the Divan-i Kabir or Diwan Shams Tabrizi. Rumi found another companion in Salaḥ ud-Din-e Zarkub, a goldsmith. After Salah ud-Din’s death, Rumi’s scribe and favorite student, Hussam-e Chalabi, assumed the role of Rumi’s companion. One day, the two of them were wandering through the Meram vineyards outside Konya when Hussam described to Rumi an idea he had had: “If you were to write a book like the Ilāhīnāma of Sanai or the Mantiq ut-Tayr of ‘Attar, it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it.” Rumi smiled and took out a piece of paper on which were written the opening eighteen lines of his Masnavi, beginning with:

Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
How it sings of separation…[29]

Hussam implored Rumi to write more. Rumi spent the next twelve years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnavi, to Hussam.

In December 1273, Rumi fell ill; he predicted his own death and composed the well-known ghazal, which begins with the verse:

How doest thou know what sort of king I have within me as companion?
Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs.[30]

Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya; his body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb, قبه الخضراء; today the Mevlana Museum), was erected over his place of burial. His epitaph reads:

When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.[31]


The general theme of Rumi’s thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is essentially that of the concept of tawhīd – union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut off and become aloof – and his longing and desire to restore it.[citation needed]

The Masnavi weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations and exegesis, and metaphysics into a vast and intricate tapestry.[citation needed] Rumi is considered[by whom?] an example of Insan-e Kamil — Perfect Man, the perfected or completed human being. In the East, it is said[weasel words] of him that he was “not a prophet — but surely, he has brought a scripture”.

Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine, and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of “whirling” dervishes developed into a ritual form. His teachings became the base for the order of the Mawlawi which his son Sultan Walad organized. Rumi encouraged samāʿ, listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, samāʿ represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes, and nations[citation needed].

In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:

Lover’s nationality is separate from all other religions,
The lover’s religion and nationality is the Beloved (God).

The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.[32]

Major works

Rumi’s poetry is often divided into various categories: the quatrains (rubayāt) and odes (ghazal) of the Divan, the six books of the Masnavi. The prose works are divided into The Discourses, The Letters, and the Seven Sermons.

Poetic works

  • Rumi’s major work is the Manawīye Ma’nawī (Spiritual Couplets; مثنوی معنوی), a six-volume poem regarded by some Sufis[33] as the Persian-language Qur’an. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry[34]. It contains approximately 27000 lines of Persian poetry[35].

Further information: Masnavi

  • Rumi’s other major work is the Dīwān-e Kabīr (Great Work) or Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi|Dīwān-e Shams-e Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz; دیوان شمس تبریزی named in honor of Rumi’s master Shams. Besides approximately 35000 Persian couplets and 2000 Persian quatrains[36], the Divan contains 90 Ghazals and 19 quatrains in Arabic[37], a couple of dozen or so couplets in Turkish (mainly macaronic poems of mixed Persian and Turkish)[38][39] and 14 couplets in Greek(all of them in three macaronic poems of Greek-Persian)[40][41].

Further information: Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Prose works

  • Fihi Ma Fihi (In It What’s in It, Persian: فیه ما فیه) provides a record of seventy-one talks and lectures given by Rumi on various occasions to his disciples. It was compiled from the notes of his various disciples, so Rumi did not author the work directly.[42] An English translation from the Persian was first published by A.J. Arberry as Discourses of Rumi(New York: Samuel Weiser, 1972), and a translation of the second book by Wheeler Thackston, Sign of the Unseen(Putney, VT: Threshold Books, 1994).
  • Majāles-e Sab’a (Seven Sessions, Persian: مجالس سبعه) contains seven Persian sermons (as the name implies) or lectures given in seven different assemblies. The sermons themselves give a commentary on the deeper meaning of Qur’an and Hadeeth. The sermons also include quotations from poems of Sana’i, ‘Attar, and other poets, including Rumi himself. As Aflakī relates, after Shams-e Tabrīzī, Rumi gave sermons at the request of notables, especially Salāh al-Dīn Zarkūb.[43]
  • Makatib (The Letters, Persian: مکاتیب) is the book containing Rumi’s letters in Persian to his disciples, family members, and men of state and of influence. The letters testify that Rumi kept very busy helping family members and administering a community of disciples that had grown up around them.

Philosophical outlook

See also: Spiritual evolution

Rumi was an evolutionary thinker in the sense that he believed that the spirit after devolution from the divine Ego undergoes an evolutionary process by which it comes nearer and nearer to the same divine Ego.[44] All matter in the universe obeys this law and this movement is due to an inbuilt urge (which Rumi calls “love”) to evolve and seek enjoinment with the divinity from which it has emerged. Evolution into a human being from an animal is only one stage in this process. The doctrine of the Fall of Adam is reinterpreted as the devolution of the Ego from the universal ground of divinity and is a universal, cosmic phenomenon.[45] The French philosopher Henri Bergson‘s idea of life being creative and evolutionary is similar, though unlike Bergson, Rumi believes that there is a specific goal to the process: the attainment of God. For Rumi, God is the ground as well as the goal of all existence.

However Rumi need not be considered a biological evolutionary creationist. In view of the fact that Rumi lived hundreds of years before Darwin, and was least interested in scientific theories, it is probable to conclude that he does not deal with biological evolution at all. Rather he is concerned with the spiritual evolution of a human being: Man not conscious of God is akin to an animal and true consciousness makes him divine. Nicholson has seen this as a Neo-Platonic doctrine: the universal soul working through the various spheres of being, a doctrine introduced into Islam by Muslim philosophers like Al Farabi and being related at the same time to Ibn Sina‘s idea of love as the magnetically working power by which life is driven into an upward trend.[46]

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.

از جمادی مُردم و نامی شدم — وز نما مُردم به‌حیوان سرزدم

مُردم از حیوانی و آدم شدم — پس چه ترسم؟ کی ز مردن کم شدم؟

حمله دیگر بمیرم از بشر — تا برآرم از ملائک بال و پر

وز ملک هم بایدم جستن ز جو — کل شیء هالک الا وجهه

بار دیگر از ملک پران شوم — آنچه اندر وهم ناید آن شوم

پس عدم گردم عدم چو ارغنون — گویدم کانا الیه راجعون


It is often said that the teachings of Rumi are ecumenical in nature.[47] For Rumi, religion was mostly a personal experience and not limited to logical arguments or perceptions of the senses.[48] Creative love, or the urge to rejoin the spirit to divinity, was the goal towards which every thing moves.[48] The dignity of life, in particular human life (which is conscious of its divine origin and goal), was important.[48]


However, despite the aforementioned ecumenical attitude, and contrary to his contemporary portrayal in the West as a proponent of non-denominational spirituality, a select number of Rumi poems suggest the importance of outward religious observance, the primacy of the Qur’an and the superiority of Islam.[49]

Flee to God’s Qur’an, take refuge in it
there with the spirits of the prophets merge.
The Book conveys the prophets’ circumstances
those fish of the pure sea of Majesty.[50]

Rumi’s approach to Islam is further clarified in this quatrain:

Man banda-ye qur’ānam, agar jān dāram
man khāk-e rah-e muhammad-e mukhtāram
gar naql konad joz īn kas az goftāram
bēzāram azō waz-īn sokhan bēzāram.

I am the servant of the Qur’an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen One.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words.[51]

Seyyed Hossein Nasr states:

One of the greatest living authorities on Rûmî in Persia today, Hâdî Hâ’irî, has shown in an unpublished work that some 6,000 verses of the Dîwân and the Mathnawî are practically direct translations of Qur’ânic verses into Persian poetry.[52]

Rumi states in his Dīwān:

The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr.[53]


Rumi’s poetry forms the basis of much classical Iranian and Afghan music (Eastern-Persian, Tajik-Hazara music).[citation needed] Contemporary classical interpretations of his poetry are made by Muhammad Reza Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri, Davood Azad (the three from Iran) and Ustad Mohammad Hashem Cheshti (Afghanistan). Today, Rumi’s legacy is expanding in the West as well through the work of translators and performers such as Shahram Shiva, who has been presenting bilingual Persian/English Rumi events in the US since 1993. To many modern Westerners, his teachings are one of the best introductions to the philosophy and practice of Sufism. Pakistan’s National Poet, Muhammad Iqbal, was also inspired by Rumi’s works and considered him to be his spiritual leader, addressing him as “Pir Rumi” in his poems (the honorific Pir literally means “old man”, but in the sufi/mystic context it means founder, master, or guide).[54]

“Rumi deals with the human condition and that is always relevant,” says Shahram Shiva. “Rumi is able to verbalize the highly personal and often confusing world of personal growth and development in a very clear and direct fashion. He does not offend anyone, and he includes everyone. The world of Rumi is neither exclusively the world of a Sufi, nor the world of a Hindu, nor a Jew, nor a Christian; it is a state of an evolved human. A human who is not bound by cultural limitations; a one who touches every one of us. Today Rumi’s poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene.” According to Professor Majid M. Naini [55], “Rumi’s life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.”

Rumi’s work has been translated into many of the world’s languages, including Russian, German, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Bengali, French, Italian, and Spanish, and is being presented in a growing number of formats, including concerts, workshops, readings, dance performances, and other artistic creations [56]. The English interpretations of Rumi’s poetry by Coleman Barks have sold more than half a million copies worldwide,[57] and Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States.[58]

Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to Billboard’s Top 20 list. A selection of Deepak Chopra‘s editing of the translations by Fereydoun Kia of Rumi’s love poems has been performed by Hollywood personalities such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Philip Glass and Demi Moore. Shahram Shiva‘s CD, Rumi: Lovedrunk, has been very popular in the Internet’s music communities, such as MySpace and Facebook.

There is a famous landmark in Northern India, known as Rumi Gate, situated in Lucknow (the capital of Uttar Pradesh) named after Rumi.

Rumi and his mausoleum were depicted on the reverse of the 5000 Turkish lira banknotes of 1981-1994.[59]

Iranian world

پارسی گو گرچه تازی خوشتر است — عشق را خود صد زبان دیگر است

Say all in Persian even if Arabic is better – Love will find its way through all languages on its own.

These cultural, historical and linguistic ties between Rumi and the Iran have made Rumi an iconic Iranian poet, and some of the most important Rumi scholars including Foruzanfar, Naini, Sabzewari, etc., have come from modern Iran[60]. Rumi’s poetry is displayed on the walls of many cities across Iran, sung in Persian music[60], and read in school books[61].

Mawlawī Sufi Order

Main articles: Mawlawi Order and Sema

The Mawlawī Sufi order (Mawlawīyah or Mevlevi, as it is known in Turkey) was founded in 1273 by Rumi’s followers after his death.[62] His first successor in the rectorship of the order was Husam Chalabi himself , after whose death in 1284 Rumi’s younger and only surviving son, Sultan Walad (died 1312), favorably known as author of the mystical Manawī Rabābnāma, or the Book of the Rabab, was installed as grand master of the order.[63] The leadership of the order has been kept within Rumi’s family in Konya uninterruptedly since then.[64] The Mawlawī Sufis, also known as Whirling Dervishes, believe in performing their dhikr in the form of samāʿ. During the time of Rumi (as attested in the Manāqib ul-Ārefīn of Aflākī), his followers gathered for musical and “turning” practices.

Rumi was himself a notable musician who played the robāb, although his favorite instrument was the ney or reed flute.[65] The music accompanying the samāʿ consists of settings of poems from the Manawī and Dīwān-e Kabīr, or of Sultan Walad’s poems.[65] The Mawlawīyah was a well-established Sufi order in the Ottoman Empire, and many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The center for the Mawlawiyyah was in Konya. There is also a Mawlawī monastery (درگاه, dargāh) in Istanbul near the Galata Tower in which the samāʿ is performed and accessible to the public. The Mawlawī order issues an invitation to people of all backgrounds:

During Ottoman times, the Mawlawīyah produced a number of notable poets and musicians, including Sheikh Ghalib, Ismail Rusuhi Dede of Ankara, Esrar Dede, Halet Efendi, and Gavsi Dede, who are all buried at the Galata Mawlawī Khāna (Turkish: Mevlevi-Hane) in Istanbul.[67] Music, especially that of the ney, plays an important part in the Mawlawiyyah.

With the foundation of the modern, secular Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk removed religion from the sphere of public policy and restricted it exclusively to that of personal morals, behavior and faith. On 13 December 1925, a law was passed closing all the tekkes (or tekeyh) (dervish lodges) and zāwiyas (chief dervish lodges), and the centers of veneration to which pilgrimages (ziyārat) were made. Istanbul alone had more than 250 tekkes as well as small centers for gatherings of various fraternities; this law dissolved the Sufi Orders, prohibited the use of mystical names, titles and costumes pertaining to their titles, impounded the Orders’ assets, and banned their ceremonies and meetings. The law also provided penalties for those who tried to re-establish the Orders. Two years later, in 1927, the Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya was allowed to reopen as a Museum.[68]

In the 1950s, the Turkish government began allowing the Whirling Dervishes to perform once a year in Konya. The Mawlānā festival is held over two weeks in December; its culmination is on 17 December, the Urs of Mawlānā (anniversary of Rumi’s death), called Šabe Arūs (شب عروس) (Persian meaning “nuptial night”), the night of Rumi’s union with God.[69] In 1974, the Whirling Dervishes were permitted to travel to the West for the first time.

Religious denomination

According to Edward G. Browne, the three most prominent mystical Persian poets Rumi, Sana’i and Attar were all Sunni Muslims and their poetry abounds with praise for the first two caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattāb[70]. According to Annemarie Schimmel, the tendency among Shia authors to include leading mystical poets such as Rumi and Attar among their own ranks, became stronger after the introduction of Twelver Shia as the state religion in the Safavid Empire in 1501[71].

Eight hundredth anniversary celebrations

In Afghanistan, Rumi is known as “Mawlana” and in Iran as “Mowlavi”.

At the proposal of the Permanent Delegations of Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, and as approved by its Executive Board and General Conference in conformity with its mission of “constructing in the minds of men the defences of peace”, UNESCO was associated with the celebration, in 2007, of the eight hundredth anniversary of Rumi’s birth.[72] The commemoration at UNESCO itself took place on 6 September 2007;[73] UNESCO issued a medal in Rumi’s name in the hope that it would prove an encouragement to those who are engaged in research on and dissemination of Rumi’s ideas and ideals, which would, in turn, enhance the diffusion of the ideals of UNESCO.[74][75]

The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Youth established a national committee which organized an international seminar to celebrate the birth and life of the great ethical philosopher and world-renowned poet. This grand gathering of the intellectuals, diplomats, and followers of Maulana was held in Kabul and in Balkh, the Maulana’s place of birth.[76]

On 30 September 2007, Iranian school bells were rung throughout the country in honor of Mowlana.[77] Also in that year, Iran held a Rumi Week from 26 October to 2 November. An international ceremony and conference were held in Tehran; the event was opened by the Iranian president and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Scholars from twenty-nine countries attended the events, and 450 articles were presented at the conference.[78] Iranian musician Shahram Nazeri was awarded the Légion d’honneur and Iran’s House of Music Award in 2007 for his renowned works on Rumi masterpieces.[79] 2007 was declared as the “International Rumi Year” by UNESCO.[80].[81]

Also on 30 September 2007, Turkey celebrated Rumi’s eight-hundredth birthday with a giant Whirling Dervish ritual performance of the samāʿ, which was televised using forty-eight cameras and broadcast live in eight countries. Ertugrul Gunay, of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, stated, “Three hundred dervishes are scheduled to take part in this ritual, making it the largest performance of sama in history.”[82]

Mawlana Rumi Review

The Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies in University of Exeter in collaboration with The Rumi Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus, have started to publish the first volume of the Mawlana Rumi Review in 2010. According to the principal editor of the journal, Leonard Lewisohn: “Although a number of major Islamic poets easily rival the likes of Dante, Shakespeare and Milton in importance and output, they still enjoy only a marginal literary fame in the West because the works of Arabic and Persian thinkers, writers and poets are considered as negligible, frivolous, tawdry sideshows beside the grand narrative of the ‘Western Canon’. It is the aim of the Mawlana Rumi Review to redress this carelessly inattentive approach to world literature, which is something far more serious than a minor faux pas committed by the Western literary imagination.”[83]



  1. ^ a b c d Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000.

