At a gathering in Mazar-e-Sharif, in the northern province of Balkh, the literary legacy of the well-known novelist, journalist and literary scholar Rahnaward Zaryab was celebrated on Thursday with the participation of writers, poets and local officials.
Titled "The Storyteller Who Became a Legend," the event was organized by Atta Mohammad Noor, the chief executive of the Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan party.
Speaking at the gathering, Noor pledged to print all writings of Zaryab that have not been published so far.
“I am prepared to print and publish all unpublished assets of Ustad Zaryab in coordination with his respected family,” said Noor.
“Soon we will rename an academic center in Balkh province after Ustad Mohammad Azam Rahnavard Zaryab,” said Mohammad Farhad Azimi, the governor of Balkh.
“Unfortunately, some of Zaryab’s works remain unknown. Many people tried to deal with his works from a discriminatory and narrow-minded viewpoint,” said Sayed Hussain Fazel Sancharaki, former deputy minister of information and culture.
Rahnaward Zaryab passed away at the age of 77 at a hospital in Kabul on December 11.
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 pursued his education in Wales and New Zealand.
He spent over 50 years of his life devoted to writing about Persian and Afghan culture and he wrote highly regarded novels.
Cultural activists and writers said Zaryab was one of the most hardworking writers in recent decades in the country.
Some of Zaryab’s famous novels are Char Gerd-e-Qala Gashtom, Gulnar and Ayeena, Darwesh-e-Panjum.
He wrote the script for the famous comedy film 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 won 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.