Appreciating Afghanaid’s 30 years of working in Afghanistan

Many of you, readers who followed my work and activities over the past decade or so know how important it has been for me to focus on subjects and priorities that gets no or very little attention and to reach to areas, where due to “visibility” excuses many NGOs or INGOs do not bother to reach out. In one of my previously jobs, as founder and executive director of HAWCA (1999-2007) I have started with educating girls and women, when it was formally forbidden by the ruling regime of Taliban and obviously many saw that as “a crazy idea by a young and ambitious girl”; later we focused on building schools in remote parts of Samangan, Nuristan and other areas where for all different reasons, others were not active. We priorities protection of violence against women and by then 2003-4 it was not a priority for majority of other groups, it was perceived a ‘highly risky field to work on’. The impact and result of these works can only be seen in the long-term, but having those priorities by then was one of the most crucial contributions I have made in the field of development and progressing of Afghanistan and its people, one that I can say I will always be proud of. 

Recently, more in an individual capacity, I continued working on education and building schools, in similar areas, remote and with limited access. I think educating girls and boys is a priority that needs to be a shared responsibility of all Afghans who should not leave it all for the government and donors and instead have a commitment that in their lives, they educate or support education of at least some -if not many- people around them. 


 Earlier this year, I was invited by some respected friends to join Afghanaid as a Trustee. Like some one at a reception asked me: “What makes you a trustee? Are you very rich?” I responded, if richness is indicated by amount of money that I own, no Sir, I am not rich. “Then, you must be doing something very special that they’ve made you a Trustee”. And my response was, perhaps yes, it is my experiences on the ground. Trustee membership of not-for-profit organisation is a voluntary work with no financial compensations, but it is a rewarding work as one gets involved in doing good to the people and empowerment of rural communities.  

 Despite the fact that I am juggling with too many priorities and my research keeps me very busy giving me very little free time, I have agreed to join Afghanaid as a Trustee. I did so, because I admire their work and I found their priorities very similar to mine. Afghanaid focuses on rural communities, it has a long-term approach and their team is aiming to build relations with communities they are working with, beyond just providing funding and resources. This is what is so important in making a development work more effective and meaningful. They aim to work with communities, helping them out building their own way of earning a living. 

This coming week, Afghanaid celebrates, its 30th Birthday. And a series of events are organised to commemorate 30 years of Afghanaid’s work in Afghanistan. 

They have published an incredible book called ‘Thirty years, Thirty stories. Reflections on Afghanaid’s work – 1983-2013.’ It’s a combo of first-hand stories and stunning portrait images of extraordinary Afghans – whose lives have been transformed with support from Afghanaid.

To bring the book to life, Afghanaid is hosting an exhibition of the images and stories at Gallery Different (14 Percy Street, W1T 1DR) from 5-9th November

On Thursday, 7th of November, I will be joining Afghanaid for a storytelling evening – tell my own tales alongside the Sunday Times Foreign Correspondent, Christina Lamb, author, Elizabeth Chatwin (widow of novelist and travel writer Bruce Chatwin), author, Veronica Doubleday and others – who will be reading from the ‘Thirty years, Thirty stories’ book and sharing their own personal stories about Afghanistan. I know it would be a truly inspirational night. 

If any of you are in London and have time, do not miss this event, where you will be able to listen, not to the usual and repetitive statements of ‘don’t leave us alone’ but stories of women from rural communities whose lives have been changed over the past decades thanks to collaboration and help of organisations like Afghan Aid. And for having some constructive humour spirit in the room, hearing stories of Afghanaid colleagues on certain things did not work in the way they were supposed to work!  

For more details on this and other events, please visit: http://www.afghanaid.org.uk/pages/30.html


BBC’s 100 Women

I am honoured for being listed among one hundred women [#100women], a BBC World initiative. It is a great pleasure being amongst such distinguished group of women who are highly inspirational. 

