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Land of my Childhood, Musafar
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, July 6 2012 (http://www.khyber.org)


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Tirah , T H Holdich

The name Tirah is an elastic geographical expression applied to those highlands divided between the Afridi and Orakzai tribes, which lie between the Khyber and the Kurram. Tirah lies about midway between the two valleys but it dominates neither for the eastern extremity of the great Sufed Koh range and the upper reaches of the Bara valley shut it off from the Khyber whilst the Samana range hedges it in on the south. . . . Read More



For centuries the village was famous for the production of Bara rice. The rice was so popular that when the Barakzai Sardars of Afghanistan were driven from Peshawar by the Sikh Khalisa Army in 1834, . . . Read More


When the new province of NWFP was formed in 1901 after its separation from Punjab, there were three types of schools in the province. Those maintained by endowments and gifts, those established and run privately, but aided by the Government, and those maintained by the Government through local boards. By the year 1909, the idea of a college in the province was taking its rough shape in the minds of Abdul Qayum and Roos Keppel, which was further strengthened by their visit to Aligarh the same year, where the muslim students gave Sir Sahibzada their humble donation for the purpose of a student hostel, hall or any better project. . . . Read More

Dotani : Iranica , Daniel Balland

Dotani is a Pashtun tribe of the Lodhi confederation and is still mainly nomadic. The Dotan's have sometims been included among the Lohani tribes because of common migratory patterns. All indigenous accounts point to a wholly independent status, however a few sources have provided the best discussion of internal subdivisions of the tribe . . . Read More

Literary Heritage of Khyber Past and Present , Prof. Dr. Qabil Khan Afridi

When I was faced with the prospect of taking up a research project in Literature my instant and natural reaction was to investigate the literary heritage of Khyber. Khyber is my native land and my home and the milk of Khyber still circulates in my veins , although I have turned my back on it, as it were, for the last about twenty years, to have settled in Peshawar. But this physical migration has hardly affected my spiritual attachment to Khyber, and I have always felt strongly drown towards it by the ties of strong tribal instincts, which I feel to be my second if not the first nature. . . . Read More


A picture of life in the old city of Kandahar under the Timurids, the Safavids and the Moghuls has begun to emerge since the British Institute began its excavations in 1974. Bronze ewers, imported glazed ceramics and ornate glass from Persia and im-ported porcelains from China speak of widespread trade. Locally made glazed wares in the Persian style speak of a cultural orienta-tion toward the west. . . . Read More

Land of my Childhood

Musafar

Publishing Date: Friday, July 6 2012

Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you,
Your children so fair, maids as pretty as flowers,
Handsome, stalwart sons brandishing guns as adornment,
With gazes averted from our mothers and sisters,
And your men courteous and true to their word,
Your cities were the praise and envy of people from lands afar,
Yea, they were called the Cities of Flowers,
O where, o where, have you gone,
Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you.

The kehwa-khanas of Qissa-Khwani in Kabalae Darwaza,
The seekh kababs of Sabiri astride the ganda nallah,
The aroma of tikkae mingling with the dust and smoke,
Roganae, kulchae, amrasae and zalobae to make you drool,
Ucha mewa, sheer chai, and the chugha besides a winter log fire,
The sitar to draw a chord and mangae with accompanying beat,
O where, o where have you gone,

Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you.
The citadel of Bala Hissar of my distant memory,
With crumbling walls yet majestic and intimidating,
The Chauk Yadgar, a confluence spot of yore for the mazdur,
The Ghanta Ghar clad in its brick elegance striking the hour,
The glory of Sethi Mohalla, a pearl set in an oyster,
The masjids of Qasim Ali Khan and Mahabat Khan,
The Samdo ki Gali of Kohati Darwaza,
O where, o where have you gone,

Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you.
The plaintive cry of the mashki filling mangee door to door,
Sprinkling the parched earth on a hot torrid afternoon,
The rich age of craftsmen priding themselves in their wares,
A rich time when there was respect between the old and young,
A rich time when one's word was an irrevocable bond,
The reverence and awe of the passing Moharram procession,
The human sound of the azaan floating over the air waves,
The clip clop of a horse drawn tonga a melodious beat,
O where, o where have you gone,

Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you.
But nay, tarry a while and ponder,
How could you go away, it was I who abandoned you.
Why didn't you beckon me to stay and grow in your shade,
Why didn't you enfold me to your bosom from distant places,
Why didn't you reach out to me then, as I reach out to you now,
Why didn't you plead with me, not to forsake you to the wolves,
O why, o why did I go and forsake you my beloved.

Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you.
I berate myself for returning so late in the day,
But I perceive a silver lining in the resilience of your being,
May the Almighty cleanse your soul and restore your dignity,
I shall cherish the day when, by His will, you shall rise from the ashes like the Pheonix.
Land of my childhood, how I yearn for you.


Poetry by Lt Col Liaquat Shah (Retd) who has adopted 'Musafar' as his pen name

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Land of my Childhood, Musafar
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, July 6 2012 (http://www.khyber.org)