Note: please write a short message in support of these kids to President Obama:
Sent to DS from Hakim in Afghanistan.
October 18, 2009
Dear friends of peace,
This may be a chance for Afghan youth to raise the possibility of love, for Man to do a little something for other Men, by standing and waiting firmly for peace before the giants that be.
10 Afghan youth, including 13 year old Abdulai, have committed to give voice to peace amidst the noise of war.
We will speak our conscience to all who are willing to listen because we have wishes that are common to all Men.
We are ordinary, insignificant Afghan youth who believe that human civilization and history is waiting for further concrete encouragement to turn the tide on violence. We wish to encourage a turnaround for peace, confident that love and truth are strong enough to stand before giants.
We will have a cultural event “Voice of Peace in Afghanistan”. About 100 Afghan youth are expected to participate in the singing of songs, the reading of poems and the delivery of the message of peace. This will be held at the Bamiyan Peace Park on Thursday the 22nd of October 2009.
After the cultural program, 10 of us, including 13 year old Abdulai, will keep a day-and-night vigil till our ordinary message of peace reaches the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, President Obama.
Here, the autumn nights are already freezing cold, but our friendships and your actions of moral support elsewhere will keep us sufficiently warm.
Here, at this small corner of calm in a world of widespread conflict, we will wait with fellow human beings everywhere who cannot wait any longer for true peace to be given its due time and space.
Place of vigil : Bamiyan Peace Park, Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan
Date : 22nd of October 2009, Thursday
Cultural event : Voice of Peace in Afghanistan
Our Message of Peace : Reconciliation of Civil Hearts
Cultural event program :
1400 Opening address
1410 Peace Quotation
1420 Peace Flute
1425 Peace Poem
1430 Peace Song
1440 Peace Sketch
1450 Message of peace “ Reconciliation of Civil Hearts”
1505 Peace Song
1515 End of Cultural Program
1515 Beginning of vigil till the delivery of our message of peace “Reconciliation of Civil Hearts” to Obama
Our challenges which require your hand of friendship
We wish to encourage the world with our small action for peace in the midst of super-power violence. We hope to give peace an Afghan human face while our fates are decided by others.
We will post our message of peace “Reconciliation of Civil Hearts” and updates of our vigil on our web-site http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog
We will invite the few media we have here, though we know that the current world media is predominantly interested in war.
Please publicize our effort in the ways you can. If not, just mention us to your friends and contacts in your conversations and discussions about Obama’s Afghan ‘war of necessity’.
Encouragement by being in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we seek to encourage the world to turn the tide on violence, we are not ashamed to say that we need encouragement too.
In a country silenced by war for 30 years, those who still hope for peace are few and those who would do a little something are even fewer.
Like everywhere else, there’s fear.
Keep vigil with us
If time and space allows you, either individually or together, we ask that you’d keep vigil with us till Obama has acknowledged receiving our message of peace.
Introductory message to our Afghan vigil for peace
Is this our Afghan moment of peace?
A chance for Man to do a little something for other Men
Every now and then, a chance comes for Man to do a little something for other Men.
We stand before giants at a time when Afghanistan’s heart is withering, along with the hopes of human civilization.
For us who live in war, we have a heightened awareness that the end comes to all of us eventually but we wonder if, in the short meantime, we can find compassion and truth.
We’re convinced that neither compassion nor truth can be found in war, so we’ve decided to sound our voice, for we have to cope somehow with the disappointment we carry, an anger at ourselves and at life.
Our voice of peace is frail and shaking but it is not fearful. And today, we wish to deliberately take it back from the noise of war.
Our only worry is that we would not be heard by those too rich, powerful and hardened to empathize.
The elite of Afghanistan, America and the world, through their determined actions, are teaching us to crave for power through violence, to pursue money through selfishness, to rule through lies and to dominate through pride. And while suffocating in this moral decline, to be seen as saints.
With all due respect, we shall not learn these grievous vices, which make us so detestable we begin to hate even ourselves.
And we ask that these elite leaders do not make it impossible for us to aspire after the finer human qualities which all of Mankind dreams of : kindness, hard work, dignity and peace.
We have had 30 years of war and grieve that our families and friends have been killed so that our elite and your elite may thrive. We are tired. It’s a fatigue of our souls. We do not wish to live like this anymore, like inconsistent beasts.
We have agonized through many nights wondering what happened to us and to Man, why we’ve come to fear darkness as if there was no light, why a corrupted in-humanity is the best we can wish of any power.
Each time we think of anyone as ?? ????? ‘without conscience’, we get cynical that Man is capable of such heartless-ness and we lose our grip on the hope we’re clinging to, that Man can change.
Sometimes we cry, but is there any purpose left to silent tears that don’t bring reform?
We try to keep busy, studying without intention, surviving without joys, living without life. But we cannot ignore the insult that daily, those who are abusive, wealthy and deceitful triumph and those who aren’t Afghans or who don’t live here make costly decisions for us and our country, largely for the sake of themselves.
We ordinary Afghans didn’t ‘terrorize’ New York, in fact, even the worst of us didn’t, so please don’t demonize us with the fears that plague the world. We can ultimately only ‘terrorize’ ourselves.
We are not demons. We are humans, as terrible and virtuous as anyone can be.
Some of us have become so distrustful and so sad with hate, over those games that neither we nor the religious people of the world have any answers for, that we would rather perish struggling against our own cruel people than at the hands of strange foreigners, however kind. Internationals need not have to be hurt for what is our conflict and our journey to take.
We want freedom so instinctively that we want freedom from other sovereign nations too, from their distant, cold analyses dictated by their need to sleep safely at the end of each day, their profit, and their powerful, sacred lives.
It pains us to know that their charity is shaped by war. Their charity may help us out of our 2nd lowest Human Development Index ranking in the world but the war which they choose to hallucinate over only gives them false security and leaves us true madness.
Come live here if your imaginations ever lead you to think that violence makes everyone safer. It does not make any of us, our families, our children, our women or our future any safer. As war has been throughout time, it diminishes us, destroys us and finally, it ‘disappears’ us.
We grieve for the rest of the world too, for unfortunately, those who admire, emulate and advise the ways of militarism are the ones who will come against every brute force with at least an equal and opposite reaction, a Newtonian principle confirmed in the world of human relations; hate increasing hate, revenge fuelling revenge and a silly sense of retaliatory justice going in vicious circles, all of which we, the ordinary people of Afghanistan and the ordinary people of the world, no longer want any part of.
And you know what? They don’t even know us.
We’ve grown up thinking that our world cannot be humane. Now, we’re witnessing that it can only be violent.
But our hearts believe that even if the elite ignore us, belittling us doesn’t take away our worth.
We have hope that suffering has a value which overcomes defeat and that even if we are mistakenly hurt in perpetual wars that recognize no brothers or sisters, love has a value which overcomes even death.
As we stay this night in Bamiyan Peace Park, on a cold Afghan autumn night, we attempt to do something beyond us, to do a little something for the warmth of other Men.
As we await acknowledgement of our appeal for a Reconciliation of Civil Hearts, from the Nobel Peace Prize Winner far away, we know that we’re not alone. We’re waiting historically with the rest of the world.