Hoping to help Afghan women find inner peace and fight depression in a war-torn country, Fahima Mirzaie opened up a dance studio in Kabul last year — yes in Afghanistan, a country where dancing is widely considered taboo.
Twenty Afghan women have signed up for classes to learn Sama which is associated with the Whirling Dervishes. The dance traces its roots back to the 13th century poet Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi, who was born in present-day Afghanistan, and is a part of Sufism, a mystical sect of Islam that emphasizes the inward search for God.
“My life and my students’ lives have been changed by Sama. They have gained self-confidence, and even some of them who had depression are very happy,” states Ms. Mirzaie.
She continues, “My concern is that the fate of our country is not yet clear. Our opponents call us mad and say such practices must not exist, but we will continue on the path of Mawlana (Rumi).”