Archive for September, 2007
It’s official (according to me) winter is here! My jacket has come out and i think soon enough it will be my scarf, gloves and boots. I resent cold weather! But i’m looking forward to snow season.
I forgot to mention yesterday, i dreamt of this wall size fish tank. It was the most beautiful piece of work i had ever seen. The glass had a slight convex shape with clear water and excellent lighting. There were goldfishes swimming. Later i had my dream deciphered and it defined success, honour and dignity! thank god.
My grandfathers fatiha resulted in a massive turn out. Over 2000 men attended at the mosque to offer their condolences. Ladies fatiha was held at home and the men’s fatiha was held at the mosque. There were politicians, close friends, distant friends- everyone had attended. Among them Mojaddidi (former interim president of Afghanistan, Younos Qanooni (Parliament Chairman), Dr Abdullah Abdullah (former Foreign minister, currently working in ‘Massood Foundation’) and of course Sayaaf.
Obviously fatiha’s recieve publicity and is broadcasted on the radio. When my Grandfathers death was mentioned on the radio, it was explained that he was Sayaaf’s cousin. After the event ended, Sayaaf left the mosque when two rockets targeting the first car (Sayaafs car) of the convoy exploded causing minor injuries and shattering the car windows. Thankfully, no killings or major injuries.
I got home from work and recieved this news instantly. Overall, we recieved positive feedback from people who had attended saying it was well organised. I felt a little bad, i should have stayed home with my family that day.
We spent quality time that evening with my family. Reflecting on old memories with my grandfather. Talking about the good times. Honestly, i dont recall any negative moments with my grandfather. May he be blessed.
My fingers have frost bite and it’s very cold. I need to get some work done.
Ba Omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar…
It looks like my blog is reaching the public out there. Far more than i think. I was surprised to find my entry quoted in Joshua Foust’s site (http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/author/joshua-foust/). Foust was named Time magazines Person of the Year in 2006.
I guess it’s partly due to the reason that it has been listed in http://afghanistan-analyst.org/blogs.aspx
Kabul has been cold the past two days. With winter just around the corner, the warm weather is breaking into cold and chilly winds. This morning i grabbed my jacket before coming to the office- i’m glad i did that.
Kabul has suffered another blow. Following the usual trend, the suicide vehicle rammed his car into a convoy of French troops. The explosion killed innocent civilians who were passengers in a nearby car.
Yesterday, (in Kabul, near Gumruck) the international military forces (IMF) shot and wounded two local drivers who ignored warning orders to stop as the civilians vehicles moved closer to the convoy. Although it doesnt justify the actions of the IMF, it is only relevant to mention that drivers in afghanistan have little acknowledgment for traffic laws including IMF and ISAF orders. I have seen Corollas following convoys almost always too closely, despite having an IMF soldier pointing a gun with one hand and motioning with the other hand to stop or keep distance. In turn, the forces fear a suicide attack and shoot before being shot at.
No doubt, it creates delays and frustration having to follow a convoy at a distance. But the IMF are here and they are going to shoot, it’s only wise to follow orders. IMF or ISAF shooting at civilian cars ‘mistaking’ them for suicide bombs is not a new trend and has been occuring for quite some time. It just doesn’t make it to the media as much as the deaths of IMF does.
Anyways, i better go and pray Zuhur. I’m fasting and really hungry.
On a completely different note, i feel like i have been lied to. I hope i’m wrong. Time will tell all.
Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar
I dedicate this poem to my grandfather. May he RIP.
Gone to the Unseen
At last you have departed and gone to the Unseen. What marvelous route did you take from this world?
Beating your wings and feathers, you broke free from this cage.
Rising up to the sky you attained the world of the soul.
You were a prized falcon trapped by an Old Woman. Then you heard the drummer’s calland flew beyond space and time.
As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls. Then came the scent of the rosegarden and you flew off to meet the Rose.
The wine of this fleeting worldcaused your head to ache.
Finally you joined the tavern of Eternity. Like an arrow, you sped from the bow and went straight for the bull’s eye of bliss.
This phantom world gave you false signs But you turned from the illusion and journeyed to the land of truth.
You are now the Sun -what need have you for a crown?You have vanished from this world -what need have you to tie your robe?
I’ve heard that you can barely see your soul.But why look at all? -yours is now the Soul of Souls!
Pouring down like the rain of heaven
you fell upon the rooftop of this world. Then you ran in every direction and escaped through the drain spout . . .
Now the words are over and the pain they bring is gone.
Now you have gone to rest in the arms of the Beloved.
Sayaafs gov’t cars- final preparations
When an old man dies, a library burns down. – Chinese proverb
He proved them wrong!
He didn’t move, he didn’t die a painful death. God truly loved him.
Before dying, he had only two words of advice- Islam wa Itifaaq (unity). he also wanted to be buried in Afghanistan, near his orchard. A wish which was granted.
Finally, they arrived! we hugged in turn as we cried softly. the cars were brought to the terminal (Again, no afghans were allowed but i guess it was all Ustaad Sayaafs magic).
i was dreading home, afghan women have the tendency to wail and scream. Some even pull their hair out. Something i am not accustomed with.
we got home, the house was filled with men and women. no room to walk. i went upstairs to see how my grandmother was doing, but thankfully my grandmother had taken the news easier than i expected.
