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Faheema's Story, Part II



This came after I had almost completed weaving my other designs. While I had been trying to forget the memories of my childhood and carpet weaving so young, I was slowly beginning to understand the strength of those memories and the harsh realities that what I had gone through turned me into the person I am today. I liked how strong I had become because of the work I had done. I bought this calligraphy from an Iranian artist that says, ‘I rest assured because there you are in my memories.’ This was written by the popular Persian poet, Sa’adi. The complete poem is one of those love-mystic poems, and this is the first verse. Aa-sooda khaa-teram ke tu dar khaa-tere mani….

آسوده خاطرم که تو در خاطر منی...گر تاج می فرستی و گر تیغ میزنی     

 با مدعی مگویید اسرار عشق و مستی....تا بی خبر بمیرد در درد خود پرستی

Baa Mo-da-ee ma-goyeed esraare ishq o masti…

This is one of the very popular poems by Rumi. Most Persian-speaking people know this poem by heart. It translates as ‘don’t share the secrets of love and its joys with a selfish person, let him die in his narcissism’. I decided to weave this verse as part of my recovery and the road to letting go of the pain others have caused me while starting to love myself and others. The hardest part of this work has been to understand the pain others have caused me, to let it go, and love them regardless.


آب کم جو تشنگی آور بدست...تا بجوشد آبت از بالا و پست

Aab kam jo teshnagi awar ba dast… ta bejoshad aabad az bala wa past…

This is another verse of Rumi’s. It translates: ‘Seek less water, let yourself feel the thirst; so, you get water from above and below.’

I did this because of how unreadable it is, like my life and my memories. And the memories of thousands, maybe millions like me. It also strongly resonated with me. I was after reconciliation and peace with my past. I was, in a way, after revenge. But this poem reminded me that the less I pursue it, the more I will have it. I don’t have to kill myself to reach the point. I just need to feel the thirst for it, and there I will have it. 


بی من مرو ... be man marrow 

This is a design by a good friend of mine. After struggling for many years trying to fit in when he arrived in Afghanistan from Iran, he decided that this country was not his home. He migrated again, leading a life of a forever migrant. He tried to be an active part of life in Afghanistan, but this country couldn’t accept how frank and straightforward he was in criticizing the ways of life. This culture spat him out after he willingly returned to live there, and he fell into a deep depression. When we talked, I told him about my healing journey through Art Therapy, which inspired him to create a few pieces. This piece he shared with me says ‘Don’t go without me. Or don’t leave me alone here. Or don’t leave me behind.’ We have had so many of these people leaving the country that may never return. They all have taken parts of us with them and have left parts of themselves with us, but we may never be whole anywhere we are. 


دیدار همیشه برای دل سپردن نیست، گاهی برای دل کندن است.

This is my own sentence. I was experimenting with different color mixes; I had woven this in black and white the first time. It’s the first thing that came to my mind when I started thinking about returning to Afghanistan to weave and do my own designs and maybe do a kind of self-therapy with it. I was not sure how it would turn out then. The sentence says ‘visiting (revisiting) does not always lead to falling in love, sometimes it helps us fall out of love.’ I hoped that by going back to my memories of childhood, I could heal the bitterness and come back to adulthood without much regret for the lost days.


خانه کجاست؟      

This is another piece my friend had designed, and I wove it. It says, ‘Where is home?’ This has been the question of so many of my generation and older, who have returned to Afghanistan after the war, and never found a home here so were forced to leave AGAIN. They have had the hardest time asking this question,’ where is home?’. They endured so many difficult years in Iran, or Pakistan, in the hope for the war to end. After it seemingly ended and we all returned, this country didn’t prove to be the home we had imagined or dreamed of during our lost childhood and adolescent years. Many people faced systematic discrimination and so many were forced out again. They truly have the question ‘where is home?’ And I do too. Where do I really belong? Where do I really call home? Where will I ever settle and feel the peace, I have craved all my life?



منم مجنون آن لیلا که صد لیلاست مجنونش....بیا در چشم من بنگر ز عشق اوست آیتها

Manam majnoon-e- aan Leila ke sad leilast majnoonash

This translates: ‘I am in love with the beloved who has a hundred other lovers…come and look into my eyes, there are stories of her love there.’

I did this because it was beautifully said and calligraphed. I decided to be bold with the color mix and match. When I was weaving this with my girls, we giggled a lot and talked about love and what kind of a lover each desired to have.

Two girls weave with me, and they do the work most of the time. Whenever I sit with them, we talk, laugh, and we work hard. We learn about each other; we talk about our aspirations and hopes for the future.


صد بار اگر توبه شکستی باز آ

Sad bar agar tuba shekasti, baaz Aa….

This is one of the most famous verses of the great Rumi.

‘Come, come, whoever you are, wanderer,

Worshiper, lover of leaving,

It doesn’t matter –

Ours is not a caravan of despair,

But one of endless joy.

Even if you have broken your vows a hundred times –

Come, come, yet again, come!’

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Rustigian Rugs
One Governor Street, Providence, RI 02906

(Off-street parking in the rear of the building).
Call: 401-751-5100.

Tuesday-Friday: 10am-5:30pm
Saturday : 10am-5:00pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

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