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Hazarajat or country of tears. (3)

04/06/2011 18:28 (comments: 0)

A short story

Taliban in Herat.

The first time in Bamyan I was lost.
I do not going to visit my family and I did my best to avoid contact with any Hazâra.
What I have to admit was a tour de force at the heart of our country.
My boss highly appreciated this restraint
I was trying to hide me from the ghosts that haunted me and I fought fiercely the powerful love that I felt for my people, for my blood.
I took refuge in prayer and spent most of my free time at the Sunni mosque that had specially arranged so as not to mingle with the infidels.

There, I met Abdul, a Moroccan with clear eyes who was full of compassion for the human race.
We spent long hours discussing this or that passage of the Koran which might be able to relieve the doubts that assailed us on the merits of our actions.
Abdul did not come from a Pakistani madrassa like me, it came from London where he had been a student from a mullah famous for his positions anti-Western and his fiery calls for jihad.
He read in me like in a book.
He helped me to do the job that I refused to do. He helped me to hunt the ghosts…
He quoted me every time the Sura « Ad-douha », the rising day.

- In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful.
- On the rising day !
- And on the night when it covers everything !
- Your Lord did not abandoned nor hated you.
- The last Life is certainly better for you than the present life.
- Your lord will grant you and then you will be satisfied.
- Did he not found you orphan? Then he welcomed you !
- Did he not found you lost? Then he guided you !
- Did he not found you poor? Then he enriched you !
- As for the orphan, therefore, does not ill-treat him.
- As for the complainant does not push him away.
- And as for the blessing of your Lord, proclaims it.

These words, Abdul friendship and compassion towards me, to  » This one who kills his own people  » brought me peace and now the ghosts buried themself in me, frightened, weakened by this force that gave us the Koran .
I made myself orphan and my Lord welcomed me.
I loose me and he guided me.
I became impoverished and Abdul, his sent, enriched me.

I turned me to my community and this one welcomed me with open arms.

I went to my uncle and I learned bad news. My father was dying in Kabul. I collapsed by learning this. Once again, the Shiite and Sunni gathered in prayer for a common goal. I was touched by the simplicity of Islam that the mine practiced. They simply believed, with their hearts and without theological discourse.

They shared their faith as they shared their bread, as we share something necessary for the survival of the group.

I spent an wonderful evening with these people that I thought I would deny, rocking me in the memories of childhood, memories of that religion lived with the heart as my father also practiced.
I went to my boss who allowed me to leave to Kabul for a few days and I went to embrace Abdul.
He clasped me to his chest as if we never see each other again and he whispered in my ear that he was proud to have been able to pacify my heart and so to be able to count on me if we were fighting side by side.

I never seen him again, it was told me that he died as a martyr and I was very pleased to know him in paradise, enjoying the pleasures and graces.

In Kabul the atmosphere was sombre and strained. The city was in ruins and the taliban’s patrols who measured out the length of the men beards were no longer welcome. The faces were glum and closed and only the children had still a gaze. This city once so lively and loud became like a ghost as if in banning music we had also banned the essence…

When I arrived to my parents, it was to find my mother in tears on the still warm body of my father. I clasped her at length, finding again with an unbelievable pleasure her smell and warmth of her body. My mother had withdrawn and I spent the night with my father, trying to remember all the good moments we spent together. They were limited to my childhood but still had all their force as if they were yesterday.
I remembered his patience to answer my questions about the world and his layout. Never he had left a question unanswered and the answers were always available to my understanding.
I loved this man as he loved me, with simplicity…
I told him my years in Pakistan and in the ranks of the Taliban. I lowered my voice to evoke Mazar-i-Sharif but I wasn’t hiding anything. I was afraid that my father would hate me for having kill our own people, this people that he so much loved, he was so proud to be a Hazâra.
It came a serene peace from his body and I thought hedidn’t have a grudge against me, he was gone for a better world and he would welcome me as a father welcomes his son when I will join him.

When I went to do the steps that we can bury him in Bamyan that I saw something that filled me with horror. A woman was stoned to death for adultery. She had been buried up to the neck and the participants thrown her stones on the face and head. Her cries tore my heart and despite the horror of the scene, I could not stop to look at until the end. I was disgusted to see the pleasure that some participants felt and relieved to see that her husband was crying like a child to having to throw stones.
This scene engraved itself in my being and I made a long time atrocious nightmares about it.
I believe that this is one of these stones that had cracked the envelope, the Taliban shielding who made me blind. Just a crack…
It would take me worse to make me free of this straitjacket…
I got the permission to repatriate the body of my father on the express condition that he would be buried in a cemetery exclusively Sunni, which should be certified by the local commander of the Taliban.
This diktat expanded the crack that opened in me when I realized it meant that my father and my mother had to be separated in death for the eternity…

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

Image - Taliban in Herat - Bluuurgh - 15/07/2001 - License :

Public domain

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