Our Journey to Smile


The tsunami of lies is now a condoned custom in Afghanistan and the world

elections in Afg

Please watch Ali in “The tsunami of lies is now a condoned custom in Afghanistan and the world”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKWwy73lyMo

Transcript of video

In the background is a tent of the Afghan presidential election campaign

Salam (peace)! Salam to you!

How are you? Fine & well?

Be strong. Be well.

What do you think, Ali, in the world now, do most people lie or tell the truth?

Most people have become very ‘wrong’ and they lie.Everywhere you go, every issue is very confusing.

Has lying also become a custom in Afghanistan?

Yes,it has become a custom.

It wasn’t like that before. Lying has only recently become a custom.

How has it become a custom?

A custom in a sense of lying.

True matters are turned into lies. Matters are ‘lengthened’ into a mix of truths and lies.

Why? From lies, people gain power.And money too.

Before another, he demands money & then he asks money from you too.

So you give him money & he takes from the other too, right?

This is how it really is

Be successful & be at peace.

You too. A world of thanks. We’re grateful to be alive.

Can Ali find truth in a worldwide tsunami of customary lies?

The tsunami of lies is now a condoned custom in Afghanistan and the world

Afghans know who the father of lies is.

So do most people of various religious inclinations everywhere. That means that for many people, in both the spiritual and physical world, lies are an ancient problem.

Why should Ali think then, that lying has only recently become a custom, a habit, a tradition?

Has it not always been so?

If widespread lying was a recent ‘development’ in Afghanistan, what fuelled it?

But then, Ali never lived in the ancient past, so he can’t claim infallible authority that lying wasn’t already in vogue from way before.

If there were historical records, he may be able to take the historian’s word for it ( if the historian wasn’t a liar ), that so and so lied and so and so told the truth. Or from circumstantial outcomes that make it to writing/print.

And he can’t comment on the practice in other countries either, though he thinks that most people all over the world ‘have become very wrong and they lie’ amidst a ‘very confusing’ ‘everywhere-you-go’ situation.

So, let’s just wonder about the implications of this newly established custom for the recent past and the now.

Generally speaking, a practice becomes a custom when most people in that society finds it acceptable, sometimes even valuable or likeable. It also generally is deemed ‘naturally legal’ by those who celebrate it.

So, what happened in the recent past to make lying globally acceptable, likeable and even naturally legal?

Perhaps, a major, significant tide of lies and their condoning had erupted, especially if it had involved a famous personality. Better still, for fashion and hype, someone elected to head what may be deemed or claimed to be the most ‘democratic’ supermodel in early 21st century.

And pow! Wow! This tsunami did erupt. A band of lies was unleashed. “Shock and awe bombing of Baghdad”!

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” Eve of Iraq War 17th March 2003

“My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” Bush on 19th March 2003

It truly was tsunami-like in that it hit and ran.

Lie. And run. Then, it’s past. Over.

“We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education.” Martin Luther King Jr

Even though its human cost richter scale placed far from its origin across the oceans in Iraq is by now swinging past the hundreds of thousands. Dead Americans, British and not to mention even sort of by-the-way, Iraqis.

In fact, most people aren’t too interested in keeping count anymore.

This tsunami tide was a culmination of years of a tectonic build-up of powers, and “make no mistake”, was not held together by just one person. It needed many plates and lots of pressure.

It needed the complicit condoning or acquiescence of the general masses for its destructive transmission and continued tragedy. That is, it needed us to stand by and do nothing. Or for us to actively albeit unknowingly extend its tentacles to kill, kill and kill.

I mean, lies are sheer hard work to upkeep.

In the wake of a tsunami, there is a period of silence. The silence of life-lessness and death. Shell-shock. Wave-shock. “ Shock and awe”.

We’re glad and encouraged that the world didn’t just stand by and watch the flattened and washed grounds of the December 2004 tsunami.

But I’m afraid that with the 2003 Iraq tsunami of lies, there has been a general lethargy upheld by the world’s justice system.

It was almost as if the Iraq war lies were an act of God. Hush hush. Don’t question. Never question God.

Now, accept it as law. Say it’s okay. Or use the equally fashionable word impunity. At most, throw a shoe and be imprisoned for it.

