Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Context and Culture

AAN wishes a peaceful and healthy Eid al-Adha to all its readers

AAN Team 2 min

At a difficult and uncertain time for growing numbers of people in Afghanistan, there is at last some good news: the Taleban and government have again declared a third three-day ceasefire to mark the major Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. We acknowledge that many people who have continued to bear the brunt of this brutal war and/or suffered from coronavirus will not be celebrating Eid or will have only a deeply troubled one this year. Still, the Afghanistan Analysts Network would like to wish a happy Eid to the people of Afghanistan, to all Muslims and to our friends and readers. We hope this most recent ceasefire, unlike the past ones, lasts beyond the brief holiday.

Tilework on a tower in Herat Citadel. Photo: Thomas Ruttig (2019).

In the years of the Taleban insurgency, Afghans have seen only four short respites from the fighting, lasting, in total, just 16 days: two three-day ceasefires over two Eid al-Fitr festivals (15-17 June 2018 and 24-26 May 2020), the reduction in violence week (22-28 February 2020) and the just-announced three-day ceasefire over this year’s Eid al-Adha (30 July-1 August 2020). These temporary and short silencings of the guns have been vital to many Afghans, letting them experience their country at peace and imagine a war-free future.

Unfortunately, soon after the previous two ceasefires and February’s reduction in violence week, the war returned. Still, we hope that this year’s Feast of the Sacrifice ushers in more than a lull in the fighting and reminds us all to, as Hafez says, appreciate that life is transient, that human beings need empathy, and the fact that, at our deaths, all that remains of value is our good deeds. (1)

رسید مژده که ایام غم نخواهد ماند

چنان نماند چنین نیز هم نخواهد ماند

توانگرا دل درویش خود به دست آور

که مخزن زر و گنج درم نخواهد ماند

بدین رواق زبرجد نوشته اند به زر

که جز نکویی اهل کرم نخواهد ماند

Arrived the glad tidings that the time of grief shall not last

Like that will not last; like this will not last

Oh powerful one! Reach out to win the dervish’s heart

For the store of gold and the hoard of silver shall not last

On this chrysolite porch, they have written in gold:

Save the goodness of people of generosity, nothing shall last

(1) Find the full ghazal poem in Dari/Persian here. The above six lines are AAN’s English translation.

Tilework on a wall in Khwaja Abdullah Ansari Shrine, Herat. Photo: Thomas Ruttig (2019)


Eid al-Azha