Archive Page 2

17
Aug
12

King Ghazi Ammanullah Khan (June 1, 1892 – April 25, 1960)

King Ghazi Ammanullah Khan (June 1, 1892 – April 25, 1960)

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30
Jul
12

A Call on Afghan committed Journalists

Yesterday an American newspaper published an article with hugely disturbing pictures from ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] injured treatment in Sardar Dawood Khan Military Hospital in Kabul. The motivation for showing these pictures and publishing this report now, may have reasons which are locally relevant for American politics, but what about the actual story? The American public are perhaps rightly concerned because not all fundings that are Tax payer’s money is reaching to a place where it should. But where is the response from Afghanistan government? President Karzai and not only him, but every one of us are responsible for letting this happen. Who are these injured soldiers? Are they ‘Pakistani agents’!!? Are they foreigners that we tend to ‘hate’??! No. They are all Afghans, not only that they are Afghans, but they are the ones who do not relate or are a closed friends with anyone in power. Because for those who are relatives of the elite, they all make their ways to India and other countries for treatment, but a big majority of forces who decided to become a soldier after hearing all these fake patriotic speeches, they are motivated to join the army, they are either killed [with no one even there to count how many of them we have lost] or end up in this hospital where luck is the only way for their survival…

It is completely insane to see the ANSF  as the army of one man, the president or whoever on the top leadership, it is an Afghan Army, all those fighting and get killed or injured are Afghans fighting for Afghanistan.

As a civil society activist and as an Afghan, I have all my reservations and disagreements with the government’s actions and with ANSF’s performances, but I can not see the ordinary, ground forces, our Afghan youth are sentenced to gradual death in a hospital a few meters from the presidential palace!

I draw attention of all Afghan journalists to take lead in keeping account of your own army, how many are killed, injured or kidnapped, this way we at least stop them feeling that why should they fight for nothing, I know my brother, your brother or some others will not join the army to defend their country, that’s today’s reality but what about those who join for whatever motivation? Do we see them as simple Afghan youth who are ready to die for their country or do we see them as our enemies like to see them as contractors for foreign sponsors??  If international media is not bothered with Afghan forces, it is because they  have their own interest and priorities, but I find it very sad that our own Afghan journalists and media outlets are starting to act as foreign media when it comes to reporting of incidents, moving away from reflecting on the Afghan side of casualties and so on.

It is easy for all of us to set idol and predict what will happen in this or that year [You know what I mean, this fever of 2014], but you know that it is us, the Afghans who can let the country fall or keep surviving and rise as an independent country holding its international as well as regional recognition and place.

17
Jul
12

“Afghanistan must stop the murder of its female leaders”

I wrote this article originally a day after she was murdered… looking into the news/coverage and all annoyed me so I thought one way to contribute would be to write this, with the hope that those in power listen to it, if they don’t, at least I have convayed the message… I espcially found the reaction by media in labling her quite redicolous, I will later share a link in which big part of media echoed the same label and I don’t see this as form of proper reporting and journalism…
Here is the link to Op Ed I wrote:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/17/afghanistan-murder-female-leaders?CMP=twt_gu

15
Jul
12

Who was the Afghan women leader assassinated two days ago?

Short biography of Mrs. Hanifa Safi, an Afghan woman leader who was assassinated on July 13th, 2012 in Laghman province:

Hanifa Safi D/o Abdul Aziz was born in 1961 in an intellectual family in Balkh’s Mazar-e-Sharif. She was graduated from Ajani high school of Samangan province in 1978. Mrs. Safi completed her graduate studies in Darulmalemin-e-Aali [Teacher Training] of Balkh province. She spent most of her life as a teacher and in 2004 she became the provincial director of Ministry of Education in Laghman province. Because of her continuous struggle for women’s rights, in 2005 she decided to run for provincial council elections, she stayed as a member of provincial council of Laghman province until the second round elections. In 2008, as result of a transparent competition for the post of directorate for ministry of women’s affairs provincial department, she won the post and continued to serve by defending the rights of women and supporting their access to justice, education and so on. Mrs. Safi and her husband were targeted for assassination on July 13, 2012, when they started to leave their house in Mehterlam city of Laghman province.

