Kabul— On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan. Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.
Afghan Peace Volunteers
By Dr Hakim 11th July, 2014 Afghanistan Analysts Network reported on 9th July that “he ( Abdullah Abdullah ) told the crowd that he had received phone calls from both US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry and had been told that Kerry would make a stop-over in Kabul on Friday. It was clear he wanted see what could come of that.” Abdullah Abdullah’s phone call with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who arrived in Kabul today, shows that it is the U.S. government, and not Afghans, who run this country. This is Amerikistan, not Afghanistan.
by Maya Evans
We are sitting on the floor in a simple outhouse room attached to the Afghan Peace Volunteer’s compound, the unheated space is normally used for teaching local children various classes. Habib and his mother Mariam sit in front of us motionless, Mariam wears the burqa so it is not possible to read her face and ascertain how she might be feeling, the tentative expression on Habib’s face tells us that their life is hard.
Shortly after noon on the day of his funeral, I talked about Ron and his life and death with my friend Ali, one of the young Afghan Peace Volunteers whose hospitality I’ve been enjoying in Kabul this winter. Sensing my sadness, Ali listened intently. When I finally finished, he looked at me and said, “You rest. The rest of the day is free for you.” Within an hour, Ali’s concerns had found their way to the rest of the young men in our small community. Zekerullah came to our shared bedroom and lit a fire. “It’s cold in here,” was all he said. Each one of these unbelievable young men came to the room and shared his condolences for a man he’d never met.
Read the original blog at Our Journey to Smile.
Hakim : Torpekai, where have you arrived at?
Torpekai : Delhi.
Hakim : How do you feel?
Torpekai : I feel good.
Hakim : Zarghuna? Was it a good flight?
Zarghuna : Yes, we’ve arrived safely. I feel that every place of the world has a home for human beings.
Hey, so these, you know, concerns about this dramatically shocking increasing malnutrition rate, something that for instance, I’m reading this blog from Kathy Kelly, it would take 5 cents to subsidize iodized salt for one child for one year. You know the entire 4-year funding of the World Food Programme and the Global Alliance would, I mean it’d be nothing compared to what we pay to keep a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Can you talk about the problem and the shocking figures?
by Ewa Jasiewicz
I’ve been in Kabul a week now, living in the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteer (APV) house on the border of District 3. The area is a mish-mash of wealthy mirror-windowed mansions fronted by surly gun-on-the-lap security guards, crumbling mudhuts, open sewers, children in ragged clothes warming themselves on burning rubbish, a fake McDonalds and Subway with directly lifted logos, and Kabul’s sole waterpark, for men only and 500 Afghanis a dip.
This month, from Atlanta, GA, the King Center announced its “Choose Nonviolence” campaign, a call on people to incorporate the symbolism of bell-ringing into their Martin Luther King Holiday observance, as a means of showing their commitment to Dr. King’s value of nonviolence in resolving terrible issues of inequality, discrimination and poverty here at home. The call was heard in Kabul, Afghanistan.
On the same day they learned of the King Center’s call, the young members of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, in a home I was sharing with them in Kabul, were grieving the fresh news of seven Afghan children and their mother, killed in the night during a U.S. aerial attack - part of a battle in the Siahgird district of the Parwan province. The outrage, grief, loss and pain felt in Siahgird were echoed, horribly, in other parts of Afghanistan during a very violent week.
In 2002, Najib, about 12 years old, already had the ‘profile’ of what some of us, particularly political and religious elites, may consider the ‘enemy’: orphaned, poor, Afghan, Pashtun, Muslim, and from Kandahar, the supposed heartland of the Taliban.
Najib befriended me on the streets of Quetta, Pakistan, where he collected trash to find bread.
If he was alive today, 23, Fighting-Age Male, he may very well be on Obama’s kill list.
Kabul, Afghanistan is “home” to hundreds of thousands of children who have no home. Many of them live in squalid refugee camps with families that have been displaced by violence and war. Bereft of any income in a city already burdened by high rates of unemployment, families struggle to survive without adequate shelter, clothing, food or fuel. Winter is especially hard for refugee families. Survival sometimes means sending their children to work on the streets, as vendors, where they often become vulnerable to well organized gangs that lure them into drug and other criminal rings.