Essay - The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif Henry Parker
Analyse how an idea is developed in a text you have studied.
The shaping of an identity is an idea prominently shown and developed throughout this autobiographical text. The central character Najaf Mazari, is the prime example of this and his life can be separated into three distinct periods of when his identity is created and shaped: The Known, the unknown, and the new, or Afghanistan, Woomera and Australia respectively.
The first of these, Afghanistan, is where Najaf Mazari was born and raised. We see that many of his core moral beliefs and traits are as a result of this upbringing. Looking at his family life we can see how the influence of his older brother Gorg Ali impacted on Najaf. He thought of his older brother gorg Ali as a father figure, as his real father was killed in the war meaning Gorg Ali became responsible for the upbringing of his siblings. Najaf describes Gorg Ail in the text as a gentle person, contrary to most Afghani fathers who offered a tougher, more realistic outlook on life in Afghanistan. An Afghani father has failed in his duty to his sons if he raises dreamers. This is a strong statement and we can therefore conclude that Gorg Ali did fail by Afghani standards in a sense that Najaf Mazari dreamed of a better life outside of the sand and rubble that is Afghanistan. In saying this Gorg Al ultimately succeded as Najaf was able to take this hope gven to him and put it towards the goal of living a better and safer life, which he was able to achieve. Najaf describes Gorg Ali as the sort of person who holds things together. What is meant by this statement is that Gorg Ali was against the on-going violence. Not being the sort of person to break but rather, repar damage done. He wanted harmony and peace he was not the type who wrenches things apart for the sake of their own pride and illusion of superiority. It is also meant in a family sense. Najaf gives Gorg Ali credit for his ability to hold his family together. Najaf is clearly in favour of Gorg Ali and does not believe in war to solve problems. We can see that Najaf is against war through the emotive language he uses. He talks about witnessing several explosions in my lifetime, always unwillingly. We can see through these examples that Najaf’s identity is strongly defined by the on-going war in Afghanistan and by the beliefs and wisdom of his brother Gorg Ali. Najaf’s ethnicity also would have impacted heavily on his character. Being a Hazara, he is looked down upon by society in Afghanistan, in particular the Pashtuns. They think of the Hazara as second class citizens and treat them accordingly. This would have further increased Najaf’s distinct hate for violence and discrimination. Pashtuns being mainly Sunni Muslims and the Hazara being Shiite Muslims this is the most prominent origin of the conflict: the conflict between the two sub religions. The reason I bring this point up is the capture of Najaf by the Taliban, during a time when the Taliban where at full strength. His lack of decisiveness as to which side he is on due to his hate for war, and the fact that he is of Hazara decent (The Hazara had killed many Taliban defending Mazar-e-Sharif) gave the Taliban ample reason for his capture. When captured, Najaf was tortured brutally and describes his feelings as not caring whether I live or die. This statement shows how horrific the torture was to the point of men confessing to what they had not done, fought against the Taliban, to hasten their deaths. Men just stopped caring, practically taking their own lives. Najaf was not one of these men. Although he was eventually released the psychological impact this event in his early life would have been huge. Even after being thrown out of the gate of the compound, Najaf still believed he would be shot in the back of the head. Having not been through this sort of pain...
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