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24 May 2019

Breaking the Chains. Rahima, the first poetess of Chitral

The Dardistan Times — The conservative social norms hardly could limit the ambitious Rahima Naz, whose thoughts grew into poetic expression representing the women of the region aesthetically. 

Men in Chitral can dance, sing, make poetry, play and do whatever they want but women— well, they have to be sensitive of what conforms to the social norms. Romance and Poetry by a woman, obviously would not please a relatively orthodox society. 

 “Lala Kohsar” is her first poetry collection and Rahima Naz now has become the first ever poetess of Chitral. She comes of Khot valley in Torkho Tehsil. A school teacher by profession, Rahima terms herself a huge fan of the iconic poetess, Perveen Shakir.

 Like her own personality, Rahima’s poetry does not seem to be bound of rhymes and couplets. Her poetry style mainly tends to be free verse but she does weave odes, chorus, and acrostic and ballad poems.  “I am not afraid of touching upon the topics such as romance or love. Although, I express my thoughts on number of topics, yet I do not hesitate to express my views on any thing that seeks my attention.” She said. Rahima Naz was reportedly doing poetry in hide. Her poetry got into public when her first book was published in April last year. Dr. Syed Qasim Jalal, who wrote the preface of her book, has highly appreciated the efforts of Rahima to push through the social and cultural limits and contribute to the literature. Through her poetry Rahima also has paid tribute to the victims of terrorist attacks. Her poetry about Hassan son of Col. Shakran is highly acclaimed. Hassan was killed in a terrorist attack in Parade Lane Mosque attack where a number people of were killed. When asked 'what did she make of the increasing trend of female suicides in Chitral', she said, “If you do not encourage the women to express themselves, obviously you will see such practices. They consider suicide a way out for liberation, nonetheless, according to Islam, suicide is a coward sin”. Rahima aspires to develop the woman in Chitral through literature and education. She greatly acknowledged the support of Dr. Innayat Ullah Faizi, Salahuddin Saleh, Professor Shams Ul Nazar Fatimi, Zulfiqar Ahmad, Asghar Shedai and Saleh Wali Azad who continuously mentored her.  Rahima is working for her M.A in Islamic Studies from Malakand University. She also has an undergraduate degree in Political science.  G.H.Farooqui has contributed this story to the Dardistan Times from Chitral, Pakistan


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