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  Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar

Mir..Gholam..Mohammad..Ghobar..1898-1978

Author of Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh 

(Afghanistan In the Course of History, Volumes 1 and 2) 

 

About Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar’s Books:

The first volume of Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh covers history of Afghanistan from ancient times until the second quarter of the 20th Century (the end of Shah Amanulah’s government.)  The government, prior to leaving the publishing house, immediately banned this book, printed in 1967 in Kabul.

The second volume of Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh (the last volume) covers the critical and eventful period during the government of Nadir Shah and his family until the fall of Prime Minister Shah Mahmood (Nadir Shah’s brother) from power.  This second volume is, in fact, the remaining few chapters of the first volume.  Due to censorship, it could not be published then. It is for this reason that the author has not written a preface for the second volume.  Later on, he did not have the opportunity to prepare the required appendages for the second volume.  This second volume has now been printed and published uncensored. 

Ghobar was born in Kabul City in 1898.  Ghobar’s youth coincided with a period in which the roots of social change were slowly developing.  In Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, newspapers and magazines were being published.  Private libraries and both open and covert intellectual circles were being formed.  These occurrences resulted in a political revolution and social evolution in the country, leading to Afghanistan’s victory in the Third Afghan British War. This victory helped to provide a positive environment for the social activities and movements among the country’s younger generations.  However, this period did not last more than ten years.

Ghobar’s activities During the Amania (King Amanullah) Period:

  • 1919 –1920 - Founder and chief editor of “Setaara-e Afghan” (Afghan Star). This weekly magazine contained two pages, subjects were analytical and reformative, originally printed and published in Jabulsaraaj Stone Printing House and later in Charikar (Parwan province).
  • 1920 – 1921 - Official in the Ministry of Public Safety
  • 1921 - Member of Herat (region in the west) Regulation Committee
  • 1924 Member of Amania Cooperative and Trade Mission in Moscow Convention
  • 1926 - Secretary in Afghan Embassy in Paris
  • 1927 - Official of customs office in regions of Kataghan and Badakhshan
  • 1928 - Elected Representative (by citizens of Kabul) at Loy Jerga (National Assembly) in Paghman.

During the Government of Nadir Shah and His Family:

  • 1930 - First Secretary in the Afghan Embassy in Berlin. Ghobar resigned from this position and returned to Afghanistan amongst disagreements with Nadir Shah.
  • 1931-1932 - Member of Kabul Literary Society
  • 1933-1935 - Political prisoner
  • 1935-1942 - Political exile in regions of Farah, & Kandahar 
  • 1943-1948 - Member of Historical Society in Kabul
  • 1949-1951 - Elected Representative of Kabul Citizens in the Seventh National Parliament 
  • 1951-1952 - Founder and leader of Watan (Country) Party and Founder and Chief Editor of Watan newspaper (Party’s political organ).
  • Main goals and objectives of the Watan Party were according to Ghobar himself:
  1. Safeguarding of sovereignty and integrity of Afghanistan.

  2. Introduction of democracy and justice in all aspects of political and social life

  3.  National unity

  4. Achieving civil and human rights

  5. Public education and public health

  6. Elimination of corruption;

  7. Respect and devotion for peace and wholesomeness in the world

Watan newspaper was printed in four pages, in Kabul.  Its style was analytical.  On 1951 the government banned the Watan newspaper and in 1952 also banned the Watan party.  In 1956, the government officially announced that Watan party must be dissolved as of that date.

  • 1952-1956 - Political prisoner Because of Ghobar’s leadership in a demonstration for free parliamentary elections.
  • 1956 – 1978 - For the next 22 years, Ghobar, was put under continuous surveillance by the government, and thus was forced to continue his political activities from his house. During this period, Ghobar wrote Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh (Afghanistan in the Course of History).  In 1967, the Book Publishing House in Kabul signed an official written contract with Mir Gholam Mohammed Ghobar to print his book in 3000 copies.  Three hundred copies were promised to the author.  At this time, this particular Book Publishing House belonged to the Ministry of Information under Minister Abdul Raouf  Benawa.  The current prime minister was Mohammed Hashem Maiwandwal. However, as soon as the last page of the book was printed, the book was immediately banned by the ruling dynasty without any official announcement.  Later, the new prime minister (Noor Ahmad Etemadi), officially announced in a parliamentary meeting, without any legal or court process, the banning of the first volume of Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh. At this time, Mohammed Anas, the new Minister of Information, officially summoned Ghobar to the Ministry of Information, and requested the return of  40 copies of the book that Ghobar had obtained during the printing process, based on the signed contract. The minister questioned Ghobar with a threatening tone, “You have spent much of your life in prison and in exile and the locks and chains of prisons are weary of you, but still you write this kind of book?”  Ghobar answered, “You have not seen my house.  Only a wall separates my home from the Kabul City Prison.  The room I have is smaller than the one given to me when I was in prison, so the threat of prison has no effect on me.  I consider it my duty to write the true history of the people of Afghanistan.  Legally, the history book I have written must be released.  The government can then use its power to hire and assign writers who serve the government, writers who have already distorted the facts and history of the past, to respond to my book in writing.”

