A New Years Tribute to Afghanistan

Mahmood Karimi Hakak, sent this Afghan song to his list this new year.  It is too beautiful to hoard, so I’m posting here as a  New Years greeting and a reminder of the indomitable spirit of the Afghan people.  Many thanks to Mahmood for sending along this beautiful bit of Afghan folklore.  [jb]

Listen to the song:

Translation:

“I am here to buy your old tears,
your old sufferings, old pains,
old misgivings and doubtful feelings,
and give flower in exchange for the old mud.
I’ll give you poetry in exchange for old newspapers,
trade your useless lamps with shining stars,
and rejuvenate your dried-up plants
with spring showers.

I am here to remove the raggedy scraps
and give you new outfits,
to take away your broken hearts
and place new affections in there.
I will confiscate wrath and hate
and seize agony, in its place
I offer you poems, bottles of honey,
and give you a pen as a gift, and a candle.”

* Featured Image: Due to decades of conflict, environmental disaster and economic instability, Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest nations. One of the largest issues to building national stability for Afghanistan is the remaining issue of food insecurity. Hunger and malnutrition are the biggest risks to health worldwide, according to the United Nations. Hunger prevents people from reaching their full potential by limiting their ability to work and learn. ~12 facts about hunger in Afghanistan.


Mahmood Karimi-Hakak is an Iranian American educator, poet, author, translator, theatre director, and filmmaker. He is the Founder and CEO of Café Dialogue LLC, and Co-Founder and President of Free Culture.

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