How is it that a Persian boy born almost eight hundred years ago in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as Central Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the Greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in Central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere, in which is now Turkey, some 1500 miles to the west? (p. 9)

  1. ^ John Renard,”Historical dictionary of Sufism”, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. pg 155: “Perhaps the most famous Sufi who is known to many Muslims even today by his title alone is the seventh/13th century Persian mystic Rumi”
  2. ^ NOTE: Transliteration of the Arabic alphabet into English varies. One common transliteration is Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi; the usual brief reference to him is simply Rumi or Balkhi. His given name, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad, literally means “Majesty of Religion”
  3. ^ Annemarie Schimmel, “The Mystery of Numbers”, Oxford University Press,1993. Pg 49: “A beautiful symbol of the duality that appears through creation was invented by the great Persian mystical poet Jalal al-Din Rumi, who compares God’s creative word kun (written in Arabic KN) with a twisted rope of 2 threads (which in English twine, in German Zwirn¸ both words derived from the root “two”)”.
  4. ^ Ritter, H.; Bausani, A. “J̲alāl al- Dīn Rūmī b. Bahāʾ al-Dīn Sulān al-ʿulamāʾ Walad b. usayn b. Amad h̲aībī .” Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. Excerpt: “known by the sobriquet Mawlānā (Mevlânâ), Persian poet and founder of the Mawlawiyya order of dervishes”
  5. ^ Julia Scott Meisami, Forward to Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition)
  6. ^ John Renard,”Historical dictionary of Sufism”, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. pg 155: “Perhaps the most famous Sufi who is known to many Muslims even today by his title alone is the seventh/13th century Persian mystic Rumi”
  7. ^ Frederick Hadland Davis , “The Persian Mystics. Jalálu’d-Dín Rúmí”, Adamant Media Corporation (November 30, 2005) , ISBN 1402157681.
  8. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000. “Sultan Valad (Rumi’s son) elsewhere admits that he has little knowledge of Turkish”(pg 239) “Sultan Valad (Rumi’s son) did not feel confident about his command of Turkish”(pg 240)
  9. ^ In Persian poetry, the words “Rumi”(Greek), Turk, Hindu and Zangi (Black) take symbolic meaning and this has led to some confusions for those that are not familiar with Persian poetry. See for example: Annemarie Schimmel. “Turk and Hindu; a literary symbol”. Acta Iranica, 1, III, 1974, pp.243-248 Annemarie Schimmel. “A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry”, the imagery of Persian poetry. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. (pg 137-144). J.T.P. de Brujin, Hindi in Encyclopedia Iranica “In such imagery the link to ethnic characteristics is hardly relevant” [1] Cemal Kafadar, “A rome of one’s own: reflection on cultural geography and identity in the lands of Rum” in Sibel Bozdogan (Editor), Gulru Necipoglu (Editor), Julia Bailey (Editor) , “History and Ideology: Architectural Heritage of the “Lands of Rum” (Muqarnas), Brill Academic Publishers (November 1, 2007. p23: “Golpiranli rightly insists that ethnonym were deployed allegorically and metaphortically in classical Islamic literatures, which operated on the basis of a staple set of images and their well recognized contextual associations by readers; there, “turk” had both a negativeand positive connocation. In fact, the two dimensions could be blended: the “Turk” was “cruel” and hence, at the same time, the “beautiful beloved”. As an example, Rumi compares himself to a Hindu, Turk, Greek and etc. A) تو ماه ِ ترکي و من اگر ترک نيستم، دانم من اين قَدَر که به ترکي است، آب سُو “You are a Turkish moon, and I, although I am not a Turk, know this much, that in Turkish the word for water is su”(Schimmel, Triumphal Sun, 196) B) “Everyone in whose heart is the love for Tabriz Becomes – even though he be a Hindu – a rose-cheeked inhabitant of Taraz (i.e. a Turk)”(Schimmel, Triumphal Sun, 196) C) گه ترکم و گه هندو گه رومی و گه زنگی از نقش تو است ای جان اقرارم و انکارم “I am sometimes Turk and sometimes Hindu, sometimes Rumi and sometimes Negro” O soul, from your image in my approval and my denial” (Schimmel, Triumphal Sun, 196) For the general meaning of the usage of these terms see: Annemarie Schimmel. “Turk and Hindu; a literary symbol”. Acta Iranica, 1, III, 1974, pp.243-248 Annemarie Schimmel. “A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry”, the imagery of Persian poetry.
  10. ^ “Islamica Magazine: Mawlana Rumi and Islamic Spirituality”. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  11. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (May 14, 2007) “The Balkin Front.” Weekly Standard.
  12. ^ a b Annemarie Schimmel, “I Am Wind, You Are Fire,” p. 11. She refers to a 1989 article by the German scholar, Fritz Meier:

Tajiks and Persian admirers still prefer to call Jalaluddin ‘Balkhi’ because his family lived in Balkh, current day in Afghanistan before migrating westward. However, their home was not in the actual city of Balkh, since the mid-eighth century a center of Muslim culture in (Greater) Khorasan (Iran and Central Asia). Rather, as the Swiss scholar Fritz Meier has shown, it was in the small town of Wakhsh north of the Oxus that Baha’uddin Walad, Jalaluddin’s father, lived and worked as a jurist and preacher with mystical inclinations. Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, 2000, pp. 47–49.

Professor Lewis has devoted two pages of his book to the topic of Wakhsh, which he states has been identified with the medieval town of Lêwkand (or Lâvakand) or Sangtude, which is about 65 kilometers southeast of Dushanbe, the capital of present-day Tajikistan. He says it is on the east bank of the Vakhshâb river, a major tributary that joins the Amu Daryâ river (also called Jayhun, and named the Oxus by the Greeks). He further states: “Bahâ al-Din may have been born in Balkh, but at least between June 1204 and 1210 (Shavvâl 600 and 607), during which time Rumi was born, Bahâ al-Din resided in a house in Vakhsh (Bah 2:143 [= Bahâ’ uddîn Walad’s] book, “Ma`ârif.”). Vakhsh, rather than Balkh was the permanent base of Bahâ al-Din and his family until Rumi was around five years old (mei 16-35) [= from a book in German by the scholar Fritz Meier–note inserted here]. At that time, in about the year 1212 (A.H. 608–609), the Valads moved to Samarqand (Fih 333; Mei 29–30, 36) [= reference to Rumi’s “Discourses” and to Fritz Meier’s book–note inserted here], leaving behind Baâ al-Din’s mother, who must have been at least seventy-five years old.”

  1. ^ Annemarie Schimmel, The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi, SUNY Press, 1993, p. 193: “Rumi’s mother tongue was Persian, but he had learned during his stay in Konya, enough Turkish and Greek to use it, now and then, in his verse”
  2. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000. Chap1
  3. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, “Baha Al-Din Mohammad Walad” [2], H. Algar.
  4. ^ C.E. Bosworth, “Turkish Expansion towards the west” in UNESCO HISTORY OF HUMANITY, Volume IV, titled “From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century”, UNESCO Publishing / Routledge, 2000. p. 391: “While the Arabic language retained its primacy in such spheres as law, theology and science, the culture of the Seljuk court and secular literature within the sultanate became largely Persianized; this is seen in the early adoption of Persian epic names by the Seljuq Rulers (Qubad, Kay Khusraw and so on) and in the use of Persian as a literary language (Turkish must have been essentially a vehicle for everyday speech at this time). The process of Persianization accelerated in the thirteenth century with the presence in Konya of two of the most distinguished refugees fleeing before the Mongols, Baha al-din Walad and his son Mawlana Jalal al-din Balkhi Rumi, whose Mathnawi, composed in Konya, constitutes one of the crowning glories of classical Persian literature.”
  5. ^ Barks, Coleman, Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing, HarperCollins, 2005, p. xxv, ISBN 0-06-075050-2
  6. ^ Note: Rumi’s shrine is now known as the Mevlana Museum in Turkey
  7. ^ Lazard, Gilbert “The Rise of the New Persian Language”, in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, Vol. 4, pp. 595–632. (Lapidus, Ira, 2002, A Brief History of Islamic Societies, “Under Arab rule, Arabic became the principal language for administration and religion. The substitution of Arabic for Middle Persian was facilitated by the translation of Persian classics into Arabic. Arabic became the main vehicle of Persian high culture, and remained such will into the eleventh century. Parsi declined and was kept alive mainly by the Zoroastrian priesthood in western Iran. The Arab conquests however, helped make Persian rather than Arabic the most common spoken language in Khurasan and the lands beyond the Oxus River. Paradoxically, Arab and Islamic domination created a Persian cultural region in areas never before unified by Persian speech. A new Persian evolved out of this complex linguistic situation. In the ninth century the Tahirid governors of Khurasan began to have the old Persian language written in Arabic script rather than in pahlavi characters. At the same time, eastern lords in the small principalities began to patronize a local court poetry in an elevated form of Persian. The new poetry was inspired by Arabic verse forms, so that Iranian patrons who did not understand Arabic could comprehend and enjoy the presentation of an elevated and dignified poetry in the manner of Baghdad. This new poetry flourished in regions where the influence of Abbasid Arabic culture was attenuated and where it had no competition from the surviving tradition of Middle Persian literary classics cultivated for religious purposes as in Western Iran.” “In the western regions, including Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and the lands of the far Islamic west including North Africa and Spain, Arabic became the predominant language of both high literary culture and spoken discourse.” pp. 125–132, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)
  8. ^ Charles Haviland (2007-09-30). “The roar of Rumi – 800 years on”. BBC News. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  9. ^ a b c Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pp 90-92:”Baha al-Din’s disciples also traced his family lineage to the first caliph, Abu Bakr (Sep 9; Af 7; JNO 457; Dow 213). This probably stems from willful confusion over his paternal great grandmother, who was the daughter of Abu Bakr of Sarakhs, a noted jurist (d. 1090). The most complete genealogy offered for family stretches back only six or seven generations and cannot possibly reach to Abu Bakr, the companion and first caliph of the Prophet, who died two years after the Prophet, in A.D. 634 (FB 5-6 n.3).”
  10. ^ a b c H. Algar, “BAHĀʾ-AL-DĪN MOAMMAD WALAD “ , Encyclopedia Iranica. There is no reference to such descent in the works of Bahāʾ-e Walad and Mawlānā Jalāl-al-Dīn or in the inscriptions on their sarcophagi. The attribution may have arisen from confusion between the caliph and another Abū Bakr, Šams-al-Aʾemma Abū Bakr Sarasī (d. 483/1090), the well-known Hanafite jurist, whose daughter, Ferdows ātūn, was the mother of Amad aīb, Bahāʾ-e Walad’s grandfather (see Forūzānfar, Resāla, p. 6). Tradition also links Bahāʾ-e Walad’s lineage to the ᵛārazmšāh dynasty. His mother is said to have been the daughter of ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moammad ārazmšāh (d. 596/1200), but this appears to be excluded for chronological reasons (Forūzānfar, Resāla, p. 7) [3]
  11. ^ a b c (Ritter, H.; Bausani, A. “Jalāl al- Dīn Rūmī b. Bahāʾ al-Dīn Sulān al-ʿulamāʾ Walad b. usayn b. Amad haībī .” Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online. Excerpt: “known by the sobriquet Mawlānā (Mevlânâ), Persian poet and founder of the Mawlawiyya order of dervishes”):”The assertions that his family tree goes back to Abū Bakr, and that his mother was a daughter of the hwārizmshāh ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muammad (Aflākī, i, 8-9) do not hold on closer examination (B. Furūzānfarr, Mawlānā jalāl Dīn , Tehrān 1315, 7; ʿAlīnaī Sharīʿatmadārī, Nad-i matn-i mathnawī, in Yaghmā , xii (1338), 164; Amad Aflākī, Ariflerin menkibeleri, trans. Tahsin Yazıcı, Ankara 1953, i, Önsöz, 44).”)
  12. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pp 44:“Baha al-Din’s father, Hosayn, had been a religious scholar with a bent for asceticism, occupied like his own father before him, Ahmad, with the family profession of preacher (khatib). Of the four canonical schools of Sunni Islam, the family adhered to the relatively liberal Hanafi rite. Hosayn-e Khatibi enjoyed such renown in his youth – so says Aflaki with characteristic exaggeration – that Razi al-Din Nayshapuri and other famous scholars came to study with him (Af 9; for the legend about Baha al-Din, see below, “The Mythical Baha al-Din”). Another report indicates that Baha al-Din’s grandfather, Ahmad al-Khatibi, was born to Ferdows Khatun, a daughter of the reputed Hanafite jurist and author Shams al-A’emma Abu Bakr of Sarakhs, who died circa 1088 (Af 75; FB 6 n.4; Mei 74 n. 17). This is far from implausible and, if true, would tend to suggest that Ahmad al-Khatabi had studied under Shams al-A’emma. Prior to that the family could supposedly trace its roots back to Isfahan. We do not learn the name of Baha al-Din’s mother in the sources, only that he referred to her as “Mama” (Mami), and that she lived to the 1200s.”(pg 44)
  13. ^ Ahmed, Nazeer, Islam in Global History: From the Death of Prophet Muhammed to the First World War, p.58, Xlibris Corporation (2000), ISBN 0-7388-5962-1
  14. ^ Hz. Mawlana and Shams by Sefik Can
  15. ^ The Essential Rumi. Translations by Coleman Barks, p. xx.
  16. ^ Helminski, Camille. “Introduction to Rumi: Daylight”. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  17. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1987). Islamic Art and Spirituality. SUNY Press. pp. 120. ISBN 0887061745.
  18. ^ Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi
  19. ^ Naini, Majid. The Mysteries of the Universe and Rumi’s Discoveries on the Majestic Path of Love. 
  20. ^ Abdul Rahman Jami notes:

من چه گویم وصف آن عالی‌جناب — نیست پیغمبر ولی دارد کتاب

مثنوی معنوی مولوی — هست قرآن در زبان پهلوی

What can I say in praise of that great one?
He is not a Prophet but has come with a book;
The Spiritual Masnavi of Mowlavi
Is the Qur’an in the language of Pahlavi (Persian).

(Khawaja Abdul Hamid Irfani, “The Sayings of Rumi and Iqbal”, Bazm-e-Rumi, 1976.)

  1. ^ J.T.P. de Bruijn, “Comparative Notes on Sanai and ‘Attar” , The Heritage of Sufism, L. Lewisohn, ed., pp. 361: “It is common place to mention Hakim Sana’i (d. 525/1131) and Farid al-Din ‘Attar (1221) together as early highlights in a tradition of Persian mystical poetry which reached its culmination in the work of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi and those who belonged to the early Mawlawi circle. There is abundant evidence available to prove that the founders of the Mawlawwiya in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries regarded these two poets as their most important predecessors”
  2. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pg 306: “The manuscripts versions differ greatly in the size of the text and orthography. Nicholson’s text has 25,577 lines though the average medieval and early modern manuscripts contained around 27,000 lines, meaning the scribes added two thousand lines or about eight percent more to the poem composed by Rumi. Some manuscripts give as many as 32000!”
  3. ^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008). pg 314: “The Foruzanfar’s edition of the Divan-e Shams compromises 3229 ghazals and qasidas making a total of almost 35000 lines, not including several hundred lines of stanzaic poems and nearly two thousand quatrains attributed to him”
  4. ^ Dar al-Masnavi Website, accessed December 2009: According to the Dar al-Masnavi website: “In Forûzânfar’s edition of Rumi’s Divan, there are 90 ghazals (Vol. 1, 29;Vol. 2, 1; Vol. 3, 6; Vol. 4, 8; Vol. 5, 19, Vol. 6, 0; Vol. 7, 27) and 19 quatrains entirely in Arabic. In addition, there are ghazals which are all Arabic except for the final line; many have one or two lines in Arabic within the body of the poem; some have as many as 9-13 consecutive lines in Arabic, with Persian verses preceding and following; some have alternating lines in Persian, then Arabic; some have the first half of the verse in Persian, the second half in Arabic.”
  5. ^ Mecdut MensurOghlu: “The Divan of Jalal al-Din Rumi contains 35 couplets in Turkish and Turkish-Persian which have recently been published me” (Celal al-Din Rumi’s turkische Verse: UJb. XXIV (1952), pp 106-115)
  6. ^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008):”“a couple of dozen at most of the 35,000 lines of the Divan-I Shams are in Turkish, and almost all of these lines occur in poems that are predominantly in Persian””
  7. ^ Dedes, D. 1993. Ποίηματα του Μαυλανά Ρουμή [Poems by Rumi]. Ta Istorika 10.18-19: 3-22. see also [4]
  8. ^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008):”Three poems have bits of demotic Greek; these have been identified and translated into French, along with some Greek verses of Sultan Valad. Golpinarli (GM 416-417) indicates according to Vladimir Mir Mirughli, the Greek used in some of Rumi’s macaronic poems reflects the demotic Greek of the inhabitants of Anatolia. Golpinarli then argues that Rumi knew classical Persian and Arabic with precision, but typically composes poems in a more popular or colloquial Persian and Arabic.”.
  9. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West – The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Oneworld Publications, 2000, Chapter 7.
  10. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West – The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Oneworld Publications, 2000.
  11. ^ M.M. Sharif, A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II, p. 827.
  12. ^ M.M. Sharif, A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II, p. 828.
  13. ^ The triumphal sun By Annemarie Schimmel. Pg 328
  14. ^ Various Scholars such as Khalifah Abdul Hakim (Jalal al-Din Rumi), Afzal Iqbal (The Life and Thought of Rumi), and others have expressed this opinion; for a direct secondary source, see citation below.
  15. ^ a b c Khalifah Abdul Hakim, “Jalal al-Din Rumi” in M.M. Sharif, ed., A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II.
  16. ^ Lewis 2000, pp. 407–408
  17. ^ Lewis 2000, p. 408
  18. ^ Quatrain No. 1173, translated by Ibrahim Gamard and Ravan Farhadi in “The Quatrains of Rumi”, an unpublished manuscript
  19. ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Rumi and the Sufi Tradition,” in Chelkowski (ed.), The Scholar and the Saint, p. 183
  20. ^ Quoted in Ibrahim Gamard, Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses — Annotated and Explained, p. 171.
  21. ^ Said, Farida. “REVIEWS: The Rumi craze”. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  22. ^ From Dr. Naini’s programs
  23. ^ From Rumi Network
  24. ^ The Diploma of Honorary Doctorate of the University of Tehran in the field of Persian Language and Literature will be granted to Professor Coleman Barks
  25. ^ Curiel,Jonathan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Islamic verses: The influence of Muslim literature in the United States has grown stronger since the Sept. 11 attacks (February 6, 2005), Available online (Retrieved Aug 2006)
  26. ^ Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Banknote Museum: 7. Emission Group – Five Thousand Turkish Lira – I. Series, II. Series & III. Series. – Retrieved on 20 April 2009.
  27. ^ a b Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000.
  28. ^ See for example 4th grade Iranian school book where the story of the Parrot and Merchant from the Mathnawi is taught to students
  29. ^ Sufism
  30. ^ ISCA – The Islamic Supreme Council of America[dead link]
  31. ^ “Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi”. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  32. ^ a b About the Mevlevi Order of America
  33. ^ Hanut, Eryk (2000). Rumi: The Card and Book Pack : Meditation, Inspiration, Self-discovery. The Rumi Card Book. Tuttle Publishing. xiii. ISBN 1885203950.
  34. ^ Web Page Under Construction
  35. ^ Mango, Andrew, Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, (2002), ISBN 1585670111.
  36. ^ Kloosterman Genealogy, Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
  37. ^ Edward G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia from the Earliest Times Until Firdawsh, 543 pp., Adamant Media Corporation, 2002, ISBN 1402160453, 9781402160455 (see p.437)
  38. ^ Annemarie Schimmel, Deciphering the Signs of God, 302 pp., SUNY Press, 1994, ISBN 0791419827, 9780791419823 (see p.210)
  39. ^ Today’S Zaman
  40. ^ UNESCO: 800th Anniversary of the Birth of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi. – Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
  41. ^ UNESCO. Executive Board; 175th; UNESCO Medal in honour of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi; 2006
  42. ^
  43. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan – Rumi’s 800 Anniversary
  44. ^ همشهری آنلاین
  45. ^ Int’l congress on Molana opens in Tehran
  46. ^ Iran Daily – Arts & Culture – 10/03/06
  47. ^ CHN | News
  48. ^ Podcast Interview with Coleman Barks on Rumi
  49. ^, 300 dervishes whirl for Rumi in Turkey
  50. ^ Leonard Lewisohn, Editor’s Note to Mawlana Rumi Review.
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Allama Mohammad Iqbal Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:19:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Allama Muhammad Iqbal (علامہ محمد اقبال / ʿAlāma Muammad Iqbāl; November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), commonly referred to as ʿAlāma Iqbāl (علامہ اقبال‎, ʿAlāma meaning “scholar”), was a poet, philosopher and Islamist politician in British India. He wrote his works in Persian and Urdu.

