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Yalda by Shakila Azizzada

Featuring: Shakila Azizzada, Mimi Khalvati, Zuzanna Olszewska

Yalda is a loanword imported into Persian from Syriac originally meaning birth, Now Yaldā Night (Shab-e Yalda) or the "night of forty" is an Iranian celebration of the longest night of the year on the winter solstice on the 21st of December.

Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. During her middle school and university years in Kabul, she started writing stories and poems, many of which were published in magazines. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely addressed by women poets writing in Dari.

The poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Dari by Shakila.