My Shattered Dreams….



Refugees are the among the most vulnerable and threatening groups in the human society. They fled from their homeland due to wars, floods, revenges, natural disasters, asylum seekers, however the mood of this migration from one place to another place in the history of the humankind is almost different. Freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of the expressions were the key mechanism, imposed by every country on accepting the refugees according to its own limitations and needs and policies. However, here the essay could not reflect all these practically and theoretically. Here attempt is made to sketch out a scenario of the Afghan Refugees as role model for the universally acclaimed refugees through out the world. The only selection of the Afghan Refugees in this case is due to very exploitive nature of migration. Their migration since 1978 is still continued. Thousands have lost to their lives, lands, dear ones and some overt and cover dreams.


Because, living and working in a country likes refugees, many national and international groups and states are self-custodians of their social, political and economical rights. But their needs are just beyond these myths and realties, they have some dreams, which they want to make true. These dreams do not need any economical or political outlook; the dreamers just want to listen their dreams to others as their intellectual and moral needs could be fulfilled. Because, in migration of any sort, intellectual brain drain also counted and affected, here is story of an intellectual whose dreams are shattered and how he views his dreams with post and modern world intellectuals. Indeed he is a hidden intellectual. His life efforts are surrounding the accomplishment of his autobiography.


My Shattered Dreams…


While standing at the Michini post, Pakistan’s last outpost at the Western end of barren, winding the Khyber Pass, stands sentinel over Torkham Gate, the deceptively orderly border crossing into Afghanistan gives a heart-thundering beat for seeing those, who are moving along both sides freely. Actually they denied the rules of the great game that was the main cause to drag them from their ancestral homelands into global standardized moveable roof. Somewhere this legendary barren lands also witnessed the Alexandra the great knocking at its doorsteps. Tamiur Lung’s brutal killing cell gripped the emotions but its present status told that history never favored the self-claimed lords. From Pharaoh to today’s worldly lords, every one tried to rewrite the history according to his own meticulous designs, even few are succeeded in this whole drama, but as many episodes were unfolds with due the passage of times, the entire scripting was seen bizarre and ludicrous. Why? There may be some interesting nodes in describing this phenomenon due to unburdened history, captured in many brilliant minds since the dawn of human civilization.  They were also hapless to tide the flow of history even serving their own intellectual, moral curiosities or their kings, but Bahram Khan never claimed for such intelligence, he has very ordinary profile or he is so shy in standing in the queue of the world’s most intelligent persona. 


A white respected man, not genetically, due to his hair color with growing old age in front of nearly two-dozen children never made any hesitation to accept his role in this historical drama.

This is the Afghan Refugee Camp, situated in the outskirts of the Haripur District, North West Frontier Province, where Bahram Khan is sitting on a wheelchair in a globalize recommended world moveable room, by a landmine, also losing one leg, while fleeing from the Afghanistan to Pakistan. Where he is fighting against his shattered dreams, which drag the entire Afghan nation by the Russia cold-weather mystical approach and overcoming orthodoxies- a part of the Great Game Theory, now he meets his intellectual and moral curiosities through teaching the young and fleeing nation of the Afghanistan, whose destiny is still pondered. He belongs to such barren lands, to which an indigenous poet regarded as sky kisses it.


Bahram was a graduate of Rutherford University and applied his linguistic abilities into Afghan next generations at the Kabul University.  He considered himself a mastermind of modern history, standing along the Ariel Durant, Edward Said, Noam Chmosky, Fukayma, also gave shoulders to Aristotle, Socrates, Karl Marx, Hegel. He has a rich collection of books that’s only his life asset, which he brought from his homeland. However here some trustworthy friends also met his mental food as he equipped himself through the modern pros and corns of the Ariel Durant, Edward Said, Noam Chmosky, Bernard Henri Levy and Fukayma. His greatest work on which he is spending is the collection of his memories in an autobiography, titling “My Shattered Dreams…” for that he spent many sleepless nights that his dream may come true, before the losing the threads of life and soul.  But he made hesitation to launch here, as moving back on his seat, closing his eyes, in a more heartfelt voice, looking a moment that, “ Standing in a magical and majestic courtyard of the Kabul University, taking huge hugs and kisses from his old mates, students, thirsty and war-effected intellectuals of that country”, suddenly he opened his eyes and said desperately that how his dream came true? A million dollar question, for whom, it’s still undecided and should be decided only for Bahram.


He never ready for answering the questions of history, as he recalled the heart-thundering days at the Kabul’s University, when a student asked that “History has no sense that it teaches us nothing, and that the immense past was only the weary rehearsal of the mistake that the future is destined to make on a larger stage and scale”.[i] But Khan’s at once defied his argument that history has always sense and never allowed one to defy its facts. It gives a clear way for the coming generations to speak loudly and clearly, he said in a very lone toned. But Barham was thinking and very much convinced about his student’s remarks that history has no sense. How this happened, his written memorial work was witnessed in this regard.


