In a discussion at the House of Balkh poets and fiction writers, a female fiction writer, Miss Zahra Alipor, summarized the last version of her latest fiction story and asked other writers for their thoughts and opinions. Zahra’s story tells the tale of an Afghan girl and encapsulates the difficulties of women in Afghanistan and their struggles.
Miss Zahra Alipor talked to Sada-e Azadi about writing fictions and the importance of writers gathering to share their work. “I have written several fiction stories but as a writer I want to make sure to capture the feeling of my protagonist. The establishment of this House of Fiction Writers in Balkh is a great place for us to gather and pool our creative opinions. Today we gathered to discuss famous fiction writers, share ideas and critically examine our work so we can present the best story to our readers. This house has really contributed to the quality of work coming from Balkh’s authors.”
Contemporary Afghan literature rests upon a rich heritage of both oral and written traditions. The two major languages of Afghanistan, Pashto and Dari, possess a wealth of literature, but unfortunately most works are unfamiliar to the public. The writers hope that this centre in Balkh province will help to introduce Afghanistan’s literary treasures to a broader public and keep this culture alive.
Taqi Wahidi is a fiction writer, civil society activist and the founder of Balkh’s House of Fiction. He discussed the contemporary context of Afghan literature. “When discussing Afghan literature, you are often forced into a discussion on politics. In such situations, when one considers the nature of poetry and fiction produced over the last three decades, during war and conflict, literature captures so much about the context of the people, their culture and the country. What is also interesting and can be said to epitomize Afghan literature of today is its high degree of responsiveness and immediacy. We are here to keep writing and criticizing one another’s impression so the message is truly captured.”
Mr. Wahidi explained that since 2006, writers from this establishment have written and published hundreds of poems and fiction stories. The centre was established to encourage new writers to keep writing and discuss their problems and the difficulties they face in daily life. Mr. Wahidi concluded, “The aim of this house is to encourage the others to write about their society and what we experience. Afghanistan is a country which has many untold stories and it is very easy for everyone to write about their perception of this society. Our goal is not to earn money, but we all are here to serve for this country as writers and poets and to tell Afghanistan’s story.”