محترمه حنیفه صافی فرزند عبدالعزیز در سال 1340خورشیدی در یک خانواده روشنفکر در مزار شریف متولد شد. وی در سال 1358 از لیسه اجانی ملکی شهر سمنگان و در سال 1362 از دارالمعلمین عالی ولایت بلخ فارغ گردید. خانم صافی سال ها عمرش را در مکاتب به حیث معلم سپری کرد و در سال 1383 به حیث مدیر معارف ریاست امور زنان ولایت لغمان مقرر شد. در سال 1384 به نمایندگی شورای ولایتی لغمان رسید و فعالیت های خود را به دفاع از حقوق زنان متمرکز ساخت. در پی همین فعالیت های خانم صافی بود که در سال 1387 در رقابتی آزاد به حیث رییس امور زنان ولایت لغمان تقرر حاصل نمود و به فعالیتش در راستای دفاع از حقوق زنان به صورت جدی ادامه داد. در واقع خانم صافی، از جمله خانم هایی است که قربانی عدالت طلبی و حق خواهی گردیده است.

28
Sep
11

flashbacks from the old days [A poem for children] (2)

As promised earlier in this part I will share a poem which I wrote on the day that I visited the ‘plastic tent’, this was the name of a part of Jalozai refugee camp where mainly refugees from Shamali were settled, it was a cold winter in the Peshawar sense of cold…  No mater how long time passes, but there are certain images saved in ones mind, for me this girl’s image is one of them.:

Dedicated to the children of Jalozai Refugee Camp – Peshawar 

 

I come from a colorful desert,

Called “Jalozai”,

Jalozai, the tragedy of human DISASTER!

Jalozai, the shelter for homeless Afghans,

Jalozai, the living place for

Those who lost everything,

Jalozai, the living place for little, dusty;

But beautiful children;

You could still see a smile

Out of their dusty faces

Jalozai, the famous “living graveyard”.

Children at Jalozai:

They are coughing shouting and crying

all the time,

In the morning they say:

“Mother, I’m hungry”

All they get is a simple answer:

“Go and find it yourself”

A child is out,

Someone, maybe a kind hearted man

Gives her ONE Rupee,

She thinks:

“My mother is hungry,

My sister is hungry with her broken leg,

My little brother is wrapped in a rag and cries,

my mother’s breasts don’t have

more milk to feed him,

My father….

I still don’t know if he is alive??

What should I do with ONE rupee?”

She thinks and thinks….

She is sitting next to a green plastic tent,

Thinking deeply.

It is lunch time now,

She hears her stomach’s cries!

“I am starving, have to eat something”

She goes and asks a man who sells rice:

“Uncle, please give me some rice”

‘Uncle’ is tired too:

“How much money you got?”

“One Rupee, only one Rupee Uncle”,

“Ha, ha, ha,

Pretty girl, with one Rupees you can buy nothing!”

She is very disappointed,

Very hopeless,

Next to the rice shop,

Her hungry eyes found oranges,

Very nice with orange color!

Again she recalls:

“Father, could you bring me oranges from Pakistan?”

“Yes, my daughter, if we go there,

I will buy you a carton as a gift”!

Another girl pushes her and asks her to leave his father’s shop,

She finally decides,

Buying an orange with one rupees,

A middle size, with some brown signs on it,

She was very happy

Jumping and running to her tent,

It was 5’o clock in the evening,

It wasn’t lunchtime anymore

She enters the yellow color tent,

Her mother is out,

Her sister lying in a corner,

Her brother isn’t crying anymore….

“Hey, I brought an orange”!

“Hey sister and brother wake up, wake up”!

“See, how tasty, how sweet”!!