Many friends have been so kind sending  congratulation messages, emails and tweets. Thank you ALL. While, I am very grateful and honoured to be part of this event, I would like to mention that we ALL share our parts in changing the world, a big majority for good and some sadly for bad too. Women all over the world and in all different walks of live have contributed in making the world a better and safer place. …we are surely not there yet, but soon and together we can all achieve it. 

I am often asked questions, by many especially international friends and colleagues on what is it that keeps me hopeful and gives me power and dedication to keep up my work. And in times, hard as I find this question to answer, I tell them the stories, events and things that happen are what makes many of us who we are and many of these events are true source of force and inspiration I get from them. These stories, events or things happening are not only about the  local and global recognition we receive for our work as women’s rights defenders and advocates for peace and justice, but it also is about the forces who keep on targeting women for the work they are doing. These forces wrongly believe that by threatening, humiliating or assassinating one or few of us, they will shut down the voices of women. They are dead wrong. At least I can say in Afghanistan, none of the positions of women who became martyrs and lost their noble lives serving in the public, remains vacant. Same is with girls and boys going to school who are targeted but still attending schools.  I am sure stories from rest of the world would not be any different. Hence, there is no way to see these voices for women’s rights, peace and justice be silenced. 

I am currently study about Afghanistan villages and rural communities and how interventions from international and national actors is influencing the power relations at local level. What I see in these communities is truly signs of hope and inspiration, despite enormous challenges. Yes, we are still far from reaching the goal of a sustaining peace and stability; we are indeed far from addressing the reconciliation and how to deal with the bitterness of the past (and in cases the present); we are indeed far from having a secure environment for women in public space and are facing enormous challenges with regards to corruption; impunity and so forth. But some one needs to start from somewhere. The struggle for women’s rights begun in Afghanistan around a hundred years back and it will surely continue for another century to come… Women and men particularly those who are dedicated to work for change will  continue their fight. There are voices risen for justice,  for women’s inclusion in peace processes; voices for women’s rights to education, political participation, protection of violence against women’s victims and all. We have a very long and challenging way to go, and my bad news for those who aim at stopping this momentum is: Sorry, This can’t be stopped! 


School Girls in Nangarhar Beaten boys who were causing harrassment

Often women and especially girls are portrayed as poor and helpless victims who keep begging their male relatives, the NGO people, the government, or even the International community for stopping Violence and Harassment against them. But the reality in many cases are far different. Not all women are helpless, they do take the courage to say NO! to violence and to ones who abuse them, such an act may be considered as a courageous act in many parts of the world, but in places -where just a few Kilometeres away a woman was shot dead ten days back because of her work- is beyond just courage, it is bravery and it is even more than that. Hence, it is our job to respect these girls and spread their inspiring story around the country to others as a model. And must say that knowing the families and communities in this city, I am confident these girls do have their fathers, brothers and majority of their city residents on their side.

Here is quick translations of the two girls’ words:

“We were so fed up, these boys were even making us consider leaving the school. This morning around 8:25am when we were walking towards the school, his car was again standing on the side. I had my other sister with me, I told her, you go on one side of the seat, I’ll go on the other side.”

“We had this plan since some days. We said, we should get this boy and hand him over to Qomandani [The Provincial Police Office]. When today we were coming, he was again standing on our way. We have taken him by ourselves and beaten him. We did so, because this boy was not stopping it.”

Thanks to 1TVNEWSAF for covering the story.


Forgotten Heroes: Afghan Women Leaders Killed in Impunity Ignored in Justice

I am shocked to start this day with another bad news from Afghanistan. This time it is again Laghman Province. The acting director of Ministry of Women’s Affairs was assassinated on her way to office. Perhaps when she woke up this morning, she would be thinking what to tell her colleagues about the Human Rights Day celebrated globally, unaware of the fact that she will not reach to her colleagues to speak about this.

The shame of such heinous acts in my view does not only go to the perpetuators only, as they have shown time and again that there is no respect for humanity; for Islam; for women; and for civilians who are not involved in the factional or combat actions. The shame also goes to those enjoying 4×4 bullet proof vehicles; army of bodyguards paid and fed from the national budget and senior governmental positions who do nothing but to spread even more shameful rumours around when a woman is killed tie it to personal dispute etc. Even larger part of the shame is going to the leadership of our supposedly elected government who got votes of trust from many of these women who put their life at risk on daily basis working for a better Afghanistan.

