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Photo by Ali Karimi

A wanderer
I’m dreaming of a peaceful world

One day I was asked about my concept of the word homeland
since then I have constantly been searching in my mind
looking for a trace, a sign, a memory
in the darkest corners of my mind, tracing back to the past,

My fingers try to remove the dust off my oldest eroded memories:
It’s after midnight & as the light of the stars & the moon are fighting the darkness
I can see a family standing in front of a house, in one of the districts of Bamyan Afghanistan
While getting into a white truck, I can see the mother crying,
saying goodbye to their homeland,
a goodbye to all their dear ones, to all their belonging

A wanderer
I’m dreaming of a peaceful world

In the darkness of the dawn of that day,
as the car is conquering the bumpy road,
I can see their little girl sitting on the lap of her father,
in the front seat of the car,
inhaling the smell of cigarette saturated inside the car,
I can feel how uncomfortable she is feeling,
still sitting silent without complaining,

the wind is blowing outside
the windows of the vehicle are all shut
and the driver continues smoking heavily

Moments later, in another flashback,
their car is stopped,
I can hear some local men outside approaching the car,
They start talking to the driver in Pashto,
A language totally new for the little girl
later, there is an image of the family looking for a hotel to rest in,
then I witness them, offering their morning prayer

Struggling to describe that memory of migration,
those fading flashbacks,
I start searching for another trace,

another memory
but this time unable to find any

For a moment, somewhere deep inside, I feel pity for myself
for not having enough memories of my homeland
The ancestral land we were forced to leave

A wanderer
I’m dreaming of a peaceful world

But then a spark of light appears at the back of my mind
I want to jump out of joy, finding the answer
Yes, my closest feeling to the word homeland
And the dearest relic of my identity
“Abai Jan ma”, she connects me to my homeland
To our roots, to a culture of peace


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