Our Journey to Smile


An eulogy for Afghanistan

my Afghan grandmaMy Afghan grandma, who has passed on

Afghanistan and humanity are dying, and of course, I’m not talking about the state and of course, life will go on.

I’m talking about the heart.

I’m a Singaporean medical humanitarian worker who has lived among Afghans for 7 years now and I’m grieving.

I’ve realized that this grief I share with ordinary Afghans doesn’t matter to anyone.

Rory Stewart’s Irresistible Illusion ( http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n13/stew01_.html ) has won, worldwide.

Living here in Afghanistan, I should say that it’s not an illusion; it has become Mankind’s irresistible convention, albeit a sort of desperate hysteria, to win, to be right at all cost.

And nothing can change this  ‘wisdom’ for now, certainly not any election. There doesn’t seem to be any room to re-think on a human level, far less to re-empathize.

If anything, the change will be for the worse, because the de-humanizing institutions of global politics, religion and media in the early 21st century are embracing this ‘goodness’ , ‘success’ and ‘necessity’.

Necessary for what?

Gone are trust, creativity, integrity, fairness and the type of love best exemplified in the grieving mother.

Gone.

Afghans are human and are just as vile and virtuous as any human can be, so for their and our humanity, I grieve.

Most people reading this eulogy will think I’m insensible. So be it.

The insensible can grieve too.

Hakim in Afghanistan,

Our Journey to Smile

http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog

crying in AfghanistanCrying in Afghanistan



Afghans ‘democratically’ elect between ‘old’ and ‘new’‎

Afghans democratically elect between old and new

Please watch 4 Afghan boys choose between the donkey and the motorcycle in

Afghans ‘democratically’ elect between ‘old’ and ‘new’

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

Transcript of video

Where are you going?

To the bazaar ( city ).

In Afg, is the donkey or the motorcycle better?

The motorcycle.

Why? It’s fast.

What happened to my motorcycle seat (or saddle)? It’s damaged.

Is a motorcycle or a donkey better?

A motorcycle….a motorcycle.

But your motorcycle brays as well as a donkey!

Oosh! Oosh! ( Stop in donkey language )
Salam ( peace).Good morning! What’s your name?

Mohammad. Allah Dad.

What do you think, in Afg, is the donkey better or the motorcycle?

The motorcycle.

Why? Why? At a slope,we can step on the motorbike’s accelerator and we’ll get up the slope.

Salam ( peace )! Don’t be tired.

Be well! Are you well? Are you strong?

Where are you going?After water

Are you fetching water? Yes.

How much water? This many containers of water.

In your opinion, in Afg, is the donkey better or the motorcycle? Both!

Which is better? The donkey!

Afghans ‘democratically’ elect between ‘old’ and ‘new’

An Afghan proverb ‘An old donkey but a new saddle’



Calling international peacemakers to unite for the Peace Trek in the Great Afghan Outdoors on the 25th ‎of Sept 2009‎

Calling international peacemakers to unite for the Peace Trek in the Great Afghan Outdoors on the 25th of Sept 2009

Peace Trek in the Great Afghan Outdoors

Come for the Peace Trek in the Great Afghan Outdoors on the 25th of Sept 2009!

Why should peacemakers from NATO and other countries come together for a Peace Trek in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan?

The world needs to find trust and hope again.

The world needs a concrete, visible solidarity for peace.

Troopers with guns (now more than 100,000 and ‘surging’ ) from NATO and other countries have come together for the Afg/Pak War in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan.

Peacemakers from NATO and other countries should come together for Peace in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan.

The world needs to witness humanity’s unity with respect to non-violence and peace, in contrast to witnessing humanity’s coalition with respect to violence and war.

Recent polls in Europe ( Germany, France, Europe ) and the US show waning public support for the war in Afghanistan. Peacemakers have an opportune moment to make a stand together in the Afghan arena itself, to galvanize the world’s majority opinion.

If the military forces can work together for ‘foggy’ causes, can’t peacemakers journey together for peace through humane relationships. Can’t peacemakers put aside their ‘peace pride’, ‘peace partisan agendas’ and ‘peace names’ for the sake of peace itself?

Why do so this September, and why in 2009?

21st September is the UN-designated, annual International Peace Day.

We should take a stand in Afghanistan this year because the world’s socio-political and military focus in 2009 is on Afghanistan.

The world is watching!

Why Afghanistan?

