Reading Rumi after 9/11 and again at the end of the War in Afghanistan (part 1)

(Artwork detail from “Study on Human Migrations and Children’s Tears” by Aberjhani ©2021)

“People cage parrots and nightingales to hear the sound of their sweet songs.
But how should they put crows and owls into cages?

Who indeed has heard tale of that? …
Know for certain that this is the reason
the believers suffer disappointment in good and evil.”

––Rumi (translation by William Chittick from The Sufi Path of Love, p. 243)

The reasons people winced, cried, screamed, and prayed viewing images of the U.S. military’s departure from Afghanistan were numerous. Some did so because of a would-be governmental Taliban organization perceived worldwide as medieval-minded religious terrorists equipped with modern weapons of mayhem. Others suffered anxious dread because of the uncertainty forced upon them as they escaped their homeland to join an expanding Afghan diaspora.

The reasons for unabated sorrow also include the fact that the region of Balk in Afghanistan is the birthplace of one of the most revered poets in the world: Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). The horror witnessed in his homeland in August 2021 struck a painful contrast to the messages of love, peace, and unity exalted in his poetry.  

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Author of The River of Winged Dreams
and Greeting Flannery O’Connor at the Back Door of My Mind

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