However, the government of the time used any and all means to prevent the publication of Ghobar’s written works including newspaper, articles, or books, and banned Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh upon its release. Ghobar failed to recapture his seat in the parliament for a second time, which according to Ghobar was a staged election.

Only a few months before the fall of the Daud Khan government by the coup that was run by the Soviet’s puppet regime, Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar had gone to West Berlin for the treatment of a gastric ulcer lost his battle with the illness and passed on February 5th, 1978.

He was put to rest in the burial place of his ancestors in Shohada-e-Saleheen in Kabul, Afghanistan. God bless his soul.

Ghobar had written in his will that several hundreds rare books, his private library, to be donated to one of Afghanistan’s public libraries.  Also written in his last will, “I wish for my children the blessing of faith and belief in one God; kindness, success in serving the poor and needy and humanity, which will lead to serenity of soul, a clear conscience, and positive outlook to life and death.” Following his death, his wish was carried out and the books were donated to Kabul Public Library.

Left behind are his wife, Saleha Ghobar, and seven children (Maria Ghobar, Rona Ghobar, Donia Ghobar, Asad Hasan Ghobar, Ashraf Shuhab Ghobar, Ibrahim Adham Ghobar, and Hashmat Khalil Ghobar). 

Ghobar’s 2nd volume of Afghanistan dar maser e tareekh was completed in 1973, and in his written will, assigned the job of safekeeping and publishing this book (at an appropriate time) to his son, Hashmat Khalil Ghobar. In June of 1999, Hashmat Khalil Ghobar printed the second volume of “Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh” (Afghanistan in the Course of History) at American Speedy Print House, VA, USA, (in 285 pages), 5000 copies were printed

Ghobar’s written works:

1. Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh (Afghanistan In the Course of History), Volume One 1967: 840 pages Kabul General Printing House, first print 3000 copies Second Print outside of Afghanistan  (more than 55,000 copies). 

2. Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh (Afghanistan in the Course of History), Volume Two 1973: 50,000 copies.

3. Afghanistan Wa Negahe Ba Tareekh-e Aan (Afghanistan and A Look at its History), 1931: 190 pages Kabul Printing House, published in Kabul Journal (2nd -12th issues).  This book covers the subject of Afghanistan’s geographical history.

4. Afghanistan Dar Hindoostan (Afghanistan in India), 1932: 95 pages This book projects the history of Afghanistan’s political influence in India.

5. Tareekhcha-e Mokhtasar-e Afghanistan (A Brief History of Afghanistan), 1932:     68 pages Printed in the first volume of Kabul Saalnaama (yearly) Kabul Printing House.  This book reviews the history of Afghanistan from the beginning of Avesta period until 20th century, and includes a list of Afghanistan’s initial names, regions and borders in the form of an appendix.

6. Tareekh-e Ahmad Shah Baba (History of Ahmad Shah Baba), 1943: 352 pages. Ghobar wrote this book while he was in exile in Kandahaar (a region in south of Afghanistan).  The book was published (with some difficulty) after he returned to Kabul.  It includes historical events in Afghanistan during the 18th century.

7. Khorasan, 1947: 100 pages, Kabul Printing House.  This book is a study and research re “Khorasan”, which was the name of the country (now Afghanistan) for more than 1500 years.  The study is based on valid sources of historical/geographical documents.

8. Resaala-e Omara-e Mahalee Afghanistan (Pamphlet on Local Governments in Afghanistan), 1933-1934: 58 pages Kabul Printing House, published in “Ariana” journal, 2nd year, volumes 3-7.

9. Tareekh-e-Islam and Nofooz-e Arab in Afghanistan (History of Islam and Arab Influence in Afghanistan), 1947: 112 pages Kabul Printing House is included in 3rd volume of Afghanistan History.

10. Quroon-e-Ula (Early Centuries), 1947: 226 pages Kabul Printing House.  Ghobar wrote this book in cooperation with Dost Mohammed Khan, a history teacher, as part of history curriculum for 10th grade of public schools.

11. Afghanistan Ba Yak Nazar (Afghanistan At One Glance), 1947: 284 pages, Kabul Printing House. The government of the time (who belonged to Mohamadzayee dynasty), did not like the page with information about Mohamadzayee Ruling Period, and censored and replaced that part.

 

12. Adabyat-e Dowra-e Mohammed Zayee (Literature in Mohammed Zayee Period), 1952: 81 pages Kabul printing house, published in the fifth chapter of History of Literature in Afghanistan.

13. A series of articles (historical, social, and political), 1943-1949:

These articles were published in Kabul periodicals and newspapers, (among them in “Ariana” journal, 1943-1949). Ghobar, through these articles, projected Afghan scholars, and introduced some of Afghanistan’s historical handwritten books, as well as others.