Because Afghanistan is home to struggling but dignified fellow humans who desperately need creative alternatives to constant wars.

Why Bamiyan?

Bamiyan can be the seed and catalyst of peace in Afghanistan, being one of the most secure provinces.

Read BBC’s recent article “Putting Bamiyan back on the Map”, in which UN envoy Kai Eide says “if we ignore places that are stable, we will pay a price for it”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8205881.stm

The restoration of the Bamiyan Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban forms a symbolic background of the restoration of peace in the world, regardless of differences in culture and faith.

The Band-e-Amir lake in Bamiyan is the first National Park of Afghanistan.

Please watch Afghan youth invite the world to come to Afghanistan’s first National Park, Band-e-Amir, for friendship and peace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsRto89x0lY

Why take the personal risk and expense?

Why not?

Why the Shah Fuladi mountain lakes of the Hindu Kush range?

Because like Afghans, the Great Afghan Outdoors is beautiful.

Peace Trek to the Shah Fuladi Lakes

Peace Trek to the Shah Fuladi lakes

When is the Peace Trek in the Great Afghan Outdoors?

25th of September 2009

Who is organizing the Peace Trek?

Our Journey to Smile, a peace building effort among Afghan youth in Bamiyan http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog

Letter of invitations will be sent from the Bamiyan Journalist Association

Our Journey to Smile is partnering with UN Environment Protection Bamiyan and UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan Bamiyan in this International Peace Day event.

Who pays for all the trip expenses?

As we are an entirely volunteer set-up with no funding, the peacemaker volunteer has to take all responsibility over his/her own personal safety and finances for the entire trip.

Bamiyan is one of the safest provinces in Afghanistan.

How to join the Peace Trek in the Great Afghan Outdoors?

  1. Read more about the Peace Trek ( updates will be posted in the next few days ) and Our Journey to Smile at http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog
  1. Write to us at contact@ourjourneytosmile.com

Name :

Age:

Gender:

Occupation:

Nationality :
Peace Group affiliated to ( if any ) :

Email address :

Please state clearly that you are not representing any religious or political group.

We’ll send you the letter of invitation

and your journey of peace begins!

Peace Trek in the Afghan Hindu Kush Mountains

Peace Trek in the Afghan Hindu Kush mountains



BBC Afghan voices Election hopes and fears : Our Journey to Smile’s Afghan Election Hopes on BBC Talking Point
August 21, 2009, 7:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Dear friends of peace,

Our Journey to Smile’s ‘election videos’ are broadcast ‘live’ on BBC Internet News Talking Point ( link below )

Title : Afghan Voices, Election hopes and fears

Broadcast date : 20/8/2009

Link : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/8210541.stm

Thanks to Qadam Ali, Nazuko. Mohammad Hussein, Mohammad Jan and Zerghuna!

Please see our previous post for all the videos.

On behalf of Our Journey to Smile in Afghanistan,

Hakim/Young

elections II

Nazuko, filmed while making rice for the evening meal

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/8210541.stm

 

BBC Talking Point 20/8/09

Afghan voices: Election hopes and fears

 

In the wake of Afghanistan’s presidential elections, the BBC has asked people across the country for their expectations and hopes for their country.

 

Amateur film maker Teck Young Wee interviewed people across Bamiyan, central Afghanistan and sent his videos to the BBC.

 

They show student Zerghuna describe her hopes for ‘a compassionate peace loving and honest President’ and Mohammad Jan wants to see ‘peace and security in Afghanistan’.

 

Nazuko, filmed while making rice for the evening meal, hopes for a ‘peaceful, comfortable and trouble-free life’.

 

People in the streets of Kabul share their hopes for their country

Afghans across the world filmed themselves imagining what they would do if they were the next president.

Student Bismillah Momand from Kabul would like to eradicate corruption, Wakil Halimi – now a taxi driver and medical student in London – would increase wages for workers and Ehsan Ullah from Kandahar would draw up an extensive constitution.

The BBC also interviewed people in the streets of Kabul to find out whether they’d be casting their vote and what they hoped the elections could achieve.

 

 

A desperate Afghan election of war and the Meocracy of Me

 

Afghans and internationals are desperate.

 

Children, troops, truth, kindness and things that make the destitute life tolerable are desperately dying.

 

Efforts to build this country are desperately failing.

 

I heard a young Afghan friend say, as I have heard many times before, “Since I was born, I’ve known nothing but war. We are sick and tired of war.”

