Call to bring home Benawa’s remains
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Writers, poets and culturists in southern Helmand province on Thursday called for the remains of prominent writer Abdul Rauf Benawa to be brought home from the US, where he died in exile in 1987.
The call came as a large number of people, including a delegation from Kabul, celebrated in Lashkargah the 100th birthday of Benawa, a writer, poet, journalist, historian and social activist.
Participants of the day-long event paid rich tributes to Benawa for his hundreds of literary works, poetry collections and social activities. They urged the youth to pick up pens instead of guns in their hands and work for their country’s rebuilding.
Helmand Information and Culture Director Ali Shah Mazlumyar said Benawa was one of Afghanistan’s great legendry literary figures, who dedicated his life to promoting the country’s literature and culture.
He said similar events would be organised in the memory of other Afghan legends, saying all culturists in Helmand and Kandahar wanted the remains of Benawa to be shifted to Afghanistan from New York and be buried in the Helmand university premises.
Deputy Governor Ahmad Massoud Bakhtawar promised allowing the use of government machinery for conducting seminars and workshops to remember legendary figures. He revealed a square was being constructed and named after Benawa in Helmand.
Presidential Advisor Zalmai Hewadmal, who attended the gathering at the head of a delegation from Kabul, promised to convey all demands of Helmand writers and poets to the president.
He said they had made efforts in the past to bring the remains of Benawa to Afghanistan, but his family had expressed opposition to the attempt.
Deputy Kandahar governor Abdul Qayum Patyal said the provincial government would print the unpublished literary work of Benawa, promising all-out assistance to writers and poets in research on the man.
Benawa’s forefathers are believed to have migrated from the Musa Qala district of Helmand to Kandahar City, where he was born in 1937.
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