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Hazârajat or the country of tears. (1)

04/06/2011 18:07 (comments: 1)

Short story

“Taqadus ? Do you want a cigarette ?"
"Yes, I do !"

The jailer gives me a cigarette between the bars.
I smoke greedily and cough !
He laughs…

The sun will soon up on our beautiful valley of Bamyan.
  "Our valley" , despite everything, despite the war, death and horrors.

 "Taqadus ! It is time to pray ! The dawn… "

I practice the ritual ablutions and I withdraw on the prayer rug, the only object that they left me.
I think of the Sura  » Al-Falaq « , that one of the Dawn…

- In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful.
- Say:  » I seek protection from the Lord of the Dawn,
- Against the evil of beings he has created,
- Against the evil of darkness when it deepens,
- Against the evil of those who blow on knots,
- And against the evil of the envious when he envies.  »

I pray, intensely, as I have always done, since my childhood, since the time I left Bamyan to follow my father in Kabul. A pious man, a good and generous man who must be turning in his grave seeing what it happens to the one in whom he had placed all its hopes.
After prayers, I go to my bed and take place, lost in myself. The memories flowing back, interrupted by Syed’s voice.

Taqadus! You know that you don’t have to lie on the bed !  »
"And then ! You’ll kill me for that? "

He will quiet, he knows that in a few minutes they will come looking for me…
To kill me just because I was a Taliban…
Everything could have been otherwise…
I remember…

I was born in Bamyan, there is a long time, I don’t remember my age. It must be said that there were so many wars…
I was born Hazâra and we speak a Persian dialect strongly tinged with Mongolian.

We are  "The People" here. Our physical appearance is that of the Mongols, more or less, rather than less, and we have another feature that of being Shiites in a sea of Sunnis. Except me, my father and almost all of my family, we belong to the Sunni minority of Hazâras.
These features that are also the pride of our people are the causes of my execution and the secular persecution that overwhelms my people.
We have always confined in menial jobs, banned from the political, like sub-Afghan…
When they didn’t slaughter us like the fearsome Khan of Kabul, Abdur Rahmân Khan at the end of the 19th century, who still haunt us in the tales and legends. Not content to kill us, to plunder us, to sell our children as slaves, he gave our best land to the Koshis, a Pashtun tribe…

I grew up in this country, in this valley, did not really aware of differences, insurmountable obstacles, forged hatreds and blood money.

I liked to climb on top of the Buddhas, to contemplate our country from these altitudes when the cloud of my breath in the air was the only evidence of heat.
I expected with happiness the call of the muezzin, which resounded across the valley, rebounded between the mountains to reach my little ear and curl up in it for whisper to me: « Taqadus, it is time to join the people to pray… »

When I didn’t help for the fieldwork, I explored the labyrinth, ran up the stairs carved in stone and admired the frescoes, the colors, imagining the artists, exalted by the importance of their work that smiled as the Hazâras know to do.
I stayed at length to touch the walls, trying to capture the efforts of the stonecutter, the memory of his blows to the chisel, the smell of stone broke.
These men, these efforts were mine.
I melted in the decor, I was Bamyan and I was proud of its history millennium…

In the early seventies, political unrest and rumors of conflict pushed my father to leave the Hazârajat and it was a great misfortune for me and my mother. My mother because she was Shiite and me because I loved my valley.
We were in Kabul now, the bustle of the capital, I sat idle in this multitude and my father, following the advice of a good friend, sent me to study at a madrassa in Pakistan.

My long life will be a continuation of tears, migration and error…

In Pakistan, my physical appearance was not a problem. There were students from across the Ummah. I met even students who came from Europe, a magic word. During my studies, it would gradually have the same significance that we gave to America:  » Sheitan « .
I learned the classical Arabic to read the Koran in the language of the Prophet.
I filled with enthusiasm for thought of Deobandi, return to a pure Islam, that existing at the time of the Prophet, a return to the sources, the fountain of youth.
I was a good student and I grew up, my body and my soul were growing up.
I was far to give to the sura  » An-nas « , the men, the same meaning that I give it today…

- In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful.
- Say: "I seek protection from the Lord of men.
- The Sovereign of men,
- God of men,
- Against the evil from the bad advisor, stealth,
- Who’s blowing evil in the chest of men,
- Whether a djinn or a human being.


This work is protected © 2008 Thierry Benquey - All rights reserved

Image - A historical picture of Bamiyan Budha - Hazaraboys - 26/04/2009 - Licence :

Public domain

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