 

How can life survive in this desperation?

 

How does a person cope with such desperation, besides handling neglect, grief, anger and disappointment?

 

How does a person cope with the glaring disparity between words and actions, between actions and conscience?

 

I’m afraid that neither my friend nor the world is coping.

 

Our spirit-killing, stubborn selves answer war with war, bloodshed with bloodshed and fear with fear. This conventional approach from self-assumed ‘better’ humans or civilizations does not encourage or give any alternatives to my Afghan friend.

 

Do you hear the desperation? Do you understand?

                                              

How can we understand when all we hear is either the shout or silence of self-aggrandizement?

 

The self-absorbed domination of money and power in the hands of a few is so globally pervasive that we can no longer hear, see or think humanely.

 

We only hear, see and think what the dominant few want us to and this makes the ordinary Afghan person desperate, as they fatefully accept that because the rich and powerful are set on war and fear-mongering, there is no other choice.

 

Whereas almost all human beings understand that killing an ‘enemy’ creates more ‘enemies’ and therefore makes us less secure, sadly, this has now been the globally sanctioned way for more than a century.

 

There is now no space at all to address the more basic human causes of extreme violence worldwide: hate, pride, discontentment.

 

We are desperately staring, in US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ own words, at an Afghan ‘mystery’, but still acting as if we know what’s good and moral for the Afghan home.

 

What led Afghanistan and the world to this desperation?

                                                                                                           

One significant regression is the growth of a system of life and governance that is motivated by the self-focused fear of losing our lives, our money and our power : the Meocracy of me. It says primitively, “ Me fear I won’t be safe! Me fear I won’t be rich! Me fear I won’t have control!”

 

9/11 or terrorism

 

As a culmination and ongoing expression of complex, historical, cultural, religious and multinational self-interests which has estranged or disconnected all meaningful relationships of human trust, and unbeknown to the illiterate Afghan populace who are mostly farmers and shepherds, 19 angry persons ( and behind them many more angry persons ) successfully frightened the world on 9/11.

 

NONE of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Afghan.

 

NONE of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Afghan?!

 

Some Afghans thought, “Could even our most fearsome, turban-clad countrymen have been such competent pilots and engineers, able to bring down the Twin Towers?” Such tall buildings were way beyond any tribal Afghan’s reasonable mud-hut imagination anyway, far less precision flying into them!

 

But what good chance and fortune that fiery American bombs came to ‘save’ Afghans in revenge for a  9/11 terror enacted by non-Afghans!

 

8 years later, the Americans and other Great Gamers with various names like NATO ( you should drop this acronym to Afghan village folk to see if it makes any sense to them ), are refashioning their enterprise to clear, hold and build what?

 

Build by clearing and occupying all semblance of a meaningful life?

 

Army General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, had already said that Al-Qaeda is no longer operating in Afghanistan. So, what’s this gross escalating violence all about? What is all this dying about?

 

If the Obama administration is intent on dismantling ‘safe havens’, they have to deal with hate, and any human can tell you that hate, once lodged in the human heart against anyone, is not country-bound. It is certainly not assuaged by killing.

 

The Meocracy of Me

 

But it seems that war simply has to carry on, like life. The Meocracy of Me, the self-absorbed protection and perpetuation of fears, through and for the dominance of money and power, drives life and death today.

 

I am not anti-American. I am anti-violence, violence being any action that puts down another human being. So, despising another person or thinking that the other person is absolutely wrong is violent. Violence robs dignity and dehumanizes and is proud and rude. It feeds fear and leaves no room for love. It is all about Me. In its extreme expression, it deliberately takes away the most basic human right to life, by inflicting death.

 

In late June 2009, sometime near the 30th of Jaoza 1388 according to the Afghan calendar, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved a US$106 billion emergency spending bill to expand the war in Afghanistan and to continue the war in Iraq.

 

So the money and power keeps pouring in, to the delight of every powerful, corrupt and already rich one.

 

More troops.

 

More bombs.

 

More money.

 

More power.

 

More fear.

 

More Me.

 

More desperation.

 

Just before the elections, Panther’s Claw was waged and declared a ‘success’. COIN? The Afghan women and children and international troopers suffering and dying through COIN say, “What? Why?” We need to be reminded that the dead, of course, can never ask again.

 

This is like setting a horrid, gory, all brawn and brawn, Hollywood movie-style war scenario and then embedding a ‘democratic election’ smack in the midst of it.

