We, the Afghan Peace Volunteers, are finding strength amidst our dark nights because, in the daylight of a global awakening, we see people throughout the world refusing to comply with oppressive systems. We see that we aren’t alone in rejecting governments and militant groups that wage wars and make deals at the expense of ordinary people.
Artificial borders may attempt to divide us, but through connections with ordinary people worldwide, we are affirmed as free human beings, free to nurture ways of living that aren’t monopolized by a few.
Daylight, in our hearts and everywhere, is laying bare the abusive, authoritarian power and wealth amassed by elitist hoarders who control governments and militaries. These elite secure the interests of the privileged and neglect the interests of commoners who need food, water, education, decent shelter and employment, and peaceful relationships.
“The leaders of the world, like Assad, Obama and others, should not involve the people in their wars,” said Ghulamai, age 16, as we talked together last night “We people are very tired of the games that politicians play, killing the people while they profit. They are killing us.”
We regret our complicity
With our superficial “Hollywooding” of elected or non-elected officials, we regret having too often tolerated public policies that aggravate grossly unequal and unfair socio-economic, environmental, education and healthcare conditions for the 99%.
“I don’t feel like going to school as I hardly learn anything useful,” says Abdulhai, age 17. “And even if education is just so that I can earn money in the future, it is connections and bribes that get us jobs, not what we’re qualified to do. Look at the numbers of unemployed people in the streets of Kabul!”
We regret our complicity in extracting minerals and material from Mother Earth, just to satisfy our materialistic consumerism, stressing and exhausting our natural environment to a critical ‘5 minutes to midnight’.
“A mine collapse, yesterday, in northern Afghanistan killed at least twenty seven Afghan coal miners,” lamented 17 year old Ali. “Who will care about them?” he asked. “Who will take care of their families?”
We also regret our complicity in the militarization of everything, from toys to science to jobs. Even the United Nations, with her ‘Security’ Council, has sometimes been a tool of war.
Raz Mohammad, whose brother-in-law was killed by a NATO drone in Afghanistan years ago, said, “Ordinary people are cornered by guns and bombs from all sides. The United States and Russia have chemical weapons, so it’s hypocritical for Putin or Obama to demand the surrender of chemical weapons from Syria when they are not surrendering theirs.”
In our small ways, we’ll live as free people in the daylight
So, in our individual and community activism and lifestyles, we’ll work across borders towards a composed, calm, clear and compassionate solidarity with the rest of an awakening human family:
No further consent to the decisions of the wealthy and authoritarian 1%.
No more extraction and heating of our blue-green planet.
No more wars.
In an old world order, kings ruled over their subjects, forcing subservience. President Obama and his allies, President Putin and his allies, Al Qaeda and the Taliban with their allies, operate in the old world, and we’re certain that they are worried about the global sea of awakening that is beyond their control. Edward Snowden said in a Guardian interview on 17 June, “All I can say right now is the U.S. Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”
Though still relatively separate, there are many non-violent, direct actions by ordinary people all over the world, building real alternatives to our destructive socio-economic inequalities, global warming businesses and lifestyles, and wars.
As Afghan Peace Volunteers, we have been living as a multi-ethnic community for the past year and a half, educating ourselves to become engaged members of the human family who wish to build a fair economy in which the basic human needs of all, and not just the 1%, are decently met. As part of this effort, we are trying to establish a viable Afghan women’s tailoring co-operative, including implementing a duvet project last winter.
We have stepped out into the streets of Kabul to protest war and to reject all forms of killing and violence, and are learning ways of resolving conflicts nonviolently, through global friendship, listening, and reconciliatory justice.
We want to reach beyond false borders and boundaries and work together, building a strong 99%, to create a better world. We wish to live without wars.
We’re excited, in our nights, that daylight is almost here.
Dr. Teck Young Wee, a Singaporean medical doctor, has been involved in health and development work in Afghanistan since 2004. The name he uses, Hakim, was given to him by Afghans he served in refugee camps. In the Dari language, “Hakim” means “local healer.” He now lives and works in Kabul establishing small social enterprise and is a friend-mentor of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. (ourjourneytosmile.com)