Fantastically, not only is it now an axiom that we can get away with lies with great pomp and power and money to top it all up, we can also later ‘glorify’ in the ‘liberation’ it brings to its poor, poor survivors.

It’s like God, watching over Indonesia after Nature struck, thinking “Look how my wonderful power freed these masses from their abject living conditions.”

So, it has become a a new custom because it became presidentially, state-ly, religiously and humanly okay.

Come along British poodle! Go for it, all other world leaders! Frame it with the magic words, like ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and ‘democratic elections in Afghanistan’!

And forget even about apologies for lives lost ( how many again..?) for the deceptively ‘worthy’ cause. That’ll be a weak admission that the lying was somehow wrong.

But Afghans are dying. Not merely physically with one of the highest infant and maternal mortalities in the world and one of the lowest average life spans of 44. Afghans are dying on the inside too. Do you hear? “We’re grateful to be alive” but we are dying.

Truth and children are dying in this age of war and lies.

But if an Afghan’s death isn’t much to us, at least we should listen to and act upon our conscience.

‘The moral decline we are compelled to witness, and the suffering it causes, are so oppressive one can’t ignore them for a moment. No matter how deeply one immerses oneself in work, a haunting feeling of inescapable tragedy persists.”Albert Einstein to the Queen of Belgium

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it. Albert Eisntein

Lying doesn’t seem wrong anymore . In fact, it’s a new custom, condoned by the establishment and the masses, you and I. And Ali. We have impunity.

“No man shall ram the towers of yesterday and escape the falling stones. No one shall open the floodgates of his ancestors without drowning. Kahlil Gibran

So, some people may say, “Don’t be silly, you can’t turn the tide. You will drown trying to, even in dry, land-locked Afghanistan.”

“I want to declare to the world, although I may have forfeited the regard of many friends in the West and I must bow my head low; but even for their friendship or love I must not suppress the voice of conscience – promoting of my inner basic nature today. There is something within me impelling me to cry out my agony. I have known humanity. I have studied something of psychology. Such a man knows exactly what it is. I do not mind how you describe it. That voice within tells me, “You have to stand against the whole world although you may have to stand alone. You have to stare in the face the whole world although the world may look at you with bloodshot eyes. Do not fear. Trust the little voice residing within your heart.” Ghandi

lies in Afg



Afghan war is ‘worth the effort’ : the Obama admin’s and humanity’s costly rationale

Afghan war don't fight without a reason

Please watch Afghan War Don’t fight without a reason

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeTLMRVns-Y

US Vice-President Joe Biden has told the BBC that the war in Afghanistan is in the interests of the US and the UK.

“It is worth the effort we are making,” he said in an interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Beale.

The vice-president insisted that “in terms of national interest of Great Britain, the US and Europe, [the war in Afghanistan] is worth the effort we are making and the sacrifice that is being felt”.

What IS the national interest of Great Britain, the US and Europe?

Is the interest of the ordinary people of Great Britain, the US and Europe the same as the national interest?

What happened to the interest of the ordinary people of Afghanistan?

And he reiterated the Obama administration’s rationale for the conflict. “This is the place from which the attacks of 9/11 and all those attacks in Europe from al-Qaeda have flowed – from Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The 19 hijackers of 9/11 and their nationalities are listed below.

1.Mohamed Atta al Sayed Egyptian

2.Waleed al-Shehri Saudi Arabian

3.Wail al-Shehri Saudi Arabian

4.Abdulaziz al-Omari Saudi Arabian

5.Satam al-Suqami Saudi Arabian

6.Marwan al-Shehhi United Arab Emirates

7.Fayez Banihammad United Arab Emirates

8.Mohand al-Shehri Saudi Arabian

9.Hamza al-Ghamdi Saudi Arabian

10.Ahmed al-Ghamdi Saudi Arabian

11.Hani Hanjour Saudi Arabian

12.Khalid al-Mihdhar Saudi Arabian

13.Majed Moqed Saudi Arabian

14.Nawaf al-Hazmi Saudi Arabian

15.Salem al-Hazmi Saudi Arabian

16.Ziad Jarrah Lebanese

17.Ahmed al-Haznawi Saudi Arabian

18.Ahmed al-Nami Saudi Arabian

19.Saeed al-Ghamdi Saudi Arabian



US looks for progress in Afghanistan : An Afghan Lion will be killed in the dark

lionmarjankabul

Marjan the one-eyed Lion at Kabul Zoo

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
Albert Einstein

If we are keen to begin looking for what is, these articles below may help :