 

And every other human sitting in their comfortable first-world couch elsewhere is supposed to say of this election, “Hooray to democracy and freedom and human rights in Afghanistan!”

 

Cast the bombs and IEDs! Cast your votes!

 

Milestone for democracy in war! Fair elections in the midst of war! How desperate can we get?

 

So, in this un-stoppable tide of the ‘good’ and ‘winnable’ war arising from the superpower ‘democracy’ of our day, an appropriate presidential client-ally will somehow be ‘democratically’ elected.

 

Ask the ordinary Afghan and most of them will tell you with a help-less sigh that though the current Karzai government is incorruptibly corrupt and self-serving, Karzai will probably win again, mysteriously, against any common sense of justice.

 

Ordinary Afghans pragmatically live and understand the oppressed life, that it’s not the upright but the powerful and rich who win, because they can coerce or buy conformity from the fearful and poor masses.

 

A lost humanity and creativity : the desperate election

 

Please imagine standing beside a mother or a child or a young soldier dying from a bomb or a bullet. Try saying, “We’re doing this for our revenge and your protection, our security and your freedom. We have no alternatives. It really isn’t about you. It’s about Me.”

 

What desperate words when we should really be saying, “We’re sorry, we love you and we’ll miss you and it hurts like mad.”

 

In the midst of all these comes the elections.

 

A small illustration of creativity lost to Meocracy. In 2007, through a well-intentioned Youth Empowerment Program funded by USAID and implemented by UN Habitat, a village in the valley of Sumara in Bamiyan was approached to set up a village youth council. This was done through the process of ‘democratic elections’ taught to the youth.

 

But, it was contextually overlooked that these are the youth who casually say, “Since I was born, I’ve known nothing but war.”

 

Wow! The potential money and power ‘Me’ will get being the Youth Council President, to survive in this war, I mean, in this life.

 

So, when the youth of Sumara gathered to ‘elect’ their Youth Council for the first time in their till recently self-sufficient village, the elections took on power-hungry tones, which brought out the deep-seated racial prejudices, with their elders stepping in to back their own sons and daughters.

 

So, the Sumara youth never got a chance to have their ‘capacity-building’ workshops on ‘how to write a proposal ( for dollar-funded projects )’, in English! In the other youth councils I work with, the only, exasperating non-creative solution to any issue or problem is not “ What can we do?” but “ Write a Proposal!”, a crippling dependence on foreign money and power.

 

That was 2 years ago. I recently visited the Sumara youth over a peace-building program. They still haven’t resolved the fall-out from that ‘democratic election’.

 

Foreigners and foreign ways cannot build an Afghan village, far less the Afghan nation. Afghans can and need to resolve this on their own, which includes resolving their own wars.

 

So, we get the desperation that we plant, besides the thousands of graves everywhere.

 

We suddenly get a country of 17 million plus registered ‘democratic’ voters, never mind the fraud, who would desperately emulate their American Senate patrons in ‘democratically’ voting for more money and power even if it means war, to address the same human fears.

 

What we get is the desperate, dramatic, electoral trap of rigging power for the dominant Me-s.

 

We get the desperate election of everything a human does not want.

 

We get a desperate Afghan election of war and the Meocracy of Me.

 

 

Hakim

On behalf of Our Journey to Smile



Afghan Presidential Elections 2009 : A desperate Afghan election of war and the ‎Meocracy of Me

Please watch Afghans wish for real change through these elections.

elections IQadam Ali

Qadam Ali

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

elections IINazuko

Nazuko

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnOeBAtx-50

elections IIIMohammad Hussein

Mohammad Hussein

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn4s9O7VXsE

elections IVMohammad Jan

Mohammad Jan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKj70rwDY8U

elections VZerghuna

Zerghuna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEuj74rz5gk

A desperate Afghan election of war and the Meocracy of Me

election posters

Concomitant Provincial Council Elections in Bamiyan : Me, Me, Me

Afghans and internationals are desperate.

Children, troops, truth, kindness and things that make the destitute life tolerable are desperately dying.

Efforts to build this country are desperately failing.

I heard a young Afghan friend say, as I have heard many times before, “Since I was born, I’ve known nothing but war. We are sick and tired of war.”

How can life survive in this desperation?

How does a person cope with such desperation, besides handling neglect, grief, anger and disappointment?

How does a person cope with the glaring disparity between words and actions, between actions and conscience?