I am speechless to express my anger to the perpetuators  to the Afghan government and their failure to secure women in the public space despite Millions of funds under the name of women and women’s rights arriving into their accounts and I do not only call on them, but as we also stated this in our report, I’d like to call on AFGHAN PEOPLE to do the basics.

Together with an other Afghan colleague we have gathered profile of ten women leaders who were assassinated in the past years aiming to  show to Afghans and International Community as well as to their killers that who they have killed and how can this be justified?? The day to bring the prepetuators and those who kept silent or diverted these cases will come soon and at this stage, I can only assure, this call for justice will not die regardless of where Afghanistan will head.

Please read the full report here [http://wp.me/anjEw-2g] or at the Afghan Rights Monitor page: http://www.arm.org.af/home.html


Afghan Women condemn murder of Anisa, a 10th grade student & a Polio vaccination campaign member

Afghan Women’s Network Statement on Anisa’s Murder strongly protesting against the silence and lack of commitment from government to save Anisa’s life. Anisa was shot in Kapisa while on her way back to home. She was a volunteer taking part in Polio vaccination campaign and was a 10th Grade high school student.  The dominant culture of impunity continues to open space and courage to enemies of women and resulting in such tragic incidents.


Key Note Speech by Orzala Ashraf Nemat in Peace One Day Event, Copenhagen – Denmark (September 21st 2012)

Distinguished Participants,

Honourable Minister for Development Cooperation Mr. Christian Friis Bach

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Allow me to start by my warm gratitude and thanks for inviting me to International Peace Day event organized by The Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution and it’s co-organisers. It is indeed a great honour to be here and share with you some thoughts and experiences from Afghanistan, a country that during the past three decades of its life, experienced peace in the least or perhaps never for many of its population.

As an Afghan who lived and experienced most of her life in Afghanistan or as refugee in the neighbouring Pakistan, I have come to realize that without holding hope and a long-term vision for a better and peaceful Afghanistan, life and particularly as an activist becomes miserable. So by working for peace in the worst years and days of our time, we struggled to give hope a chance through providing education, awareness and empowering for women who are now taking active participation in rebuilding their own and their children’s lives.

I am grateful with honourable Minister Friis Bach remarks highlighting some very important facts regarding various Afghan needs such as health, education, access to justice and rule of law. I must insist all these sectors require a very long-term commitment by the Afghan government, Afghan people themselves as well as by international community to continue their long-term support in providing such basic services to people in need. Some of the challenges mentioned are to do with changing attitudes and culture that can only be possible to change –again in the longer run- through awareness raising and mobilising communities to stand up for their rights.

Women & Peace:

As most of you maybe are aware, the struggle of Afghan women for human rights and women’s rights as well as for peace is a struggle paid by lives. There are many examples of such sacrifice in the recent years and I can name and share at least one story with you about Hanifa Safi a provincial woman leader in eastern Laghman province whom I met just couple of weeks before her assassination and she was telling me ‘We defend women’s rights yet no one is able to protect our rights and our lives’. Safi was provincial director for women’s affairs and she was following and supporting cases of violence against women in her region. She, her husband and one of her children were leaving their home while a magnetic bomb sticked to their car, exploded taking her life and injuring her family members.  This is one of the many examples of such costs Afghan women have paid for defending their rights. We have had many women on the lead as well as ordinary women who sacrificed their lives for their rights or for defending other women’s rights.

