“I can’t feel my feet, I can’t walk.” Several words were enough to describe the hardship of the Kashmiri nomadic herders known as the ‘Bakural’, who migrate annually from the plains of Jammu to the mountains of Kashmir, covering 300 kilometers in 30 days.
This difficult suffering put Suleiman Ghafour, the 13-year-old son of a shepherd, at a loss between two life paths, either to abandon his studies in response to the desire of his father, who is nearly seventy years old, to preserve his family’s tradition of herding sheep, or to complete his studies despite his father’s refusal, who finds in His youngest son has the last hope of preserving the family’s legacy, its only source of livelihood, and its survival.
The crime of murder and rape… a turning point in the life of the Bedouins
The beginning of the film was in a mountainous area with harsh terrain, and its temperature below freezing by dozens of degrees, and no human being is able to face its weather. Ghafour rides a mount with his young daughter, and his son Suleiman drags it, and he and his fellow shepherds try to walk in the snow, and when they reach a slope the men fall and fall Beasts, children screaming and crying demanding to stop, because they can no longer walk.
Seven years later, a brutal crime takes place in the mountains, in which a child is killed, as a group of people kidnapped her, raped her and then killed her, a crime that constituted a turning point in the life of Ghafoor and the rest of the shepherds who used to migrate through the mountains annually on foot to graze their flocks.
This crime was the focus of the tribal council meeting in which Ghafour spoke, saying: We cannot travel through the mountains. They brutalized the child, raped and killed her. This issue has become a threat. How safe are our daughters in the prairie? Who protects us? We have no protector but God. If we travel through the mountains and they harass our sisters and daughters, what shall we do? This is a huge injustice, we decided not to travel through the mountains on foot, we decided to spend the money and travel by trucks.
But one of the participants in the meeting intervenes, saying: Traveling in trucks is very expensive, and it is also dangerous for the sheep, which are threatened with death, because of the long distance of the road and their position in the trucks.
Among the waters of Kashmir, its mountains and its beautiful landscapes, Suleiman grazes his sheep
“افعل ما يحلو لك”.. حلم يعرض مصدر رزق العائلة للخطر
We return to Ghafour and his science-loving son, Suleiman, where the old man explains to his little girl the circumstances, saying: Our neighbor Mustafa refused to take our herd with him and you refuse to take it because of studying, leave school, my son, and take care of the herd, my body is weak and I cannot walk, we did not learn or go to school We earn our livelihood and our livelihood from herding the herd.
Suleiman’s mother also entered the line and said to him: Do you think that if you stop herding sheep, you will achieve what you plan to study, this herd is everything to us, it is the source of our livelihood, you will not find a job after you finish your studies, you will realize that later, stop empty talk And go with the goats, your father can no longer take care of the herd.
However, this did not convince Suleiman, who adhered to the categorical refusal, preferring to study over herding the herd, as he says: Study will give me everything I want, how will this herd benefit me? I will not leave school, I do not need sheep and goats, that era is over, even the forests are no longer a suitable place to graze sheep and goats, where will we take care of them? I won’t do the job?
Then the mother surrenders and says to him: Do as you wish.
Forgiving father has become old and wants the profession of shepherding to remain in his children
“I want to sell the herd” .. The last options of the old father
After reaching a dead end with Suleiman, Ghafour contacted his eldest son Rabbani, telling him: “I want to sell the herd after Mustafa refused to graze it, and Suleiman preferred studying over grazing.” Rabbani, however, asked him to slow down in selling the herd, to try to persuade Suleiman, who was preparing to go to school.
During Suleiman’s journey from home to school, Rabbani met his brother Suleiman, and said to him: Your father asked you to go with the herd, because he is old and cannot walk.
But Suleiman repeated the refusal and said to him: You are the older brother, take care of the herd, I want to complete my studies. He continued walking towards the school, refusing to listen to his older brother.
Despite his age, Ghafoor still continues his work herding sheep. He prays the dawn prayer and goes with the sheep to the prairie. As for Suleiman, he refuses even to take lunch for his father on the pretext of reviewing his lessons, so his mother does not pressure him and she carries the food herself for her elderly husband.