Afghanistan

Spring in the Pamirs

Jonathan Hibbert-Hingston and his wife Beth work for Operation Mercy in Khorog, Tajikistan. Jonathan will be giving a lunch-time lecture for the RSAA about some of their experiences in September.

It was a slightly hazy afternoon when Nemat and I left our village on the outskirts of Khorog to go and look for his cows. Khorog is the principle town of the Gorno-Badakshan region of Tajikistan and our village sits at the base of the mountain range that divides the Ghund and Shogdara valleys. Everyday Nemat takes his cows across the Ghund river and lets them graze freely on the other side. In the late afternoon he goes back over the river to collect them.

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Tajikistan

In Search of Nasir Khusraw – Persian Philosopher and Poet

A view of the Mir Qa'la [Fortress] at the town of Kabodian

A view of the Mir Qa’la [Fortress] at the town of Kabodian

Huw Thomas, co-author of the Odyssey Guide to Tajikistan and the High Pamirs, goes in search of the birthplace of Nasir Khusraw.

Nadir Khusraw [1004 – 1077] is recognized as one of the great poets of the Persian language and as an important Muslim philosopher. He was one of the greatest travellers of the eleventh century. His Safarnama describes his travels from 1054 to 1052 from his native Balkh [in what is now northern Afghanistan] to the Fatimid court in Cairo – where he confirmed his conversion to the Ismaili interpretation of Islam – and back through Mecca to Khorasan [in modern Iran] where he became head of the Ismaili missionary activity [da’wa] in eastern Iran. His poetry, mostly in the qasida form, is known as Diwan, totally more than 15,000 lines of evocative poetry. In about 1057, under threat of death for his Ismaili missionary activities he was forced to leave Khorasan and seek exile in the valley of Yumgan in what is now Afghan Badakshan. His modest grave is there. Continue reading

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