The keeper of Afghanistan’s poetic past

Eighty-one-year old Sufi mystic and poet Haidari Wujodi sits at his desk in Kabul Public Library [Lynzy Billing/Al Jazeera]
Eighty-one-year old Sufi mystic and poet Haidari Wujodi sits at his desk in Kabul Public Library [Lynzy Billing/Al Jazeera]

Behind the walls of Kabul Public Library, an 81-year-old poet kept the tradition and spirit of Afghan Sufi poetry alive.

By Lynzy Billing6 Jun 2021

On a crisp March morning in 2020, gridlocked cars honk noisily at a roundabout opposite a high wall, guarded by a handful of uniformed men in the Afghan capital. Behind the wall lies Kabul Public Library, a simple, three-storey brick structure constructed 55 years ago. Trapped between imposing government buildings, the library is an oasis in the chaotic capital – its corridors, run-down and dimly lit, lie silent, but for the faint chattering of guards drinking tea outside.

“Afghan poetry is both subtle and profound, hinting at notions of spiritualism, and an Afghan sense of the transcendental,” muses 81-year-old poet Ghulam Haidar Haidari Wujodi as he hunches over his desk nestled between teetering towers of books on the library’s top floor.

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Divine beauty

Allah is beautiful and he loves beauty on We Heart It
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28-30 Shawwal, Bulleh Shah, Kasur, Punjab, 1757CE

Bulleh Shah Shrine in Kausur

Bulleh Shah lived in the same period as the Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai (1689–1752). His lifespan also overlapped with the Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722–1798), of Heer Ranjha fame, and the Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahab (1739–1829), better known by his pen name Sachal Sarmast. Amongst Urdu poets, Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723–1810) of Agra.

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I will run towards you

Thank u Allah for being so Loving, Kind, Merciful & Compassionate towards  me. | Islamic quotes, Islam, Hadeeth
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Ar Rahman

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