After studying in Cambridge, Munich and Heidelberg, Iqbal established a law practice, but concentrated primarily on writing scholarly works on politics, economics, ishi history, philosophy and religion. He is best known for his poetic works, including Asrar-e-Khudi—for which he was knightedRumuz-e-Bekhudi, and the Bang-e-Dara, with its enduring patriotic song Tarana-e-Hind. In India, he is widely regarded for the patriotic song, Saare Jahan Se Achcha. In Afghanistan and Iran, where he is known as Eghbāl-e-Lāhoorī (اقبال لاہوری‎ Iqbal of Lahore), he is highly regarded for his Persian works.

Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation across the world, but specifically in South Asia; a series of famous lectures he delivered to this effect were published as The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. One of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League, Iqbal encouraged the creation of a “state in northwestern India for Muslims” in his 1930 presidential address. Iqbal encouraged and worked closely with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and he is known as Muffakir-e-Pakistan (“The Thinker of Pakistan”), Shair-e-Mashriq (“The Poet of the East”), and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (“The Sage of Ummah“). He is officially recognized as the national poet of Pakistan. The anniversary of his birth (یوم ولادت محمد اقبال‎ – Yōm-e Welādat-e Muammad Iqbāl) is on November 9, and is a national holiday in Pakistan.

Early life

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born in 9 november in 1877 in Sialkot, Punjab, British India (now part of Pakistan) ; the eldest of five siblings in a Kashmiri family. Iqbal’s father Shaikh Nur Muhammad was a prosperous tailor, well-known for his devotion to Islam, and the family raised their children with deep religious grounding.

Iqbal was educated initially by tutors in languages and writing, history, poetry and religion. His potential as a poet and writer was recognized by one of his tutors, Syed Mir Hassan, and Iqbal would continue to study under him at the Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, now known as Murray College. The student became proficient in several languages and the skill of writing prose and poetry, and graduated in 1892. Following custom, at the age of 15 Iqbal’s family arranged for him to be married to Karim Bibi, the daughter of an affluent Gujrati physician. The couple had two children: a daughter, Mi’raj Begam (born 1895) and a son, Aftab (born 1899). Iqbal’s third son died soon after birth. The husband and wife were unhappy in their marriage and eventually divorced in 1916.

Iqbal entered the Government College in Lahore where he studied philosophy, English literature and Arabic and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating cum laude. He won a gold medal for topping his examination in philosophy. While studying for his masters’ degree, Iqbal came under the wing of Sir Thomas Arnold, a scholar of Islam and modern philosophy at the college. Arnold exposed the young man to Western culture and ideas, and served as a bridge for Iqbal between the ideas of East and West. Iqbal was appointed to a readership in Arabic at the Oriental College in Lahore, and he published his first book in Urdu, The Knowledge of Economics in 1903. In 1905 Iqbal published the patriotic song, Tarana-e-Hind (Song of India).

At Sir Thomas’s encouragement, Iqbal travelled to and spent many years studying in Europe. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College at Cambridge in 1907, while simultaneously studying law at Lincoln’s Inn, from where he qualified as a barrister in 1908. Iqbal also met a Muslim student, Atiyah Faizi in 1907, and had a close relationship with her. In Europe, he started writing his poetry in Persian as well. Throughout his life, Iqbal would prefer writing in Persian as he believed it allowed him to fully express philosophical concepts, and it gave him a wider audience. It was while in England that he first participated in politics. Following the formation of the All-India Muslim League in 1906, Iqbal was elected to the executive committee of its British chapter in 1908. Together with two other politicians, Syed Hassan Bilgrami and Syed Ameer Ali, Iqbal sat on the subcommittee which drafted the constitution of the League. Working under the supervision of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published a thesis titled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.[

Literary career

Upon his return to India in 1908, Iqbal took up assistant professorship at the Government College in Lahore, but for financial reasons he relinquished it within a year to practice law. During this period, Iqbal’s personal life was in turmoil. He divorced Karim Bibi in 1916, but provided financial support to her and their children for the rest of his life.

While maintaining his legal practice, Iqbal began concentrating on spiritual and religious subjects, and publishing poetry and literary works. He became active in the Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam, a congress of Muslim intellectuals, writers and poets as well as politicians, and in 1919 became the general secretary of the organisation. Iqbal’s thoughts in his work primarily focused on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centred around experiences from his travel and stay in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe, and soon became a strong critic of Western society’s separation of religion from state and what he perceived as its obsession with materialist pursuits.

The poetry and philosophy of Mawlana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Iqbal’s mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood, Iqbal would begin intensely concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, and embrace Rumi as “his guide.” Iqbal would feature Rumi in the role of a guide in many of his poems, and his works focused on reminding his readers of the past glories of Islamic civilization, and delivering a message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for socio-political liberation and greatness. Iqbal denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community, or the Ummah. It is said once great Bengali writer Tagore commented that a comparison between him and Iqbal is irrelevant because he does not write in his own mother tongue Punjabi.”His language is fully developed while mine is not,” replied Iqbal but Tagore said “My language was not developed, I have developed it”

Works in Persian

Iqbal’s poetic works are written mostly in Persian rather than Urdu. Among his 12,000 verses of poem, about 7,000 verses are in Persian. In 1915, he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-e-Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective. Many critics have called this Iqbal’s finest poetic work  In Asrar-e-Khudi, Iqbal has explained his philosophy of “Khudi,” or “Self.” Iqbal’ s use of term “Khudi” is synonymous with the word of “Rooh” as mentioned in the Quran. “Rooh” is that divine spark which is present in every human being and was present in Adam for which God ordered all of the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. But one has to make a great journey of transformation to realize that divine spark which Iqbal calls “Khudi”. A similitude of this journey could be understood by the relationship of fragrance and seed. Every seed has the potential for fragrance with in it. But to reach its fragrance the seed must go through all the different changes and stages. First breaking out of its shell. Then breaking the ground to come into the light developing roots at the same time. Then fighting against the elements to develop leaves and flowers. Finally reaching its pinnacle by attaining the fragrance that was hidden with in it. Same way to reach one’s khudi or rooh one needs to go through multiple stages which Iqbal himself went through and encourages other to travel this spiritual path. Like not all seeds reach the level of fragrance, many die along the way incomplete. Same way only few people could climb this mount Everest of spirituality, most get consumed along the way by materialism. The same concept was used by Farid ud Din Attar in his “Mantaq-ul-Tair”. He proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the “Self.” Iqbal condemns self-destruction. For him the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge. He charts the stages through which the “Self” has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the “Self” to become the viceregent of God.

In his Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (Hints of Selflessness), Iqbal seeks to prove that Islamic way of life is the best code of conduct for a nation’s viability. A person must keep his individual characteristics intact but once this is achieved he should sacrifice his personal ambitions for the needs of the nation. Man cannot realise the “Self” out of society. Also in Persian and published in 1917, this group of poems has as its main themes the ideal community, Islamic ethical and social principles and the relationship between the individual and society. Although he is true throughout to Islam, Iqbal recognises also the positive analogous aspects of other religions. The Rumuz-e-Bekhudi complements the emphasis on the self in the Asrar-e-Khudi and the two collections are often put in the same volume under the title Asrar-e-Rumuz (Hinting Secrets), and it is addressed to the world’s Muslims. Iqbal sees the individual and his community as reflections of each other. The individual needs to be strengthened before he can be integrated into the community, whose development in turn depends on the preservation of the communal ego. It is through contact with others that an ego learns to accept the limitations of its own freedom and the meaning of love. Muslim communities must ensure order in life and must therefore preserve their communal tradition. It is in this context that Iqbal sees the vital role of women, who as mothers are directly responsible for inculcating values in their children.

Iqbal’s 1924 publication, the Payam-e-Mashriq (The Message of the East) is closely connected to the West-östlicher Diwan by the famous German poet Goethe. Goethe bemoaned that the West had become too materialistic in outlook and expected that the East would provide a message of hope that would resuscitate spiritual values. Iqbal styles his work as a reminder to the West of the importance of morality, religion and civilization by underlining the need for cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism. He explains that an individual could never aspire for higher dimensions unless he learns of the nature of spirituality. In his first visit to Afghanistan, he presented his book “Payam-e Mashreq” to King Amanullah Khan in which he admired the liberal movements of Afghanistan against the British Empire. In 1933, he was officially invited to Afghanistan to join the meetings regarding the establishment of Kabul University.

The Zabur-e-Ajam (Persian Psalms), published in 1927, includes the poems Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed (Garden of New Secrets) and Bandagi Nama (Book of Slavery). In Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed, Iqbal first poses questions, then answers them with the help of ancient and modern insight and shows how it effects and concerns the world of action. Bandagi Nama denounces slavery by attempting to explain the spirit behind the fine arts of enslaved societies. Here as in other books, Iqbal insists on remembering the past, doing well in the present and preparing for the future, emphasising love, enthusiasm and energy to fill the ideal life. Iqbal’s 1932 work, the Javed Nama (Book of Javed) is named after and in a manner addressed to his son, who is featured in the poems, and follows the examples of the works of Ibn Arabi and Dante‘s The Divine Comedy, through mystical and exaggerated depiction across time. Iqbal depicts himself as Zinda Rud (“A stream full of life”) guided by Rumi, “the master,” through various heavens and spheres, and has the honour of approaching divinity and coming in contact with divine illuminations. In a passage re-living a historical period, Iqbal condemns the Muslim traitors who were instrumental in the defeat and death of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal and Tipu Sultan of Mysore respectively by betraying them for the benefit of the British colonists, and thus delivering their country to the shackles of slavery. At the end, by addressing his son Javid, he speaks to the young people at large, and provides guidance to the “new generation.”

His love to Persian language is evident in his works and poetry. He says in one of his poems:

گرچہ اردو در عذوبت شکر است

garche Urdū dar uzūbat shakar ast

لیک پارسی ام ز هندی شیرینتر است

lék Pārsī-am ze Hindī shīrīntar ast


Even though in sweetness Urdu* is sugar(but) My Persian is sweeter than Urdu

Iqbal’s first testing work published in Urdu, the Bang-e-Dara (The Call of the Marching Bell) of 1924, was a collection of poetry written by him in three distinct phases of his life. The poems he wrote up to 1905, the year Iqbal left for England imbibe patriotism and imagery of landscape, and includes the Tarana-e-Hind (The Song of India), popularly known as Saare Jahan Se Achcha and another poem Tarana-e-Milli (Anthem of the (Muslim) Community), which was composed in the same metre and rhyme scheme as Saare Jahan Se Achcha. The second set of poems date from between 1905 and 1908 when Iqbal studied in Europe and dwell upon the nature of European society, which he emphasized had lost spiritual and religious values. This inspired Iqbal to write poems on the historical and cultural heritage of Islamic culture and Muslim people, not from an Indian but a global perspective. Iqbal urges the global community of Muslims, addressed as the Ummah to define personal, social and political existence by the values and teachings of Islam. Poems such as Tulu’i Islam (Dawn of Islam) and Khizr-e-Rah (Guide of the Path) are especially acclaimed.

Iqbal preferred to work mainly in Persian for a predominant period of his career, but after 1930, his works were mainly in Urdu. The works of this period were often specifically directed at the Muslim masses of India, with an even stronger emphasis on Islam, and Muslim spiritual and political reawakening. Published in 1935, the Bal-e-Jibril (Wings of Gabriel) is considered by many critics as the finest of Iqbal’s Urdu poetry, and was inspired by his visit to Spain, where he visited the monuments and legacy of the kingdom of the Moors. It consists of ghazals, poems, quatrains, epigrams and carries a strong sense religious passion.

The Pas Cheh Bayed Kard ai Aqwam-e-Sharq (What are we to do, O Nations of the East?) includes the poem Musafir (Traveller). Again, Iqbal depicts Rumi as a character and an exposition of the mysteries of Islamic laws and Sufi perceptions is given. Iqbal laments the dissension and disunity among the Indian Muslims as well as Muslim nations. Musafir is an account of one of Iqbal’s journeys to Afghanistan, in which the Pashtun people are counseled to learn the “secret of Islam” and to “build up the self” within themselves. Iqbal’s final work was the Armughan-e-Hijaz (The Gift of Hijaz), published posthumously in 1938. The first part contains quatrains in Persian, and the second part contains some poems and epigrams in Urdu. The Persian quatrains convey the impression as though the poet is travelling through the Hijaz in his imagination. Profundity of ideas and intensity of passion are the salient features of these short poems. The Urdu portion of the book contains some categorical criticism of the intellectual movements and social and political revolutions of the modern age.b

Political career

While dividing his time between law and poetry, Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He supported Indian involvement in World War I, as well as the Khilafat movement and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Maulana Mohammad Ali and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was a critic of the mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s, it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.

In November 1926, with the encouragement of friends and supporters, Iqbal contested for a seat in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Muslim district of Lahore, and defeated his opponent by a margin of 3,177 votes. He supported the constitutional proposals presented by Jinnah with the aim of guaranteeing Muslim political rights and influence in a coalition with the Congress, and worked with the Aga Khan and other Muslim leaders to mend the factional divisions and achieve unity in the Muslim League.

