Reactions poured in following the death of well-known writer, novelist, journalist and literary scholar Rahnaward Zaryab who passed away in Kabul on Friday.
President Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, the head of High Council of National Reconciliation, former president Hamid Karzai and cultural dignitaries described Zaryab’s death a great loss for the country and the region.
“His death is a great loss,” said Karzai. “Rahnaward Zaryab contributed tirelessly towards the development of Afghanistan’s native literature and left behind tens of precious assets.”
“He was an irreplaceable culture figure and served the Afghan people for decades through his ideas, pen and writings,” said Abdullah.
“He was one of the highest figures of the Persian literature. He spent his life for equality, freedom, justice and construction of this country,” said Hashmat Dadfar, a journalist.
“We cannot compensate for this loss. He was a great storyteller of Kabul who spent years to give peace to humanity,” said Jawed Farhad, a writer.
“No government so far focused on the development of literature. They never focused on writers and poets and cultural community of the country,” said Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, the deputy speaker of Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of the Parliament.
Life and Legacy
Rahnaward Zaryab was born in 1944 in the Rika Khana area in Kabul.
He had a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kabul University and had perused his education in Wales and New Zealand.
He spent over 50 years of his life on Persian and Afghanistan’s culture and wrote precious novels.
Cultural activists and writers said Zaryab was one of the most hardworking writers in recent decades in the country.
Zaryab’s famous novels are Char Gerd-e-Qala Gashtom, Gulnar and Ayeena, Darwesh-e-Panjum and others.
He had written the script for the famous comedy movie Akhtar-e-Maskhara in 1981 and many of his writings have been published in Russian.
His books and writings made him famous beyond Afghanistan’s borders in Iran, Tajikistan and India.
Zaryab's novel Char Gerd Qala Gashtum got the best author award in Iran in 2016.
He worked at Zhwandoon Magazine in Kabul as a crime reporter in the 1970s.
He continued to work as a print and TV journalist and editor throughout his career and worked as an editor for TOLOnews TV in Kabul for over 10 years.
He also held government positions in the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan.
Zaryab lived in exile in France during the 1990s but returned to Kabul after the fall of the Taliban.
He is survived by his wife Spozhmai Rauf and his three daughters.
He was laid to rest in Shuhadai Salehin area in Kabul on Friday. A large number of his friends and family, cultural activists attended his funeral.