08/24/2012 12:53 pm ET

Taliban Poetry About NGOs, Discontent

These poems are taken from the book Poetry of the Taliban (Columbia/Hurst, $24.50). These poems come from the chapters "Before Sept 11th" and "Love". Over the next few days, HuffPost Books will be running poems from the book. To read more about the genre and its cultural context, click here. To read Taliban love poems, click here.


What's the explanation?

Tell man what the explanation for a lifetime is,
What the strong plan for your life is.
Divide the time and place and discuss each moment,
What the action and effect in each period is.
Open what was malicious and reveal the secrets of truth.
Look deeply at what the secrets are,
Look deeply at what the explanation for the secrets is.
Once you see Allah's knowledge of activities,
You will for sure know the essence of destiny.
Go with the caravan, monitor it as far as its destination,
Bring the news, what is the light, what is its fate.
Open your eyes, send the pictures, to your heart,
Ask vision and insight what the picture is of.
Dust is awake and alive, even if you suspect it and do not accept it,
Ask him what the details are.

-- Anon
October 25, 2008


How long?

How long will people wander in disappointment?
How long will they wander thirsty, hungry and insecure in the
Most people are jobless, wandering around.
How long? You wander hungrily in deserts.
The wrecked economy deprives you of education.
How long? You pass the time waiting patiently.
Pretending to carry out reconstruction; they established personal
They enjoy life, and you? How long will you wander in the
   rubbish heap?
They voice hollow slogans of equality;
The salaries of a hundred men are given to one; how long will
   the poor wander?
They observe well what is going on with the oppressed people;
How long will you wander unauthorized?
Every day, our nation suffers from the fire of the enemy,
How long will the shameless puppets walk without being taken
   to account?
M.A. is astounded by such a life;
How long will they stay drunk and happy?

-- M.A.
December 16, 2007

How many are the NGOs!

Wasting time, they merely sit in their offices,
 How many are the NGOs!
Their salaries, more than ministers',
 How many are the NGOs!
Wasting time, respecting recommendations,
Those who have no recommendations are forgotten.
 How many are the NGOs!
When you are interviewed, they ask for recommendations.
During interviews they make tension suddenly;
 How many are the NGOs!
When there is a vacancy, boys are appointed;
They will not admit that they are over-aged,
 How many are the NGOs!
If the applicants are girls, they will be admitted without
Women in large numbers but men are few.
 How many are the NGOs!
Most peple who brokek with the government move to NGOs;
The reason is, salaries are in dollars,
 How many are the NGOs!
People come from here and there taking salaries in dollars;
They don't work in the government because they have their
  hearts broken,
 How many are the NGOs!
If someone gets to be head of an NGO, then he is rich,
So they enjoy a better living situation than Karzai.
 How many are the NGOs!
Perform the tricks, spend large amounts;
It is not clear where these people come from;
 How many are the NGOs!
A meddler strolls around with his bodyguards;
That Afghan doesn't think about the situation;
 How many are the NGOs!

-- Matiullah Sarachawal
December 23, 2007



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