Revival of Islamic polity

Iqbal’s second book in English, the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, is a collection of his six lectures which he delivered at Madras, Hyderabad and Aligarh; first published as a collection in Lahore, in 1930. These lectures dwell on the role of Islam as a religion as well as a political and legal philosophy in the modern age. In these lectures Iqbal firmly rejects the political attitudes and conduct of Muslim politicians, whom he saw as morally misguided, attached to power and without any standing with Muslim masses. Iqbal expressed fears that not only would secularism weaken the spiritual foundations of Islam and Muslim society, but that India’s Hindu-majority population would crowd out Muslim heritage, culture and political influence. In his travels to Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, he promoted ideas of greater Islamic political co-operation and unity, calling for the shedding of nationalist differences. He also speculated on different political arrangements to guarantee Muslim political power; in a dialogue with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British government and with no central Indian government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim provinces in India. Under one Indian union he feared for Muslims, who would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their existentially separate entity as Muslims. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was elected president of the Muslim League in 1930 at its session in Allahabad, in the United Provinces as well as for the session in Lahore in 1932. In his presidential address on December 29, 1930, Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India:

“I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of Northwest India.”

In his speech, Iqbal emphasised that unlike Christianity, Islam came with “legal concepts” with “civic significance,” with its “religious ideals” considered as inseparable from social order: “therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim.” Iqbal thus stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities, but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles. He thus became the first politician to articulate what would become known as the Two-Nation Theory — that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India. However, he would not elucidate or specify if his ideal Islamic state would construe a theocracy, even as he rejected secularism and nationalism. The latter part of Iqbal’s life was concentrated on political activity. He would travel across Europe and West Asia to garner political and financial support for the League, and he reiterated his ideas in his 1932 address, and during the Third Round-Table Conference, he opposed the Congress and proposals for transfer of power without considerable autonomy or independence for Muslim provinces. He would serve as president of the Punjab Muslim League, and would deliver speeches and publish articles in an attempt to rally Muslims across India as a single political entity. Iqbal consistently criticised feudal classes in Punjab as well as Muslim politicians averse to the League.

Evaluating the contribution of Iqbal to the creation of Pakistan and modernization of Islam writes Sailen Debnath, “The concept of Islamic nationalism was theorized by Mohammad Iqbal. A philosopher and poet, Iqbal blended Islamic philosophy with the classical and modern philosophy of the West. He brought Islam at the door of modernism even retaining its catholicity and purity and worked out an ideological paradigm of pan-Islamism and Islamic nationalism in India. Since 1905 till his death, Iqbal built the philosophical bedrock for the establishment of Pakistan on the subtlety of argument, romanticism and dynamism. He met with no serious challenge of the kind from the Congress. He had no peers in the Muslim League; therefore, all its leaders followed his theory and philosophy without any contradiction. Thus Muslim communalism got a philosophy and secularism was engraved. On the basis of humanity and equality, Iqbal took Islam to be the best religion of the world. He supported Islamic state, culture and nationalism inevitably complementary to one another for the growth of pan-Islamism or Islamic internationalism. For greater and broader unity and brother- hood among the Muslims in pursuance of the Quran, Iqbal rejected blood-relationship as the basis of human unity. He asserted Islam as the inner force of Islamic brotherhood. Thus his theory brought together the majority of the Muslims from Bengal to the North Western frontier provinces, and this made the Indian Muslims to feel their identity with … Islam …and this in course of time paved the path to the creation of Pakistan”. ) (Ref. Sailen Debnath, Secularism: Western and Indian, ISBN 9788126913664, Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi.

Patron of The Journal Tolu-e-Islam

He was also the first patron of the historical, political, religious, cultural journal of Muslims of British India and Pakistan. This journal played an important part in the Pakistan movement. The name of this journal is The Journal Tolu-e-Islam. In 1935, according to his instructions, Syed Nazeer Niazi initiated and edited, a journal Tolu-e-Islam  named after the famous poem of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Tulu’i Islam. He also dedicated the first edition of this journal to Sir Muhammad Iqbal. For a long time Sir Muhammad Iqbal wanted a journal to propagate his ideas and the aims and objective of Muslim league. It was Syed Nazeer Niazi, a close friend of him and a regular visitor to him during his last two years, who started this journal. He also made Urdu translation of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, by Sir Muhammad Iqbal.

In the first monthly journal of Oct. 1935, an article “Millat Islamia Hind” The Muslim nation of India was published. In this article Syed Nazeer Niazi described the political conditions of British India and the aims and objective of Muslim community. He also discussed the basic principles of Islam which were aims and objective of Sir Muhammad Iqbal’ concept of an Islamic State.

The early contributors to this journal were eminent Muslim scholars like Maulana Aslam Jairajpuri, Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, Dr. Zakir Hussain Khan, Syed Naseer Ahmed, Raja Hassan Akhtar, Maulvi Ghulam Yezdani, Ragheb Ahsan, Sheikh Suraj ul Haq, Rafee ud din Peer, Prof. fazal ud din Qureshi, Agha Muhammad Safdar, Asad Multani, Dr. Tasadaq Hussain, Prof. Yusuf Saleem Chisti.

Afterward, this journal was continued  by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez,who had already contributed many articles in the early editions of this journal. After the emergence of Pakistan, the mission of the journal Tolu-e-Islam was to propagate the implementation of the principle which had inspired the demand for separate Muslim State according to the Quran. This journal is still published by Idara Tolu-e-Islam, Lahore.

Relationship with Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders, Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazl-ur-Rahman, Iqbal came to believe that only Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving this unity and fulfilling the League’s objectives on Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong, personal correspondence with Jinnah, Iqbal was an influential force on convincing Jinnah to end his self-imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress:

“I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won’t mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India and, perhaps, to the whole of India.”

There were significant differences between the two men — while Iqbal believed that Islam was the source of government and society, Jinnah was a believer in secular government and had laid out a secular vision for Pakistan where religion would have “nothing to do with the business of the state.” Iqbal had backed the Khilafat struggle; Jinnah had dismissed it as “religious frenzy.” And while Iqbal espoused the idea of Muslim-majority provinces in 1930, Jinnah would continue to hold talks with the Congress through the decade and only officially embraced the goal of Pakistan in 1940. Some historians postulate that Jinnah always remained hopeful for an agreement with the Congress and never fully desired the independence of India. Iqbal’s close correspondence with Jinnah is speculated by some historians as having been responsible for Jinnah’s embrace of the idea of Pakistan. Iqbal elucidated to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state in a letter sent on June 21, 1937:

“A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are.”

Iqbal, serving as president of the Punjab Muslim League, criticised Jinnah’s political actions, including a political agreement with Punjabi leader Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, whom Iqbal saw as a representative of feudal classes and not committed to Islam as the core political philosophy. Nevertheless, Iqbal worked constantly to encourage Muslim leaders and masses to support Jinnah and the League. Speaking about the political future of Muslims in India, Iqbal said:

“There is only one way out. Muslims should strengthen Jinnah’s hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it, our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence…. The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims.”

Final years & death

In 1933, after returning from a trip to Spain and Afghanistan, Iqbal began suffering from a mysterious throat illness. He spent his final years helping Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan establish the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute at the latter’s Jamalpur estate near Pathankot, an institution where studies in classical Islam and contemporary social science would be subsidised, and advocating the demand for an independent Muslim state. Iqbal ceased practising law in 1934 and he was granted pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. After suffering for months from his illness, Iqbal died in Lahore in 1938. His tomb is located in Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden between the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, and official guards are maintained there by the Government of Pakistan.

Iqbal is commemorated widely in Pakistan, where he is regarded as the ideological founder of the state. His Tarana-e-Hind is a song that is widely used in India as a patriotic song speaking of communal harmony. His birthday is annually commemorated in Pakistan as Iqbal Day, a national holiday. Iqbal is the namesake of many public institutions, including the Allama Iqbal Medical College, Allama Iqbal Open University, the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, and Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in Karachi. Government and public organizations have sponsored the establishment of colleges and schools dedicated to Iqbal, and have established the Iqbal Academy to research, teach and preserve the works, literature and philosophy of Iqbal. His son Javid Iqbal has served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Influence and legacy

{{quote|If we are resolved to describe Islam as a system of superior values, we are obliged, first of all, to acknowledge that we are not the true representatives of Islam.|Muhammad Iqbal Allama Iqbal’s poetry has also been translated into several European languages where his works were famous during the early part of the 20th century. Iqbal’s Asrar-i-Khudi and Javed Nama were translated into English by R A Nicholson and A J Arberry respectively.

Legacy in India

Iqbal’s poem Saare Jahan Se Achcha has remained popular in India for over a century. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have sung it over a hundred times when he was imprisoned at Yerawada Jail in Pune in the 1930s. The poem was set to music in the 1950s by sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and recorded by singer Lata Mangeshkar. Stanzas (1), (3), (4), and (6) of the song became an unofficial national anthem in India, and were also turned into the official quick march of the Indian Armed Forces.[25][dead link] Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian cosmonaut, employed the first line of the song “sāre jahāñ se acchā hindostāñ hamārā” that means “Better than the entire world, is our Hindustan (Indian subcontinent) ” in 1984 to describe to then prime minister Indira Gandhi how India appeared from outer space. Current prime minister, Manmohan Singh, quoted the poem at his first press conference.

Source: Wikipedia

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Abul Qasim Ferdawsi Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:24:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Hakīm Abu’l-Qāsim Firdawsī (Persian: ابوالقاسم فردوسی), more commonly transliterated as Ferdowsi (or Firdausi), (940–1020) is a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shāhnāmeh, the national epic of Persian people and of the Iranian World.


Ferdowsi, the son of a wealthy land owner, was born in 940 in a small village named Paj near Tus in Khorasanin North East of Iran.

Ferdowsi was a Shi’ite Muslim, which is apparent from the Shahnameh itself  and also confirmed by early accounts.

His great epic, the Shāhnāmeh (“The Great Book”: in Persian, Shah means king, monarch or dynast, but when it is used as a prefix, it means “Big”, “Great” or “Major”.), to which he devoted more than 35 years, was originally composed for presentation to the Samanid princes of Khorasan, who were the chief instigators of the revival of Iranian cultural traditions after the Arab conquest of the seventh century.

When he was just 23-years old, he found a “Shāhnāmeh” written by Abu-Mansour Almoammari; it was not, however, in poetic form. It consisted of older versions ordered by Abu-Mansour ibn Abdol-razzagh. The discovery would be a fateful moment in the life of the poet. Ferdowsi started his composition of the Shahnameh in the Samanid era in 977 A.D[3]. During Ferdowsi’s lifetime the Samanid dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Empire.

After 30 years of hard work, he finished the book and two or three years after that, Ferdowsi went to Ghazni, the Ghaznavid capital, to present it to the king. There are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new king, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, in Ferdowsi and his lifework. According to historians, Mahmud had promised Ferdowsi a dinar for every distich written in the Shahnameh (60,000 dinars), but later retracted and presented him with dirhams (20,000 dirhams), which were at that time much less valuable than dinars (every 100 dirhams worth 1 dinar). Some think it was the jealousy of other poets working at the king’s court that led to this treachery; the incident encouraged Ferdowsi’s enemies in the court. Ferdowsi rejected the money and, by some accounts, he gave it to a poor man who sold wine. Wandering for a time in Sistan and Mazandaran, he eventually returned to Tus, heartbroken and enraged.

He had left behind a poem for the King, stuck to the wall of the room he had worked in for all those years. It was a long and angry poem, more like a curse, and ended with the words:

“Heaven’s vengeance will not forget. Shrink tyrant from my words of fire, and tremble at a poet’s ire.”

Ferdowsi is said to have died around 1020 in poverty at the age of 85, embittered by royal neglect, though fully confident of his work’s ultimate success and fame (clearly seen, especially in the last verses of his book). One tradition claims Mahmud re-sent the amount promised to Ferdowsi’s village, but when the messengers reached his house, he had died a few hours earlier. The gift was then given to his daughter, since his son had died before his father at the age of 37. However, his daughter refused to receive the sum, thus making Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh immortal.

Later the king ordered the money be used for repairing an inn in the way from Merv to Tus, named “Robat Chaheh” so that it may remain in remembrance of the poet. This inn now lies in ruins, but still exists.

Some say that Ferdowsi’s daughter inherited her father’s hard earned money, and she built a new and strong bridge with a beautiful stone caravanserai nearby for travellers to rest and trade and tell stories.

Ferdowsi was buried at the yard of his own home, where his mausoleum now lies. It was not until Reza Shah Pahlavi’s rule, in 1925, that a mausoleum was built for the great poet.


Phoenix, mythical bird of the Shahnameh Illustrations, especially those of Mahmoud Farshchian, are historical and use the different themes for the stories.

His masterpiece, the Shāhnāmeh, is the most popular and influential national epic belonging to the Iranian people that at one time made up the greater Persian Empire, named in Prophet Zarathustra’s Gatha as Airyanem Vaejah, in Shahnameh as Iran, and in Greek as Persian Empire. In this context we use “Persians” to denote what the Greeks viewed as the people of Airyanem Vaejah and the word Persia for all its territories. Thus the greatest achievement of Ferdowsi is to have all of the named fragments of the former Persian Empire, once again recite together “if there is no Iran, may my body be vanquished, and in this land and nation no one remain alive, if everyone of us dies one by one, it is better than giving our country to the enemy.”} If there is a single document in the Persian literature that can reunite Persia and all of its nations, it is this document.[original research?][citation needed]

The Shāhnāmeh (Book of Kings), or “The Great Book” consists of the translation of an even older Middle Persian work titled the Book of Lords. It has remained exceptionally popular among Persians for over a thousand years. It tells the history of old Persia before the Arab conquest of the region. This tale, all written in poetic form and in Darī Persian, starts 7,000 years ago, narrating the story of Persian kings, knights, system of laws, Religion, victories and tragedies. The main source of Ferdowsi for historical and some of the mythological events was “Khodaynama”, a book which was gathered and written during the Sassanid era.

Ferdowsi was commissioned by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni to write a book about his valour and conquests. However, the poet, though dedicating the book to the King for an agreed fee of 30 horses loaded with gold coins, decided to tell the story of the Kings that had made the land of Persia into an Empire throughout the ages. This task was to take the poet some thirty years or more, during which he included the verse:

Upon the presentation of the Shāhnāmeh, Sultan Mahmud was furious for not being the subject of the book and finally betrayed the agreement by offering Ferdowsi thirty camels loaded with Silver; the offer was refused by the poet. Heartbroken and poor the poet returned to his home town of Tus, the Sultan eventually realising his error and the true value of the Shāhnāmeh sent the agreed fee to the poet yet, upon the arrival of the camels the Ferdowsi’s coffin was being carried out through the exit gate of Tus to his grave. “Knowledge is power”. توانا بود هر که دانا بود


oFerdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. After Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh a number of other works similar in nature surfaced over the centuries within the cultural sphere of the Persian language. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh, but none of them could quite achieve the same degree of fame and popularity as Ferdowsi’s masterpiece.

Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. His works are cited as a crucial component in the persistence of the Persian language, as those works allowed much of the tongue to remain codified and intact. In this respect, Ferdowsi surpasses Nezami, Khayyam, Asadi Tusi, and other seminal Persian literary figures in his impact on Persian culture and language. Many modern Iranians see him as the father of the modern Persian language.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica:The Persians regard Ferdowsi as the greatest of their poets. For nearly a thousand years they have continued to read and to listen to recitations from his masterwork, the Shah-nameh, in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. Though written about 1,000 years ago, this work is as intelligible to the average, modern Iranian as the King James version of the Bible is to a modern English-speaker. The language, based as the poem is on a Dari original, is pure Persian with only the slightest admixture of Arabic

Source: Wikipedia

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Khwaja Abdullah Ansari Tue, 03 Aug 2010 05:48:58 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Shaikh al Islam `Abdullah e Ansari was born on 4 May 1006 in Heart, a province in western Afghanistan.  

He grew up amongst such scholars as Abu Ayyubs, of ansar a holy poet and a philosopher he enjoyed a reputation of a wise man until many centuries beyond his death.

Khwaja Abdullah belongs to a short list of the most excellent poets of the sufi realm,   Khwaja Abdullah’s literatury works is described by Nasr Musajja as strangely enough the most important  works to our society. As the author of the first Risales, treatise ” in gereimter Prosa” reports that in this century no comparable scholar was found to the caliber of Ansari.  

His poems are the thoughts of an intimate dialog of the soul with God in form of Monologs.  

Ansari loosely tightens animation and added theoretical views in his lectures with inserts of legends and parabolas of that era, which only alternates with each of the verses.

Ansari late in his life was somewhat an unconsidered author, his memory weakened but he had already cleared the way for many disciples to follow in his footsteps. The translation of Tabaqatu s Sufiyya procured or, biographies of holy sufis the from the Arab origins is the major work of him that is currently available..

According to, Abd AR Rahman Sulamis 1021 in a hand written memoir preserved the works of Khwaja Abdullah from its original (Dari) and from its contents Jamis Nafahatu l developed for generations to come.

Khwaja Abdullah lived in privacy, from 1476 on.   In connection with Jami we discover that Ansari was first that noted the story of Yusuf and Zulaikha in Persian.

Khwaja Abdullah Ansari died in Herat the year 1088, and is burial place in Herat is still today a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Sufis and fans.

