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Niyaz draws even more connections between Turkey and Kurdistan, between Iran and India. The word niyaz means “yearning” in Kurmanci, the language of the Kurds, in Farsi, the language of Iran, and Urdu, a major language of northern India and Pakistan. Over the centuries, the cultures of Kurdistan and Persia and India have shared not only words, but musical and spiritual traditions and people. Azam Ali is one of them, born in Iran and raised in India; and two of the songs on Nine Heavens are by Amir Khosrau Dehlavi, a 13th-century Persian mystic and poet who was also raised in India.

From your Door of Benevolence, cast your generosity upon me

Don’t let me mix into the world of matters

Overlook my rebellion, show compassion

Take me, O Friend, to my goal – the ultimate destination

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
Take me, O Friend, to my goal – the ultimate destination

“Be!” You ordered, and You created every object
You brought the existance to Your perfection
You made the Ninth Heaven a throne, and placed Yourself there
Then you reduced me, O Friend, down into the struggle of the world

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
You reduced me, O Friend, down into the struggle of the world

You gave unending pain after pain to Dertli* (poet’s nickname, meaning ‘The Painful’)
You gave neither the patience, nor the effort
Neither the reign to him, nor the state
Why on earth, O Friend, have you brought me to this world

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
Countless thanks, O Friend, you made my way to a safe haven at last

(Take) me me me me, O Beloved, (take) me me
Take me, O Friend, to my goal – the ultimate destination

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