The Stars in Allah’s Sky by Ed Ciaccio + Dennis Kucinich: June Brides in Afghanistan

diamond and the stars

Image by Mullerian Duct via Flickr

by Ed Ciaccio
Dandelion Salad
Featured Writer
June 20, 2012

Above our tiny village the stars in Allah’s sky shone bright.
The special wedding food and music had all filled me with delight.
We’d gathered there to celebrate the start of the new life
Of my gentle older brother and his lovely young wife.

Suddenly a huge flash seared my face and all went black.
When I awoke in hospital, lying on my back,
No longer could I see, and so painful was my skin,
And all I felt were bandages where once my legs had been.

The doctor said Allah had blessed me, so I was still alive,
But most of our family and friends did not survive.
I asked the doctor what had caused so much death and hurt.
“An American drone’s missile,” he said, “had done its deadly work.”

The U.S. general and ambassador later both denied
That anyone but militants had been the ones who’d died,
But women’s and children’s bodies, bloody and torn,
Proved beyond doubt that things had gone terribly wrong.

The Americans mouthed apologies and offered dollars in the place
Of our beloved family and friends, whose lives had been erased.
But what is the money value of a daughter or a son,
Whose life once held such promise, but is now forever gone?

My brother had become a widower the same day he was wed,
And vows to violently avenge our loved ones, now dead.
He cries, “I will not rest until these foreigners have all left.
Only Afghanistan’s people know what for us is best!”

But I will need him to care for me the rest of my life,
For a blind and crippled girl will not be chosen for a wife.
So I live my days in darkness now, and try to understand
Why the cruelty and the killing still plague our poor homeland.

Yet I always will remember that once-festive night,
Before the pain and suffering there was such joy, such delight;
Before the force of hatred that destroyed so much love,
And the stars in Allah’s sky still shone down from above.

Ed Ciaccio’s first book, Heartlines: Selected Personal Works 1966-2011, is now available at or


[DS added the videos.]

Jun 22, 2012 by

“June is one of the most beautiful months of the year and it’s a particularly beautiful month for brides and grooms who celebrate through marriage. The June bride is part of the tradition in our country and around the world. There is nothing more joyous than when two people come together in love.

“In Afghanistan, there are weddings across the country. But there is something that happens in Afghanistan that doesn’t happen anywhere else at a wedding. U.S. drones cover the skies of Afghanistan, drones that are armed with missiles. Occasionally they will fire missiles into wedding parties, killing the bride, the groom and those attending the wedding.

“I want you to think about this. I want you to think about what it would be like to be at a wedding and suddenly everybody there is gone — just vanishes. This happens in Afghanistan and it has happened. At times it was claimed there was a mistake.

“We have an international policy with the use of these drones that is totally out of control, killing countless innocent people, some of whom are at the point of the greatest celebration of their lives.

“America has a moral challenge here. And each one of us has to be aware of how this drone technology is not only being ill applied, but its turning into a monstrous weapon, killing innocent people in Afghanistan and in other places.

“June, a lovely month. Drones, an ugly weapon. Its time for us to celebrate the real beauty of life. Stop the war machine. Stop the drones. And stop killing innocent people.”

June Brides in Afghanistan


Jun 22, 2012 by

Fifty handicapped Palestinians in Gaza tied the knot in a mass wedding ceremony. They were seriously wounded and became physically disabled during Israel’s military offensive on Gaza in late 2008.

Gaza holds mass wedding for war victims

One thought on “The Stars in Allah’s Sky by Ed Ciaccio + Dennis Kucinich: June Brides in Afghanistan

  1. Pingback: Drone Zone: Rep. Ed Markey on the Proposed GOP Operational Control (HR 1505) « Dandelion Salad

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