Clear, hold, build? Not in Afghanistan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jul/14/military-afghanistan-clear-build-hold


Everything That Happens in Afghanistan Is Based on Lies or Illusions Ann Jones

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175096/ann_jones_creating_hescostan_in_kabul

Afghanistan: Marines’ Mission Doomed to Failure Sonali Kolhatkar

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=7a6b4d89ab91447ba8c9a109eb2a57d9

Countries ‘Wasting Money and Blood’ in Afghanistan Malalai Joya

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/03/2616020.htm

Pakistan Objects to U.S. Expansion in Afghan War NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/world/asia/22pstan.html?_r=2&hp

Marjan, Lion of Kabul, roars his last

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1783910.stm

Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.
Albert Einstein

An Afghan lion will be killed in the dark

liononeeyedmarjan

Marjan the one-eyed, lame, lone Kabul Lion

Like everyday thirst, Shir Agha wonders, “Is there anyone who loves?”

It’s not a question limited to fellow Afghans. It unashamedly asks, “Is there any one person who truly cares at all?”

Shir, which in Dari means lion, is saddened because at 19 years of age, he has concluded that, out of the 6.722 (July 2009 estimate) billion people on earth, he won’t be able to find a sincere friend.

‘A naïve, illogical conclusion. An impractical sorrow.’ is what conventional, mainstream non-Afghan ‘superpower experts ’on Afghanistan would say.

But Shir already knows that. He knows that power doesn’t lie with his human wish.

By design, power lies unrepresentatively with those we entitle ‘super’. Those with a successful outward appearance. Those beautiful, wealthy people wielding the latest IT gadgets and hogging the headlines.

In fact, the combined ‘armistice and wisdom’ of our modern world in 2009, lead by the coalition forces, would mock Shir by not even hearing him.

With the help of the ‘correct’ mass media, they would reassure the general public, including the invisible Shir, that ‘we are your friends’ and that ‘the best thing we can do for you now is to send our million-dollar weapons and armies to hunt down Osama and his unknown cronies, even though Osama hasn’t been seen in Afghanistan for years now. And we will always regret if we so happen to kill any of your innocent friends or countrymen.”

It’s un-defeat able mockery.

The majority of humanity, whose immediate instinct is to identify with Shir’s cry, would also fall silent or be silenced against this impregnable vengeful ‘logic’ of the 21st century, an ‘infallibility’ that insists on victory through endless tit for tats.

After all, Mankind has been through WWI, WWII and Hiroshima and has determined the ‘acceptable conventions and exemptions’ by which Man may kill Man.

But silence, being also subject to the herd rule, while having unquestioning space among the masses, does not in individual souls.

So, Shir need not submit to silence.

Because he knows that, killing, even prior to the ‘tablets’ of Moses, has always caused discomfort in the human heart.

And while most Afghans were relieved by the ‘chance but responsible’ bombardment ending of the Taliban horror mistakenly kick-started by the US, Shir knows that neither Osama nor his deputy are Afghan. He has also heard enough about September 11 to know that NONE of the ‘suicide plane hijackers’ were Afghans. He knows that being Afghan isn’t the point.

So do many Americans and others. But ironically, no Man can publicly beat this machinery which Man himself has set up.

Certainly not Shir.

Shir will just have to listen to and watch the ‘higher intellectual solutions’ which ‘the more civilized of Mankind’ has to offer.

War.

Shir understands this much, having lived with violence, political play, corruption, self absorption, oppression, deception, lies and drugs for much of his young life. It’s all about another kind of love, the love of money and power.

You’re thinking that Shir is exaggerating about the extreme human behaviour and condition in Afghanistan.

Please, come live here.

“But Shir, you just have to go on. Trust us. We know what’s right and we know what’s terrible. We always do.”

There are now so many showbiz posters of presidential and provincial council election candidates on poorly built, cracked mud walls, none of whom Shir trusts and some of whom are familiar connivers, betrayers and warlords. He’s seen or not seen their actions and inactions.

Win the hearts and minds of Shir and his country folk? Gain their trust through more foreign words and deeds of Hollywood violence?