“Iqtesaad-e-Ma” (Our Economy), Ghobar’s famous article, was published in the daily newspaper “Islah” (correction), 51st vol., October 9th, 1946. This analytical article expounded the nature of the economy of the country and a small group of major merchants and money holders who in cooperation with the government conducted trade.  In this article, Ghobar revealed facts about a system, which greatly increased the financial gains by this group and resulted in increased general poverty among the people of the country, and destruction of urban and rural middle class economy and the middle and small businessmen and merchants. This article provoked much discussion and awareness.  The government, during a session of the cabinet, interrogated and threatened Ghobar and punished the chief editor of Islah newspaper.

14. Setaara-e Afghan (Afghan Star), 1920-1921: Weekly two-page newspaper, printed in Jabul Saraaj Print House (stone print) and later in Charikar Print House.  Ghobar was chief editor and the goal of the newspaper was to keep the spirit of fighting for independence from Britain.  The time of the newspaper’s publication and distribution coincided with the beginning of Afghanistan’s war for liberty. Ghobar’s articles in the last issues of this newspaper were critical of the government too.

15.  Watan (Country), political organ of Watan Party, 1950-1951: This weekly newspaper was published in Kabul.  Ghobar was the founder and chief editor of Watan, and many of his political articles at that time were published there.  Watan was banned by the government of the time and its publication was stopped.

16. Tareekh-e Adabyat-e Afghanistan (History of Afghanistan Literature): From the beginning of historical era till 20th century. (This manuscript has not been printed yet.)

17. Ghobar’s Notes about his life: (This manuscript has not been printed yet.) The second volume of Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh (Afghanistan in the Course of History) will be published in English in the near future.  The first volume will be published in English later.

 

Comments By Foreign Media At the Time of Ghobar’s Death

  • Radio BBC News

  • February 25th, 1978

  • At 9:10 PM Afghanistan Time

  • (Translation from broadcast in Dari language)

“Last Saturday, Mir Gholam Mohammed Ghobar, Afghanistan’s greatest historian, journalist, and famous political fighter for freedom of this century left this world at the age of 80.  Based on one of the scholars, Ghobar, even at old age, possessed new ideas and the spirit of the youth.”

“Ghobar, when he was young, started to study social and political subjects.  When he became a member of Kabul Literary Society, he began to write articles about history and became an important member of this society. The works of the late Ghobar also included a series of social and historical articles that have not all been published.

Among his books that have been published, one can name Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh, which is the most credible historical research and, until now, has been the source of documentation and information for many researchers and writers.  Ghobar always included elements of criticism in his social writings, and with his sharp insight, tried to analyze historical events in his writings.”

“Ghobar, not only as a historian, but also as a fighter for freedom gained fame and love among people, and he participated in Afghanistan’s political and social reforms. In his youth, at the end of Afghanistan and England’s third war, in which Afghanistan achieved its political liberty, Ghobar was an active representative in the first parliament of the Afghan Government and tried hard to support and promote the ‘renewal and reform’ mentality.”

“During the upcoming reforms, before the republican revolution in Afghanistan, he spent time in prison, and was also exiled in regions of Farah-Afghanistan for a time.  Following his return to Kabul, Ghobar worked as journalist for a while and published Watan (Country) newspaper, the political organ of Watan Party.  At the end of his political activities, he wrote his last book about Afghanistan’s political history, which was published in the government’s printing house, but prior to distribution was banned.  A few weeks ago, Ghobar went to West Germany for medical treatment and died in the hospital.  May God rest his soul.  

  • Etla-at Newspaper”, Tehran

  • Monday, February 20th, 1978

  • (Translation from Dari language)

“Afghanistan’s Greatest Historian Left This World”

“Mir Gholam Mohammed Ghobar, Afghanistan’s famous historian and fighter for freedom, at the age of eighty, due to sickness and physical weakness due to many years of struggle for freedom, last Saturday left this world.”

“Many of Mir Gholam Mohammed Ghobar’s works are not published yet.  History books, Khorasan, Ancient Afghanistan, and Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh (Afghanistan in the Course of History) are among his published writings.”

“Mir Gholam Mohammed Ghobar’s book, Afghanistan Dar Maseer-e-Tareekh, is one of the most credible historical researches, and until now has been the source of documentation and information for many writers and researchers.”

“Mir Gholam Mohammed Ghobar, not only as a historian but also as a fighter for freedom, is famous and loved. At the time of occupation of Afghanistan by England, he was a renowned liberal who fought for freedom, and later he founded the Watan (Country) Party and the party’s official organ, Watan newspaper.”

“Watan newspaper, which many of today’s well known writers of Afghanistan cooperated with, was published under supervision and editorship of Ghobar, and many of the newspaper’s political articles were written by Ghobar himself.”

 

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