I Came

By Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

From the un-manifest I came,
And pitched my tent, in the Forest of Material existence.
I passed through mineral and vegetable kingdoms,
Then my mental equipment carried me into the animal kingdom;
Having reached there I crossed beyond it;
Then in the crystal clear shell of human heart
I nursed the drop of self in a Pearl,
And in association with good men
Wandered round the Prayer House,
And having experienced that, crossed beyond it;
Then I took the road that leads to Him,
And became a slave at His gate;
Then the duality disappeared
And I became absorbed in Him.

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Abdul Qader Bedil Mon, 03 May 2010 05:17:34 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mawlānā Abul-Ma’āni Mirzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil (Persian: مولانا ابوالمعانی عبدالقادر بیدل), also known as Bīdel Dehlavī (1642–1720), was a famous Persian poet and Sufi born in Azimabad (present day Patna, India); to a family of Chaghatay Turkic descent. According to some other sources, he was born in Khwaja Rawash, an area of Kabul province in today’s Afghanistan.

He mostly wrote Ghazal and Rubayee (quatrain) in Persian and is the author of 16 books of poetry (contain nearly 147,000 verses and include several masnavi) . He is considered as one of the prominent poets of Indian School of Poetry in Persian literature, and owns his unique Style in it. Both Mirza Ghalib and Iqbal-e Lahori were influenced by him. His books include Telesm-e Hairat (طلسم حيرت), Toor e Ma’refat (طور معرفت), Chahār Unsur (چهار عنصر) and Ruqa’āt (رقعات).

Possibly as a result of being brought up in such a mixed religious environment, Bedil had considerably more tolerant views than his poetic contemporaries. He preferred free thought to accepting the established beliefs of his time, siding with the common people and rejecting the clergy who he often saw as corrupt.

Upon his emergence as a poet, Bedil gained recognition throughout the Iranian cultural continent. Since late 18th century his poetry gradually lost its position among Iranians while it has been much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Bedil came back to prominence in Iran in 1980s. Literary critics Mohammad-Reza Shafiei-Kadkani and Shams Langrudi were instrumental in Bidel’s re-emergence in Iran. Iran also sponsored two international conferences on Bedil.

The Indian school of Persian poetry and especially Bedil’s poetry is criticized for its complex and implicit meanings, however, it is much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India than in Iran. The main reason could be his style which is kept a bit Indian. In Afghanistan, a unique school in poetry studying is dedicated to Bedil’s poetry called Bedil Shināsī (Bedil studies) and those who have studied his poetry are called Bedil Shinās (Bedil expert). His poetry plays a major role in Indo-Persian classical music of central Asia as well. Many Afghan classical musicians, i.e. Mohammad Hussain Sarahang, have sung plenty of Bedil’s ghazals.

His grave, called Bagh-e-Bedil (Garden of Bedil) is situated at Mathura Road in Delhi. Ustaad Sayed Mohammad Daoud Al’Hossaini, an Afghan Bedil expert, arguably showed that seven months after his funeral, Bedil’s body was brought back by friends and relatives from Delhi to Khwaja Rawash in Kabul, where the relatives of Barlas-e Tshaghatai lived. The grave is also called Bagh-e-Bedil (Garden of Bedil). Sallahouddin-e Saljouqi proves this thesis on p. 87 of his book “Naqd-e Bedil”, that Bedil’s grave does not exist in Delhi, but in Khwaja Rawash.
Source: Wikipedia, Free Encyclopedia

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Hafez Shirazi Wed, 03 Mar 2010 05:25:48 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hāfez (1325/26–1389/90)[1] was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works (Divan) are to be found in the homes of most Iranians, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, and have influenced post-Fourteenth Century Persian writing more than anything else has.[2][3]

The major themes of his ghazals are love, the celebration of wine and intoxication, keeping the sincere faith and exposing the hypocrisy of the religious leaders.

His presence in the lives of Iranians can be felt through Hafez-reading (fāl-e hāfez, Persian: فال حافظ), frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art and Persian calligraphy. His tomb in Shiraz is a masterpiece of Iranian architecture and visited often. Adaptations, imitations and translations of Hafez’ poems exist in all major languages.


Despite his profound effect on Persian life and culture and his enduring popularity and influence, few details of his life are known, and particularly about his early life there is a great deal of more or less mythical anecdote. Some of the early tazkeras (biographical sketches) mentioning Hafez are generally considered unreliable.[4] One early document discussing Hafez’ life is the preface of his Divān, which was written by an unknown contemporary of Hafez whose name may have been Moḥammad Golandām.[5] Two of the most highly regarded modern editions of Hafez’s Divān are compiled by Moḥammad Qazvini and Qāsem Ḡani (495 ghazals) and by Parviz Natil Khanlari (486 ghazals).[6][7]

Modern scholars generally agree that Hafez was born either in 1315 or 1317, and following an account by Jami, consider 1390 as the year in which he died.[5][8] Supported by patronage from the area’s rulers, from Shah Abu Ishaq, who came to power while Hafez was in his teens, until the rule of Timur Lang (Tamerlane) at the end of his life, he even managed to write under the strict ruler Shah Mubariz ud-Din Muhammad (Mubariz Muzaffar), though his work flourished most under the twenty-seven year reign of Jalal ud-Din Shah Shuja (Shah Shuja).[9] Although no historical evidence of this is available, one source claims that Hāfez briefly fell out of favor with Shah Shuja for mocking inferior poets (Shah Shuja wrote poetry himself and may have taken the comments personally), forcing Hāfez to flee from Shiraz to Isfahan and Yazd.[9] His mausoleum, Hāfezieh, is located in the Musalla Gardens of Shiraz

Legends of Hafez

Many semi-miraculous mythical tales were woven around Hāfez after his death.

  • It is said that, by listening to his father’s recitations, Hāfez had accomplished the task of learning the Qur’an by heart, at an early age (that is in fact the meaning of the word Hafez). At the same time Hāfez is said to have known by heart, the works of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Saadi, Farid ud-Din and Nezami.
  • According to one tradition, before meeting Hajji Zayn al-Attar, Hāfez had been working in a local bakery. Hāfez delivered bread to a wealthy quarter of the town where he saw Shakh-e Nabat, allegedly a woman of great beauty, to whom some of his poems are addressed. In the knowledge that his love for her would not be requited and ravished by her beauty, he allegedly had his first mystic vigil in his desire to realize this union, whereupon, overcome by a being of a surpassing beauty (who identifies himself as an angel), he begins his mystic path of realization, in pursuit of spiritual union with the divine. The obvious Western parallel is that of Dante and Beatrice.
  • At age 60 he is said to have begun a Chilla-nashini, a 40-day-and-night vigil by sitting in a circle which he had drawn for himself. On the 40th day, he once again met with Zayn al-Attar on what is known to be their fortieth anniversary and was offered a cup of wine. It was there where he is said to have attained “Cosmic Consciousness”. Hāfez hints at this episode in one of his verses where he advises the reader to attain “clarity of wine” by letting it “sit for 40 days”.
  • Although Hafez did not live in Tamerlane’s time and almost never traveled out of Shiraz; In one famous tale, the famed conqueror Tamerlane angrily summoned Hāfez to him to give him an explanation for one of his verses

اگر آن ترک شیرازی بدست‌آرد دل مارا

به خال هندویش بخشم سمرقند و بخارا را

If that Shirazi Turk would take my heart in hand

I would remit Samarkand and Bukhārā for his/her Hindu mole

With Samarkand being Timur‘s capital and Bokhara his kingdom’s finest city. “With the blows of my lustrous sword,” Timur complained, “I have subjugated most of the habitable globe… to embellish Samarkand and Bokhara, the seats of my government; and you, would sell them for the black mole of some boy in Shiraz!” Hāfez, so the tale goes, bowed deeply and replied “Alas, O Prince, it is this prodigality which is the cause of the misery in which you find me”.

So surprised and pleased was Timur with this response that he dismissed Hafez with handsome gifts.[9]

Works and influence

Hafez was well acclaimed throughout the Islamic world during his lifetime, with other Persian poets imitating his work, and offers of patronage from Baghdad and India.[9] Today, he is the most popular poet in Iran; even libraries without the Qur’an contain his Diwan.[6]

Much later, the work of Hāfez would leave a mark on such Western writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Goethe. His work was first translated into English in 1771 by William Jones.

Most recently, The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, a collection of poems by Daniel Ladinsky (1999) has been both commercially successful and a source of controversy. Ladinsky claims to speak Persian, though not fluently. In the introduction to the book, he states his work is a “unique portrait is derived from the study of thousands of pages of poems and text attributed to this fourteenth-century master […] working with hundred-year-old English renderings and translations”.[10] The texts he purports to have used include H. Wilberforce Clark’s 1891 rendering. He said that he found the Persian originals “remarkably demanding” to translate.[11] Critics such as Murat Nemet-Nejat, a poet, essayist and translator of modern Turkish poetry, have asserted that his translations are in fact Ladinsky’s own inventions.[12] The fact that Ladinsky’s poems are not a literal representation of Hafez’ work was a source of embarrassment for Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, when it was discovered that the poem McGuinty had recited from Ladinsky’s book at a Nowruz celebration in Toronto in 2009 had no corresponding Persian original.[citation needed] Parvin Loloi has said of Ladinsky’s work that “it is hard to see that it has done much for the memory of the Persian poet.” [10]

There is no definitive version of his collected works (or Dīvān); editions vary from 573 to 994 poems. In Iran, his collected works have come to be used as an aid to popular divination. Only since the 1940s has a sustained scholarly attempt – by Mas’ud Farzad, Qasim Ghani and others in Iran – been made to authenticate his work, and remove errors introduced by later copyists and censors. However, the reliability of such work has been questioned,[13] and in the words of Hāfez scholar Iraj Bashiri…. “there remains little hope from there (i.e.: Iran) for an authenticated diwan”.

Though Hāfez’s poetry is influenced by Islam, he is widely respected by Hindus, Christians and others. The Indian sage of Iranian descent Meher Baba, who syncretized elements of Sufism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Christian mysticism, recited Hāfez’s poetry until his dying day.[14] October 12 is celebrated as Hafez Day in Iran.[15]


The question of whether his work is to be interpreted literally, mystically or both, has been a source of concern and contention to western scholars[16]. On the one hand, some of his early readers such as William Jones saw in him a conventional lyricist similar to European love poets such as Petrarch[17]. Others such as Wilberforce Clarke saw him as purely a poet of didactic, ecstatic mysticism in the manner of Rumi, a view which modern scholarship has come to reject [18]. This confusion stems from the fact that, early in Persian literary history, the poetic vocabulary was usurped by mystics who believed that the ineffable could be better expressed in poetry than in prose. In composing poems of mystic content, they imbued every word and image with mystical undertones, thereby causing mysticism and lyricism to essentially converge into a single tradition. As a result, no fourteenth century Persian poet could write a lyrical poem without having a flavor of mysticism forced on it by the poetic vocabulary itself.[19][20]. While some poets, such as Ubayd Zakani, attempted to distance themselves from this fused mystical-lyrical tradition by writing satires, Hafiz embraced the fusion and thrived on it. W.M. Thackston has said of this that Hafiz “sang a rare blend of human and mystic love so balanced…that it is impossible to separate one from the other.”[21]

For this reason among others, the history of the translation of Hāfez has been a complicated one, and few translations into western languages have been wholly successful.

One of the figurative gestures for which he is most famous (and which is among the most difficult to translate) is īhām or artful punning. Thus a word such as gowhar which could mean both “essence, truth” and “pearl” would take on both meanings at once as in a phrase such as “a pearl/essential truth which was outside the shell of superficial existence”.

Hafez often took advantage of the aforementioned lack of distinction between lyrical, mystical and panegyric writing by using highly intellectualized, elaborate metaphors and images so as to suggest multiple possible meanings. This may be illustrated via a couplet from the beginning of one of Hafez’ poems.

Last night, from the cypress branch, the nightingale sang,
In Old Persian tones, the lesson of spiritual stations.

The cypress tree is a symbol both of the beloved and of a regal presence. The nightingale and birdsong evoke the traditional setting for human love. The “lessons of spiritual stations” suggest, obviously, a mystical undertone as well. (Though the word for “spiritual” could also be translated as “intrinsically meaningful.”) Therefore, the words could signify at once a prince addressing his devoted followers, a lover courting a beloved and the reception of spiritual wisdom[22].

The Tomb of Hafez

Twenty years after his death, a tomb (the Hafezieh) was erected to honor Hafez in the Musalla Gardens in Shiraz. The current Mausolem was designed by André Godard, French archeologist and architect, in the late 1930s. Inside, Hafez’s alabaster tombstone bore one of his poems inscribed upon it.




  1. ^
  2. ^ Yarshater. Accessed 25 July 2010.
  3. ^ Hafiz and the Place of Iranian Culture in the World by Aga Khan III, November 9, 1936 London.
  4. ^ Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 271-73
  5. ^ a b Khorramshahi. Accessed 25 July 2010
  6. ^ a b Lewisohn, p. 69.
  7. ^ Gray, pp. 11-12. Gray notes that Qazvini’s and Gani’s compilation in 1941 relied on the earliest known texts at that time, and that they remarked that none of the four texts they used were related to each other. Since then, she adds, more than fourteen earlier texts have been found, but their relationships to each other have not been studied.
  8. ^ Lewisohn, p. 67
  9. ^ a b c d Gray, pp. 2-4.
  10. ^ a b Loloi, Parvin (2003) Hâfiz, master of Persian poetry: a critical bibliography I B Tauris p58-9 ISBN 1860649238
  11. ^ Ladinsky, Daniel The Gift: Poems by Hafez the Great Sufi Master. Penguin p3-4 ISBN 0140195815
  12. ^ The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master.
  13. ^ Michael Hillmann in Rahnema-ye Ketab, 13 (1971), “Kusheshha-ye Jadid dar Shenakht-e Divan-e Sahih-e Hafez”
  14. ^ Kalchuri, Bhau: “Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba”, Manifestation, Inc. 1986. p. 6712
  15. ^ Hafez’s incomparable position in Iranian culture:October 12 is Hafez Day in Iran By Hossein Kaji, Mehrnews.Tehran Times Opinion Column, Oct. 12, 2006.
  16. ^ Schroeder, Eric “The Wild Deer Mathnavi” in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 11, No. 2, Special Issue on Oriental Art and Aesthetics (Dec., 1952), p.118
  17. ^ Jones, William (1772) “Preface” in Poems, Consisting Chiefly of Translations from the Asiatick Tongues p. iv
  18. ^ Davis, Dick: Iranian Studies, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Autumn, 1999), p.587
  19. ^ Thackston, Wheeler: “A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry,” Ibex Publishers Inc. 1994, p. ix in “Introduction”
  20. ^ Davis, Dick: “On Not Translating Hafez” in The New England Review 25:1-2 [2004]: 310-18
  21. ^ Thackston, Wheeler: “A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry,” Ibex Publishers Inc. 1994, p.64
  22. ^ Meisami, Julie Scott (May, 1985). “Allegorical Gardens in the Persian Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 17(2), 229-260
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Abdul Ali Mazari Sat, 27 Feb 2010 05:08:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Abdul Ali Mazari

Abdul Ali Mazari (1946 – March 1995) was a political leader of the Hezbe Wahdat during and following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.He belonged to the Hazara people. He said that the solution to the divisiveness in Afghanistan was in federalism, where every ethnic group would have specific constitutional rights.

In his speeches he repeated that his aim is to remove the discrimination against the Hazara’s because of biased policies of the central government and will strive to create a situation in Afghanistan where Hazara’s will be given access to justice and equality by the center.
Early life
An ethnic Hazara, Ustad Abdul Ali Mazari was born in the village of Charkent, south of the northern city of Mazari Sharif. Hence, his surname is “Mazari”. He began his primary schooling in theology at the local school in his village, then went to Mazari Sharif, then Qom in Iran, and then to Najaf in Iraq.

Political Life

In Iran, Mazari was imprisoned and tortured after being accused of conspiracy against the Shah of Iran in assistance with Iranian Shi’ite clerics.

Simultaneously with the occupation of Afghanistan by the Red Army, Abdul Ali Mazari returned to his birthplace and gained a prominent place in the anti-Soviet resistance movement. During the first years of the resistance, he lost his young brother, Mohammed Sultan, during a battle against the Soviet-backed forces. He soon lost his sister and other members of his family in the resistance. His uncle, Mohammad Ja’afar, and his son, Mohammad Afzal, were imprisoned and killed by the puppet regime in Kabul. He also lost his father, Haji Khudadad, and his brother, Haji Mohammad Nabi, in the rebellion and resistance movement.

Hizb e Wahdat
Abdul Ali Mazari was one of the founding members and the first leader of Hezbe Wahdat Islamic Afghanistan (Islamic Unity Party). In the first Congress of the party, he was elected leader of the Central Committee. During the second Congress, he was elected Secretary General of the Wahdat Party. Mazari’s initiative led to the creation of the Jonbesh-e Shamal (Northern Movement), in which the country’s most significant military forces joined ranks with the rebels, leading to a coup d’état and the eventual downfall of the regime in Kabul.

