As part of the work that I do and am involved with I have a deep interest in the women in Afghanistan, specially so Kabul. The stories of buzkashi and kite flying have been shown in popular culture..but I have been looking for more personal stories..I dont know why, but there is something about a nation in conflict, of rulers and dictators, beauty and cruelty, mountains and poppy fields..something stark, raw, wild yet beautiful.
I came across this poem (from which Khaled Hosseini found the title of his new book) - Its called - Kabul, by Saib-e-Tabrizi, a 17th century Persian poet.
Though somethings get lost in translation..i describes achingly well..the city that was, and his love for it..
Ah! How beautiful is Kabul encircled by her arid mountains
And Rose, of the trails of thorns she envies
Her gusts of powdered soil, slightly sting my eyes
But I love her, for knowing and loving are born of this same dust
My song exhalts her dazzling tulips
And at the beauty of her trees, I blush
How sparkling the water flows from Pul-I-Bastaan!
May Allah protect such beauty from the evil eye of man!
Khizr chose the path to Kabul in order to reach Paradise
For her mountains brought him close to the delights of heaven
From the fort with sprawling walls, A Dragon of protection
Each stone is there more precious than the treasure of Shayagan
Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls
Her laughter of mornings has the gaiety of flowers
Her nights of darkness, the reflections of lustrous hair
Her melodious nightingales, with passion sing their songs
Ardent tunes, as leaves enflamed, cascading from their throats
And I, I sing in the gardens of Jahanara, of Sharbara
And even the trumpets of heaven envy their green pastures