I helped a young suicide bomber

Translated into English By:  Fateh SAMI

 

Translator’s Remark:

The following article entitled ’I helped a young sucide bomber’ was written by Mr. Sulaiman Kabir Noori in 2011.  As per his request I translated it into English for the benefit of young Afghan refugees who either migrated with their families at a very young age or were born in their new dwelling places outside their homeland. The article was written as a fictional, immaginative short story, portraying the true nature of what is currently going on in the training camps in Pakistan, apparently named Madrassa (Religious Education Centre).  The religious centres employ various techniques to indoctrinate the children with ideals and fantacies of going to the pradise, convincing them to get ready for a suicide operation. After a brain washing period the young kids are cruelly made prepared for suicide, under the name of faith and Islam in a country which is being called” Islamic”.

By reading this story you can judge how the innocent kids of Afghanistan are being prepared for commiting sucide in the romanitic dream of joining the houri (nymph) in the heaven.

In this article Mr Noori has used many local jargons, teenage slangs and expressions in colloquial language. Translation of local words in conversational langauage could be vague and indistinct in the target langauge. To the possible extent, I tried to convey the message using the equivalent expressions in English. For preserving semantic content of the original text, dialectical and linguistic fluency I made every effort possible to avoid of using vocabulary, phrases and sentences which sounded repetition and iteration in the original Dari text. Also, certain awkward   Farsi-Dari expressions were converted into common English pattern to be familair and understandable for young English readers whithout any significant addition or omission of the original text.

It was a very cold   winter night  in Europe, unprecedently freezing and  stormy. The wind was striking with all its force, its coldness embraced  the city in darkness. The wind was so cold that it was as if choking the light globes and squeezing their lights  frozen on their  hands. It was eight o’clock, and I was moving towards  home travelling  from  a long distance. Just 25 kilometers away from home,  I decided to get a  newspaper for study from the nearest place on  my way.

I moved to the train station and stopped my car in the parking lot. I wanted to buy a newspaper from the news agent inside the train station. When I got out of my  car, I felt that the cold sweep away my warmth, piercing  my body as I was walking to the kiosk.

While  getting  the paper, I  noticed that someone was running behind a train , as if he was trying to stop it moving. The train moved forward and got  faster by each second. It disappeared at a glance, as if it had swallowed the cold. But the person who was running behind to catch the train all of a sudden  stopped breathlessly. After a pause, he desperately returned to  the kiosk where  I was standing  in front of it. When he approached he grumbled at the way he had been treated. What he was raving about  sounded familiar to my ears. A young man  aged 16 – 18, of Afghan  appearance, attracted my attention.

I asked him, ’ Are you from Afghanistan? ’

He answered,’ yes’.  as he  drove out he took the CD Players head phone out from his ears:

I looked at him. He was  hansome , young and alone. His legs seemed  heavier with the Cowboy’s Potello, which was slipping on his Addidas shoes. His  eyes were tired and  was gazing into me curiously.

I asked,’ where are you going?’

 ‘I live in a refugee camp, i.e. Immigration Detention Centre (IDC).’he answered.

 I said ,’ come with me. I will take you up there.’

 He said. ’Ok, thanks. But please take me just to the station. There the camp’s bus is running every  hour and picks up the refugees’

 I said, ‘It is good to come with me. I will drop you at the camp  because it is very cold.’

I got the  newspaper and moved with the young man to my car. We seated  in the car.

’Do you listen to music?’ I asked him.

He laughed , nodded and raised his hand with a   gesture of approval.

’ Dear uncle! We cannot  live without music.Can we?’he said.

 I told him,’ Good on you, Come on! What do you want to hear?”

 He said. ‘Play whatever you like. It does not  matter for  me as long as it is music. It  should be just music. My  life was bad any way. It is bad and will get worse and ruined. May be the   music will reduce my sorrow. It will diminish grief in my heart.’

Hearing my young compatriot’s responses, apprehension and fear  caught sway over my heart. I thought that this youn man, with mustaches newly grown as a black stripe over his lips, may have been  suffering from a heavy burden of bitterness and sadness in life  which has been sqeezing cruelly all  fabrics of his body. I was thinking that this  young man has never experienced anything in this world. Unfortunately a severe pain like  a heavy mountain has crept through and resided in  his very  young heart. But the pain could not  bend his waist, and he was still able to withstand and resist it steadfastly. I slowed down the speed of the car.    

I asked: How long have you been here for?

 He replied: ‘One and half years.’

I asked: ‘ Have you  not received any response from the Immigration Department about your refugee status case during this period?’

’Why not. I have received  but it was negative.’ he reiterated.

I contiunued,’ Why did  you get a negative response? What was the problem with your   case?

’Lots of problem.,he said.

I asked, ’ for example, what?’

’I am a suicide bomber!’ he said.

By hearing that, the intensity of my surprise came to a halt, and my legs gave way and   squeezed  involuntarily on the brakes.

’Was it a real  case or did you make it up for yourself?’ I asked.

He answred, ’I told the department every thing  accurately. I told that  I was a sucide bomber..