You’re thinking democracy? Free and fair elections?

Please, come live here.

And whatever politics or religion you may have, in this hellish corruption being tribally perfected with the capitalistic greed of maximum self benefit, you’ll accept that the poor like Shir will probably remain oppressively poor.

Karzai must be lauded for consoling himself and perhaps his nation by unexpectedly saying in the White House corridors of supremacy that, “This war against terrorism will succeed only if we fight it from a higher platform of morality. Money can’t buy you love, as you say it in America, no matter how much it is.”

You’re thinking development? Capacity building?

Please, come live here.

By this juncture in your reading, you’ve probably decided that Shir is un-lettered and must be anti-something or other, or the unknowing mouthpiece of shallow persuasions. We’ve become incapable of believing that Afghans could have a borderless, impartial wish for love and truth. Why?

Truth nowadays sounds silly, for example, the truth that every person, whether a ‘commoner’ or a ‘ruler’, of whatever race or nation, starts off as a baby who thrives on his mother’s love.

Because Shir understands this truth with an uncomplicated spirit, he is NOT wondering if people, ‘commoners’ or ‘rulers’, ‘terrorized’ or ‘terrorizing’, are desiring of or capable of love.

The Lion is just asking, “Where on earth is this love?”

The same way Marjan, the one-eyed lone lion who had lent dignity to Kabul Zoo, after surviving years of war and neglect, could have asked if only he could have, “You humans talk about love and freedom, but where on earth are these?”

Shir is hoping against hope that fellow humans wish for the same good things so badly that they’d want to be friends.

The disappointment is that the ‘conventional and normalized’ methodologies to achieve those same good things seem to be solitary fortresses carved out by the few babies who grew up to be rich and dominant, often at all costs.

And they take on all kinds of labels, political left to right labels, religious eastern, middle eastern to western labels and then unwittingly, they become each others’ ‘enemies’! All quite far from the child-like instincts they once had. And very far from Shir’s remnant longing.

This clinical enmity is now mechanized by human-less drones. Drones don’t have to relate; in fact, they conveniently cannot.

Relations and friendships between ‘enemies’ don’t exist for the most part; in that vacuum is hate and anger. And بی وجدان , an Afghan insult pronounced ‘bay-ujdaan’ and meaning ‘without conscience’.

This is the frightening in-humanity Shir lives in, in which life contradicts conscience.

Wherever he looks and whatever he hears persuades him that only God, whom he cannot see or hear or touch, is merciful. How pray tell is that helpful or encouraging, especially in a destitute tribal community where tangible relationships are all that a person has?

Life becomes tasteless, harsh and lonely.

So, Shir goes to school while he still has a chance. He tries to find some fun in using a cell phone, but there’s no one to call to and no one to call him.

It’s meaningless. To have nothing and no one to live for.

“Why does the international community hate our meaningless lives so much? What have we done? Most of us can’t even afford to travel to another Afghan province, so how have we angered those in other countries, across those oceans we’ve never seen from our land-locked birthplace?”

How can people understand Afghans without knowing them? Is understanding gained by killing Afghans way before greetings of ‘salam’ ( peace ) ?

Shir cries sometimes.

He cries because despite these normal challenges, he really needs to find some common sense and humanity in order to survive.

But any ‘commoner’ or ‘ruler’ who enters the global fortresses of established deceptions soon becomes their defendant.

This ‘commoner’ or ‘ruler’ disappears into it. And though, at the end of each day, he yearns for the same sort of true friendship as Shir does, the power and opulence of the fortress confuses him.

So, he puts on his politician’s shoes or his soldier’s helmet, heads off to defend ‘the just world’ he longs for and dreams about.

And as he patrols the deserted, God and Man-forsaken dirt hills of Afghanistan, his fear of losing all whom he loves brings such a natural burden of help-lessness into his young heart that when he sees an equally panicky Shir scuttling away from talking to his Taliban-look alike- friend, he fires with all the ‘superior, correct, right, spot-on accuracy’ that the advanced, free world has trained him to unleash.