Unfortunately, in the past decade, the continuous targeting of women for political assassinations did not only stopped but it also increased. Women leaders have been targeted by Taliban who openly claimed the responsibility for killing them, they are targeted by ‘unknown gunmen’ for which still no justice or proper investigation is made -in most cases- and sadly they are also targeted by ‘mistakes’ of the NATO forces. A tragic example of the later is killing of 8 women in Laghman province last week as they were out in the mountains gathering woods or a female doctor who became a mistakenly target of the attack in Wardak. Just to remind you that as Minister Bach also stated we are under severe condition for women’s health and it is said in 2003 there was one doctor for every 9-10 thousand population, this might have slightly changed but not entirely. So losing a female doctor by a military ‘mistake’ came with very high price for many in particular for those who were benefiting from her services.

But despite these challenges, Afghan women also made significant progress. They are now becoming a force that no political settings can ignore or put them aside because of their tireless efforts and contribution to the country’s socio-political and economic well-being. Our hope is to see more women also in the security sector where their role is crucial to maintain better security for all, yet concerns relating to protection of women in this sector by system as well as changing the social norms towards acceptance of women’s role in security are needs to be addressed. Women contributed in passing legislative that criminalizes violence against women, they managed to reach to far remote parts of the country and provide services for those in need. A province led by the only woman governor is presenting a model of governance that opens the space for tolerance and having an active civil society. Our girls keep attending schools, despite all threatening and fears created to stop them from attending schools by poisoning the girls or by throwing acid into their faces…. And so many more ways of women resisting the challenges.

Women’s inclusion in peace process is not only necessary but it is crucial to have the voices and concerns of the over 50% of Afghanistan’s population heard. And it is also important to realize that by just having a few female members in the peace counsel we can not be satisfied about women’s inclusion and their full participation. There needs to be further systematic way of addressing women’s concerns and ensuring their full inclusion in the process.  And from the performances and sacrifices women have paid historically and recently I can assure that no peace or agreement can be truly sustainable or achievable if they disregard addressing women’s rights and their full participation in the process.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghan Women did not only contributed to defending of their own rights, but they also have been active agents promoting Peace in their homes, community and nationwide. Women’s participation in bottom up Peace building by creating local peace councils are great examples of such an approaches. These peace councils in the local level are not part of the larger government sponsored program, they are rather grass-roots initiatives that assist people in the communities on conflict resolution and peace-building.

There are numbers of good examples of civil society and women led organisations working for community peace building that needs to be linked to larger government sponsored Peace program, if the aim of later is truly sustainable peace-building.

In Afghanistan we believe Peace starts with families, the way parents educate their children, the way members of families relate with each others and women at local level play an important role within the families and within their own communities in resolving conflicts; they are very good in bridging the gaps created due to a conflict, hence they are an untapped resource for peace.

Youth/Children & Peace:

Speaking of importance of peace-building and its impact on different parts of the population, I’d like to share with you a small story from one of the areas that I have worked in the past:

The organization l used to lead HAWCA, have built a school in one of the most remote and forgotten areas of Western Nuristan valley. The valley is known as Dara-e-Titin. After the school was built, we managed to get some support for a peace-building program. We hired staff who travelled to the area, which in those days took 9 hours by not only walking but hiking -given that the area was in heavily mountainous and rocky part of the valley- to teach children about peace-building. Most of the children [girls and boys] were aged between 7-14 years old. The curriculum we used was also prepared by another experienced Afghan organization.

One day, I had a group of elders from this community visiting me in Kabul. They came to say thanks and update us on the school progress. One of them, a mid-aged man stated how he was impressed by his young son trying to teach him about peace. ‘Why aren’t you carrying similar program for adults as well?’ he asked. Another elderly man in the group responded ‘It is so powerful to hear from our own children about the importance of peace and mechanisms to resolve conflict without violence, I lived all my life, and never thought I’d learn something from children, but the other day when I heard my grandson speaking about anger-management, I was stunned’. The old man added.

In a country with such a volatile history of war and conflict, it is highly important to invest in programs that promotes peace-building, conflict resolution and mitigation not only with adults, but also with children and youth who are able to convey the message and who are the ones leading the future .

The great thinker of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi famously said: ‘If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. And this is what the story from Nuristan valley is teaching us.

