Rugmaker of Mazar-E-Shariff
By James Petherick
Essay Question: Analyse how an idea is developed in a text (or texts) you have studied In the text, The Rugmaker of Mazar-E-Shariff, written by Robert Hillman and Najaf Mazari, an idea which is developed is identity. We can see this idea developing through the character ,Najaf Mazari. He begins living in the worn torn country of Afghanistan, then he becomes a refugee at the Woomera Detention centre and finally his visa is accepted and he begins a new life in Melbourne. His identity is developed due to these circumstances and environments he finds himself in. We first see Najaf’s identity develop while he is living in Shar Shar and Mazar-E-Shariff, in Afghanistan. His identity is developed because of his surroundings and the circumstances he faces in this environment. The first development of Najaf’s identity is shaped by him living in Afghanistan, (a worn torn country and dominated by the conflict between the Taliban and the Communists). Both of these fighting forces are searching for men of Najaf’s age to join them in battle. We see quite clearly that Najaf does not want anything to do with these groups and the war, through him hiding away for days with the constant fear of being forced to fight. We learn that Najaf does not want to be apart of these groups because he does not believe that wars and fighting is the way to solve his countries’ problems. He states that "A gun has one purpose and that purpose will not build anything, but will only tear down what others have built." The circumstance of living in a worn torn country, develops Najaf’s identity, because this instals in him a peaceful and thoughtful attitude towards conflict. Another way Najaf’s identity is developed is due to the many unfortunate family deaths Najaf and his family have to face. In the text, Najaf loses his father and two of his elder brothers, Rosal and Gorg Ali. It is Afghanistan and Hazara culture that the eldest male is to have the responsibilty of being in charge of his family. Since, all males older than Najaf in his family are dead, this responsibility becomes his when he is only twelve years of age. The role of Najaf, as the leader of the family in Afghanistan is extremely different to the leader of a western world family. It is Najaf’s responsibility to ensure his family do not have big dreams, are not optomistic about the future because it is unlikely that their dreams will become a reality. This develops his identity because this turns him into a responsible person and someone who is pessimistic. Najaf’s identity is shaped by him living in a poverty filled environment. The unfortunate circumstance of their house being destroyed by a rocket, forces Najaf and his family to live in poverty. After the destruction he puts all his effort into his job because he and his family need the money to stay alive. Their financial position did not allow the children to attend school full time but forced them to join the work force at a very young age. Najaf begins work as a welder in which he does not enjoy but still shows a good work ethic. He then finds his perfect job as a rug maker, which he puts his heart and soul into. As a result of this circumstance, Najaf has developed in himself a strong and positive work ethic. His identity is also developed and shaped due to his religion instals in him strong morals which allows him to have faith and trust in others. His Muslim beliefs also ties in with his hatred and dislike of war. His religion, like most religions, teaches him who to live a worthy life. I can relate this text to the world because there are many other people who are in the same situation as Najaf is. They are living lives surrounded by war and in poverty. These people become refugees to try escape their cruel and conflict filled countries, in the hope that they will be accepted into a country of freedom such as New Zealand. They want better lives for themselves and their families and...
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