I’m afraid that neither my friend nor the world is coping.

Our spirit-killing, stubborn selves answer war with war, bloodshed with bloodshed and fear with fear. This conventional approach from self-assumed ‘better’ humans or civilizations does not encourage or give any alternatives to my Afghan friend.

Do you hear the desperation? Do you understand?

How can we understand when all we hear is either the shout or silence of self-aggrandizement?

The self-absorbed domination of money and power in the hands of a few is so globally pervasive that we can no longer hear, see or think humanely.

We only hear, see and think what the dominant few want us to and this makes the ordinary Afghan person desperate, as they fatefully accept that because the rich and powerful are set on war and fear-mongering, there is no other choice.

Whereas almost all human beings understand that killing an ‘enemy’ creates more ‘enemies’ and therefore makes us less secure, sadly, this has now been the globally sanctioned way for more than a century.

There is now no space at all to address the more basic human causes of extreme violence worldwide: hate, pride, discontentment.

We are desperately staring, in US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ own words, at an Afghan ‘mystery’, but still acting as if we know what’s good and moral for the Afghan home.

What led Afghanistan and the world to this desperation?

One significant regression is the growth of a system of life and governance that is motivated by the self-focused fear of losing our lives, our money and our power : the Meocracy of me. It says primitively, “ Me fear I won’t be safe! Me fear I won’t be rich! Me fear I won’t have control!”

9/11 or terrorism

As a culmination and ongoing expression of complex, historical, cultural, religious and multinational self-interests which has estranged or disconnected all meaningful relationships of human trust, and unbeknown to the illiterate Afghan populace who are mostly farmers and shepherds, 19 angry persons ( and behind them many more angry persons ) successfully frightened the world on 9/11.

NONE of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Afghan.

NONE of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Afghan?!

Some Afghans thought, “Could even our most fearsome, turban-clad countrymen have been such competent pilots and engineers, able to bring down the Twin Towers?” Such tall buildings were way beyond any tribal Afghan’s reasonable mud-hut imagination anyway, far less precision flying into them!

But what good chance and fortune that fiery American bombs came to ‘save’ Afghans in revenge for a  9/11 terror enacted by non-Afghans!

8 years later, the Americans and other Great Gamers with various names like NATO ( you should drop this acronym to Afghan village folk to see if it makes any sense to them ), are refashioning their enterprise to clear, hold and build what?

Build by clearing and occupying all semblance of a meaningful life?

Army General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, had already said that Al-Qaeda is no longer operating in Afghanistan. So, what’s this gross escalating violence all about? What is all this dying about?

If the Obama administration is intent on dismantling ‘safe havens’, they have to deal with hate, and any human can tell you that hate, once lodged in the human heart against anyone, is not country-bound. It is certainly not assuaged by killing.

The Meocracy of Me

But to seems that war simply has to carry on, like life. The Meocracy of Me, the self-absorbed protection and perpetuation of fears, through and for the dominance of money and power, drives life and death today.

I am not anti-American. I am anti-violence, violence being any action that puts down another human being. So, despising another person or thinking that the other person is absolutely wrong is violent. Violence robs dignity and dehumanizes and is proud and rude. It feeds fear and leaves no room for love. It is all about Me. In its extreme expression, it deliberately takes away the most basic human right to life, by inflicting death.

In late June 2009, sometime near the 30th of Jaoza 1388 according to the Afghan calendar, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved a US$106 billion emergency spending bill to expand the war in Afghanistan and to continue the war in Iraq.

So the money and power keeps pouring in, to the delight of every powerful, corrupt and already rich one.

More troops.

More bombs.

More money.

More power.

More fear.

More Me.

More desperation.

Just before the elections, Panther’s Claw was waged and declared a ‘success’. COIN? The Afghan women and children and international troopers suffering and dying through COIN say, “What? Why?” We need to be reminded that the dead, of course, can never ask again.

This is like setting a horrid, gory, all brawn and brawn, Hollywood movie-style war scenario and then embedding a ‘democratic election’ smack in the midst of it.

And every other human sitting in their comfortable first-world couch elsewhere is supposed to say of this election, “Hooray to democracy and freedom and human rights in Afghanistan!”

Cast the bombs and IEDs! Cast your votes!

Milestone for democracy in war! Fair elections in the midst of war! How desperate can we get?

So, in this un-stoppable tide of the ‘good’ and ‘winnable’ war arising from the superpower ‘democracy’ of our day, an appropriate presidential client-ally will somehow be ‘democratically’ elected.

