Blog

Afghan friends: For a moment, I didn’t know what to wish for you

Afghan friends: For a moment, I didn’t know what to wish for you   Mahdi drew what he wanted to become: a doctor – white coat, blue tie   In 2015, Mursal drew and wrote: I want a School of Nonviolence Ibrahim ( extreme left ) said #Enough! War, along with other Afghan street kids Mahdi and Mursal, today, when I heard the blast of another suicide bombing in Kabul, I didn’t know what to wish for you. I was irritated, rather, my thoughts scattered in multiple fragments, because, not only did I need to know that you were safe, it hurt me to think of how the sensational images will traumatize you, again. Mahdi was back polishing boots last summer, together with his cousin, Ismael   With another street kid, Nisar, Mahdi volunteered to water trees at Kabul Peace Garden   He also helped out in the winter duvet […]

Ending the war inside and outside us

* A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us Ending the war inside and outside us I can see the damage that bombs and a lost refugee father has thrown on you; it was written on your chained face even as you led the bicycle freedom ride. Subconsciously, you search for love to provide a balm, but your hand or leg or back or stammering speech are often trapped in hurts, like birds with clipped wings in human-crafted cages. Like every human can be, you are a revolutionary, taking the ball in Kabul’s corrupted nights of military raids, hoping to score, or […]

Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’

* A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us Relationships can heal terrorism When, across a language barrier, Najib befriended me, I began to heal from capitalist and militarist notions that were destroying Najib’s life. He was no longer a Holly-Bollywood Pashtun ‘terrorist’ or a ‘fighting-age male’. Young people can solve their disputes better than the adults of today, if we guide them to, like peer mediator Ellis Brooks did. The inner peacemakers in us spring up spontaneously, including among the elderly in Okinawa, and the refugees in Finland, and the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, among all of us. When we […]

Another hard reality about Afghan duvets

* A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us Another hard reality about Afghan duvets “Ali, Abid, Omid, Zarghuna, Zohra, Barat…. be kind to us, give us some duvets…” ranted the many Afghan women, again and again, I saw your kindness as you carefully weighed the duvet material,  spoke softly to each lady, and handed out the duvets for free. You try to explain the realities, while the crowds cope with their reality: desperation, and the women scramble for their children to keep warm. So, you remain strong when you’re out there, though sometimes, like the mothers, you’re crumbling inside. You organize […]

Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream

* A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream We’re angry for you because we love you and your dream of becoming a doctor. You have your rightful doubts and fatigue, and you remember shaving the snow shovels for a Kabul winter that never snowed on our spinning and warming earth. You must feel alone sometimes in your family’s spartan room, whose rent you just couldn’t pay. Far less could you feed your niece with the bag of rice provided by the Borderfree Street Kids School. Believe me, your volunteer teachers are really trying to find […]

Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan

* A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us Gender-less bikes in Afghanistan Despite being officially the ‘inferior’ gender, Halima and Mahtab were determined. Fatima was excited. Mursal had practiced hard but couldn’t join them for the International Day for Women. After all, this was Afghanistan, where some prefer women not to be seen in her streets, where life has stood still and hard, where war is a mistake repeated by the U.S. and the Taliban and all alike, where high walls and rampant guns take precedence over food and trees. It wasn’t just the female volunteers who wanted to rescue the […]

Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak

Ali and Zekerullah on Day 4 of Peace Vigil at Bamiyan Peace Park 2009 * A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak As today’s mainstream media and conventional historical record has no mind of its own except corporatized profit and power, I choose to use the ‘voice’ of stones, the stones around Bamiyan Peace Park, established in 2009 with the help of the youth of Bamiyan, some of whom became core members of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. When the Governor of Bamiyan, Dr Sarobi, inaugurated the Bamiyan Peace Park in October 2009, she […]

Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings

* A Different Afghan Winter Photo Essay Series Green Permaculture: Being Vulnerable with one another and with the Earth’s Feelings Bamiyan Peace Park: Even the Stones will Speak Equal Genderless Bikes in Afghanistan Afghan Street Kid Mehdi’s Disappearing Dream Another hard reality about Afghan duvets Nonviolent Relationships can heal ‘terrorism’ Ending the war inside and outside us For Omid, Mursal, Mehdi, and the Afghan Peace Volunteers, this winter in Afghanistan was different from the usual. Omid loads the duvets “This is the Afghan story, that I’ve been a breadwinner since I was very little,” 19 year old Omid said with perceptible angst. It is a usual story for young Afghans to have prematurely lost one or two parents, and to have to pick themselves up again and again to face the world. “I’ve taken up different kinds of ‘jobs for the poor’ ( ‘gharibi kardum’).” “But, it still doesn’t quite […]

#Enough! GEN – Green, Equal and Nonviolent friends from every country

#Enough! GEN is a multi-generational movement of ordinary people who say #Enough! to the interconnected global crises of global warming, socioeconomic inequalities and violence with its nuclear-risk wars, by nurturing a critical mass of GEN ( Green, Equal and Nonviolent ) relationships and alternatives. The global crises of climate change, poverty and wars have created untenable life predicaments for the Afghan Peace Volunteers and their families. Having ‘connected the dots’ and awakened to the lack of interest and will among today’s socioeconomic and political elite to even recognize the crises, they are forming circles of #Enough! GEN friends, organizing GEN ( Green, Equal and Nonviolent ) activities at the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre in Afghanistan. By saying #Enough! to the crises, the people of #Enough! GEN are affirming the value of love for the Earth and all of humanity, and liberating themselves from the grip of various abuses of money […]

How many global crises can a 15 year old Afghan take on, including the water crisis?

By Dr Hakim 17th Feb 2016 How many global crises can a 15 year old Afghan boy take on? Zuhair On 31st Jan, I followed Zekerullah, an Afghan Peace Volunteer who coordinates the Borderfree Street Kids School in Kabul, to visit Zuhair and his family in their rented room. Zuhair attends the School on Fridays with 92 other working and street kids, a minuscule number in the context of 6 million working children in Afghanistan. My heart squirmed at the unequal math of today’s economics. In any world, children should have access to water, but in an internationally supported, ‘most-drone-attacked’ and ‘democratic’ Afghanistan, Zuhair is one person among 73% of the Afghan population who do not have access to clean, potable water. Partly, Afghanistan and the world’s drinking water is drying up. And contaminated. A recent analysis estimates that 4 billion people, two thirds of the world’s population, are affected […]