Omantribune
Oman Tribune
Omantribune
Omantribune Search News
Web Oman
    Google Search Button
      Tribune
- Oman
- Soccer World Cup
- Other Top Stories
- Middle East
- Business
- Sports
- India
- Pakistan
- Asia
- Europe
- Americas
- Columnists
- Editorial
- Oman Mirror
- Special Features
- Cinema
- PDF Pages
- Weather
- Travel
- Currency Rate
- Hospitals
- Pharmacies
- Services
- Flight Timings
- Museum Timings
Omantribune Home Omantribune About Us Omantribune Advertising Information Omantribune Archives Omantribune Subscribe-Form Omantribune Jobs Omantribune Contact Us
Wednesday, September 17, 2014  

Afghanistan fights to reclaim cultural heroes, restore heritage
KABUL Interred a quarter century ago in Pakistan, the remains of Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili now lie in a forlorn corner of Kabul University, brought here to be reburied so that no one else can lay claim to the revered poet-philosopher.  

He has no epitaph; only a few wilted bouquets lie at the grave of Afghanistan’s most prominent 20th century poet. Three policemen guard the site.  

But if President Hamid Karzai - who ordered the remains be disinterred from a grave in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last month - has his way, the reburial will become an assertion of Afghan culture over encroachment by Pakistan and Iran.  

“We brought him back from Pakistan because he was our poet and scholar,” said Mohammad Hussain Yamin, head of the Persian and Dari department at Kabul University. “We don’t want someone in future to say that he belonged to Pakistan just because he lived the final years of his life there.”  

The assertion of cultural sovereignty is part of an effort to unite Afghanistan and prove it can stand on its own after most foreign troops leave at the end of 2014.  

The government says it wants an end to “foreign interference”, usually a reference to Pakistan, but also Iran with which it is locked in a fierce debate over ownership of some of the greatest poets and philosophers in the region.  

Poetry is big in Afghanistan, from the time of the kings of the 10th century to the present day, permeating every level of society from children in school to warlords and even the austere Taliban who study long works of classical Persian poetry as part of their education in religious schools.  

It’s the thread that runs between Afghanistan’s often warring ethnic groups whether Tajik, Hazara, Pashtun, Uzbek, Turkmen, Nuristani, Baluch, or any of the many other sub-groups and clans.  

But along with the death and destruction of the past three decades, Afghans say they also lost a chunk of their rich cultural heritage with Iran, Pakistan and even Turkey claiming parts of it.  

Many, like Khalili, left the country to escape the wars and died in faraway lands which slowly began to claim them as their own, Afghanistan says.  

Now it aims to get its heritage back. “Iran wants to show the world it had a glorious past. This has been going on for years, they have been claiming many of our literary figures as their own. We cannot remain silent,” said Jalal Noorani, an adviser at the Information and Culture Ministry.  

Debate has long raged over Rumi, arguably the greatest Persian poet, but now as Afghanistan begins to stand on its feet, the claims and counter-claims have intensified not only over him but also others.  

Rumi, known as Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi in Afghanistan and Mevlevi in Iran, was born in the 13th century in Balkh which was at the time an eastern part of the Persian empire of Khorasan but is now a province in northern Afghanistan.   

His family moved and they eventually settled in present-day Turkey where he wrote some of the greatest mystic Sufi poetry in Persian. Today, all three countries regard him as their national poet even though his poetry itself transcends borders, religion and ethnic divides.    

Reuters
NEWS UPDATES
Oman
Omanisation process gets boost from Bakri
HM award registration closes in Oct.
Badr receives copies of envoys’ credentials
Nizwa date fest to be held in Oct.
Dhofar panel okays tenders for development projects
Early treatment of precancerous lesions can ‘help avoid cancer’
Other Top Stories
22 killed as tribesmen, Houthis clash in Yemen
US to send 3,000 troops to tackle Ebola in Liberia
Cyber capabilities of ‘media-savvy’ IS under NSA radar
Ukraine ratifies EU agreement, offers limited self-rule to rebels
UN to monitor Gaza reconstruction
India
Congress, SP take shine off BJP
BJP scores win in West Bengal after 15 years
Plea for CBI probe into Vadra land deal dismissed
Kerala adds 1m elderly every year since ‘81 census
Life returning to normal, NH reopens in J&K
Elderly people malnourished in Chennai
Delhi pledges to defend border ahead of Xi visit
Delhi, Beijing should show sensitivity to concerns: PM
Modi speech to be beamed live at Times Square
Court slams lighter punishment handed to army officers selling arms
CJI-designate faces sex abuse charge
Withdrawing ‘child from school criminal offence’
Pact signed for electronic toll collection on highways
Pakistan
Massive evacuation starts in Sindh, 30 villages inundated
31 militants, 3 troops slain in Khyber attacks
Lawmakers ‘barred’ from PIA flight for arriving late
Country heading towards civil war, anarchy: Imran
Execution of murder convict postponed for one month
K-P female police officers lead from front
Middle East
Qatar denies sending planes with weapons to Libya rebels
US mulls fresh ‘Awakening’ to take on IS
Bomb attack on Sinai security convoy kills 6
Erdogan welcomes exiled Brotherhood leaders
South Sudan bans foreign workers
IS goes underground in tactical move after Obama speech
Asia
Thousands flee as Typhoon Kalmaegi slams into China
Philippines volcano wakes up again, thousands flee homes
Chinese man held over bid to smuggle birds’ nests
Afghan rival candidates close to reaching deal on how to share power
Philippines, US monitor recruitment by IS rebels
Taliban blast kills three Nato troops
Thai cops hunt for killers of UK couple
Business
Opec may cut output target to 29.5mbpd in Nov.: Al Badri
World stocks fall ahead of Fed meeting
Scotland may struggle to keep pound informally
New Windows OS to be rolled out on Sept. 30
Egypt raises $8.5b to expand Suez Canal
Goldman revises price guidance on debut sukuk
Sensex, Nifty fall ahead of Fed meet; rupee rises
India asks state governments to rework jet fuel tax structure
Mahindra in talks to buy Peugeot scooter unit
India to take call on diesel price deregulation after state poll
Rising India demand to boost iron ore market
China’s August FDI falls 14%, hits two-year low
Europe
UK in last-ditch bid to woo Scots
Salmond will be a winner even if Scots vote ‘No’
Punters take chance on vote, majority put money on ‘Yes’
Bagpipers in Palestine back ‘Yes’ campaign
Military veterans debate over question of future defence
Sports
Hull’s new boys find scoring touch
Oman to play Uruguay, Costa Rica in friendlies
OFA bag new sales partner
India looking good ahead of World Cup
Afridi to lead Pakistan’s T20 squad until ’16
Champagne determined to challenge Sepp Blatter
Paes eyes Rio gold, wants to retire on high
North Korean women hammer Vietnam
Upbeat India to take on hosts today
Indian boxers upbeat after aiba give IBF the nod
Sania India’s mainstay in Incheon
S. Koreans banned from waving North’s flag
Lee faces test in double gold medal chase
Four quarters format ‘will add more zing to hockey’
Chanderpaul stands tall for Windies

Sports


International

© 2013 Oman Tribune. All rights reserved. Best viewed in 800 X 600 resolution