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.


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


crying in AfghanistanCrying in Afghanistan


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