World Poetry International Youth Team Director.
The second letter is from World Poetry Youth Ambassador to Afghanistan and World Poetry Interantional Team Leader, Alaha Ahrar, a talented young poet who is one of the bright lights of her country, full of courage and working for a better world. I have a number of young Afghan young women and others who send me their poems, hopes and fears. Alaha is a good representative of all of them who keep on writing and hoping for a better future.
Dear World Poetry Youth Team and all the poets of the world.
On behalf of Afghan poets and writers, and as one of the directors of the International World Poetry Youth Team, I would like to thank the University of British Columbia for supporting and giving the world’s youth poets such a wonderful opportunity to convey their poetic message to the world.
I would like to thank Mrs. Ariadne Sawyer for her hard work and dedication in bringing the world’s youth poets and writers together from different parts of the world and for encouraging international young poets to become one of the most devoted and united teams of the world.
Afghan women poets and writers were not allowed to express themselves, their writings and voices openly, due to decades of ongoing wars, insecurity and then the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan. A few years after the fall of the Taliban, as a very young poet, I decided to share my poems with my people. Afghanistan is a poetic land, which has raised so many distinguished poets and writers; therefore, the majority of Afghans are sincere and polite. Very soon, my people, who naturally love and appreciate poetry and literature, called my poems “heart touching and fascinating;” and they entitled me a moral poet. Those who are liberal, educated and supportive of women’s rights and education encouraged and supported me enormously, but some few, who were against women’s social activities and education, did not. However, I had always promised to the supporters of my poetry and writings through my interviews via the National Television of Afghanistan, different radios and televisions inside and outside Afghanistan that one day my poetic messages will reach to the world, the poets of writers of the world will read and appreciate the insights and feelings of an Afghan teenager, female poet. It took me few years, but luckily World Poetry Canada International, Mrs. Ariadne Sawyer contacted me and asked me for some of my poems for the World Poetry Canada International Festival. While honored and very delighted I sent her one of my poems, which had received recognition and so many appreciation letters came from both inside and outside of Afghanistan. Later on, I sent her a collection of my poems for the International World Poetry, Canada First Festival. Then my poems were selected and I was recognized as the Best Youth Poet of Afghanistan and the Youth Ambassador of Peace for Afghanistan for the poem that I have written for the world’s peace.
Then it was the time that my dreams and the promises that I had made to my people and Afghan women came true and I decided to write even more. Therefore, I participated in the second contest and festival again my other poem was selected as the best poem of the year 2012.
I truly lack enough words to express my gratitude to the International World Poetry, Canada, Mrs. Ariadne Sawyer and all literary and poetry loving Canadians for supporting such an amazing program, which is based on respect, love, and peace.
I am sharing a new poem that belongs to one of the stories that I have been writing since the fall 2012 called The Golden Bird and Green Tree. .. I have been writing this story in Persian (Dari, Farsi) and English languages. I am submitting it as a gift to the World Poetry, Canada International.
Birds and Trees are two of the most beautiful creatures of nature. They both add to the beauty of the nature and they need each other inevitably. While they live in each other and they are the necessity of each other, they cannot understand each other because they lack clear communication; they do not know each other’s language.
This story and poem has a moral message and it opens the readers’ eyes to the social problems and interactions of every day of life. I believe that normal and peaceful communication with family, friends, classmates, colleagues and our neighbors lead to understanding of each other’s values. Therefore, this poem encourages peaceful communication. This poem conveys a moral message, as well as the pains, sufferings and distresses of those who are not able to communicate. This poem tells the youth if you communicate with those who are around you, even to those that you dislike, that will benefit you in so many ways and that will also give you a measure of your own self understanding people and then yourself. Eventually, that will make you capable of loving, respecting yourself and others and an appreciation of the blessings that you have. That will make you then ready to differentiate true friends from real enemies. It is a very painful feeling, when one wants to talk but cannot speak the language. While the Golden Bird suffers greatly from lack of clear conversation with the Green Tree, it sits in front of the Green Tree and sings for it:
How to tell you to take care
You have ears but lack to hear
wish your eyes could see so clear
However, my heart has started to fear
that you never take good care
You should know it from now on dear,
true friends from enemies, and never let them near
Close your eyes and feel your heart’s leers
because I wish not to see you in tears
You mean a lot to me as a seer
even if you are not here, I can see you from the rear
How to tell you to take care
How to tell you to take care
Alaha Ahrar ©
From Kabul, Afghanistan