Ask the ordinary Afghan and most of them will tell you with a help-less sigh that though the current Karzai government is incorruptibly corrupt and self-serving, Karzai will probably win again, mysteriously, against any common sense of justice.

Ordinary Afghans pragmatically live and understand the oppressed life, that it’s not the upright but the powerful and rich who win, because they can coerce or buy conformity from the fearful and poor masses.

A lost humanity and creativity : the desperate election

Please imagine standing beside a mother or a child or a young soldier dying from a bomb or a bullet. Try saying, “We’re doing this for our revenge and your protection, our security and your freedom. We have no alternatives. It really isn’t about you. It’s about Me.”

What desperate words when we should really be saying, “We’re sorry, we love you and we’ll miss you and it hurts like mad.”

In the midst of all these comes the elections.

A small illustration of creativity lost to Meocracy. In 2007, through a well-intentioned Youth Empowerment Program funded by USAID and implemented by UN Habitat, a village in the valley of Sumara in Bamiyan was approached to set up a village youth council. This was done through the process of ‘democratic elections’ taught to the youth.

But, it was contextually overlooked that these are the youth who casually say, “Since I was born, I’ve known nothing but war.”

Wow! The potential money and power ‘Me’ will get being the Youth Council President, to survive in this war, I mean, in this life.

So, when the youth of Sumara gathered to ‘elect’ their Youth Council for the first time in their till recently self-sufficient village, the elections took on power-hungry tones, which brought out the deep-seated racial prejudices, with their elders stepping in to back their own sons and daughters.

So, the Sumara youth never got a chance to have their ‘capacity-building’ workshops on ‘how to write a proposal ( for dollar-funded projects )’, in English! In the other youth councils I work with, the only, exasperating non-creative solution to any issue or problem is not “ What can we do?” but “ Write a Proposal!”, a crippling dependence on foreign money and power.

That was 2 years ago. I recently visited the Sumara youth over a peace-building program. They still haven’t resolved the fall-out from that ‘democratic election’.

Foreigners and foreign ways cannot build an Afghan village, far less the Afghan nation. Afghans can and need to resolve this on their own, which includes resolving their own wars.

So, we get the desperation that we plant, besides the thousands of graves everywhere.

We suddenly get a country of 17 million plus registered ‘democratic’ voters, never mind the fraud, who would desperately emulate their American Senate patrons in ‘democratically’ voting for more money and power even if it means war, to address the same human fears.

What we get is the desperate, dramatic, electoral trap of rigging power for the dominant Me-s.

We get the desperate election of everything a human does not want.

We get a desperate Afghan election of war and the Meocracy of Me.



The future health care reformers of Afghanistan

doctoreliasdoctor Elias

Watch the clarity of these young future health care reformers of Afghanistan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGp4iHEBIg4

Transcript of video

Salam (peace), Elias! Peace to you too!
How are you? Fine.

What grade are you in? 6th grade.

Is school good? Yes.

You just had an exam? Yes.

Was it good? Yes.

Will you get a good exam result? Yes.

Are you interested in studying or shepherding?

Studying.

Aren’t you interested in shepherding?No.

Aren’t you interested in farming? No.

Aren’t you interested in fruit eating? No.

What do you want to be in the future?

I want to be a doctor.

Study hard, ok? Okay.

In the future, I’ll call you Dr Elias.

God protect you! God protect you!

How about you? Me? Doctor….

When you become a doctor, will you charge the people a lot of money?

No.

No? Really? Why?

So that the people will not become poor.

The future health care reformers of Afghanistan

Only about 0.6% of Afghan GDP is spent on health care

doctorofthepoordoctor of the poor



The blue Afghan skies I trusted and enjoyed

the blue Afghan skies I trusted and enjoyed

Please watch an Afghan girl talk about the blue Afghan sky and her wedding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s9er1SFTbY

Transcript of video

When you see the blue sky, what does your heart think?

The sky is very pretty & good. I become very happy.

The sky has a nice blue.

You’ll marry soon. What do you hope for the future?

I think we should live well, be happy & not be sad.

Do you have something to say to your mother?

I love my mother very much. She’s a good mother.

The Afghan blue skies I trusted and enjoyed

The blue Afghan skies I trusted and enjoyed


afghan blue wedding

I’m an Afghan girl. And ripe for marriage.

