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World has wrongly recognized Afghans: Robert Sampson

World has wrongly recognized Afghans: Robert Sampson

Nov 20, 2017 - 14:43

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): British teacher Robert Sampson says if the worldinfo-icon reads Pashtu poetry they will understand the Afghans hate war and love peace.

The 60-year-old teaches English and science at a university in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistaninfo-icon’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and is co-translator of “The Poetry of Rahman Baba - Poet of the Pashtuns”, a more than 900 pages long volume.

The teacher, who visited Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, talked about his translation work on Rahman Baba’s poetry and Pashtu poetry with Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview.

Fluent in Pashtu, Robert Sampson said he leant Pashtu from his students in Peshawar. “All my students were Pashtuns, so I believed it was necessary to learn this language. When my students would talk to each other in Pashtu, I would try to understand, learn and it had a great fun.”

He said he leant Pashtu in cooperation and friendship with his students. “I loved listening to Pasthu poetry and proverbs and I noticed the Pashtuns using poetry of Rahman Baba in their common conversation.”

He said it had been amazing to him how an illiterate Pashtuninfo-icon could use such a huge amount of poetry in his ordinary talks. “It further strengthened my resolve to learn Pashtu, so I decided to study Rahman Baba work, which caused me to fall in love with Pashtu poetry.”

Robert Sampson said the Rahman Baba poetry had a great impact on him and by translating his work, he wanted the same impact on all the British people.

He said another teacher based in Peshawar, Momin Khan, had co-translated the Rahman Baba’s poetry. Robert said first they published a small book of Rahman Baba’s famous verses and then decide to translate all the Diwan into English.

“The poetry of the most revered sufi poet Rahman Baba is available in English language also,” said Sampson, who believed the world has wrongly recognized the Pashtuns. “This nation does not like war, they are peace-loving,” said the teacher, who spent four years tirelessly translating the Rahman Baba work.

“If the world reads Pashtu poetry, they will find messages like what Rahman Baba left behind,” Sampson said, as he recited a famous quote from the most revered poet among the Pashtuns:

کر د ګلو کړه، چې سيمه دې ګلزار شي

اغزي مه کره، چې پښو کې به دې خار شي.

“Sow flowers to make a garden bloom around you”

“The thorns you sow will prick your own feet”

Sampson said the works of Rahman Baba, Khoshal Khan Khattak and others and especially Pashtu Tapa had made the language immortal.

He said the Pashtuns did not like words of other languages to find place in Pashtu language, but he said it should be allowed because adopting words of other languages would help increase Pashtu’s relations with other tongues.

Sampson said he loved Pashtu poetry and now he had started translating the poetry of Khushal Khan Baba into English.


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