Like young boys and girls in peaceful countries, Afghan young generation who makes the majority of their country’s population also want to have a different future, a future where their life is guaranteed away from war and violence. And recent examples of their performances into the sports and other social activities have proved this fact. For instance when Afghanistan Olympians returned from London Olympics with a Bronze Medal, they received a welcome not seen before for any political leader whatsoever. The message going around among Afghans from across country was: ‘Nikpah, your Bronze is Gold for us!’. In other words, Peace-building needs not to be called ‘peace-building’ by name but can be part of any other support we provide through different means and supporting sport and many other social activities could be part of it.

Reconciliation & Peace:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When Afghanistan started this new phase towards democratisation, Afghan people have become more hopeful, because they saw the world’s attention and they expected the world to assist them in addressing war crimes and human rights abuses in years of war. Political leaders have also deceived people by promising that if they get elected, addressing war crimes will be first on their agenda. But what happened in reality was far different as we all witness. Particularly since talks about peace begun, discussions about human rights and democratisation are made seem irrelevant by most of those in power.

One significant example of peace program by government is a large multi-million donor funded program called APRP or Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program. It is focusing on reintegration of those involved in anti-government activities. According to a research, this program spent 7.7Million USD for ‘reintegrating’ 2385 members of Taliban between one year (2010-2011).[1] Regardless of the fact that the Taliban keep insisting their motivation for this war is not money, even if we suppose it is, it is still unclear what will happen after they receive this money? This research finds out that the program runs without a clear system of vetting, amnesty policy and more over it also became part of the military strategy! And those who are reintegrated are encouraged to join Afghan Local Police who later on were trained by international troops who became targets of assaults on occasions by ALPs.

For a program like APRP to be effective, there is a high need for a comprehensive and coherent approach that has reconciliation as its core principle, not in the way of blanket amnesty for anyone to come and join the process but rather in way of using proper mechanisms that allow them to return to their communities.

Key drivers for many Afghans turning to anti-government forces are identified in early stages of this conflict as International military tactics and the  government’s corruption in all levels, particularly the local government’s inefficiency which performs motivation for people to turn against government in the first place. But sadly very little is done on this field generally and the ‘peace’ program has got nothing to address these parts.

Therefore, its important to emphasis that real and sustainable Peace cannot be achieved without justice; reduction of poverty and inequalities. While there is need for making efforts promoting sustainable economic and social development, reducing inequalities and contributing to poverty reduction in more accountable and transparent ways, it is also important to link such efforts with justice and reconciliation in the context of peace building.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me emphasize that peace is not an event that can be occurred over night or in a public conference or gathering; neither it is a ‘contracted deal’ that can be achieve by buying a few warriors. Countless amount of damages are made in Afghanistan’s particular recent history, a true and long standing peace can only come to Afghanistan if the inner peace within the Afghan society is built. The inner peace within the Afghan society is required to be built by reconciliation; by address the crimes committed during war; by speaking and healing the wounds of war in the people’s minds. The people who lost their loved ones due to the acts of those on the lead of the wars during all decades. Silencing over the past will only direct us to further darkness in the future.

Allow me to summarise a few points here:

Women’s active inclusion and addressing their needs and concerns are crucial for a sustaining peace; for long-term peace-building and effective approaches, it’s also very important to focus on bottom up peace-building and on youth and children’s peace building, as they are the ones who will lead the future;

Reconciliation needs to be the core part of any reintegration program’s or else it will be seen as short term deal making which time and again proved inefficient and not achievable.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

In today’s discussion, I attempted to address most of the internal aspects of peace-building in Afghanistan, yet it’s crucial to state that the war in Afghanistan has its strong regional and international dimensions, and let’s not forget that as long as there are moral, financials and military supports to keep fuelling the war in Afghanistan there will be very limited chances for a true and sustainable peace.

Thank you very much for your attention!

[1] Deedee Derksen (2011) – ‘Peace From the Bottom-Up? The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program’, a research report supported by PRIO (Norway).


