Nuristan, in eastern Afghanistan, was formerly known as Kafiristan (کافرستان, "land of the infidels") until the inhabitants were forcibly converted from ancient Hinduism to Islam in 1895, and thence the region has become known as Nuristan ("land of illumination" - sic!)
The Hindu Kush
The mountains of the moon
The valleys where we lived
With the faeries and the spirits of the wood.
We bred the Shen - the bravest of the horse tribe -
Grew the scented root - the Yu-kin -
We had our coins - copper, silver, gold -
And our open-faced, beautiful women.
They dressed so colourfully in furs and wool
Loved as they wished
Changed their husbands on a whim,
Grew old in love and children.
We men, we carved our wooden
Statues for the temples,
Decorations for the birthing huts.
We grew much fruit and grain.
We had many, many gods -
Every day was sacred -
But the faeries cursed us,
Brought Abdur Rahman Khan,
With the plague of belief.
They burnt our temples and our carvings -
Fire destroys the wood
That only time can make -
And all, all we had, was gone.
Our beautiful women covered
Their faces in mourning
Many, many, many died
Even the red Kafirs converted
They called our land 'Nuristan'
'Land of the enlightened ones'.
Now only the black Kafirs remain -
The brave Kalash -
All else is dust -
This is what it is to be a man.