While taking a lengthy breathe, as signs of getting a destination still for away from his sleepless and swelling eyes, he talked about the famous German Philosopher Immanuel Kant that human beings occupy a special place in creation[ii], but Khan’s at once lasting upon this as how could be this important and meaningful. He gave very simple reason by showing his landmines effected leg, as this is the only gift of human mind, animals never equipped from this skill.” I am not only one in this row, thousands are affected in the each nock and corner of the world due to this human being high profile capability, applied for their fellow human beings.


Bahram taking another paper from his wooden made box, where history of Afghanistan and some glaring moments of the Bahram’s life are struggling to find ways and means to reach the global audience, but as he is very obedient to the flow of history, so never showing any signs to tide the flow of history. He gave also some words to Heracleitus that war or competition, is the father of all things, the potent source of ideas, inventions, institutions and states, and in the same regard peace is an unstable equilibrium, which can be preserved only by acknowledged supremacy or equal power.[iii] As Khan’s smile clearly indicated that when he talked about Ariel Durant that he wrote that in every century the generals and rulers have smiled at the philosopher’s timid dislike of war.[iv] While looking at the innocent pupils in front of him, whom dreams and ever smiling faces are now barren as rigid mountains of that land, as he shaken his head – a silence agreement was there.


He now stands from his chair, shaking and disguising talked about that wars in his homeland brought new ideas, inventions, states and institutions, as “The Great Game Theory”, “Cold War testing times”, “Oil Plan”, “Freedom Struggle”, “talibanism”, “9/11”, “operation An coda”, “operation Torabora”, even so on. But all this was served only to few masterminds, on whom behalf the dreams of the future generations are still shattered; Khan’s voice blasted the little camp, as Children were little bit upset about their teacher unusual behavior. But their silence reminded the approval of Khan’s views. Touching the human rights aspects of refugees, Khan’s very confused that how intellectual debate on universalism and particularism affected the basic questions of the human rights, but the refugees are always at the receiving end, as untouchable to freedom of expression in spite of many declared international agreements. That’s is very basic reason for Khan’s reluctance to publish on completion his soul-searching attempt, he may be bow down or free from daily puzzles of the life.


David Sahar, California conducted a study on Afghan Refugees in 1998 that they feel discouraged, defeated, helpless, hopeless, and have difficulty carrying out day-to-day difficulties. [v]The some symptoms are very glaring as this discussion with Bahram Khan is continued, but sometimes it’s very surprisingly that he has showed immense courage and power to defy all odds as to make true his shattered dreams for his nationals at the home and some 2.2 million only in Pakistan.[vi]Khan’s much inspiration from the Noam Chomsky’s work on “Escaping Orthodoxies” and “Overcoming Orthodoxies”. [vii]As we people, the Afghan Refugees are like modus vivendi between our intellectual, moral and that lands where we got shelter, Khan’s voice striking the camp’s walls, although he was much shaky in showing loyalty towards Noam Chomsky. “We are groveling before the tyrants, who have occupied our minds, not only minds, but also our dreams, because the South African activist, Steve Biko once rightly remarked that the most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of oppressed, we people are just glaring example of this phenomena.[viii]


Looking at the children dashingly and with some patients, Khan’s says desperately is our future will be ‘End of History”, no, no…. talking to himself, how Bernard Henri Levy could say that because our stories are unrecorded, we are forgotten and the event of historicizing the “is a revolutionary idea for two-thirds of majority”.[ix] Mr. Bernard should record our stories otherwise there will be the End of the History, Khan’s said optimistically. Astonishingly moved from the wheelchair, he sat on the ground with children and said: “If Janes Austin’s had any opportunity to see these kids, she would have another mind to include them in her novel “Pride and Prejudices” against the characters of Durey and Elizabeth, as well as Aruandaty Roy’s Booker Prize work “The God of Small Things” did not exclude our stories if she has any sort of interaction with these kids and their unexplained little dreams.


Amazingly, the last scene of this episode is more powerful that all children weaving around the Khan and singing their local songs of freedom and joy…somehow to satisfy the shattered dreams…


[i] Will and Ariel Durant, (1968): “The Lessons of History”, Simon and Schuster Rockefeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York 10020 (Popular Version)

[ii] Rachael James, (1995)” “The Elements of Moral Philosophy”, McGraw Hill International, Singapore

[iii] Will and Ariel Durant, (1968): “The Lessons of History- War and History”, Simon and Schuster Rockefeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York 10020 (Popular Version)

[iv] Ibid

[viii] Ibid

[ix] see: “War, Evil, and the End of History” by Bernard Henri Levy/Melville Publishing /ISBN:0971865957




Shahid Waseem

Freelance Journalist & Researcher


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