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The meaning of the term civil society is contested. It is sometimes considered to include the family and the private sphere, and referred to as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business.

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By: Partaw Naderi
Translated by: Sarah Maguire & Yama Yari

When your star is unseen in this desolate sky,

your despair itself becomes a star.

My twin, the steadfast sun, and I

both grasp its far-flung brilliance.

* * * *

In a land where water is locked up

in the very depths of desiccated rocks,

the trees are ashamed of their wizened fruits.

The honest orchard is laid waste —

such a bloodied carpet

is spread before the future.

* * * *

Yesterday, leaning on my cane,

I returned from the trees’ cremation.

Today, I search the ashes

for my lost, homeless phoenix.

Perhaps it was you who shadowed me,

perhaps it was only my shadow.

Even though the lucky men in my land

lack stars in the heavens, lack shadows on the earth

they welcome any stars

that grace their devastated sky.

O, my friend, my only friend,
turn your anguish into constellations!

Peshawar, Pakistan
November, 2002

Partaw NaderiPartaw Naderi

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