Places

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

« I have come again and am shining like gold on the dusty road after years it is not the smell of soil it is the smell of my birthplace. »  —Mujib Mehrdad, The specks of birthplace

Feet still wet from the freeze
of a Band-e Amir pool,
strung one to the next
like stone beads
with waterfall thread,
we pile into the hatchback,
bumping back to the highway
to...

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The spider‘s web was spreading all over the room. The old woman was trying to string a needle with her skinny bone hands, but her hands were shaking and her eyes could not see the needle, so she left the old carpet...

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Can literature accept social responsibility?

Some say that the arts should be purely arts--nothing else, that writers should only serve the gods of beauty and joy. In some cases, this makes sense, particularly...

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I came out with Gulab’s son. We waited near the Bibi Mahood Mausoleum. Cars were all around us. The police and army personnel were standing on both sides of the road too. Opposite the mausoleum, an American...

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[Translated by Hilal Nazki and Mujib Mehrdad]

The blood in my stomach
Streams like the blood from your head

Inconspicuous pains shimmering from a distance
Small looks, the pain from a...

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Translated by Rashid Khattak

I opened my eyes. The first voice I heard was my own cries. Then voices congratulating each other made a noise. The abundance of light forced me to close my eyes again. The noise...

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If a river became road,
I may forget you...

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در تابستان بارانم تو هستی همان ابری بهارانم تو هستی
منم آن ماهی نیم جان ساحل بیا دریا که آبشارم تو هستی
تویی تنها دلیل زنده گانی طلوع صبح...
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دنیا چقدر شیرین بود روزیکه ترا دیدم
رویای من رنگین بود آن روز که ترا دیدم
اندر دل من یک بار یک روزنه ای تابید
آن نور امید بود روزیکه ترا دیدم
روزها گذشت و من اندر طلب رویت
عاشق شدم عاشقتر هر روز...
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[Translated by Hilal Nazki and Mujib Mehrdad]

I have come again and am shining like gold
On the dusty road
After years
It is not the smell of soil
It is the smell of my birthplace
...

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After the afternoon drain streets fill
again with approaching dusk
naan-shops open shutters
date carts grow lighter,
children dash on final errands.
Sun-wizened job-hunters wait still
...

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