Monday, November 21, 2005
R.I.P Nadia Anjuman
A 25-year-old Afghhan poet, a woman named Nadia Anjuman was murdered last week by her husband. When she should have been celebrating the success of her first book Gule Dudi (Dark Flower), he apparently beat her to death for "bringing shame" to the family by writing poetry about love and beauty.
"I am caged in this corner, full of melancholy and sorrow," she wrote in one ghazal, or lyrical poem. "My wings are closed and I cannot fly."
Nadia was one of a group of courageous women, known as "The Sewing Circles of Herat," who risked their lives to keep the city's literary scene active (sewing was one of the few things women under the Taliban were allowed to do). Had the authorities investigated, they'd have found the sewing students at the Golden Needle Sewing School had never really sewed--they wrote, they studied Shakespeare, and Dostoevsky , and other banned writers from a brave professor from the University of Herat. Under a regime where even teaching a girl to read was a crime, he might have been hanged if he'd been caught.
After the Taliban fell, Nadia went to study literature at the University of Herat--but the old mindset remains, presumably because the continuing powers of the American-backed warlords have repressive views similar to those of the old Taliban.
But the ladies of the Golden Needle Sewing School (and many others) are outraged. Me, too.
R.I.P. Nadia. May "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."