On the eve of Afghanistan’s independence day, Looking at a message from Alama Iqbal Lahori to King Ammanullah Khan

Ninety three years ago, a young and dedicated King, Ghazi Amanullah Khan won his country’s independence from the British Empire and by doing so, he did not only gain a high pride amongst his own country people as a nationalist and saving them from an on-going war with the British. He also gained a high level of popularity in the Muslim world and in colonised countries globally, inspiring many others to follow the model and claim their independence. 

Under the guidance of Alama Mahmud Beg Tarzi, a great intellectual of his time, the rule of King Amanullah laid  foundations of nationhood and state-building. As Senzil K. Nawid (2009) writes, this is when stronger and more practical steps towards creating a vision for nation-building started in Afghanistan: 

“In Tarzi’s view, homeland (watan) and nation were symbiotic. He compared “homeland” to a loving father and a nurturing mother and the nation to the children who are protected and nurtured by it. The survival of one will complete the existence of the other.(*)

Tarzi’s search for statehood and nationality was founded on territorially defined conceptions of the modern nation-state and a geographically distinct and historically unique Afghan nation. He sought to awaken a consciousness that would supersede local parochialism, redefining the meaning of the term “watan,” which traditionally meant merely one’s birthplace. The term watan, he wrote, referred to a territory with fixed boundaries to the north, south, east, and west, separating it from other countries. For Tarzi, it included regions, cities, and villages governed by a single state and a single government. The homeland of the Kabuli, Jalalabadi, Mazari, Laghmani, Konari, Nuristani, Shinwari, Safidkohi, Khosti, Mangali, Jadrani, Kohistani, Kohdamani, Nijrawi, Tagawi, Panjshiri, Ghaznichi, Hazarai, Waziristani, Badakhshi, Herati, Maimanagi, Qataghani, Qandahari, etc, is the same blessed land that we call Afghanistan.(**) The changed meaning of the word ‘watan’ and the portrayal of the whole country as ‘native place’ were integral to Tarzi’s idea that the territory of the state was an indivisible whole. The concept of the unity and indivisibility of the Afghan State, as articulated by Tarzi, appeared early in the reign of King Amanullah in the First Article of the 1923 Constitution, following Afghanistan’s declaration of independence.”(***)

Almost a century since winning independence, Afghanistan is still struggling to find its stability and tranquillity. The only ‘golden era’ or peaceful time in the contemporary Afghanistan was when the world was recovering from the second world war damages.  As intense interference and direct occupations by outsiders as well as increasing level of poverty on the people’s side and corruption and divisions on its leader’s or so called leader’s side have never let Afghanistan to follow the vision that was set by Tarzi as an intellectual father and King Amanullah as the King who won the country’s independence from world superpower of the time.

The decades of war and conflict have put us back into an era where the notion of ‘watan’ as Tarzi was trying to redefine and envision for Afghanistan is changing back into the restricted and limited definition of ‘birthplace’ or tribal linages by a minority of so called elites who claim to be the gatekeepers of various tribes and communities. It is very much possible that there is an outside interest in keeping on the fire of war and conflict in the country, but there is a huge responsibility over Afghans to return back and learn lessons that history teaches us on how to use our diversity and colourfulness as a strength and strengthen our spot on the global map as a nation.  

The history of this nation is full of lessons to be looked at and learnt from yet, as is common in many other parts of the world, politicians and power holders continue to dominate and rule without looking in the past.  And even trying to ‘delete’ the past from the mind of their  ‘followers’ or ‘subjects’.

I found this excellent poem by Alama Iqbal Lahori, ‘the east’s message’ to King Ammanullah fascinating in many aspects and decided to leave it here especially for Afghan and regional readers to remind ourselves of what was expected and envisioned for Afghanistan as a nation in the past and how it has been changing in the contemporary era where regional conflicts intensify and attempts are made to fuel more fight, violence and promoting culture of hate and radicalisation even among the locals and ordinary people. Nevertheless, the good news is that Afghans who are not infected by various power holding rival factions and their interests are staying away from such attempts and are still hopeful and united to remain a strong nation. The recent celebrations from a sports hero Rohullah Nikpah & Nisar Ahmad Bahawi to many other smaller occasions in the communities are prove of this fact. Happy Independence Day Afghanistan, and let’s wish the dream comes true one day not very late!

