Our Journey to Smile


Letter of Humanity’s Love from Afghan youth to the UN Hague Conference 31/03/2009
March 30, 2009, 8:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

hague-letter-pic

The Afghan youth’s dream of a kinder humanity

As it has been in the hesitant development of human civilization and history, the hearts of ordinary human beings may be ignored once again.

How long more?

How long more will Man accuse Man of being ‘evil’?

How long more will Man look at War and call it ‘good’?

How long more will Man pretend to uphold ideals he is un-true to?

How long more will we think ourselves to be ‘better’ humans?

How long more will humanity quench her conscience in defending eye-for-an-eye , power-hungry, and money-driven killing industries, while untenably holding on to her inhumane disguises of democracy and religion?

How long more will we justify self-importance and greed while marginalizing the ‘forgotten’ individuals just ‘off the map’?

How long more would we chase Names and Forms, knowing intuitively their impotence in addressing the disparity of justice within our own souls and walls?

How long more would we dictate every decision based on the gain of Money when we are losing the more noble and dignified responsibilities to the wider community and humanity?

How long more would we deceive ourselves by dreaming of peace while harboring hate and killing our ‘enemies’ while claiming love for them?

We, the youth of Afghanistan, having lived through some of the worst scenarios of the human condition, refuse to believe that humanity’s love, once given voice and shape, however minuscule and wherever practiced, cannot add dignity and magnanimity to Mankind.

So, we express humanity’s love today, not a love we own, but a love that causes humanity to smile, sing and dream, even in the darkest moments.

We express humanity’s love when we ask forgiveness on behalf of generations past and present, for the wrong we have done. We express humanity’s love by clearly saying that we forgive you too, whoever you may be, for the inadvertent or deliberate mistakes which you have made because of us and for your indifference to Mankind’s lives and Mankind’s deaths.

We express humanity’s love when we ask to be held accountable to treat all men and women alike and when we ask to be treated as humans, as you would treat yourselves.

We express humanity’s love when we grieve over every act of violence on any infant, child, youth or adult of any race, because we believe that God created all and that belief is powerful only when it leads us to grieve. In death, there is no distinction of civilian or military, intention or faith.

We express humanity’s love when, though you think it natural for us to hate or to be bitter, we choose kindness to the best of our hearts and take firm hold of the freedom which compassion gives us.

We express humanity’s love by thanking every individual who has worked to raise the possibility of peace. We know there are many who seek peace and believe that these make the majority and are deeply grateful to their labour of love and truth. Yak jahan tashakur! یک جهان تشکر A world of thanks!

We express humanity’s love when we ask Man for creativity and courage to learn from history’s errors and to rise above the mundane and expected solutions to humanity’s problems today.

It may seem strange and insignificant that we, the youth of Afghanistan, have these thoughts and feelings.

But then you shouldn’t be too surprised; you have them too. Any human being does.

We wish to show you, in a flash of un-remembered history, that a humane love IS possible.

We wish for humanity to relate humanely though we cannot expect or demand it.

And even if you insist on thinking badly of us and wish to hurt us still, we will hold our smiles with confidence and hope that PEACE is the peacemaker’s eventual destiny, even if it were just a well-intentioned tale.

Stop. Please stop.

Listen. Please listen.

And journeying along with us, stand firm in a love that captures empathy, sorrow and joy with equal resolve and strength.

We are no longer willing for any one of you, any of us or any one of humanity to perish at Man’s hand, at our own hands.

We are no longer willing for ourselves or our elders to forget what Man could be and to remain self-absorbed in primitive motivations.

Because that hand which kills is shriveled and feeble and needs an artistic and thoughtful transformation into a hand of friendship.

We choose to smile at every child and person.

We choose to act with compassion.

We choose to deny the rough, proud, violent and resentful suggestions that haunt our corners and weaknesses.

For we all die and wish that when our time comes to leave our families and our world, we can witness a gentler world of civilities, of brotherhood, of friendship, of joy, of love and all those tender virtues lauded by the sages of our time, the valued men and women who would put themselves and their self-interests aside to imagine another universe.

A world not of the fables, but a world that is present, real and free.

To borrow the life of John Donne, ‘any Man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind, And therefore never send to know, for whom we smile…….we smile for Thee.’