He will kill the Afghan lion and the world will remain in the dark.

shiraghaspeaks

Shir the Lion

Shir an Afghan Lion speaks of a great Afghan need

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h40G2MGw7Ow




Afghan peace needs a human face VII : Shir an Afghan Lion speaks of a great Afghan ‎need and An Afghan lion will be killed in the dark

shiraghaspeaks

Shir the Lion

Shir an Afghan Lion speaks of a great Afghan need

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h40G2MGw7Ow

Salam, Shir Agha (Lion)!

Salam (peace) to you!

Shir Agha, is Afghanistan peaceful now or not?

It’s peaceful in Bamiyan but not in other places.

Why? Because of war, the killing of one another & money.

How important is money to you?

Not very important. I just need enough for food & clothes

What is important in life?

Love & friendship are important

Are the people of Afg in need of love & friendship?

Yes, we are in great need

Thank you. You’re welcome.

Be at peace!

Afghans are in great need of love & friendship

You can write to Shir Agha at journeytosmile@gmail.com


An Afghan lion will be killed in the dark

liononeeyedmarjan

Marjan the one-eyed, lame, lone Kabul Lion

Like everyday thirst, Shir Agha wonders, “Is there anyone who loves?”

It’s not a question limited to fellow Afghans. It unashamedly asks, “Is there any one person who truly cares at all?”

Shir, which in Dari means lion, is saddened because at 19 years of age, he has concluded that, out of the 6.722 (July 2009 estimate) billion people on earth, he won’t be able to find a sincere friend.

‘A naïve, illogical conclusion. An impractical sorrow.’ is what conventional, mainstream non-Afghan ‘superpower experts ’on Afghanistan would say.

But Shir already knows that. He knows that power doesn’t lie with his human wish.

By design, power lies unrepresentatively with those we entitle ‘super’. Those with a successful outward appearance. Those beautiful, wealthy people wielding the latest IT gadgets and hogging the headlines.

In fact, the combined ‘armistice and wisdom’ of our modern world in 2009, lead by the coalition forces, would mock Shir by not even hearing him.

With the help of the ‘correct’ mass media, they would reassure the general public, including the invisible Shir, that ‘we are your friends’ and that ‘the best thing we can do for you now is to send our million-dollar weapons and armies to hunt down Osama and his unknown cronies, even though Osama hasn’t been seen in Afghanistan for years now. And we will always regret if we so happen to kill any of your innocent friends or countrymen.”

It’s un-defeat able mockery.

The majority of humanity, whose immediate instinct is to identify with Shir’s cry, would also fall silent or be silenced against this impregnable vengeful ‘logic’ of the 21st century, an ‘infallibility’ that insists on victory through endless tit for tats.

After all, Mankind has been through WWI, WWII and Hiroshima and has determined the ‘acceptable conventions and exemptions’ by which Man may kill Man.

But silence, being also subject to the herd rule, while having unquestioning space among the masses, does not in individual souls.

So, Shir need not submit to silence.

Because he knows that, killing, even prior to the ‘tablets’ of Moses, has always caused discomfort in the human heart.

And while most Afghans were relieved by the ‘chance but responsible’ bombardment ending of the Taliban horror mistakenly kick-started by the US, Shir knows that neither Osama nor his deputy are Afghan. He has also heard enough about September 11 to know that NONE of the ‘suicide plane hijackers’ were Afghans. He knows that being Afghan isn’t the point.

So do many Americans and others. But ironically, no Man can publicly beat this machinery which Man himself has set up.

Certainly not Shir.

Shir will just have to listen to and watch the ‘higher intellectual solutions’ which ‘the more civilized of Mankind’ has to offer.

War.

Shir understands this much, having lived with violence, political play, corruption, self absorption, oppression, deception, lies and drugs for much of his young life. It’s all about another kind of love, the love of money and power.

You’re thinking that Shir is exaggerating about the extreme human behaviour and condition in Afghanistan.

Please, come live here.

“But Shir, you just have to go on. Trust us. We know what’s right and we know what’s terrible. We always do.”

There are now so many showbiz posters of presidential and provincial council election candidates on poorly built, cracked mud walls, none of whom Shir trusts and some of whom are familiar connivers, betrayers and warlords. He’s seen or not seen their actions and inactions.

Win the hearts and minds of Shir and his country folk? Gain their trust through more foreign words and deeds of Hollywood violence?

You’re thinking democracy? Free and fair elections?

Please, come live here.