Civil War
The fall of Kabul to the Mujahideen marked the start of the Afghan Civil War between various factions, parties and ethnic groups. During this period, Mazari led the forces of Hizb e Wahdat who were based in West Kabul. More than twenty-six fierce battles were fought against Hizb e Wahdat by the forces of Shora-e-Nezar, Abdur Rasool Sayyaf and Taliban. Sometimes the relation of Mazari with the general Abdul Rashid Dostum was quite neutral, sometimes he was an ally, depending on the situation. The result was total destruction of Kabul city and the death of more than 50,000 civilians. More than 900 civilians were massacred in the Hazara dominated district of Afshar in Kabul and many more in Karte Seh by the invading forces of Ahmad Sha Masoud, and Abdur Rasool Sayyaf, assisted by traitors in Hizb e Wahdat.

The Massoud-Sayyaf triangle never considered Hazaras to be of significance in the Afghan government. This is what Mazari wanted: “We (Hazara people) must be an equal partner in this government and in its decision making processes. The Hazaras had been and have been targets of mass scale ethnic and religious persecution. They have never started any war, but defended themselves against the aggressions of Sayyaf-Taliban. The majority of the Hazaras are followers of the Shi’ite branch of Islam, in contrast to the overall majority of Sunnis in Afghanistan, regardless of ethnic group. It wasn’t until the battle for West Kabul that Hazaras came to global consideration as a potential power in Afghanistan – they have always been ignored in the past 200 years.

Taliban betrayal and death
Mullah Burjan, the Taliban leader, requested a personal meeting with Mazari. Mazari set off towards Chahar Asiyab in the company of a group of the Central Committee members in a convoy of two cars, whereupon they were betrayed, disarmed and arrested. His forces were disarmed, and soon the whole of West Kabul came under Taliban rule.

Mazari was tortured and later murdered by Taliban. They threw him out of a helicopter midair in Ghazni province, but later they claimed that Mazari and his companions tried to escape while being transferred in helicopters to Kandahar, the Taliban stronghold. His body was found in Ghazni.

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Masuma Esmati Wardak Fri, 26 Feb 2010 09:55:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Masuma Esmati-Wardak is an Afghan writer and politician. In 1953 she graduated from Kabul Womens College, and received a degree in business in the United States in 1958. Between 1959-1964 she was the principle of Zarghuna High School in Kabul, and then was appointed as director-general of secondary education. In 1964 she became a member of the Constitutional Advisory Committee that endorsed the progressive 1964 Afghan Constitution. In 1965 she was elected to represent Kandahar in the Lower House of Parliament, and became a leading advocate of women’s rights. In 1987 Masuma became president of the Afghan Woman’s Council. Under President Najibullah she served as Minister of Education. Masuma has written many books about women’s rights, in both Pashto and Dari concerning the contributions and efforts of Afghan women. Her book Women’s Contributions to Pashtu Oral Tradition was also translated into English.

Source: Wikipedia

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Dr. Najibullah Fri, 26 Feb 2010 05:28:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Dr. Najibullah

Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai (Pashto: نجيب الله), originally just Najib, (August 6, 1947 – September 28, 1996) was the fourth and last President of the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is also considered the second President of the Republic of Afghanistan.

Early years

Najibullah was born in August 1947 to the Ahmadzai sub-tribe of the Ghilzai Pashtun tribe. Though born in Kabul, his ancestral village was located between the towns of Said Karam and Gardēz in [[Paktia Province], this place is known as Mehlan. He was educated at Habibia High School and Kabul University, where he graduated with a doctor degree in medicine in 1975.

Political career

In 1965 Najibullah joined the Parcham faction of the Communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and in 1977 joined the Central Committee.

In 1978 the PDPA took power in Afghanistan, with Najibullah a member of the ruling Revolutionary Council. However, the Khalq faction of the PDPA gained supremacy over his own Parcham faction, and after a brief stint as ambassador in Iran, he was dismissed from government and went into exile in Europe.

He returned to Kabul after the Soviet intervention in 1979. In 1980, he was appointed the head of KHAD, the secret police. Under Najibullah’s control, it is claimed that KHAD arrested, tortured and executed tens of thousands of Afghans. It has been reported that Najibullah sometimes executed prisoners himself. In 1981 he was promoted to full membership in the Politburo.

Meanwhile, a change had taken place in Kabul. On May 4, 1986, under pressure from the Soviet Union, Babrak Karmal resigned as secretary general of the PDPA and was replaced by Dr. Najibullah. Karmal retained the presidency for a while, but power had shifted to Najibullah.

His selection by the Soviets was clearly related to his success in running KHAD more effectively than the rest of the DRA had been governed.

President of the Republic (November 1986 – April 1992)

In November 1986, Najibullah was elected president and a new constitution was adopted. Some of the innovations incorporated into the constitution were a multi-party political system, freedom of expression, and an Islamic legal system presided over by an independent judiciary.

However, all of these measures were largely outweighed by the broad powers of the president, who commanded a military and police apparatus under the control of the Homeland Party (Hizb-i Watan, as the PDPA became known in 1988). In September he set up the National Compromise Commission to contact counter-revolutionaries “in order to complete the Saur Revolution in its new phase”. Allegedly some 40,000 rebels were contacted.

In this way, Najibullah had stabilized his political position enough to begin matching Moscow‘s moves toward withdrawal. On July 20, 1987, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country was announced.

It was also during his Administration that the peak of the fighting came in 1985-86. The Soviet forces launched their largest and most effective assaults on the Mujahideen supply lines adjacent to Pakistan. Major campaigns had also forced the mujahedeen back to defensive positions near Herat and Kandahar.

Najibullah made an expanded reconciliation offer to the resistance in July 1987, including twenty seats in State (formerly Revolutionary) Council, twelve ministries and a possible prime ministership and Afghanistan’s status as an Islamic non-aligned state. Military, police, and security powers were not mentioned, and the offer still fell far short of what even the moderate mujahedeen parties would accept.

Najibullah then reorganized his government to face the mujahedeen alone. A new constitution took effect in November, 1987. The name of the country was reverted to the Republic of Afghanistan, the State Council was replaced by a National Assembly for which multiple parties could freely compete. Mohammad Hasan Sharq, a non-party politician, was named Prime Minister.

On June 7, 1988, President Najibullah addressed the UN General Assembly in request of support for a peace solution of the crisis in Afghanistan.

Soviet withdrawal and Civil War

With Afghanistan’s mujihadeen rejecting offers of reconciliation, Najibullah declared an emergency immediately after the Soviet departure. Prime Minister Sharq and the other non-party ministers were removed from the cabinet. The Soviet Union simultaneously provided a flood of military and economic supplies. Sufficient food and fuel were made available for the next two difficult winters.

Much of the military equipment belonging to Soviet units evacuating Eastern Europe was shipped to Afghanistan. Assured adequate supplies, the Afghan National Army Air Corps, which had developed tactics minimizing the threat from American-supplied Stinger missiles, now deterred mass attacks against the cities. Medium-range missiles, particularly the Scud, were successfully launched from Kabul in the defense of Jalalabad, 145 kilometres away.

Victory at Jalalabad dramatically revived the morale of the Kabul government. Its army proved able to fight effectively alongside the already hardened troops of the Soviet-trained special security forces. Defections decreased dramatically when it became apparent that the resistance was in disarray, with no capability for a quick victory.

Soviet support reached a value of $3 billion a year in 1990. Kabul had achieved a stalemate which exposed the mujahedeen weaknesses, political and military. Najibullah’s government survived for another four years. Divisions within his own ranks – including the defection of General Abdul Rashid Dostum – helped weaken the government’s resolve. Eventually, determined American support for the mujahedeen would prove decisive.

In March 1990 his government successfully withstood a Khalqi coup d’état, headed by Defense Minister Shahnawaz Tanai. According to Halimzai, a few months before the coup Mohammad Zahir Ofoq, the head of a small communist party, met with Shahnawaz Tanai to make a strategy for the coup. Halimzai says “When we were discussing how to take over the control, I told them that the coup will be unsuccessful unless we have control of departments like Media, Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in our hand. I told them that I am not willing to bring about such change. I said that you both should be aware of the all circumstances. We can’t take over Kabul, and once we fail no power will stop Ashrar (Mujahedeen) to enter Kabul. Eventually they agreed and said that they will first create grounds for a coup afterwards will act. But they were actually planning the coup and just before the coup Mr. Ofoq went to India and after failing Mr. Tanai fled to Islamabad. And I was right, Dr. Najib’s regime became weaker and in March 1992, Ashrar were wandering in the streets of Kabul, who were now Mujahedeen.” Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was one of the main supporters of the coup.

Najibullah had been working on a compromise settlement to end the civil war with Ahmad Shah Massoud, brokered by the United Nations. However, talks broke down and the government fell, and by 1992 Najibullah agreed to step down in favor of a transitional government. He also announced that a bicameral parliament would be established “within a few months,” on the basis of “free and democratic elections.”


The regime collapsed, as Kabul was short of fuel and food at the end of winter in 1992. Najibullah, on March 18, announced his willingness to resign in order to make way for a neutral interim government. On April 16, having lost internal control, was forced to resign by his own ruling party, following the capture of the strategically important Bagram air base and the nearby town of Charikar, by the Jamiat-e Islami guerrilla group.

Najibullah tried to meet Benon Sevan – director and senior political advisor to the UN Secretary-General‘s representative on the Afghan conflict at Kabul International Airport, but he was blocked by Abdul Rashid Dostum. On April 17, he sought sanctuary in the UN compound in Kabul. The newly created interim government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan left him unharmed.


When the Taliban were about to enter Kabul Ahmad Shah Massoud offered Najibullah twice to flee Kabul. Najibullah refused believing the Taliban would spare his life. General Tokhi, who was with Dr. Najibullah until the day before his torture and murder, wrote that when three people came to both Dr. Najibullah and General Tokhi and asked them to come with them to flee Kabul, they rejected the offer after losing their trust in Ahmad Shah Massoud who knowingly fired rockets at the UN compound where Najibullah and Tokhi had taken refuge. This proved to be a fatal mistake. Tokhi was with Najibullah at the UN compound when he was taken away by the Taliban, beaten and brutally murdered. His blood-soaked body was hung in public in Aryana Square in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 26, 1996. His brother Shahpur Ahmadzai was also with him throughout this whole ordeal at the UN compound and was eventually executed along with him.

A high ranking member of the Taliban militia, Mullah Mohammad Rabbani, said Najibullah deserved his fate. “He killed so many Islamic people and was against Islam and his crimes were so obvious that it had to happen. He was a communist,” Rabbani said. They were buried at graveyard (Kabristan) of village Mehlan near Gardez.

International reaction

There was widespread international condemnation, particularly from the Muslim world.[4]

India, a close ally of Najibullah, strongly condemned the public execution of Najibullah and began to extensively support Ahmed Shah Massoud‘s Northern Alliance in an attempt to contain the rise of the Taliban.

Source: Wikipedia

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Anahita Ratebzad Thu, 25 Feb 2010 02:05:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Anahita Ratebzad

Anahita Ratebzad (b. 1930) was a female Afghan Marxist and member of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan and the Revolutionary Council.

Ratebzad was deputy head of state in the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) government from 1980 to 1986. She was the first Afghan woman to play an active role in government and one of the few Afghan women to become a medical doctor. Born in Guldara in Kabul province, Ratebzad attended the Malalai Lycée in Kabul. She received a degree in nursing from the Chicago School of Nursing and an M.D. degree from Kabul University. She became involved in leftist politics and along with Khadija Ahrari, Masuma Esmati Wardak, and Roqia Abubakr became the first four women elected to parliament in 1965. A founder of the PDPA, she was active in the Parcham wing of that party. She served as ambassador to Belgrade (1978 – 1980), minister of social affairs (1978 – 1979), and minister of education (1979 – 1980). In 1986 President Najibullah replaced the Parcham government and Ratebzad fled to Moscow with her companion Babrak Karmal. They returned to Kabul in 1989, but were forced to flee to Moscow again in 1992 when the Najibullah government fell. After the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, they did not return to Kabul.

Ratebzad wrote the famous May 28, 1978 New Kabul Times editorial which declared: “Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services, and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country … Educating and enlightening women is now the subject of close government attention.”

Source: Wikipedia

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Mohamamd Hassan Sharq Tue, 23 Feb 2010 01:56:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Mohammad Hassan Sharq

Mohammad Hasan Sharq born in 1925 was an Afghan politician during the communist regime of Afghanistan. Sharq became Prime Minister of the Soviet-backed government, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

He was selected as a compromise candidate after the Loya Jirga ratified a new constitution in 1987. However, the power of his office was relatively small compared with the ones of the Presidency.


Sharq served as spokesman for earlier Prime Minister Mohammad Daoud Khan during the Kingdom of Afghanistan. When Daoud took over the Cabinet Posts of Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Foreign Minister, He appointed Sharq as his Deputy Prime Minister.[1]

In March 1986, Afghan foreign minister Abdul Wakil invited mujahideen leaders, former King Zahir Shah and ex-ministers from previous governments to join a government of national unity to rebuild the war-torn country.

The new parliament that convened on May 30, 1989, 2 weeks after the Geneva Accords became effective and the beginning of the Soviet troop withdrawal in 1989, consisted of 184 lower house deputies and 115 senators; 62 house and 82 senate seats were left vacant for the resistance “opposition.” As a compromise candidate, Sharq was selected by President Mohammad Najibullah to be the new prime minister, replacing Sultan Ali Keshtmand.[1]

The appointment was intended dramatically to reinforce the point that the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was going to take a back seat. However, the new constitution vested key powers in the Presidency, and President Najibullah did not give up that central role.

Sharq had served as the regime’s Deputy Prime Minister since June 1987 and before that as its Ambassador to India. In any event, Sharq’s association with the Parcham faction, dating back to the Daoud government, made the “non-PDPA” appellation meaningless. Likewise, on June 7, when Sharq announced his cabinet, consisting of 11 new members and 10 former ones, the non-party credentials of the “new” ministers were undermined by the fact that most had served the regime government previously in other capacities. Furthermore, the powerful ministries of interior, state security, and foreign affairs remained in PDPA hands.

The major exception was the effort to enlist a resistance commander or a respected retired general from an earlier era to become minister of defense. This post remained open for some time, but in August it was finally given to Army Chief of Staff General Shahnawaz Tanai of the Khalq faction.

Thus, almost 2 years after he announced the national reconciliation policy in January 1987, President Najibullah was unable to attract a single major figure of the resistance or prominent Afghan refugee to join the government. During 1988, two new provinces were created -Sar-e-pol in the north and Nuristan in the northeast- by carving out territory from adjoining provinces. In each case, the purpose appears to have been to create a new entity where an ethnic minority-the Hazaras and Nuristanis respectivelywould dominate.

This readjustment would guarantee representation in the new parliament for these ethnic groups. At the same time, the Sharq government has abolished the special ministry for nationalities that carries connotations of a Soviet-style system. On Febreary 1989, Sharq resigned from the government of President Najibullah, a move underscoring the failure thus far by Afghans to establish a government of national reconciliation.

A resident of the Anar Dara district in the western Farah province, Dr Hasan Sharq had been prime minister in the Dr Najeebullah government from 1986 to 1990. He also served as spokesman for the prime minister Daud Khan and his Milli Ghurzang Party
Source: Wikipedia

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Babrak Karmal Mon, 22 Feb 2010 05:40:35 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Babrak Karmal

Babrak Karmal (6 January 1929 – 1 or 3 December 1996) was the third President of Afghanistan (1979–1986) during the period of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is the best known of the Marxist leadership.

Having been restored to power with the support of the Soviet Union, he was unable to consolidate his power and, in 1986, he was replaced by Dr. Mohammad Najibullah. He left Afghanistan for Moscow, where he died in 1996.

Early years

The son of a well-connected army general and governor (Muhammad Hussein Hashimi), although born into a wealthy family in the village of Kamari (east of Kabul), Babrak Karmal lived in hardship following the death of his mother.

He was an indifferent student in high school and in the law school of Kabul University, quickly gained a reputation as an orator and activist in the university’s student union in 1951. He became involved in Marxist political activities while a student at Kabul University, and was imprisoned for five years as a result.

In prison, Karmal was befriended by a fellow inmate, Mir Akbar Khyber. A third inmate, Mier Mohammad Siddiq Farhang, initiated both to pro-Moscow leftist views. After graduation he entered the Ministry of Planning, keeping in close touch with those who had special knowledge on communism, among them Mier Mohammad Siddiq Farhang and Ali Mohammad Zahma, a professor at Kabul University.