Surprisingly I asked,  ’How did you tell the truth? Why are you  a suicide bomber?’

Again he said, ’I’m really a suicide bomber.’

I put the volume of the music player down , and asked him curiously. ’

’Realy!  what sort of suicidal?.’

He said,’ A suicide bomber! ’

My hairs stood upright on my body of fear. I realized that I had helped a suicide bomber. Now I’m sitting with a suicide bomber in the car. Without recognising my feelings , I asked, ‘You’re so funny. Why did you choose to become a suicide bomber?’

He answere.’ Uncle ! I am really a  suicide bomber!’

I said ’You’re kidding again!   ’My dear nephew, I am really going to help you so that your case can be approved.

’ Tell me how did  you become a suicide bomber?’ I asked again.

’ Well, it is with me. That is a private matter. Let it be confidential.’he answered.

I insisted.’My dear ! Really , I’m going to help you.’

He immediately turned his face to me and asked, ’  What sort of help you can do for me? Uncle!’

I told him,’ Maybe I can help you to be accepted and to  get a positive response from the Department of Immigration.  I have previously  helped many Afghans.”

I parked my car at the first parking lot on the way. I also  lit the lights inside  the car and told him:

Do you see what is going on in our homeland at present? Every day,  dozens of our compatriots including children, old and young, men and women  are being slaughtered. Are there  any Afghan citizen who can  indifferently watch   the  ongoing appaling  crimes? Off course not. Do you know, how much your father, mother, sister and brother have thought about your fate? And  are you aware how uncomfortable they may be  because of you ?  They are very  uncomfortable, especially your mother, Janet. Don’t  you know that you are not  far away from her memory even for a second? Do you remember how much they loved you and how they were looking after you? Very much indeed. Isn’t that true?

The boy stared   at me experiencing  in his vision pain, sorrow, weakness and  inability ,but still  you could read in his face a sense of trust and courage. Suddenly he  put his head on top of my chest, knelt  his hands around my neck and started weeping bitterly  like a  kid. The boy started crying as  loudly as he could with all  his  power,  pounding his pain on my chest. While rancour was choking my throat  I did not   shed any tear. But I was trying to calm down myself from the incendiary flames engulfing my heart. I  was giving him  a pat on his head and shoulders.  I thought with myself that this child would be one of  hundreds of children from my homeland  who has faced to such a terrible destiny. The destiny of a nation which its beliefs have been caught in a dangerous game.  The claimants of faith open the gates of death and violence  for them.  The  boy calmed down  and kept sitting firmly on the car seat. It is regretably the  fate of a nation whose beliefs have been abused precariously , and their beliefs have opened for them the gates of violence. The boy got quiet and sat in his chair firmly.

While he was rubbing tears from his face with his hands , he took a few deep breaths.Then he calmed down. The  boy began to say: ’ I was in school. I went to school for three years. I was happy and interested to study.’

I asked,’ Where did you go to school?

’In wata por,’he answered.

I asked again,’ Where is that ?

He said, ’in  Wat Pour District of  Kunar Province.’

I said,’ ok, and then what happened?’ 

The boy  sat upright. His eyes focussed on the  murkiness as if he was trying to portray the obscurity of his past.  I was in grade three that my uncle came to our house with a friend from Pakistan. He said to my father at  night: ’It’s time for your child to start learning basic religious lessons so that he should not go astary and to grow up as a good Mulim.  In Pakistan  people pay more attention to   children.  Pakistan is a genuine Islamic country. There are many religious schools. Arab brothers also pay more attention. They provide free accommodation and food and they taghut the children to learn Quran and to become Mullah ( religious leader)  and Talib.

I keenly listened  to their chat. Two days later my father handed me over to my uncle. Then I went to Pakistan and I enrolled in a school in which , like me, many other Afghan children were studying. We were doing   religious education as well as  both combat training  and how to conduct a suicide operation.At later stages of our study particularly at the end, students were taught how  tocommit  suicide.

One of our compatriot was a  chef in the kitchen of  that school. When  I was studying at the school, the chef got permimission so  that I would   work with him as a kitchen hand. On some friday nights he would take permission from the school authority to take me  with him to his house. I would play with one of his kids who was  at my age. But  he did not go to madrassa , religious school; he was studying in the public school.

 

I  helped the chef  for two years. He was  telling me that we were coming from the same. I have to look on you with great favour. He was a very nice and kind person and loved me like his own  child. After the shool time,  I was washing dishes and cleaning.  I never saw that person in  my homeland but I knew that my familly recognised him. When the young man used the word cleansing, more questions were raised in my mind. The boy contined:

One day,  Maulavi (senior Mullah), the head of the madrassa,  asked me to come to his room. When I entered his  room , after greeting,  I saw two Pkistani men there too. Mr. Maulavi introduced  me to them: ‘This is also  a Talib ( religious student) on the list for  the way of Allah (God)   going to paradise

As I was getting further surprised , I asked,’  Did you understand what was  the purpose of Maulavi?