I don’t recall many pleasures in my childhood but I remember the blue skies.

I live near Kandahar. Most of you would have heard of this playground of war. But I don’t wish to describe the perpetual fighting. I wish to describe the perpetual sky.

You see, the pleasures which an Afghan child has, especially an Afghan girl, are few.

So whenever I could, I would sprawl on a secret green spot next to my mud house and stare at the blue beyond. Blue, blue, blue.

Afghan eyes, lakes and stones. That range of blue. Beautiful sky blues.

I’ll follow the clouds, magical pillows of comfort and tears. I’ll track the birds that paint and glide.

My mother used to tell me how the skies were divided into 7 layers and how when the dry lands were parched for help, everyone would look up to the heavens, often.

In the different swings of time, the sky would tease me by changing. Its blue changes. Real change in an unchanging war.

My mother would sometimes sit by my side knitting her shawl and I would sometimes lie on her lap looking up, safe, a true ‘refugee’, at peace.

The simple thing about the confidence of the skies was that it didn’t make claims. It didn’t need to say, “I am here for you.” It was there for me, even when it refused to rain in the harsh drought months.

I could hide under its generous freedom. I could shout complaints at it without being told ‘You are wrong!’, again. I could pour out my questions and hurts without being misconstrued as mad, as if I was talking with Allah, the sky’s keeper.

At least, the sky hears my voice.

It always helped when my mother whispered stories in my ears or better still, when she sang me the stories. She helped to seal the safety of earth below under a heaven above.

I’m lucky to be alive. Many mothers and newborns die early, despite hearts that hope. That’s just the way things are. It seems to be the best that life can do.

I remember the recent autumn when the leaves were turning yellow and the afternoons were beginning to cool a little. I watched the sky as its blue matured before the approach of dusk, as if coaxing me to rest, to cry if need be, but to rest.

The orange glow of our setting suns is wonderful too but that late afternoon, I did not want the blue to go away. I wanted it to stay because it was singing and dancing and twirling.

It made me surprisingly happy. Okay, maybe I was being childish, but I didn’t want to lose those colorful hues. I thought, “I’ll miss this blue sky like I miss my mum when I’m away collecting wood, too soon and too insensibly.”

A gust of wind came gushing by with a trail of dust, suddenly shielding me from the hanging sea view. My eyes shut instinctively, then, in the next second, needing to deliberately embrace the delight of the open skies, I forced them open.

Oh, the blue.

Thinking about such moments makes me smile many inner smiles.

People say that the Afghan smile is enchanting but there is nothing uniquely Afghan about that smile. It’s the smile of the skies. It arises from an ignored but dignified life.

That’s why this great expanse, drawn out like a cut blue ‘chadari’ ( burqa ) that flaps in the limitless winds, is worth the risk of a little dust. Dust may make my eyes smart and tear, but it’s worth it.

News of late hadn’t been good. Unrest. Insurgents. All sorts of shifty characters. And of course, killings. My mother says that Man and Woman have never been able to rid ourselves of what we don’t want, the selfishness and silence of violence.

Funny how both the perpetrators and spectators of this domineering violence are unaware of their own selfishness and silence. I really shouldn’t say funny. It’s not at all funny for the victims.

There are even rumours that strange planes have been spewing out remotely controlled bombs. And no pilots or humans in them! Ha! I usually don’t bother with such nonsense or make believe.

We shouldn’t have to cope with such cold possibilities; it’s just too unforgiving on our chronic grief.

It’s bad enough that people get blown to red pieces. People elsewhere hate us so much they say that even those red pieces are rotten, that we people are dirty.

Nowadays, we have to get permission even to bury those scattered, dirty pieces, just so others can quibble about the number who have been killed. And insist to each other, ‘You are wrong!’

Wrong not on the killing, but on the exact number killed.

As I mentioned, I was ready for marriage. Preparations had been underway and I was hopeful.

And please, don’t rob me of my hope, even if it were false hope. It can work out. I thought of my mum and how she had found and shown love in her family, my family.

The big, blue day had come.

My relatives and friends had gathered for my wedding. This was no make-believe! This was my wedding! My wedding!

That morning, my husband had received me into his village, and our future life. We had had gifts, food, dancing, and drums.

I was excited and nervous. My sisters were with me. The music was bright and homely. I was dressed to the glittering ‘brim’. J

I was all the time conscious of my mother’s joy and sorrow. All my life, I’ve never let that go.