Our Journey to Smile

http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/

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Are Afghans Humans?
March 29, 2009, 2:40 am
Filed under: Videos | Tags: , , , , , ,


Afghan Children Smile for Love Forgiveness Peace Humanity
March 29, 2009, 2:26 am
Filed under: Videos

Can afghan Children smile?



Obama’s new Afghan Policy- need Afghans respond?- video

US rethinks Afghanistan strategy

BBC 28/03/09

Flanked by military and civilian members of his top foreign policy team, President Barack Obama unveiled his eagerly awaited policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said growing radical forces in the area posed the greatest threat to the American people and the world.

He said an extra 4,000 US personnel would train and bolster the Afghan army and police, and he would also provide support for civilian development.


Need Afghans respond at all to Obama’s new Afghan policy?

Need we at all?

Need we, Afghan youth who crave for peace, respond at all to Obama’s far-away decision over us, to send 4000 more human beings to train other human beings to kill even more human beings?

Need we ask any questions at all, since we are confident that whatever games are played in history, the love and conscience that sits in the kinder and less self-absorbed depths of every human heart, can change the devious adults in the very same hearts, and that this humane humanity can no longer be hidden?

Can a grave hide death, the snow hide spring and the sky hide space?

Our Journey to Smile



Need Afghans respond at all to Obama’s New Afghan policy?
March 28, 2009, 8:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

obama-new-afg-policy

US rethinks Afghanistan strategy

BBC 28/03/09

Flanked by military and civilian members of his top foreign policy team, President Barack Obama unveiled his eagerly awaited policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said growing radical forces in the area posed the greatest threat to the American people and the world.

He said an extra 4,000 US personnel would train and bolster the Afghan army and police, and he would also provide support for civilian development.


Need Afghans respond at all to Obama’s new Afghan policy?

Need we at all?

Need we, Afghan youth who crave for peace, respond at all to Obama’s far-away decision over us, to send 4000 more human beings to train other human beings to kill even more human beings?

Need we ask any questions at all, since we are confident that whatever games are played in history, the love and conscience that sits in the kinder and less self-absorbed depths of every human heart, can change the devious adults in the very same hearts, and that this humane humanity can no longer be hidden?

Can a grave hide death, the snow hide spring and the sky hide space?

Our Journey to Smile



Letter to Obama and Khamenei from Afghan youth
March 23, 2009, 7:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A youthful Afghan dream?

afghan-youth

Obama and Khamenei overtures

Al Jazeera 21/3/2009 and 23/3/2009

In his video appeal to Iran on the 21st Of March 2009, Obama said: “This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.”

The press adviser to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, urged Obama to back his words with concrete action to repair what he called past mistakes.

“They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” Khamenei said.

Dear Obama and Khamenei,

We address both of you respectfully as humans, fellow human beings who will, like all of us in Afghanistan, die with dignity some day.

We request forgiveness as the way forward, hoping that whatever the words we use, our trembling actions will be courageous in love; we request of the quiet and concrete peace and vision that both you, Obama and Khamenei, and the rest of humanity, have been expressing since our hearts and imaginations have allowed us to.

We must no longer live meagerly in fear of the human instincts to claim right-ness and revenge. All of civilization now recognizes the value of our shared frailties and the dream of a kinder humanity.

This dream has no borders and as we retire for another night, hopefully to a brighter day, we will pray in both Persian and English that our children and youth would not be confined to or disappointed by your and our limitations.

This is Our Journey to Smile.

With sincerity,

Our Journey to Smile

http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/



US Iraq veteran ‘cowardly’ in objecting conscientiously or brave?
March 19, 2009, 4:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

andre-shepherd

Even if the Iraq war had a just cause, will humanity condemn a man for refusing to kill again?

 

If Obama were an ordinary Iraqi citizen, would he mind if an American refused to kill his daughter?

 

Asylum dilemma for US deserter

BBC 190309

 

American Iraq veteran Andre Shepherd is applying for the right of asylum in Germany. “I could no longer support this illegal war in Iraq with a clear conscience,” explained the 31-year-old.

 

According to anti-war campaigners, more than 25,000 US soldiers have deserted since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although only 30 of them now live in Germany, they can count on substantial support here.

 

The accusation of “coward” is one of the least offensive things Mr Shepherd is being called online.

 

“Your home country will always think you are a traitor, whether you were justified or not,” Mr Shepherd explained.

 

“Although my family is supporting me, they wish I’d taken a different step, because the potential for me not returning [home] causes a lot of emotional stress. I have to apologize to my parents for that.”