KABUL (Reuters) – Fahima Mirzaie set up a dance school for women in the Afghan capital last year, hoping to help her students fight depression and find inner peace in a war-torn country where dancing is widely considered taboo.
Some 20 young Afghan women have signed up for classes to learn “Sama” – a dance form that traces its roots back to the 13th century poet Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi, who was born in present-day Afghanistan.
Mainly involving swirling movements, Sama has spread throughout the Muslim world and is most famously associated with the Whirling Dervishes.
The dance is a part of Sufism, a mystical form of Islam that emphasises the inward search for God. Islamist militants who view mystical traditions of Islam as heretical have attacked Sufi shrines in some Muslim countries.
“I enjoy Sama, and when I do it, it gives me peace, and the sadness and difficulties of my life go away,” Mirzaie, 23, told Reuters in her classroom, located in a western neighbourhood of…
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