Samad and son

Samad and son

I met these two in a tiny, remote village in Ghor last autumn. When we arrived there a crowd of men and boys gathered around our car to shake our hands and speak to my colleagues. These two were the last to stroll towards us, the man, Abdul Samad, holding his son’s hand.

There was clearly something odd about the young boy. I wondered if it was Down’s Syndrome but didn’t know and guessed he was just a bit simple in the head. As they came up Abdul Samad whispered in his ear and nudged him forward. He walked up to each visitor in turn and shyly kissed our hands.

Throughout that morning as the other kids messed around this young boy stuck close to his dad. Largely on the edge of proceedings, I sat on the grass and watched them. I was struck by the immense pride Abdul Samad had for his boy. Every father I have spoken to here has been hugely proud of their children, but the openness and clarity of this old man’s affection cut me to the quick.

I would not have been too surprised if in an extremely rural village such as this, a child with any kind of mental disability were treated as something of a pariah, bullied or just looked down on with pity by others and a source of shame for their family. Instead I wondered if he were seen as blessed by Allah, God-given. Or, if Abdul Samad was just a good man who loved his son.

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One Response to “Samad and son”

  1. Frida Says:

    This is a beautiful story, well told. I’m glad you are blogging, it might get you used to having an audience for your writing.

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