Dreams and Dignity by Hakim

Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
June 8, 2011

Dear friends,

Gandhi had said, ‘Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man and silence is necessary in order to surmount it.”

Many apologies to you for our recent ‘silence’.

Much has happened in the past 6 months, against the background of uncertainties both in our individual circumstances and across Afghanistan.

Abdulai – took and failed a placement test at the International School in Kabul, but will try again next year

Ali – working hard to collect firewood from the mountains for his household. In his wonderful exuberance, he thinks that if there were 50 AYPVs instead of our regular 10, we can end corruption in 5 months! J

Zekerullah – after finishing his 2nd grade last year during which he focussed on learning to read and write, he has returned to his original 7th grade class

Ghulamai – working at a ‘burger outlet’ with Khamad for half a day, and schooling the other half

Faiz – in his 12th grade this year, at the end of which he would be sitting for his college entrance exams, hoping eventually to be a journalist

Mohammad Jan – 1st year college at the Institute of Kabul in the Department of Electricity

Lala – working on his farm-land, and at the construction of a small potato chips ‘cottage’

Khamad – had to repeat his 10th grade because of his school teacher’s administrative mistake L, working with Lala on the construction of a small potato chips ‘cottage’ and running a burger outlet in Bamiyan city

Parwin – doing well in her studies in the 8th grade

Nasrin – 19 year old homemaker who married 2 years ago

Karima – in the 11th grade

Zerghuna – started her 1st  year at Bamiyan’s Teacher’s Training College

Our volunteer-friends in Kabul

Zahra – running Open Society Organisation in Kabul, involved in many film projects

Basir Seerat – just left for France on a film-making project

Asif Talash – daily work at 3rd eye as a photo-journalist

Mirwais – working and studying at a private university in Kabul

Najib Ekhloqi – journalist and manager of a local television station

Afghan youth of today feel dis-empowered by their appropriate distrust of local and foreign politics which is impoverishing and tearing their society apart.

They are discouraged.

If possible, the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers hope to clearly describe to the world the wishes of ordinary youth in Afghanistan by conducting a small survey (it is estimated that 68% of the Afghan population are below 25 years of age).

In the pressing light of what is happening not only across the Middle East and Africa, but also in Mexico, Spain and other countries, we are exploring the possibility of a ‘Y Not’ movement to build solidarity and converse about the values the youth of today’s world want, to stand together as the ‘Y Not Generation’.

Wearing blue scarves, we hope to ‘silently’ and resolutely raise questions pertinent to our situations, questions like ‘Y Not listen rather than kill?’

We ask to struggle in solidarity with you.

Thank you all for your constant hand of support and friendship.

Sincerely with love,

Hakim, and the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers

From the archives:

Hakim Discusses Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, Interviewed by David Swanson

Afghan Police Protecting Protesters! + Former Afghan spy chief forms grassroots movement