Through my veil, I could see the rhythmic clapping. It was a noisy merriment to drown all worries. I was compelled to sneak a look at the sky, at which I felt all calm and clouded.

When the carnage began, I was still feeling excited and nervous.

Damn…it must be the Taliban! Things and bodies were spurting everywhere.

I wanted to see my mother.

My sisters and I ran. Illogically, I still thought about preserving that wedding dress while scrambling, about retaining some trace of honour.

Blue, blue. Red and red. More red than blue.

I looked up. The planes, drones? Oh…they’re not rumours…and as the dizzying bombs made their precise way to my heart and everything and everyone I loved, I needed to deliberately embrace the delight of the open skies.

A sucking wind came gushing by with a stench of death, suddenly shielding me from the hanging sea view. My eyes shut instinctively, then, in the next second, I forced them open.

Oh,…the blue. The now misty blue I trusted and enjoyed.

Associated Press Nov 5 2008

Villagers in the south said U.S. troops bombed a wedding party and killed 40 people, mostly children, and wounded 28 others, The New York Times reported.

The U.S. military said it was investigating, and a villager said American forces had given them permission to bury the dead, which he said included 23 children and 10 women. A U.S. spokesman added that “if innocent people were killed in this operation, we apologize and express our condolences.”

The bombing of the remote village of Wech Baghtu in the southern province of Kandahar on Monday afternoon destroyed an Afghan housing complex where women and children had gathered to celebrate, villagers said. Body parts littered the wreckage and nearby farm animals lay dead.

Nato head pledge on Afghan deaths, BBC 060809

New Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said he is determined to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan to an absolute minimum

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

Operations carried out by PGF [pro-government forces] have resulted in a growing number of civilian casualties since 2007. Whereas the overall proportion of civilian deaths attributed to the PGF has declined in recent years, mainly due to concerted mitigation efforts, the actual number of civilian deaths continues to increase.

Tom Hayden, Boston Globe, How many civilian deaths are acceptable?

IT WAS A CRYPTIC Pentagon answer to Senator John Kerry’s straightforward question, in notes from the Senate hearing on May 21:

Question. According to The New York Times July 20, 2003, Secretary Rumsfeld personally approved over 50 US airstrikes in Iraq which were expected to kill up to 50 innocent Iraqi civilians each. According to Pentagon policy at the time, any strikes expected to result in 50 or more civilian deaths as unavoidable collateral damage were to be approved personally by the Secretary. The media was informed of this policy in July 2003 when the chief US commander disclosed the sign-off policy. Does that policy continue today in Afghanistan, and, if so, in what form? Do White House or Pentagon officials sign off on bombing runs where civilian casualties are expected to be higher than 50? Which officials?

Answer. (DELETED)

If the policy continues, does Secretary of Defense Robert Gates personally approve? Is the president in the loop? Do they believe there is an acceptable level of unavoidable civilian casualties, and, if so, what is that level and who sets it?

That is why the Pentagon’s refusal to answer whether the 2003 policy requiring a sign-off for 50 civilian deaths is so significant. The classified answer was in response to a question by Kerry two weeks after the massive casualties from the May 4 air strike. The answer remains classified.

Majority of Americans : Hiroshima Nagasaki atom bombs was right, Huffington Post

A majority of Americans surveyed believe dropping atomic bombs on Japan during World War II was the right thing to do.

Among Democrats surveyed, 49 percent approved, while 74 percent of Republicans supported Truman’s decision.

Among women questioned, 51 percent supported the bombing, compared to 72 percent of men surveyed.

The poll showed about 70 percent of white Protestants, Catholics and evangelical Christians support the bombing, while 58 percent of Jews approved.

Zarlasht Hafeez, a female Pashto poet, author of Waiting for Peace

“The sorrow and grief, these black evenings,
Eyes full of tears and times full of sadness,
These burnt hearts, the killing of youths,
These unfulfilled expectations and unmet hopes of brides,
With a hatred for war, I call time and again,
I wait for peace for the grief-stricken Pashtuns”

Malalai Joya, Afghanistan’s ‘bravest woman’, author of Raising My Voice

“There are the occupation forces from the sky, dropping cluster bombs and depleted uranium, and on the ground there are the fundamentalist warlords and the Taliban, with their own guns.

If I should die, and you should choose to carry on my work, you are welcome to visit my grave. Pour some water on it and shout three times. I want to hear your voice.”

joya blue

Malalai Joya