Ustaad Sayaaf was downstairs, he loved my grandfather very much and holds deep respect for him. His presence meant a great deal. His life was at risk, yet he still attended. My grandfather had wanted Sayaaf to lead the funeral prayers, which Sayaaf gladly accepted. Someone came in and told us that Sayaaf wanted to see my grandfathers children alone, in private. i went along!
Eventually he stood up, asking to be excused. he left the room with his companions. we reunited with the ladies.
The day went on and the house was filling by the minute. It was iftaar time, the cook had set everything.
We wanted to see my grandfather but they said to wait til the next morning. They didn’t want to leave him in the open for too long. so the coffin stayed closed. I couldn’t believe it. the last time my grandfather was at our house, he was alive and breathing. now he’s lifeless in a box, in a coffin.
The very next morning, 600am the house was awake. my eyes shot open. my sister was asleep beside me, sharing my double bed. she woke up as well. people were downstairs, they had uncovered the coffin. i jumped out of bed. ‘are you going?’ my sister asked. ‘yeah for sure,’ i replied as i quickly undressed from my pajamas and into something more appropriate. So did she, we didn’t say a word.
Both of us managed to finish at the same time. i grabbed my white scarf as i rushed out the door pulling it over my head, covering my hair. i dont know why we were running. with unwashed faces we bolted down three flights of stairs. we reached the third flight- the final flight. that’s when i stopped. i peeked and saw my grandfather lying peacefully in his coffin. my grandmother had her head resting to his right on the coffin, weeping silently. other women surrounded her but none felt her loss. Some were reading quraan. some were crying loudly.
i slowly walked down the stairs in a bit of a shock, my sister behind me. i went closer to my grandad, people moved as my sister and i made our way through. my eldest aunt was there, she held me tight as tears came down my cheeks uncontrollably. My grandad resented screaming and wailing near the dead. he always told us not to scream.
Despite being a week since his death and the impact of travelling, he looked so peaceful, his face was glowing. His white beard, his skin, his tall height dressed in white kafan. he looked holy and heavenly. he really was smiling.
i stood by his coffin as women sobbed. i held my grandmother. i thought of the good times we shared. My grandfather was the one person i held deep respect for. i never spoke back to him or displeased him. he was like a friend to me. i lifted my head to look at him, he looked like he was asleep, i expected him to awake any second. but he didn’t. thats when it hit me. he’s gone forever!
my aunts consoled other women, asking them not to raise their voice as it will cause him discomfort.
Ladies read the quraan loudly. They recited Surah Yasin.
My aunt finished reading, i sat by my grandads coffin opposite my grandma and opened the quraan. i started reciting softly next to him, unsure whether he could hear with all the sobbing. but i recited anyways. I felt very lucky to be able to read the Quran for him.
i finished reading Yasin and passed the Quran to my sister.
My maternal grandma sat next to me and recited Surah Yasin in a beautiful voice which made many cry. I was sitting beside her and joined her in the recitation. She then raised her hands and other women did too and made dua for him and asked God to grant him Jannah and to strengthen his family. Ameen.
We continued with Surah Alrahman together, sharing the Quraan.
my aunts took my grandmother away. i was left with my uncles and my dads cousins daughter. My dads cousins came and prepared my grandfathers coffin to be taken to the funeral car. My dad and my eldest uncle looked on, crying. i hugged my dad and cried, this time much more than before. My dad whispered in my ear, ‘sabr… sabr jameel’ (we speak in Arabic) i kissed him on the cheek and my uncle held me close to him as i continued crying.
I didn’t want to say good bye to my grandfather, it was all too soon.
I walked away from the coffin without seeing my grandfather, i didnt want to weaken. i needed to be strong. i didnt need to say good bye, he was still with us. i could feel him around.
my dads cousin pulled me close to her as we made our way to join the rest.
i went to my bedroom, locked my door and looked out my balcony. i had never seen that many people in my entire life. It was only half of the men who will be at the funeral prayers. Sayaafs cars and police cars were lined up in an orderly fashion. i watched on. The cars moved further. The funeral car was making it’s way towards the convoy of cars. the police car was first followed by the funeral car and then Sayaafs 4Wds followed by more police cars and then the guests.
The roads were blocked. it was very well organised. i know my grandfather liked it very much. Later i learned that 1500-2000 men had attended the funeral prayers which was led by Ustaad Sayaaf.
My grandfather was a good man. Never spoke ill of anybody, attended to people during their time of need and practised Islam to his maximum capability. As most people said, he was a father to everyone.
May Allah grant him Jannatal Firdaws. ameen.
Ba omideh deedaar, Khuda negahdaar.
Ahlan wa sahlan ya ramadan,
Sharafta ya shahral quraan!
I was just talking to a friend and i noticed that Ramadan is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to it (as always). Its full of tranquility and good faith (i become an angel! but i’m no devil either…). it’s my first time ever experiencing Ramadan in an islamic environment (unless i did when i was in Saudi as a child).
But it’s the best time ever! I can’t wait!