[An extract from Mem u Zin by Ehmede Xani, Translated by Eziz Bawermend, in Fire, Snow and Honey: Voices from Kurdistan, Gina Lennox, Halstead Press 2001]
When ignorance reigned supreme,
Empty found Xani the chair of wisdom.
So, not because of this qualifications or competence,
But just for the loyalty to his people and passion to preserve,
In short, due to determination, or helplessness and desperation
He did commit this act, against the prevailing custom and tradition. 
He threw caution to the wind and took the plunge.
Seemingly made of pearls and precious stones,
The language of the Kurds he reorganized,
And thus for the people he suffered,
So that no one can say, The Kurds are unjust, baseless, without origin;
Various people have Books,  only the Kurds do not."
So that men of thought cannot say, "The Kurds
Did not choose love as one of their aims.
Altogether they neither want nor are wanted,
Altogether they neither love nor are loved.
The taste of love did not fall to their lot,
Devoid are they of metaphoric as well as true love."
Definitely not" The Kurds are not so green,
But they are waifs and powerless.
Unwise and ignorant they are not,
Just deprived and dispossessed.
If we had a leader to look after us,
A compassionate one who knew the subtleties;
If science, intellect, maturity,
Poetry, prose, reason and wisdom
Were the things he valued in his court,
Honored as valid currency and legal tender,
Then I would raise the flag of poetry
To the top of a mast that towered the earth.
I would recall from the heavens the spirit of Melaye Ciziri,
And along with him I would resurrect Eli Heriri,
I would give such joy to Feqiye Teyra, 
So they would remain content for all eternity.
But what am I to do? The market is rather still.
There are no customers for vintage wine.
Especially in this day and age, the purse
Has become the friend and darling to us all.
That is, greed for money and gold,
Each, has become our sweetheart.
If you sell all of science for one cent,
If you give all philosophy in exchange for a pair of shoes,
No one will take them to blaze the trail.
No one will come to the party.
When we realized that such is our day and age,
When we realized fighting is all for money,
We took to becoming alchemists,
And then we saw that this was not possible,
We acted with fairness for a while
And we cleaned counterfeit jewels 
Deception wasn't the heart's desire,
As a go-between, it never acted.
Faith we lost in religion, and gold we never came by,
Out of desperation, at the end, we became coppersmiths.
For exhibition we brought out our hidden copper,
All blank were they, with no seals, so we prayed.
Our prayers were answered in the positive,
Vehicles they became for out task.
Although these coins are not legal tender,
They are simple, clean and precious.
Without deceit and pretence, they are complete,
And handy are they for people to do their business.
It is pure Kurdish, no doubt about it.
Gold it is not, so they cannot say, "It is low in carat."
Silver it is not, so they cannot say, "It has faded."
Our own red copper it is, this quite clear.
Of our currency do not say, "Worthless it is."
It lacks only the stamp of those preceding the Shahs.
Had it been decorated with seals and stamps
But with no demand, it would not have remained.
It is a darling unattached to anyone.
Therefore, demand guilty, without intention.
Currencies of people with no powerful backers,
Unless stamped with the seals of sovereigns,
Are spoiled an useless, according to many scholars,
But are highly regarded by many philosophers.
Yet the sovereign of our time, knowledgeable man,
Did not listen to us with an ear to understand,
Mirza  is this gentleman's name,
Whose looks are pure alchemy.
Deceitful hearts he transforms to crystal,
Counterfeit coins he transmutes to pure gold.
Were there a hundred loads of red counterfeit coins,
To yellow he would instantly convert with one look.
He brings down the exalted to the lowest with his wrath,
And elevates the lowest to the pinnacle with his favor.
He detains generals like captives,
Then releases them like derelicts.
Without obligation or expectation of anything in return,
He makes rich with his benevolent hand
Thousands of poor and desperate every day,
Hundreds of beggars every moment.
Had he looked at us once,
Had he turned his blessed face towards us,
All these coins would be transmuted into gold,
All these words would be turned to poetry.
But very dear is his look.
Therefore, he did not look at us specifically.
However, a blessing for the populace is he,
So, oh God, grant him continuity.
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