But, her sister

Turned her head and looked at her

With tearful eyes

“We have lost our brother”

She said with silent, weak and unheard voice,

The girl…shocked;

She was stop,

Turned into a dry tree.

She was Shakeela,

Shakeela still is stop,

She can’t speak,

She always is silent

With tearful eyes.

 By Orzala A.

Jalozai Camp – Peshawar,

 4th Feb. 2001

                  

23
Sep
11

Flashbacks from the old days (1)

As I promise in this Blog, one of the things I will do is to post some flashbacks from the past, skip this if you are not interested in picturing how things were on this (or these) days ten years ago. I have sent this below message to various contacts who were eagerly waiting to hear and understand more how things where. Ironically this was written on what we know today as International Peace Day, but back in those days we did not know much about peace day…

“Dearest HAWCA friends, Greetings from Peshawar! We hope following updates are helpful for you. What we are trying to explain to you is just for your information, you may use these information in the media and your actions. What is happening here? Mostly in Pakistan, some are taking the name of Islam, and once again they misuse our respected religion. Yes, they believe: “the fight is between Osama and the US, Osama is a Muslim (no mater if he is terrorist or not) and the US is not, so we have to defend him, we have to defend Muslims comparing with Americans”…. This is almost what people (mostly unaware people of Pakistan are thinking)and Afghans aren’t agree with this at all, they mostly express their idea as a good proverb in our language which is something: “What you sow that you gain” which means America is receiving the result of its’ own faults.  All of Afghanistan people are feeling so sad to see that they are victims without having any mistake. That’s why in many cases there are arguments between Afghans and Pakistanis in the streets, shops, outside etc. The latest news from border says that they still don’t allow those who are not carrying their passports with them, but the illegal ways are open, some are arriving through the mountains, paying a large amount of money to human smugglers.(for one day all these ways were also closed). It has to be mentioned that by this way, only men and strong people can come, not mostly women and children. Inside the country, people are really worried, those with young girls are most afraid of assaults similar to ones experienced in the past. There are some witnesses saying that they are distributing arms to all men in the villages, and also they collect a man from each family for the “holly war”, this fact is very seriously worrying for all families inside the country, but as all their restrictions this is too something by force and no one can oppose it. Also, the recent restriction is: “The punishment for any one who supports the US and helps them in a way, is DEATH, they are equal to American for us.” Several numbers of people are trying to leave the major cities and go to the villages nearby, also all the families are collecting food stuff and getting ready for many days of curfew. Since all aid workers stop their humanitarian work inside Afghanistan, once again, the country comes under a very big alarming point due to famine, lack of food, medicine etc. The aid workers are just trying to be in the border, not inside the country.  Due to all these restrictions, for HAWCA is not possible to work inside the country for the moment except carrying out its routine literacy classes, but here in Pakistan, we are getting ready to arrange for some emergency help for the new arrivals, however, yet it is difficult to find where exactly all of them are staying, as they do not arrive in massive groups and are dispersed. Today, Friday due to a very big strike by religious parties here, all institutions remained close, so HAWCA activities were in holiday too.  But next days we will follow the normal routine. We hope to be able to keep you informed by the new changes, also we appreciate all your efforts in supporting us to help our people and to condemn the war in our country, war is simply not a solution and it rather furthers our suffering. Remember that PEOPAL ARE POWER, if you all get to gather and say something, the world community will have the ears to hear you! With love and respect to all of YOU, For HAWCA – Peshawar, Orzala.  21-September-2001”

 


15
Sep
11

Afghanistan’s 9/13…

Covering terrorist attacks in Afghanistan for its media have become like a real-time action movie (if such thing exists), pictures of shootings, dead and injured people, showing of people running away from the site or sometime towards the sight etc. makes everyone glued to the TVs to see what finally happens, but the events of 9/13-14th which lasted for around 20 hours seemed to be far longer than keeping a regular track of how things developed. The trouble with coverage of such events is that often it ends as an action movie…i.e. as the event ends and is forgotten, I haven’t seen enough of investigative reporting that can explain the routes, and in-depth analysis of where and how such events are planned and masterminded.

