The Unsent Condolences Book Launch – Wellington

Tēnā Koutou Katoa NZSA Whānau,

My name is Abdul Samad Haidari, a Hazara writer, journalist and published author born to high mountains and wide landscapes of Afghanistan. On February 03, 2023, I managed to break free from the incarcerating chains of the camp, and liberate myself after enduring almost a decade as a ‘stateless’ refugee in Indonesia. The graceful essence of freedom eventually guided me home, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

This is with great pleasure to invite you and the Hazara community whānau to my upcoming book launch and discussion at Unity Books in Wellington to celebrate my latest collection of poems, a cherished token of freedom, The Unsent Condolences (Palaver 2023). I would be honoured to have your presence at this gathering.

Event Details: The Unsent Condolences Book Launch

Date: 20th March, 2024

Time: 6:00pm -7:00pm

Venue: Unity Book, 57 Willis Street, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

The event will begin with a prayer followed by a brief introduction by Behrouz Boochani – known for his celebrated books, No Friend But the Mountains and Freedom, Only Freedom.

The program will also include a poetry reading, a brief talk by Hazara community representatives and will conclude with a Q&A session. Delightful Afghani refreshments will be provided.

I hope that you will be able to join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking and meaningful occasion. Please confirm your attendance by clicking here.

Notice: Two further events will follow the launch at:

  1. Unity Books – Special Presentations / Performances
  2. Victoria University of Wellington in Kelburn Campus– Panel Discussion



The Unsent Condolences is an extraordinary collection of autobiographical poems by Abdul
Samad Haidari, a Hazara former refugee and journalist, born in Afghanistan. The poems reflect
the harsh realities of the refugee world. They bear witness to the bitter affliction of persecution,
colonization, discrimination, dehumanization, the difficult journey of ongoing struggle and the
courage required to survive.
Abdul Samad, who became a refugee at the age of 10-11 during the Hazara cleansing of the
1990s, has been separated from his parents ever since. His lyrical expressions are powerful
components of his survival narrative.
At the age of 11, Abdul Samad became a child labourer in construction sites in Iran. He survived
a live-shooting in Kand-e-Pusht, Afghanistan where two of his tribesmen were shot before his
eyes. He has survived assassination attempts on account of his journalism.
“The most recent chapter of my refugee life was closed in Indonesia, where the heavy layers of
fog hazed my visions, and hid me from the outside world for nearly ten years with swords on
tongue. My words lost the oxygen for freedom; it felt like the moist walls were squeezing me
from all corners, the sky from above, and earth from beneath. Yet, my eyes refused to shut as
my heart kept beating and jolted my fingers to pour down verses of butterflies onto the paper.
“Surrounded by Mourning Frogs” was the first rhyme, my pen quilted. Each stroke rested upon
the paper, sparked flames of hell upon me, hefts of pains, surging fierce and wild as if someone
was nailing thorns upon my bosom with the edges of axes.” …. Abdul Samad Haidari.
Abdul Samad’s poems unveil the unseen scars, etched by decades of persecution, discrimination,
separation, dehumanization, and an unwavering struggle

PRESS RELEASE: The Unsent Condolences, poems of resistance by Abdul Samad Haidari (Palaver 2023)

Palaver announces the publication of this extraordinary and timely work of poetry written from inside and on behalf of a refugee world of persecution, flight, struggle and survival. Abdul Samad Haidari fled his home in Dahmardah Province, Afghanistan as a child. Now in his mid-thirties he has been in transit ever since, only recently finding safe haven in Aotearoa/New Zealand. His searing poems collected in The Unsent Condolences tell his story:

… We did not leave home by choice.

We escaped from carnage,

the smearing bullets,

loud like gods’ applauding sound.


We ran with fast-pumping hearts,

tightly wrapped in our palms,

the dead faces of young and old,

fragments of burning lungs

hid under our sleeves …


From ‘Fragments of autumn leaf’, The Unsent Condolences (Palaver 2023)

 The poems of Abdul Samad Haidari testify to the scars etched by decades of persecution and an unwavering struggle to overcome it. He now lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand, after living for almost a decade as a ‘stateless’ person in Indonesia where he published his first book of poems, The Red Ribbon (Gramedia 2019).

“An unbeatable advocate … His sharp pen crafts verses that reflect the ever-shifting landscape of truth, casting light into the shadows of events to reveal the hidden threads that weave our world’s narrative.”   Behrouz Boochani, ‘Afterword’, The Unsent Condolences.

… The narrow sky grows drowsy,

Sun sinks, pink-coloured;

brightness declines to stay

over the part-blue tent.


I draw aside to write,

my hand trembles

as I feed the vanquishing parchment

with the rose-coloured toner,

linked straight to my heart-cells…

From ‘On the pavement tonight’, The Unsent Condolences.


Palaver books, a member of the Small Press Network publishes non-fiction and other works with an ethical focus. It can be contacted at; or by calling Sally Gardner on (61) 405578968. Enquiries can also be sent via the website