I used to teach writing and reading to little kids of ethnic minorities like ‘Baluch’ or ‘Hazara’. That lovely job made me travel for a while along borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, which ended up with me having many notebooks. These notebooks contained different things: my drawings of mountains and trees, poems in praise of the road and loneliness, and airy-fairy thoughts about the roots of war. Some months after creating such an insignificant CV, I moved to Canada.
One thing that my smart and shrewd students would be unlikely to do is to read that their former teacher is now a student at the University of Laval where he works on his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Empire and Frontier: the origins of ethno-nationalism in Afghanistan (1807-1896)”. Yet, those little slum dwellers are the only motivation for putting sociological, political, sometimes philosophical words on the pages of my dissertation.
Currently, in the daytime, I write my thesis, articles, abstracts, reports, while in the evening time, I draw pictures for my students, hoping that they will one day reach them, especially one of them who used to say: “Mr. Nima! I hate the school! I need to pee!”