These events have reminded Kabul residents of the civil war period. The day was in its business as usual mode as shootings and explosions break out in the mid-day. I skipped the areas just by minutes, though I noticed that several roads were blocked even from the early morning. I noticed a sort of new colour military uniformed soldiers were more visible in several parts of town than usual. My driver says this is a new Amnyat (NSD) uniform. They seemed more nervous and did not let any cars into the blocked areas. As we got to the Shirpor Square, I noticed that the spokes person of foreign ministry (whom I know) was also in his car stopped by the road blockers! So I didn’t even bother asking they should let me in. It may sound strange but many friends and colleagues including myself were somehow expecting a boom to break almost in every little while on that day. This is not a feeling that you’d have everyday, but there are days that you will have it.

For most of how it all went, you maybe find my tweets interesting, but here are a few thoughts:

Often people tend to think that as these events are part of our daily live, we are used to it. I am not so sure, as every time it happens, no matter where I am, I get so worried and think of every single person I know who could be closed by. Worried about people I know and people I imagine are caught under fire. Pictures of young school kids running away from the sight (Saw it in one of tv channels) is still on my mind and you can’t imagine how powerfully it’ll damage their minds to experience something like this. I understand this, as in my own first experience, I was in the classroom when I rocket was launched just in the courtyard of our school…. Years after, I still can’t control my emotions hearing an explosion and jump out of fear…

Another key matter that should be considered seriously and I have not seen anyone doing anything in this regard is: Under such circumstances, what should people do??  I wonder why TVs and Media or government (as responsible for our security) are not putting a few recommendations for people to stay standby, to not run to the scene (believe me after 3 decades of war people still curious to arrive to the event site so eagerly)… and so on. I have spoken to a number of friends/relatives working in government offices, all were either asked to leave their offices or took responsibility to leave their offices… that means none of our government offices have any kind of contingency security plan. Something that could help them stay safer than running out into the streets as the operation is going on.

How it is not avoided: So from what we have seen, NSD knew of the attacks. Through some exapt friends I realised that also embassies received alarms about possible attacks (at least a couple of days before), then it seems many knew it could happen, but failed to avoid it… Probably this is due to the imbalances between the working capacity of ANSF, meaning they are good in knowing what will happen but not in avoiding it.

One of the big issues raised a number of time by Kabul police chief is this Borqa story. They claim terrorists were wearing Borqas and as we don’t have enough female police, we can’t check them. Chief of police says that the insurgents wore Borqas and carried all weapons under their Borqas into the town. But there are plenty of question in people’s minds like: 1)how the 82mm canons, plenty number of Ak-47s, grenades etc. were just fit in a van and under the Borqas??; 2) all our Kabul gates from different sides have male and female officers at check points. That means the team did not entre Kabul gates with Borqas. 3) There are these two big white balloons up on the air that watches all activities, what are they engaged in? If they are not helping us with this kind of security, then what is their functionality?? 4)Why ANSF simply not confess about their inefficiency and that corruption at higher as well as lower levels results into allowing these people to enter  the city?? 5)What is the role of all these ‘ring of steel’ kind of blockades that keeps jamming the traffic most of the time just for searching alcoholic drinks and expired driving licences, aren’t they trained to find suspicious groups?? And many more….

More importantly, I don’t think people could be just fooled by accepting that the Borqas are key reason for women, children and all innocent lives that are taken due to this attack, if so, then what alternative or mitigating plans are there to avoid from future threats??

As an Afghan citizen, the way I felt about this and many pervious events is that the entire security arrangements are just aiming to protect foreign embassies and government buildings, all road blockades, concrete walls that keeps occupying more and more space on our roads, pavements and pedestrians are just seemed to be there to make life difficult or even impossible for Afghans to move around and live in peace.  The terrorists have a clear agenda, they often achieve their goal, not because they are popular or have any support from people, but just because the encountering parties are unable to take clear measures to stop them from their actions.




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