And whatever politics or religion you may have, in this hellish corruption being tribally perfected with the capitalistic greed of maximum self benefit, you’ll accept that the poor like Shir will probably remain oppressively poor.

Karzai must be lauded for consoling himself and perhaps his nation by unexpectedly saying in the White House corridors of supremacy that, “This war against terrorism will succeed only if we fight it from a higher platform of morality. Money can’t buy you love, as you say it in America, no matter how much it is.”

You’re thinking development? Capacity building?

Please, come live here.

By this juncture in your reading, you’ve probably decided that Shir is un-lettered and must be anti-something or other, or the unknowing mouthpiece of shallow persuasions. We’ve become incapable of believing that Afghans could have a borderless, impartial wish for love and truth. Why?

Truth nowadays sounds silly, for example, the truth that every person, whether a ‘commoner’ or a ‘ruler’, of whatever race or nation, starts off as a baby who thrives on his mother’s love.

Because Shir understands this truth with an uncomplicated spirit, he is NOT wondering if people, ‘commoners’ or ‘rulers’, ‘terrorized’ or ‘terrorizing’, are desiring of or capable of love.

The Lion is just asking, “Where on earth is this love?”

The same way Marjan, the one-eyed lone lion who had lent dignity to Kabul Zoo, after surviving years of war and neglect, could have asked if only he could have, “You humans talk about love and freedom, but where on earth are these?”

Shir is hoping against hope that fellow humans wish for the same good things so badly that they’d want to be friends.

The disappointment is that the ‘conventional and normalized’ methodologies to achieve those same good things seem to be solitary fortresses carved out by the few babies who grew up to be rich and dominant, often at all costs.

And they take on all kinds of labels, political left to right labels, religious eastern, middle eastern to western labels and then unwittingly, they become each others’ ‘enemies’! All quite far from the child-like instincts they once had. And very far from Shir’s remnant longing.

This clinical enmity is now mechanized by human-less drones. Drones don’t have to relate; in fact, they conveniently cannot.

Relations and friendships between ‘enemies’ don’t exist for the most part; in that vacuum is hate and anger. And بی وجدان , an Afghan insult pronounced ‘bay-ujdaan’ and meaning ‘without conscience’.

This is the frightening in-humanity Shir lives in, in which life contradicts conscience.

Wherever he looks and whatever he hears persuades him that only God, whom he cannot see or hear or touch, is merciful. How pray tell is that helpful or encouraging, especially in a destitute tribal community where tangible relationships are all that a person has?

Life becomes tasteless, harsh and lonely.

So, Shir goes to school while he still has a chance. He tries to find some fun in using a cell phone, but there’s no one to call to and no one to call him.

It’s meaningless. To have nothing and no one to live for.

“Why does the international community hate our meaningless lives so much? What have we done? Most of us can’t even afford to travel to another Afghan province, so how have we angered those in other countries, across those oceans we’ve never seen from our land-locked birthplace?”

How can people understand Afghans without knowing them? Is understanding gained by killing Afghans way before greetings of ‘salam’ ( peace ) ?

Shir cries sometimes.

He cries because despite these normal challenges, he really needs to find some common sense and humanity in order to survive.

But any ‘commoner’ or ‘ruler’ who enters the global fortresses of established deceptions soon becomes their defendant.

This ‘commoner’ or ‘ruler’ disappears into it. And though, at the end of each day, he yearns for the same sort of true friendship as Shir does, the power and opulence of the fortress confuses him.

So, he puts on his politician’s shoes or his soldier’s helmet, heads off to defend ‘the just world’ he longs for and dreams about.

And as he patrols the deserted, God and Man-forsaken dirt hills of Afghanistan, his fear of losing all whom he loves brings such a natural burden of help-lessness into his young heart that when he sees an equally panicky Shir scuttling away from talking to his Taliban-look alike- friend, he fires with all the ‘superior, correct, right, spot-on accuracy’ that the advanced, free world has trained him to unleash.

He will kill the Afghan lion and the world will remain in the dark.



Afghan peace needs a human face VI : Zahra an Afghan girl speaks, rather nervously‎

zahra speaks

You can write to Zahra at journeytosmile@gmail.com

Do you commonly hear and see a young Afghan girl speaking?

We have been trying to give voice to the ordinary Afghan girl. We are grateful to Zahra for her humble and dignified words.

