Voices for Creative Nonviolence has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003. More about Voices

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Telephone Calls From Iraq

I was just called to the downstairs phone in our house. A woman from Baghdad crying out in Arabic, Please help us, please help us! Explosions! Explosions! I couldn’t make out much more and felt totally helpless to know how to respond, not to mention how inept I am in Arabic. So often in the last months this has been the case. Telephone calls from Turkey, from Lebanon, from Iraq….from relatives of Iraqis in the states, in Canada. Can you help us? Sometimes I don’t have it in me to answer the phone. We have friends within Iraq who are being targeted, who live in open vulnerable areas, who contact us to ask if we can find a country that will take them and their families? Tragically, we [the US] have made all Iraqis the “enemy” and, despite our contacts, we have not yet been able to find countries that will grant them visas, or offer them resettlement.


"Love will end drone attacks"“Love will end drone attacks”

Going and coming from our communities to “the center” is a 35 minute walk through village-like streets if you take the back ways. The Borderfree Community Center, when it was first rented, needed considerable rehab and repairs. Hakim, Faiz, Zekerullah and Abdulhai worked very hard to shape it up. Now, guests enter an attractive space, neatly painted, with plenty of classroom and meeting space. Plants, curtains, photo exhibits, and choices for rugs and carpets have all been carefully chosen. Sadaf, one of the APV women who has been very active Borderfree scarf production, organized art students from local Universities to paint images on the walls of a children’s classroom as well as the reception area. Painted on a wall inside the center’s gate is a playful graffiti with lots of floating bubbles. Letters floating in some of the bubbles spell out “We love Peace,” although certain bubbles have wafted up and down, making it a challenge for linear thinkers. Another artist, a well-known cartoonist, painted an image on the outside wall of the Borderfree Community Center, (a wall that can be seen by anyone passing by), of a figure shooting a slingshot at a drone, but instead of a rock, a red heart breaks the drone in half.

In Emergency

Farshaid: a 12 year old patient at the “Emergency” hospitalFarshaid: a 12 year old patient at the “Emergency” hospital

“Ah,” said Michaela Paschetto, a young Italian nurse, “today was a bad day for them. Maybe they miss their friend.” She said she has been affectionately calling them “the gang” because sometimes they race about in their wheelchairs. Then she paused. “Really, I don’t ask so many questions,” she continued. “It becomes too much.” Over the past five years working with “Emergency” in Afghanistan, she has seen so many broken-hearted young boys whose bodies are maimed by war.

We’re Human Fodder Caught in the Crossfire of Armed Groups and Armed Governments

By Dr Hakim

“Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan/U.S.-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising.

Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma holds up the sign for ‘Ukraine’, indicating ‘No to wars in Ukraine’. She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.

Gul Jumma: on the rightGul Jumma: on the right

Sherri Maurin's Kabul Diary, Monday, August 11th

Children in the Street Kids program studying Dari and math.Children in the Street Kids program studying Dari and math.The Street Kids program is wonderfully structured. All students, who register and regularly attend classes, receive a large bag of rice and a gallon of cooking oil once a month. If families agree to let their kids be part of the education program, they are given these foodstuffs so their child won’t have to spend too much time on the street shining shoes or selling trinkets. It is a very successful effort, and the kids are eager to learn.

Sherri Maurin’s Kabul Diaries, August 7-10, 2014


Afghanistan is a stark example of a country that is being mis-governed by the governments of the world. Deforestation has left only 1.5% of Afghanistan’s land area under forest cover. Sixty percent of Afghan children are malnourished. In 2012, at least 2500 Afghan women committed suicide. And over the past four decades, Afghan families have lost at least 2 million loved ones to wars…

I will be sharing more of their stories in upcoming blogs, but I am profoundly moved by their efforts to build a community of nonviolence, despite all of these horrific personal tragedies. They have repeatedly told me, “Blood will not wash away blood.” I came to share my experiences of nonviolence, but they are becoming my teachers.

Jobless Kabul and the Works of War

Kabul—Last week, here in Kabul, the Afghan Peace Volunteers welcomed activist Carmen Trotta, from New York, who has lived in close community with impoverished people in his city for the past 25 years, serving meals, sharing housing, and offering hospitality to the best of his ability. Put simply and in its own words, his community, founded by Dorothy Day, exists to practice “the works of mercy” and to “end the works of war.” We wanted to hear Carmen’s first impressions of traveling the streets of Kabul on his way from the airport to the working class neighborhood where he’ll be staying as the APVs’ welcome guest.

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