Lets read the ‘message from the east’:


 پیام مشرق

ای امیر کامگار ای شهریار

نوجوان و مثل پیران پخته کار

چشم تو از پردگیهای محرم است

دل میان سینه ات جام جم است

عزم تو پاینده چون کهسار تو

حزم تو آسان کند دشوار تو

همت تو چون خیال من بلند

ملت صد پاره را شیرازه بند

هدیه از شاهنشهان داری بسی

لعل و یاقوت گران داری بسی

ای امیر ابن امیر ابن امیر

هدیه ئی از بینوائی هم پذیر

تا مرا رمز حیات آموختند

آتشی در پیکرم افروختند

یک نوای سینه تاب آورده ام

عشق را عهد شباب آورده ام

پیر مغرب شاعر المانوی

آن قتیل شیوه های پهلوی

بست نقش شاهدان شوخ و شنگ

داد مشرق را سلامی از فرنگ

در جوابش گفته ام پیغام شرق

ماهتابی ریختم بر شام شرق

تا شناسای خودم خود بین نیم

با تو گویم او که بود و من کیم

او ز افرنگی جوانان مثل برق

شعلهٔ من از دم پیران شرق

او چمن زادی چمن پرورده ئی

من دمیدم از زمین مرده ئی

او چو بلبل در چمن فردوس گوش

من بصحرا چون جرس گرم خروش

هر دو دانای ضمیر کائنات

هر دو پیغام حیات اندر ممات

هر دو خنجر صبح خند آئینه فام

او برهنه من هنوز اندر نیام

هر دو گوهر ارجمند و تاب دار

زادهٔ دریای ناپیدا کنار

او ز شوخی در ته قلزم تپید

تا گریبان صدف را بر درید

من به آغوش صدف تابم هنوز

در ضمیر بحر نایابم هنوز

آشنای من ز من بیگانه رفت

از خمستانم تهی پیمانه رفت

من شکوه خسروی او را دهم

تخت کسری زیر پای او نهم

او حدیث دلبری خواهد ز من

رنگ و آب شاعری خواهد ز من

کم نظر بیتابی جانم ندید

آشکارم دید و پنهانم ندید

فطرت من عشق را در بر گرفت

صحبت خاشاک و آتش در گرفت

حق رموز ملک و دین بر من گشود

نقش غیر از پردهٔ چشمم ربود

برگ گل رنگین ز مضمون من است

مصرع من قطرهٔ خون من است

تا نپنداری سخن دیوانگیست

در کمال این جنوان فرزانگیست

از هنر سرمایه دارم کرده اند

در دیار هند خوارم کرده اند

لاله و گل از نوایم بی نصیب

طایرم در گلستان خود غریب

بسکه گردون سفله و دون پرور است

وای بر مردی که صاحب جوهر است

دیده ئی ای خسرو کیوان جناب

آفتاب «ما توارت بالحجاب»

