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 Kabul Press, World Media Home

Evolving times and the wind of exile

Kamran Mir Hazar, a professional poet, writer and journalist from Afghanistan, was  living in exile, in Iran. He has started his literary pursuit 15 years ago and has published two books, Ketab-e- Mehr, a collection of verse, and Reading and Writing, a collection of articles about the new generation of Afghan literature, which have, later, published under a single title, Afghanistan Literature Engineering.

Two more of his works are poised to be published soon. The strong undercurrents in his works are of the new generation of Afghan literature. He is famous for creating new and top-class cultural plans and discussions. For the first time in Afghanistan, he has been credited for proscribing that the Persian language is better than the Dari, the classical form of language, while promoting speech and literature. He believes that the avatar of the Persian in Afghanistan will help promote the Persian language among other Persian speakers, too, while the Afghans trying to improve their lifestyle. This is not an outlook dependent on geographic details, as his open-ended outlook is joined with exile. His verse is a scattered world that contains nostalgia, the feeling of being an exile and the quest for freedom. Any connoisseur could make their own space while savouring through this poets verses.

Kamran Mir Hazar was born inside the mountains in central Afghanistan and immigrated, along with his family, to Iran, when he was just six months old. He got educated in Iran and for eight years he had worked for Iranian newspapers and magazines. In 1995, he decided to publish his first poetry collection, but the Iranian censor office didnt accept it. After that he chose seclusion and didnt publish any work in Iran. During this time he was penning poems and teaching Afghan-exiled workers to read and write.

In 1999 he released a contentious open letter with the help of Hooshang Golshiri, which was addressed to the heads of the UN, UNESCO and UNICEF about the guiltless Afghan children, women, and men and. The letter bore Afghan mixed myths, legends, fables and historical places. Around 330 Iranian and Afghan writers, poets and intellectuals have associated with him and added signatures to that letter. Ahmad Shamlu, Mahmood Dowlatabadi, Anvar Khamei and Naser Zarafshan were some of those poets, writers and intellectuals. Two days later, a media conference followed, and two of his young poets were killed by the Iranian secret service in Tehran, Toos ST.

Circa 2000 was yet another year for him in which he could publish the first issue of RAHA, covertly with the help of Afghan workers. The first RAHA issue showed that its a protest movement that will not accept censorship. After publishing three issues, the Iranian secret service arrested his mother in Mashad and held her captive for nearly one month. He couldnt print RAHA after that and chose the Internet for publishing independent writers works and opinions.

He says: Yes, the Internet is a free space to publish works but we also have to face a global kind of censorship that is mixed with local kinds. These kinds of censorship are more concrete on the Net. He believes that some global organisations with catchy charters are no different from the censorship enacted in third world countries. ISBN is same like the censorship in Iran. Books in Iran will go to the censor office to register with ISBN. Human rights business is an epidemic way to limit our countries, he thinks.

PEN in Afghanistan with a tourist outlook is protecting ego-thinking writers and poets who have to depend on the ego-thinking establishment and military groups. PEN doesnt have any knowledge about the Afghan writers and with the supporting ego-thinking groups is hitting to the new generation of writers. PEN should back and use Yusas experiences to work for a better future.

PEN has a classical system that does not promote writers condition in Afghanistan. Kamran Mir Hazars replies to two members of PEN (Terry Carlbom International Secretary International PEN and Eugene Schoulgin Chair of International PEN, Writers in Prison Committee) are the best references that reviewed PENs works in Afghanistan and Iran. It discloses why PENs outlook about the writers in Afghanistan is so limited. He says necktie is not a sign of a new poet or writer, like many think.

The founder of RAHA-World Independent Writers Home is also the founder of the first international Persian e-book publisher and Kabul Press, World Media Home, an online press agency associated with RAHA in Exile.

Although Kamran Mir Hazar gets lots of invitations from many newspapers to become an editor and to work in global organisations, he, like most writers in the third world, is forced to work hard for livelihood and has not accepted any of that, and is still fighting against censorship, global or local.

 Writers in exile: Reza Baraheni, Iran               Choman Hardi, Iraq

RAHA Editor-in Chief

RAHA/7/May/ /2004

As the mind has no boundaries, the RAHA concept does not have frontiers and is opposed to information and cultural control by global communication entities whether media conglomerates, states or local governments, or religions

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