Zahra an Afghan girl speaks, rather nervously

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89TW-MM2qzU

In the Name of God the Forgiver

Peace to all friends in all corners of the world

Peace. Without peace, there won’t be any kind of happiness on earth.

Peace is a desired condition that makes possible an inner life of rest.

In your opinion, is peace possible in Afghanistan?

Yes!

Who can bring peace to Afghanistan?

The youth and people of Afghanistan.

What message of peace do you have for youth in other parts of the world?

My message is: everyone in the world should be peace-loving & be committed to work for peace and a world that’s peaceful.

Zahra the Afghan girl speaks for peace!

Note : Afghanistan has the second highest rate of maternal mortality in the world, after Niger. 1,600 out of every 100,000 pregnant women die in Afghanistan each year because of poor health facilities.



Afghan children tell if British forces should fight on in Afghanistan

should the British fight on

Please watch 3 Afghan kids talk about British forces in Afghanistan as they play with stones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdRInmELG9U

Salam! Salam! ( Peace )

What are you doing?

“shirbuz bAzi” ( a games with stones )

In these days, the British forces are fighting in Afghanistan.

184 British soldiers have been killed.

Do you think the British should fight on?

No. Enough is enough.

Enough?

Yes.

More shouldn’t be killed?

No.

If they don’t fight on, there will be unrest again in Afg.

Let there be unrest. Really? Yes.

The forces of Afg should defend themselves.

The British forces shouldn’t fight on.



Afghan peace needs a human face I toV : Thanks from Afghan faces of peace Abdulai, Raziq, ‎Aziz and Shir Ali

thanks from Abdulaithanks from Abdulai

On behalf of our Afghan friends, thank you so much for encouraging them with your emails.

Please watch them say their heartfelt thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyZHhZoWYpU

Abdulai : Thank you for sending the letters

Raziq : Thank you for your emails.

Aziz : Thanks for the emails you sent.

Shir Ali : Thank you for sending me letters. Made me happy!

تشکر!  Thanks!

What you’ve done for them is invaluable.

Because though these ‘forgotten’ friends don’t expect anyone to think about them, they yearn to be remembered.

Because though peace is ‘an elusive exasperation’ when war is all around, Afghans long for those quiet and warm connections that make us human.

I’ve posted some of these wonderful ‘connections’ below.

We ask for your understanding as we always need time to get replies from our Afghan friends; they do not have internet access or computers and no easy access to electricity.

abdulai and seedlings

Abdulai growing some seedlings in used tyres

Dear Abdulai,

I really enjoyed your video and all the videos from Our Journey To Smile. I am 14 years old from the United States and on our news channels they never show any of Afghanistan’s children speaking. This is the first time I have heard voices of the Afghan people and seen the beauty of Afghanistan. Someday, I wish I can travel to Bamiyan to see the beautiful place in these videos. Please keep smiling and never give up your hope, because all youth are the future of the world.

Peace be with you.

Elisa

Dear Elisa,

I was very happy to receive your letter.

Thank you for enjoying the video.

I am about 13 years old. Afghan children, like myself, don’t know their dates of birth.

I hope that you will come to visit me in Bamiyan. I will serve you some black tea. J

Take care and God bless you.

Abdulai

raziq his brother and flowers

Raziq with his brother and beloved flowers

Dear Raziq,

Oh that everyone in the world were friends. War is bad and we hate to hear of people in Afghanistan suffering because of war. Flowers make me happy. When I look at a flower I thank God for the beauty of creation. I love growing flowers and vegetables.

Your friend,

John Broadbent

Dear John,

Thank you for your email.

Where are you from? I am very happy to have a new friend!

I planted cauliflowers, onions, turnips, radish, cabbages and flowers this year.

God bless and take care.

Hope to see you someday.

Raziq

Aziz through the trees

Aziz through the trees

Afghans are undefeatable because they are very special

Rashida B Syed

Hello Rashida,

Thank you very much.

Peace!

Aziz in Afghanistan

Shir Ali in the cold

Shir Ali in the cold

I find responses like these from everyday Afghani’s to inspirational and uplifint :] It feels my soul with happiness and hope.

Tali Sakamoto

Dear Tali Sakamoto,

Thank you. I am happy that you saw my video. I wish you peace.

Shir Ali in Afghanistan