Political career

On 1 January 1965 the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was founded in Kabul, with Karmal serving as one of its twenty-eight founding members in its founding congress. Karmal was appointed its Secretary. As a result, he was elected and served in the quasi-democratic National Assembly of Afghanistan from 1965 until 1973 during the constitutional monarchy of King Zahir Shah. Karmal is known for his revolutionary and open speeches in the parliament against the ruling classes. In most of his parliamentary speeches, Karmal urged the people of Afghanistan to unite and stand up against the ruling classes and fight the status quo. Karmal and a few of his other comrades in the National Assembly, represented the only leftist group at the time.

In 1967, when the party split into the Khalq and the Parcham factions, Karmal became the leader of the more moderate Parcham faction. When Mohammed Daoud Khan overthrew the monarchy and instituted the Republic, Karmal was asked by President Daoud to share power with him. Karmal replied that he needed to consult his with comrades on this issue and inform Daoud later. However, he never returned and did not serve in Daoud’s government, though some of the people who did serve eventually assumed important positions in Karmal’s government.

The factions reunited in 1977, and in April 1978 seized control of Afghanistan through a military coup. Karmal was initially Deputy Prime Minister but, following the rise of the rival Khalq faction, he and other important members of the Parcham faction such as Mohammed Najibullah, Noor Ahmad Noor, Anahita Ratebzad, and Mahmood Baryalai, were essentially exiled by being appointed ambassadors to other countries, while others, such as Sultan Ali Keshtmand, were put in jail.

Note may be taken of the fact that Karmal and his Parcham faction, arguing that the country was not yet ready for the socialist transformation of society, opposed any move that would result in the seizure of state power by the PDPA and did not support the military coup that resulted in the overthrow of Daoud’s government. Keshtmand, one of the founding members of PDPA, emphasized this in 2002. Indeed, the initiative of the coup was taken by Hafizullah Amin himself without the knowledge of the top PDPA leadership. The “order” for the launching of the coup against the Daoud regime was delivered by Amin’s son to Amin’s military group in the army.

The PDPA attempted to modernize the country in line with socialist programs, but there was major unrest. In December 1979 the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and Soviet commandos killed the then leader Hafizullah Amin. The Soviets brought Karmal back to be President of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Babrak Karmal, exiled leader of the Parcham faction of the PDPA was installed by the Soviets as Afghanistan’s new head of government.

President of the Republic

In his first radio broadcasts (Listen to the radio broadcast at Karmal gave hopeful promises. He said that henceforth there would be no executions and that a new constitution would be drawn up providing for the democratic election of national and local assemblies. He also promised that political parties would function freely and that both personal property and individual freedom would be safeguarded. In particular, he stressed that soon a government representing a united national front would be set up and that it would not pursue socialism.

He managed to fulfill some of his promises: the release of some political prisoners; the promulgation of the Fundamental Principles of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan; the change of the red, Soviet-style banner of the Khalq period to the more orthodox one of black, red, and green; the granting of concessions to religious leaders; and the conditional restoration of confiscated property.

However, from the beginning, his government did not enjoy international support. The United Nations General Assembly voted by 104 to 18 with 18 abstentions for a resolution which “strongly deplored” the “recent armed intervention” in Afghanistan and called for the “total withdrawal of foreign troops” from the country.

There were also immediate problems within the party. Karmal was the chosen man of the Kremlin, and no one within the party could openly oppose him. No attempt was made to televise the process by which the official party and the Revolutionary Council elected him head of the party and of the state.

Karmal’s poor performance in interviews with foreign journalists also failed to help his public image. In the first and last televised interview of his life, held before a large number of foreign and Afghan journalists after he was raised to power, Karmal divided the journalists on the basis of the Cold War line distinguishing between the Western bloc and the socialist bloc countries.

Thus, the civil war in Afghanistan started. This was a different type of war, however, since it involved guerrilla warfare and a war of attrition between the PDPA-Communist controlled regime and the Mujahideen; it cost both sides a great deal. Many Afghans, perhaps as many as five million, or one-quarter of the country’s population, fled to Pakistan and Iran where they organized into guerrilla groups to strike Soviet and government forces inside Afghanistan.

Others remained in Afghanistan and also formed fighting groups. These various groups were supplied with funds to purchase arms, principally from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the People’s Republic of China, and Egypt.

Fall from power

The regime ruled only the city of Kabul, the provincial capitals, and those strategic areas where the Soviets and the Afghan Military had stationed military contingents and militia units. Despite high casualties on both sides, pressure continued to mount on the Soviet Union, especially after the United States brought in Stinger anti-aircraft missiles which severely reduced the effectiveness of Soviet air cover.

Moscow came to regard Karmal as a failure and blamed him for the problems. Years later, when Karmal’s inability to consolidate his government had become obvious, Mikhail Gorbachev, then General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, said, “The main reason that there has been no national consolidation so far is that Comrade Karmal is hoping to continue sitting in Kabul with our help.”

Additionally, some Afghan troops who had fought for the Communist Government began to defect. In May 1986 he was replaced as party leader by Mohammad Najibullah. In November 1986, under increasing pressure from Moscow, he stepped down from the presidency, saying that he had heart trouble. Karmal then moved to Moscow, reportedly for medical treatment. He returned to Kabul in 1991 and then spent a few years in Hayratan (Afghanistan). He eventually died in Moscow in 1996.


In early December 1996, Karmal died in Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital from liver cancer. The date of his death was reported by some sources as 1 December and by others as December 3. On 5 December about 200 members of the Afghan community in Moscow attended a memorial service at the Hospital. Most of those in attendance had served in Karmal’s Afghan government.[

Karmal’s body was flown the following day from Moscow to Termez, a city in Uzbekistan that borders Afghanistan. From there it was carried in an ambulance via the “Friendship Bridge” to Hayratan, the border city on the Afghan side near Termez. Nearly a thousand people from different parts of Afghanistan and from different walks of life were waiting in a very long line to welcome Karmal’s body back to Afghanistan. His body was first taken to Hayratan General Hospital where it was put on display for hundreds of people who came to pay their last respects to the man who once was their President. Karmal’s body was buried in the Hayratan common graveyard beside the grave of his life-long comrade Imtiaz Hassan, who had earlier died in Moscow and was buried in the Hayratan Graveyard. Films of Karmal’s funeral and burial are available.

When the Taliban captured Hayratan for a second time in August 1998, Babrak Karmal’s body was exhumed from his grave but was soon re-buried in the same grave in presence of some residents (one of whom was a loyal member of Karmal’s Parcham faction of the PDPA) of Hayratan contrary to the false belief that his body was thrown into Amu Darya. After the Taliban re-buried Babrak Karmal, some of his comrades residing in Hayratan city went to his grave, opened it and made sure he was there, and then closed it again. Pictures are available.

Source: Wikipedia

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Mohammad Daud Khan Mon, 15 Feb 2010 06:07:17 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan

Mohammed Daoud (Daud) Khan or Muammad Dāwud ān (July 18, 1909 – April 28, 1978) was an Afghan prince and politician in Afghanistan who overthrew the monarchy of his first cousin Mohammed Zahir Shah and became the first President of Afghanistan from 1973 until his assassination in 1978 as a result of the Saur Revolution led by the Communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). Daud was known for his progressive policies, especially in relation to the rights of women, for initiating two five-year modernization plans.

Early life

HRH Prince Mohammed Daoud (also spelled Daud) was born at Kabul, the eldest son of the diplomat HRH Prince Mohammed Aziz Khan (1877–1933) (an older half-brother of King Mohammed Nadir Shah). He lost his father to assassination in Berlin in 1933, while his father was serving as the Afghan Ambassador to Germany. He and his brother Naim Khan (1911–78) then came under the tutelage of their uncle HRH Prince Hashim Khan (1884–1953). Daud proved to be an apt student of politics. Educated in France, he served as the Governor of the Eastern Province from 1934–35 and in 1938–39, and was Governor of Kandahar from 1935–38.

In 1939, Daud was promoted to Lieutenant-General, and commander of the important Kabul Army Corps until 1946. From 1946–48, he served as Minister of Defence, then Minister of the Interior from 1949-1951. In 1948, he served as Ambassador to France. In 1951, he was promoted to General and served in that capacity as Commander of the Central Forces in Kabul from 1951–53.

Royal Prime Minister

He was appointed Prime Minister in September 1953 in an intra-family transfer of power that involved no violence. His ten-year tenure was noted for his foreign policy turn to the Soviet Union, the completion of the Helmand Valley project, which radically improved living conditions in southwestern Afghanistan, and tentative steps towards the emancipation of women.

By 1956, having been rebuffed by the US for both sales of arms and loans, and in view of the independence of the former parts of the British Empire in South Asia.

Daud supported a nationalistic and one-sided reunification of the Pashtun people with Afghanistan, but this would have involved taking a considerable amount of territory from the new nation of Pakistan and was in direct antagonism to an older plan of the 1950s whereby a confederation between the two countries was proposed. The move further worried the non-Pashtun populations of Afghanistan such as the minority Tajik and Uzbek who suspected Daud Khan’s intention was to increase the Pashtun’s disproportionate hold on political power. During that time, the Pashtuns (or Afghans) consisted roughly 35 – 42 percent of Afghanistan’s ethnic demographics but they represented over 80 percent of the government and held all important ministries, such as the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs, Defense and even most of the banks.

With the creation of an independent Pakistan, the Durand line conflict with the British colonialists was inherited by the two countries.

In 1961, as a result of Daoud’s antagonistic policies and support to militias in areas along the Durand Line, Pakistan closed its borders with Afghanistan causing an economic crisis and greater dependence on the USSR. The USSR became Afghanistan’s principal trading partner. Within a few months, the USSR had sent jet airplanes, tanks, heavy and light artillery for a heavily discounted price tag of $25 million.

In 1962, Daud sent troops across the international border into the Bajaur region of Pakistan in an attempt to manipulate events in that area and to press the Pashtunistan issue, but the Afghan military forces were routed by Pakistani military. During this period the propaganda war from Afghanistan, carried on by radio, was relentless.

The crisis was finally resolved with the forced resignation of Daud Khan in March 1963 and the re-opening of the border in May. Pakistan has continued to remain suspicious of Afghan intentions and Daud’s policy has left a negative impression in the eyes of many Tajik tribesmen who felt they were being disenfranchised for the sake of Pashtun Nationalism.

In 1964, King Zahir introduced a new constitution, for the first time excluding all members of the royal family from the council of ministers. Daud had already stepped down. As well as having been prime minister, Daoud had also held the portfolios of Minister of Defence and Minister of Planning until 1963.

President of the Republic

On July 17, 1973, Daoud seized power from his cousin (and brother-in-law) King Zahir in a bloodless coup. Departing from tradition, and for the first time in Afghan history, Daoud did not proclaim himself Shah, establishing instead a republic with himself as President.

In 1974, Daoud signed one of two economic packages that would enable Afghanistan to have a far more capable military because of increasing fears of lacking an up-to-date modern army when compared to the militaries of Iran and Pakistan. For every night for two years[dubiousdiscuss] Kabul International and Baghram Air Base received a great flow of Soviet advanced weapons to rapidly increase modernization of a Soviet-trained military.[citation needed]

Zahir Shah’s democratic constitution with elected organs and the separation of powers was replaced by a now largely nominated Loya Jirga. A new constitution backed by a Loya Jirga was promulgated in February 1977, but failed to satisfy all political factions.

In 1976, in a rift with the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, Daud sought to increase relations and trade with other Muslim countries and made a tentative agreement with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on a solution to the Pashtunistan problem. Internally, Daoud attempted to distance himself from the communist elements within the coup. These moves were highly criticized by Moscow, which feared that Afghanistan would soon become closer to the West, especially the United States; the Soviets had always feared that the United States could find a way to influence the government in Kabul.

Daud’s army and police suppressed a growing Islamic fundamentalist movement, whose leaders fled to Pakistan. There they were supported by Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and encouraged to continue the fight against Daud.

A coup against Daud, which may have been planned before he took power, was repressed shortly after his seizure of power. In October 1973, Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal, a former prime minister and a highly respected former diplomat, died in prison at a time when Parchamis controlled the Ministry of Interior under circumstances corroborating the widespread belief that he had been tortured to death. One of the Army generals arrested under suspicion of this plot with Maiwandwal was Mohammed Asif Safi, who was later released and Daoud Khan personally apologized to him for the arrest.

Daud lessened the country’s dependence on the Soviet Union and went to Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, and Iran for aid. Surprisingly, he did not renew the Pashtunistan agitation; relations with Pakistan improved thanks to interventions from the US and Iran.

The following year, he established his own political party, the National Revolutionary Party, which became the focus of all political activity. In January 1977, a loya jirga approved the constitution establishing a presidential, one-party system of government.

Diplomatic relations with the USSR

President Daud met Leonid Brezhnev on a state visit to Moscow from April 12 to 15, 1977. He had asked for a private meeting with the Soviet Premier, to discuss with him the increased pattern of Soviet actions in Afghanistan. In particular the intensified Soviet attempt to unite the two factions of the Afghan communist parties, Parcham and Khalq.

Brezhnev described Afghanistan’s non-alignment as important to the USSR and essential to the promotion of peace in Asia, but warned him about the presence of experts from NATO countries stationed in the northern parts of Afghanistan.

In 1977 President Daoud made plans that the Government in Kabul would no longer have any personal relationships with the Soviet Union and try to make Afghanistan closer to the West, especially with other oil rich Middle-East nations. Afghanistan signed a co-operative military treaty with Egypt and by 1977 the Afghan military and police force were being trained by Egyptian Armed forces. This angered the Soviet Union because Egypt took the same route in 1974 and distanced itself from the Soviets.

Communist coup and assassination

The April 19, 1978, funeral of Mir Akbar Khyber, the prominent Parchami ideologue who had been murdered, served as a rallying point for the Afghan communists. An estimated 1,000 to 3,000 persons gathered to hear the stirring speeches by PDPA leaders such as Nur Muhammad Taraki, Hafizullah Amin and Babrak Karmal.

Shocked by this demonstration of communist unity, Daoud ordered the arrest of the PDPA leaders, but he reacted too slowly. It took him a week to arrest Taraki, Karmal managed to escape to the USSR, and Amin was merely placed under house arrest. According to PDPA documents, Amin sent complete orders for the coup from his home while it was under armed guard using his family as messengers.

The army had been put on alert on April 26 because of a presumed “anti-Islamic” coup. On April 27, 1978, a coup d’état beginning with troop movements at the military base at Kabul International Airport, gained ground slowly over the next twenty-four hours as rebels battled units loyal to Daud Khan in and around the capital.

Daoud and most of his family were shot in the presidential palace the following day. His death was not publicly announced after the coup. Instead, the new government declared that President Daoud had “resigned for health reasons.” {In 1979 Taraki was killed by Amin, who, in turn, was killed by the KGB; Karmal died in 1996 of cancer in Moscow}.

On June 28, 2008, the body of President Daoud and those of his family were found in two separate mass graves in the Pul-e-Charkhi area, District 12 of Kabul city. Initial reports indicate that sixteen corpses were in one grave and twelve others were in the second. (Source: Azadi Radio/BBC News). On December 4, 2008, the Afghan Health Ministry announced that the body of Daoud had been identified on the basis of teeth moulds and a small golden Quran found near the body. The Quran was a present he had received from the king of Saudi Arabia. On March 17, 2009 Daoud was given a state funeral.
Source: Wikipedia

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Sultan Ali Keshtmand Mon, 15 Feb 2010 05:33:34 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Sultan Ali Keshtmand

Sultan Ali Keshtmand (born 1935) was an Afghan politician. He served twice as Prime Minister during the 1980s, from 1981 to 1988 and from 1989 to 1990 in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

Early years
Keshtmand was born in Kabul. He is a member of the minority Hazara ethnic group. He studied economics at Kabul University and became involved in the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. He joined the Parcham Faction of that party, which was led by Babrak Karmal.

Role in politics
Immediately after the April 1978 coup d’état in which the People’s Democratic Party came to power, Keshtmand became the minister of planning in the newly formed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
He lost that post in August 1978 when he was arrested for an alleged plot against President Nur Mohammad Taraki, a member of the rival Khalq faction of the party. The PDPA Politburo ordered the arrest of Keshtmand and Public Works Minister Muhammad Rafi’i for their part in the possible anti-regime conspiracy. He and inmates went through severe torture and long imprisonment. He remained in prison and was sentenced to death, but this decision was revoked and he was resentenced to 15 years in prison.
On December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, bringing Babrak Karmal and the Parcham faction to power. He was released from jail, and was once again joined the Politburo.
Friction among the People’s Party members rose in 1980 when Karmal removed Assadullah Sarwari from his position as first deputy prime minister and replaced him with Sultan Ali Keshtmand. Keshtmand, a Parchami, soon became one of the most important leaders of the regime. In June of 1981, Karmal retained his other offices, but resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by Keshtmand. A 21-member Supreme Defense Council headed by Mohammad Najibullah effectively assumed power.
The rise in the deficit greatly concerned the government, and as Prime Minister Keshtmand noted in April 1983, the tax collections were inadequate in view of the increased state spending. The security situation in the country, however, prevented the government from improving its tax collections.
In September, 1987, the Kabul government sponsored a large convocation of Hazaras from various parts of the country and offered them autonomy. In his speech to the group, Keshtmand said that the government was going to set up several new provinces in the Hazarajat that would be administered by the local inhabitants.