ابطحی در دشت خویش از راه رفت

از دم او سوز الا الله رفت

مصریان افتاده در گرداب نیل

سست رگ تورانیان ژنده پیل

آل عثمان در شکنج روزگار

مشرق و مغرب ز خونش لاله زار

عشق را آئین سلمانی نماند

خاک ایران ماند و ایرانی نماند

سوز و ساز زندگی رفت از گلش

آن کهن آتش فسرده اندر دلش

مسلم هندی شکم را بنده ئی

خود فروشی دل ز دین بر کنده ئی

در مسلمان شأن محبوبی نماند

خالد و فاروق و ایوبی نماند

ای ترا فطرت ضمیر پاک داد

از غم دین سینهٔ صد چاک داد

تازه کن آئین صدیق و عمر

چون صبا بر لالهٔ صحرا گذر

ملت آوارهٔ کوه و دمن

در رگ او خون شیران موج زن

زیرک و روئین تن و روشن جبین

چشم او چون جره بازان تیز بین

قسمت خود از جهان نا یافته

کوکب تقدیر او نا تافته

در قهستان خلوتی ورزیده ئی

رستخیز زندگی نادیده ئی

جان تو بر محنت پیهم صبور

کوش در تهذیب افغان غیور

تا ز صدیقان این امت شوی

بهر دین سرمایهٔ قوت شوی

زندگی جهد است و استحقاق نیست

جز به علم انفس و آفاق نیست

گفت حکمت را خدا خیر کیثر

هر کجا این خیز را بینی بگیر

سید کل صاحب ام الکتاب

پردگیها بر ضمیرش بی حجاب

گرچه عین ذات را بی پرده دید

«رب زدنی» از زبان او چکید

علم اشیا «علم الاسماستی»

هم عصا و هم ید بیضا ستی

علم اشیا داد مغرب را فروغ

حکمت او ماست می بندد ز دوغ

جان ما را لذت احساس نیست

خاک ره جز ریزهٔ الماس نیست

علم و دولت نظم کار ملت است

علم و دولت اعتبار ملت است

آن یکی از سینهٔ احرار گیر

وان دگر از سینهٔ کهسار گیر

دشنه زن در پیکر این کائنات

در شکم دارد گهر چون سومنات

لعل ناب اندر بدخشان تو هست

برق سینا در قهستان تو هست

کشور محکم اساسی بایدت

دیدهٔ مردم شناسی بایدت

ای بسا آدم که ابلیسی کند

ای بسا شیطان که ادریسی کند

رنگ او نیرنگ و بود او نمود

اندرون او چو داغ لاله دود

پاکباز و کعبتین او دغل

ریمن و غدر و نفاق اندر بغل

در نگر ای خسرو صاحب نظر

نیست هر سنگی که می تابد گهر

مرشد رومی حکیم پاک زاد

سر مرگ و زندگی بر ما گشاد

«هر هلاک امت پیشین که بود

زانکه بر جندل گمان بردند عود»

سروری در دین ما خدمتگری است

عدل فاروقی و فقر حیدری است

در هجوم کارهای ملک و دین

با دل خود یک نفس خلوت گزین

هر که یکدم در کمین خود نشست

هیچ نخچیر از کمند او نجست

در قبای خسروی درویش زی

دیده بیدار و خدا اندیش زی

قاید ملت شهنشاه مراد

تیغ او را برق و تندر خانه زاد

هم فقیری هم شه گردون فری

ارد شیری با روان بوذری

غرق بودش در زره بالا و دوش

در میان سینه دل موئینه پوش

آن مسلمانان که میری کرده اند

در شهنشاهی فقیری کرده اند

در امارت فقر را افزوده اند

مثل سلمان در مدائن بوده اند

حکمرانی بود و سامانی نداشت

دست او جز تیغ و قرآنی نداشت

هر که عشق مصطفی سامان اوست

بحر و بر در گوشهٔ دامان اوست

سوز صدیق و علی از حق طلب

ذره ئی عشق نبی از حق طلب

زانکه ملت را حیات از عشق اوست

برگ و ساز کائنات از عشق اوست

جلوهٔ بی پرده او وانمود

جوهر پنهان که بود اندر وجود

روح را جز عشق او آرام نیست

عشق او روزیست کو را شام نیست

خیز و اندر گردش آور جام عشق

(****).در قهستان تازه کن پیغام عشق

(*) Seraj-al-Akhbar, vol. 4, no. 20, Jawza 24, 1294/ June 14, 1915, pp. 4-5.

(**)“Din? Dawlat? Watan? Millat? (Religion ? State? Fatherland,?Nation?),” Seraj al-Akhbar, vol. 4. no. 20, Jawza, 24, 1294/ May 30, 1915, p. 4.

(***) Senzil K. Nawid, 2009 – ‘Tarzi and the Emergence of Afghan Nationalism: Formation of a Nationalist Ideology’.

(****)Source for the poem: http://ganjoor.net/iqbal/payam-mashregh/sh1/ [click here if you wanted to see the poem]

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