Friday, a Bloody Day

(Eds note: Below is both a poem and a news report written about a deadly suicide attack in Farah Province one week before the beginning of the Eid-al-Adha holiday.)

A Poem:

Friday morning
People at the market doing their shopping,
Suddenly a loud noise
Made a difference among people
There were many pieces,
A motorcyclist exploded himself
Did not care about humanity
Killed children and injured women.

Again another suicide-attack
Again innocent children died
Mothers deepen in sorrow
Families won’t be celebrating Eid
Children become fatherless
People, fearful, won’t go to bazaar,
And then the bazaar is almost empty

What is our sin?
Why must innocent children be killed?
Always there is a fear
Mothers don’t allow their children to play
And worry about sending them to school
Lives of Afghans are always at risk
Students do not know if they will make it back home
Mullahs are condemn the suicide-attacks
But there is no one to listen

Why they do it?
Everyone has this question in mind.


A New Story:

Friday, November 20, 2009 – A suicide bomber rode his motorcycle into a crowded market area Friday and set off his explosives in an attack apparently aimed at Afghans out doing their morning shopping, killing 17 and wounding 35, officials said.

The attack occurred about 50 yards from the compound of Farah’s governor, Rohul Amin, who is pro-American, but Farah’s police chief said the governor was not the target.

“The suicide-bomber was targeting civilians,” said Col. Mohammed Faqeer Askar. “There was not a police patrol or international forces.” Askar said the nature of the attack showed “the insurgents have become weak and do not have the power to fight face-to-face, so they do this kind of action.”

The attack came on Muslim prayer day, when families traditionally go to the market to get supplies for a shared meal. It also came the day after President Hamid Karzai was inaugurated for a second five-year term.

The attack also comes just a few days after a group of armed gunmen broke into a school in Farah Province and set it afire.

“I was walking and suddenly the bomber exploded,” said one of the injured, Hakmet, who was in the market at the time of the attack. “I did not know what happened, but I know I have pains on my foot and I am in the hospital.”

Ismahel, also injured in the attack, said: “I came out to go to my shop, but I did not know that I would never arrive at my shop. Suddenly I heard a loud noise of an explosion. Then I found myself in the hospital … I still feel afraid.”

“I saw a person on motorbike explode,” said one witness who gave his name as Abdulmalok. “I was far and I did not get injured but I saw many bodies covered with blood. People were frightened.”

One of the injured at the hospital who declined to give his name said he was heading to work when the bomb exploded. “Someone carried me to the hospital and now I will be in bed for many days … my family will face many problems. I don’t know why they did this act.”

The Farah governor condemned the attack, saying it was carried out by people “who do not know what is going in this country. They don’t care about humanity and Islam. They have misunderstood Islam.”

By Seeta


5 responses to “Friday, a Bloody Day

  1. Thank you for this good poem. It explains what happened and honors the victims. Also, the poem leaves me wondering at the end with its question, “Why do they do it?”

    What is to be gained by those who carry out such acts of violence and destruction? It is difficult to understand. Farah Province will be in my prayers.

  2. The contrast between your emotional poem and your factual reporting makes for a powerful description of what happened on this dreadful day. It was sad and painful — but necessary — for me to read this. You are in my thoughts.

  3. Dear Seeta: I am shaken by the events that you describe in your poem. The short lines and mixture of poetry and facts moves me to tears.
    I wonder if at some point you might tell me if you see any hope, and what that hope is. I see hope in you Seeta. I wonder what we might do together in a different world. Still, we can do this, share our feelings, open our hearts to one another.

    Love, Gloria

  4. I think the hope is in Seeta. She is determined to tell the story, to chronicle what is happening so that the world knows.

  5. Dear Seeta,
    Thank you for this poem, which helped me understand the feelings, and this story, which helped me understand the facts. It makes me feel so sad to think of the worry and risk in which you work, but I am so glad you find the courage to write.

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