Rise to power and the fall
He served as Prime Minister from 1981 to 1988 and 1989 to 1990, and as vice-President from 1990 until 1991, when he was dismissed shortly before the fall of the government.
A mujaheddin radio station reports intra-Parcham (a faction of the PDPA) (P) clashes in Kabul between supporters of Najibullah and Keshtmand, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.
Non-PDPA member Mohammed Hassan Sharq was selected by President Najibullah to be the new prime minister, replacing Keshtmand. This move was made in order to free spaces in the new government for nonparty candidates.
He then left Afghanistan, first moving to Russia and then to England. There he became an outspoken defender of the rights of Hazaras, claiming that the Pashtun majority in Afghanistan had had too much power in all of Afghanistan’s regimes.

In his recent book “Yad dashthaye Syaasi wa Rooyidadhaye Tarikhi” (Political Notes and Historical Events)” [Wikipedia:Citation needed| [Publication information needed] , Keshtmand has given an account of the rise and fall of the era in Afghanistan and his personal auto biography.
He has expressed his visit to Muslim Holy Places of Karbala and Najaf as “memorable and blessed” event in his life.

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King Amir Amanullah Khan Wed, 03 Feb 2010 04:42:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Amir Amanullah Khan

Born. June 1, 1892, Paghman Died April 25, 1960, Zürich, Switzerland

On February 20, 1919, Habibullah was assassinated on a hunting trip. He had not declared a succession, but left his third son, Amanullah, in charge in Kabul. Because Amanullah controlled both the national treasury and the army, he was well situated to seize power. Army support allowed Amanullah to suppress other claims and imprison those relatives who would not swear loyalty to him. Within a few months, the new amir had gained the allegiance of most tribal leaders and established control over the cities.

Amanullah’s ten years of reign initiated a period of dramatic change in Afghanistan in both foreign and domestic politics. Starting in May 1919 when he won complete independence in the month-long Third Anglo-Afghan War with Britain, Amanullah altered foreign policy in his new relations with external powers and transformed domestic politics with his social, political, and economic reforms. Although his reign ended abruptly, he achieved some notable successes, and his efforts failed as much due to the centripetal forces of tribal Afghanistan and the machinations of Russia and Britain as to any political folly on his part.

Amanullah came to power just as the entente between Russia and Britain broke down following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Once again Afghanistan provided a stage on which the great powers played out their schemes against one another. Amanullah attacked the British in May 1919 in two thrusts, taking them by surprise. Afghan forces achieved success in the early days of the war as Pashtun tribesmen on both sides of the border joined forces with them.

He was crowned in Kabul over the prior claims of his uncle Nasrullah, whom he denounced as a usurper and an accomplice in the murder of his father. King Amanullah (he assumed the title of king in 1926) was an ardent reformer and contemporary of like-minded rulers, Muhammad Reza in Iran and Kemal Ataturk in Turkey. He demanded a revision of the Anglo-Afgha agreements concluded by Amir Abdur Rahman which left Britain in charge of Afghanistan’s foreign relations in exchange for protection from unprovoked Russian aggression and a subsidy in money and military materiel.

The military skirmishes soon ended in a stalemate as the British recovered from their initial surprise. Britain virtually dictated the terms of the 1919 Rawalpindi Agreement, a temporary armistice that provided, somewhat ambiguously, for Afghan self-determination in foreign affairs. Before final negotiations were concluded in 1921, however, Afghanistan had already begun to establish its own foreign policy, including diplomatic relations with the new government in the Soviet Union in 1919. During the 1920s, Afghanistan established diplomatic relations with most major countries.

British reluctance to accept a change in the status quo led to Afghan armed attacks, culminating in the start of the third Anglo-Afghan war on May 3, 1919. Britain was war-weary and in no condition to wage war on the Indian frontier and, after lengthy negotiations in Rawalpindi, Mussoorie, and Kabul, peace was restored, leaving Afghanistan free and independent from British control .

King Amanullah became a national hero and turned his attention to reforming and modernizing his country. He established diplomatic and commercial relations with major European and Asian states, founded schools in which French, German, and English were the major languages of education, and promulgated a constitution which guaranteed the personal freedom and equal rights of all Afghans. He built a new capital, named Darulaman (Dar al-Amen – Abode of Peace), which include a monumental parliament and other government buildings as well as villas of prominent Afghans. Social reforms included a new dress code which permitted women in Kabul to go unveiled and encouraged officials to wear Western dress. Modernization proved costly for Afghanistan and was resented by the traditional elements of Afghan society.

In the 1920s, King Amanullah introduced new criminal and civil codes, including a 1921 family code that banned child marriage, required judicial permission before a man took more than one wife, and removed some family law questions from the jurisdiction of mullahs. His wife, Queen Soraya, opened the first girls’ school in Kabul.

His policy was to convert Afghanistan into a stable and prosperous kingdom on modern railway lines, and highway system, adapting the best of western practice, but cautiously, to Afghan conditions.

The second round of Anglo–Afghan negotiations for final peace were inconclusive. Both sides were prepared to agree on Afghan independence in foreign affairs, as provided for in the previous agreement. The two nations disagreed, however, on the issue that had plagued Anglo-Afghan relations for decades and would continue to cause friction for many more — authority over Pashtun tribes on both sides of the Durand Line. The British refused to concede Afghan control over the tribes on the British side of the line while the Afghans insisted on it. The Afghans regarded the 1921 agreement as only an informal one.

The rivalry of the great powers in the region might have remained subdued had it not been for the dramatic change in government in Moscow brought about by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. In their efforts to placate Muslims within their borders, the new Soviet leaders were eager to establish cordial relations with neighboring Muslim states. In the case of Afghanistan, the Soviets could achieve a dual purpose: by strengthening relations with the leadership in Kabul, they could also threaten Britain, which was one of the Western states supporting counterrevolution in the Soviet Union. In his attempts to unclench British control of Afghan foreign policy, Amanullah sent an emissary to Moscow in 1919; Lenin received the envoy warmly and responded by sending a Soviet representative to Kabul to offer aid to Amanullah’s government.

Throughout Amanullah’s reign, Soviet-Afghan relations fluctuated according Afghanistan’s value to the Soviet leadership at a given time; Afghanistan was either viewed as a tool for dealing with Soviet Muslim minorities or for threatening the British. Whereas the Soviets sought Amanullah’s assistance in suppressing anti-Bolshevik elements in Central Asia in return for help against the British, the Afghans were more interested in regaining lands across the Amu Darya lost to Russia in the nineteenth century. Afghan attempts to regain the oases of Merv and Panjdeh were easily subdued by the Soviet Red Army.

In May 1921, the Afghans and the Soviets signed a Treaty of Friendship, Afghanistan’s first international agreement since gaining full independence in 1919. The Soviets provided Amanullah with aid in the form of cash, technology, and military equipment. Despite this, Amanullah grew increasingly disillusioned with the Soviets, especially as he witnessed the widening oppression of his fellow Muslims across the border.

Anglo-Afghan relations soured over British fear of an Afghan-Soviet friendship, especially with the introduction of a few Soviet planes into Afghanistan. British unease increased when Amanullah maintained contacts with Indian nationalists and gave them asylum in Kabul, and also when he sought to stir up unrest among the Pashtun tribes across the border. The British responded by refusing to address Amanullah as “Your Majesty,” and imposing restrictions on the transit of goods through India.

Amanullah’s domestic reforms were no less dramatic than his foreign policy initiatives, but those reforms could not match his achievement of complete, lasting independence. Mahmoud Beg Tarzi, Amanullah’s father-in-law, encouraged the monarch’s interest in social and political reform but urged that it be gradually built upon the basis of a strong army and central government, as had occurred in Turkey under Kemal Atatürk. Amanullah, however, was unwilling to put off implementing his changes.

Amanullah’s reforms touched on many areas of Afghan life. In 1921 he established an air force, albeit with only a few Soviet planes and pilots; Afghan personnel later received training in France, Italy, and Turkey. Although he came to power with army support, Amanullah alienated many army personnel by reducing both their pay and size of the forces and by altering recruiting patterns to prevent tribal leaders from controlling who joined the service. Amanullah’s Turkish advisers suggested the king retire the older officers, men who were set in their ways and might resist the formation of a more professional army. Amanullah’s minister of war, General Muhammad Nadir Khan, a member of the Musahiban branch of the royal family, opposed these changes, preferring instead to recognize tribal sensitivities. The king rejected Nadir Khan’s advice and an anti-Turkish faction took root in the army; in 1924 Nadir Khan left the government to become ambassador to France.

If fully enacted, Amanullah’s reforms would have totally transformed Afghanistan. Most of his proposals, however, died with his abdication. His transforming social and educational reforms included: adopting the solar calendar, requiring Western dress in parts of Kabul and elsewhere, discouraging the veiling and seclusion of women, abolishing slavery and forced labor, introducing secular education (for girls as well as boys); adult education classes and educating nomads. His economic reforms included restructuring, reorganizing, and rationalizing the entire tax structure, antismuggling and anticorruption campaigns, a livestock census for taxation purposes, the first budget (in 1922), implementing the metric system (which did not take hold), establishing the Bank-i-Melli (National Bank) in 1928, and introducing the afghani as the new unit of currency in 1923.

The political and judicial reforms Amanuallah proposed were equally radical for the time and included the creation of Afghanistan’s first constitution (in 1923), the guarantee of civil rights (first by decree and later constitutionally), national registration and identity cards for the citizenry, the establishment of a legislative assembly, a court system to enforce new secular penal, civil, and commercial codes, prohibition of blood money, and abolition of subsidies and privileges for tribal chiefs and the royal family.

Although sharia (Islamic law) was to be the residual source of law, it regained prominence after the Khost rebellion of 1923-24. Religious leaders, who had gained influence under Habibullah Khan, were unhappy with Amanullah’s extensive religious reforms.

Conventional wisdom holds that the tribal revolt that overthrew Amanullah grew out of opposition to his reform program, although those people most affected by his reforms were urban dwellers not universally opposed to his policies, rather than the tribes. Nevertheless, the king had managed to alienate religious leaders and army members.

The unraveling began, however, when Shinwari Pashtun tribesmen revolted in Jalalabad in November 1928. When tribal forces advanced on the capital, many of the king’s troops deserted. Amanullah faced another threat as well: in addition to the Pashtun tribes, forces led by a Tajik tribesman were moving toward Kabul from the north. In January 1929, Amanullah abdicated the throne to his oldest brother, Inayatullah, who ruled for only three days before escaping into exile in India. Amanullah’s efforts to recover power by leading a small, ill-equipped force toward Kabul failed. The deposed king crossed the border into India and went into exile in Italy.

He remained in exile in Switzerland until his death. He died in 1960, and was buried in Jalalabad, near his father’s tomb.

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Sayed Jamaluddin Afghani Wed, 03 Feb 2010 04:21:03 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Sayed Jamaluddin Afghani

Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan known in Arab world as (Jamal al-Din al-afghani) is considered to be the founding father of Islamic modernism. He was born in 1838 in Kunar south of Kabul Afghanistan. At the age of eighteen, he traveled to India (1855/6) to continue his studies. During his stay in India until 1882, Sayed Jamaluddin became closely acquainted with the positivistic ideas of Sayed Ahmad Khan and wrote his famous The Truth about the Neichari Sect and an Explanation of the Necharis (Hakikat-i Madhhab-i Naychari wa Bayan-i Hal-i Naychariyan), first published in 1881 in Hyderabad, in rejection of S. A. Khan and his followers. The book was later translated by Muhammad ‘Abduh into Arabic and published as The Refutation of the Materialists (al-Radd ‘ala al-dahriyyin) in Beirut, 1886.

In 1870, he traveled to Egypt and Istanbul where he received a warm welcome from Ottoman officials and intellectuals who were instrumental in the creation of the Tanzimat reforms. Sayed Jamaluddin went to Egypt for the second time and stayed there for the next eight years (1871-9) during which time he began to spread his philosophical and political ideas through his classes and public lectures.

At the beginning of 1883, Sayed Jamaluddin spent a short time in London and then went to Paris. In Paris, Sayed Jamaluddin begun to publish his famous journal al-‘Urwat al-wuthqa’ (“The Firmest Robe” – a title taken from the Qur’an) with the close collaboration of his friend and student Muhammad ‘Abduh whom he had invited from Lebanon to Paris. Due to a number of difficulties, al-‘Urwah was discontinued in September 1884 after eighteen issues. Through his essays and especially his polemic against Ernest Renan, a French historian, philosopher and positivist, Sayed Jamaluddin established considerable fame for himself in the Parisian intellectual circles.

In 1886, he was invited by Shah Nasiruddin to Iran and offered the position of special adviser to the Shah, which he accepted. Sayed Jamaluddin, however, was critical of Shah’s policies on the question of political participation. This difference of opinion forced Sayed Jamaluddin to leave Iran for Russia (1886 to 1889). In 1889 on his way to Paris, Sayed Jamaluddin met Shah Nasiruddin in Munich and was offered the position of grand vizier. But Sayed Jamaluddin’s unabated criticisms of the rule and conduct of the Shah led to his eventual deportation from Iran in the winter of 1891. Sayed Jamaluddin was later implicated in the murder of Shah Nasiruddin in 1896.

Sayed Jamaluddin spent the last part of his life in Istanbul under the patronage and, later, surveillance of Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid II. The demands for Sayed Jamaluddin’s extradition by the Iranian officials for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Shah Nasiruddin were rejected by ‘Abd al-Hamid who, most probably, collaborated with Sayed Jamaluddin for the implementation of his political program of pan-Islamism or Islamic unity (ittihad-i islam). To this end, Sayed Jamaluddin sent a number of letters to various Islamic countries and leaders to mobilize and unite them against the British rule while at the same time trying to establish the foundations of a mutual rapprochement between the Sunnis and the Shias. According to some historians, ‘Abd al-Hamid grew suspicious of Sayed Jamaluddin’s meetings with some Arab leaders and the British officials in Istanbul and did not permit him to leave the country. Sayed Jamaluddin died of cancer in March 9, 1897 and was buried in Istanbul.

Afghanistan had dedicated many science and educational buildings to that of Sayed Jamaluddin, including the largest school in Kabul , The Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan School

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Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Mon, 01 Feb 2010 01:58:05 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan

Wazir Akbar Khan (Afghaans: وزير اکبر خان) ook wel bekend als Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan (Afghaans: وزير محمد اکبر خان) of Akbar Khan (Afghaans: اکبر خان) (Afghanistan, 18131845, Jalalabad, Nangarhar provincie, Afghanistan) was een zoon van de Afghaanse emir Dost Mohammed en een leider in de eerste Anglo-Afghaanse oorlog.


In 1839 was Mohammed Akbar met zijn vader en broers naar Boechara gevlucht, maar in het najaar van 1841 keerde hij terug naar Kaboel. Toen hij op 25 november aankwam, sloot hij zich aan bij de leiders van het verzet tegen de Britten. De Britten beloofden zich terug te trekken, maar leken daar later weer op terug te komen na interne onenigheid tussen de Afghanen. Op 23 december, tijdens een ontmoeting tussen de Afghaanse en Britse leiders, liet Mohammed Akbar de Britten vermoorden, op basis van zelf verdediging.

Nu vertrokken de Britten inderdaad, op 4 januari 1842 begon de mars naar Jalalabad. Hoewel een vrijgeleide was beloofd, werden de Britten zwaar aangevallen, en velen sneuvelden; of en in hoeverre Mohammed Akbar en de Afghaanse leiders hier de hand in hadden, is onbekend.

Shah Shuja, de Afghaanse koning die door de Britten weer op de troon was gezet, werd gedwongen hen nu tegen de Britten te leiden, maar nadat hij zijn schuilplaats had verlaten, werd hij door aanhangers van Mohammed Akbar gedood. Zijn zoon en opvolger Fath Jung stelde Mohammed Akbar aan als vizier. De Britten keerden echter terug, heroverden Kaboel, en zonden Fath Jang en diens opvolger Shahpur naar Brits Indië. Mohammed Akbar bleef achter als heerser.

De Britten lieten Dost Mohammed terugkeren, maar eerst zond deze een aantal broers van Mohammed Akbar – officieel om hem te helpen, in werkelijkheid waarschijnlijk ook om te controleren of deze wel bereid was de macht aan zijn vader over te dragen. Dit bleek het geval, en Dost Mohammed keerde terug als emir.

In de volgende jaren hadden vader en zoon onenigheid over de politiek ten opzichte van de Britten. Dost Mohammed stond een politiek van strikte neutraliteit voor, terwijl Mohammed Akbar een invasie in India bepleitte. In februari 1847 stierf Mohammed Akbar plotseling. Het gerucht deed de ronde dat zijn vader hem had laten vergiftigen.

Source: Wikipedia

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