’ Yes. It was the suicide bombing that we read in our lessons.  We would  kill the infidels (Kafir) and ourselves would go to paradise.’ he said.

It was dark outside , so the darkness had come  inside the car too.

I asked,’  What did you think when you realized that they were going to send you to paradise ? What did you feel? The young boy was held up hugging his  past  memories.

Having heard this saying of Mr.Maulavi , I found a weird joy in my heart. He took me in completely with his good news.I was thinking that God Almighty has given me all  happiness in the world.  All the things that our instructors  taught us about paradise all at once came before  me. I wast drowning with glee. From among my classmates, I had found  myself as a champion. How  God has rewarded me with martyrdom. In brief, I felt that God had given me all the pleasures of the world and provided me a visit with the Prophet Mohammad. Ya, at that moment, my parents, my sisters  and brothers came to my mind. I would love to fly and pass this  good  news to them.

I asked Mr. Mawlavi, ‘Do you allow me before the matyrdom to go home and meet my father and mother?’

He said. ‘What do you do with your father and  mother? Go to paradise where your  grandmother, grand father and maternal uncle are all waiting for you.’ He also said to me,” You should not tell anyone until  you know your  job. After kisssing the  hands of Maulavi,  I got out of the room with pride. When I got out of the room, I felt myself feeling light, like a fly in the air. When I started to read my lesson , my eyes did not see any word at all. And I was drunk in the thought of  another world.

After the class,  when I went to the kitchen, I wanted keep this as a secret even from the   chef. But five minutes later, when the chef  saw me, he called me and asked, ‘What has happened?’ I was tempted to  tell him passionately the whole instruction and conversation  of  what Mr. Maulavi told me . But unlike yesterday the chef ,  hearing my story,  knelt in front of me, pushed the tail of his turban to one side and looked at me with sadness. After a moment’s silence, he pulled me up and hugged me. He said,’ My son,  your father and mother do not have any worries that you are studying. They are comfortable and sure that I take care of you. I am also responsible for you. I got  upset why the chef was not happy with my martyrdom and going to pradise.

Two days passed from this story,  I was envisioning for hours with thethought of going to paradise. On that day, after the end of the work the chef was always getting ready to go home. He put some food in a clothbag with a few bananas   and  placed it in the corner of the kitchen. But on that day before going home, he gave me some money and sent  me out to the nearest shop to buy nasswar (powdered tobaccoa used under tongue) for him. I took the money and went to the shop. When I bought Nasswar, I wanted to go  back to school. I swas surprised seeing the chef with a bag in his hand, standing on my way. He told me  I could go home with him. Meanwhile, his child was waiting for me.

I said,’ ok good . Let’s go’ . When  I got to his home, my eyes were looking for  his son.

When I got inside, I saw my dad sitting and chatting with the father of the chef. My father got up and gave me a hug. While he was hugging me he was also shaking.  I did not realize what had happened to him. Surpringly, I saw his tears running on his beard. I did not know what was going on. Looking at my father in that situation the fantasies  of going to pradise was lost in my mind. After a while, when the chef talked with my father and his own  father, my father, with the company of the chef , went to the house of one of our relatives. But the chef after a while returned to his home.  In the house of my relative , I also saw my younger maternal  cousin who had come to Pakistan from Kunar recently,  and he was going to Europe.

In short, after two to three  weeks my dad sent me to Iran with my cousin. We stayed   long and worked in Iran, and it took us four years to get to  Europe. We met with many fugitive compatriots, men , women , old and young people on the way to Europe. Travellimg makes people informed, vigilant and alert. I learned  many things as a traveler, and my mind was opened. I understood the meaning of the case on the way to europe. And my cousin  always telling me that my case was good and I would be accepted soon. Now  I see around 600  under age Afghan children who want to apply for refugee status had said that they were suicide bombers. They have badly affected their cases and it also had a negative impact on my case as well. Dear uncle! Do you  understand now that I  was really a suicide bomber.

Anger and astonishment had been mingled with the darkness of the night to take me to daura  of the mystery surrounding  tragedy. The grief of the compatriot’s story was pressing heavily on my heart. I sent my anger , moan and  cry off  to the night, to pacify my eyes through looking at the  eyes of the young boy: – You were a suicide bomber, you were in the hands of our homeland’s  enemies. But now , thanks God that you are a free, wise and mature young man, not a suicide bomber.

Yes, my dear uncle, it is the word of Allah Almighty which says, ” All praise is to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

He has created  everything and he will annihilate them whenever He

Wants just says be and that will be done. Why should we take the  life  of ourselves and of other creatures  which God has given us?”

We had to go through the darkness to salute the light land of the sun,  while  turning the light of the car , I turned the car’s ignition  key and drove off.:

We reached the train station  soon. But there was not any camp service bus available.  I drove  straight to the camp, and dropped him ( the compatriot) there. I promised him that I would help him to be accepted as a refugee by the Depatment of Immigration. He got off the car. In his eyes  innocence was  observed. He put his coat on ,  stepped fast  and disappeared in the dark air.

The end

Translated into English : 9  of Jan, 2019

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