Malalai of Maiwand

Malalai of Maiwand

Malalai of Maiwand with Afghan flag on the battle field of Maiwand. july 27, 1880
Born 1861
Khig, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Died July 1880 (aged 18–19)
Maiwand, Kandahar province, Afghanistan
Nationality Afghan
Other names Malalai Nia, Malala and Malalai of Maiwand
Ethnicity Pashtun
Known for Battle of Maiwand

Malalai of Maiwand (Pashto: د معيړند ملالۍ), also known as Malalai (Pashto:ملاله) or Malalai Anaa (Pashto: ملالۍ انا, meaning Malalai the "grandmother") is a national folk hero of Afghanistan who rallied the Pashtun army against the British troops at the 1880 Battle of Maiwand.[1] She was a young Pashtun woman who fought alongside Ayub Khan and was responsible for the Afghan victory[2] at the Battle of Maiwand on 27 July 1880, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War. She is also know as "The Afghan Jeanne D'Arc".[3] There are many schools, hospitals, and other institutions named after her in Afghanistan. Her story is mentioned in all Afghan school text books.

Contents

Early life

Malalai was born in 1861 at a small village called Khig, about 3 miles southwest of Maiwand in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.[4] During the late 1880s, for the second time, Afghanistan was occupied by British-Indian forces attempting to colonise the area and annex it with what was then British India (now Pakistan and India). The main garrison of the British was located in Kandahar, which is the closest city to the town of Maiwand. The military of Afghanistan was represented by commander Ayub Khan, son of Afghan Emir Sher Ali Khan. Malalai's father, who was a shepherd, and her fiancée joined with Ayub Khan's army in the large attack on the British-Indian forces in July 1880. Like many Afghan women, Malalai was there to help tend to the wounded and provide water and spare weapons. According to local sources, this was also supposed to be her wedding day.

Legacy and early death

The famous shouting of Malalai of Maiwand; "Young love!, If you don't fall in the battle of Maiwand, By God, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame!
Afghan military commanders on 2 September 1880, about a month after their victory at the Battle of Maiwand.

When the Afghan army was losing morale, despite their superior numbers, Malalai took the Afghan flag and shouted:

"Young love! If you do not fall in the battle of Maiwand,
By God, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame!"[5]

This inspired the Afghan fighters to redouble their efforts. When a leading flag-bearer was killed, Malalai went forward and held up the flag[6][7] (some versions say she used her veil as a flag[8]), singing a landai:

"With a drop of my sweetheart's blood,
Shed in defense of the Motherland,
Will I put a beauty spot on my forehead,
Such as would put to shame the rose in the garden."![5]

But then Malalai was herself struck down and killed. However, her words had spurred on her countrymen to victory. After the battle, Malalai was honored for her efforts and buried in her native village of Khig, where her grave remains today. She was between 17-19 at her death.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Johnson, Chris; Jolyon Leslie (2004). Afghanistan: the mirage of peace. Zed Books. p. 171. ISBN 1842773771, 9781842773772. http://books.google.com/books?id=7qvB1R_uIF4C&lpg=PA171&dq=Malalai%20Maiwand&pg=PA171#v=onepage&q=Malalai%20Maiwand&f=false. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  2. ^ Abdullah Qazi. "Afghan Women's History". Afghanistan Online. http://www.afghan-web.com/woman/afghanwomenhistory.html. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  3. ^ "Ehrungen". Katachel.de. http://www.katachel.de/verein/ehrungen/index.php. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  4. ^ Wahid Momand. "Malalai of Maiwand". Afghanland.com. http://www.afghanland.com/history/malalai.html. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  5. ^ a b Garen Ewing (2005). "Afghan heroine Malalai". http://www.garenewing.co.uk/angloafghanwar/biography/malalai.php. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  6. ^ Najmuddin, Shahzad Z. (2006). Armenia: a Resume: With Notes on Seth's Armenians in India. Trafford Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 1412079160, 9781412079167. http://books.google.com/books?id=gx5W-zGu450C&lpg=PA103&dq=Malalai%20Maiwand&pg=PA103#v=onepage&q=Malalai%20Maiwand&f=false. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  7. ^ Siba Shakib. "Battle of Maiwand". tricycle.co.uk. http://www.tricycle.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/malalai_siba_shakib.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  8. ^ a b Okkenhaug, Inger Marie; Ingvild Flaskerud (2005). Gender, religion and change in the Middle East: two hundred years of history. Berg Publishers. p. 191. ISBN 184520199X, 9781845201999. http://books.google.com/books?id=OhodgErwSWwC&lpg=PA191&dq=Malalai%20Maiwand&pg=PA191#v=onepage&q=Malalai%20Maiwand&f=false. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 

External links


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