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Watch a recent glass-shattering experience of the Afghan Peace Volunteers:

Dear friends,

Watch a recent glass-shattering experience of the Afghan Peace Volunteers:

Bombs kill.
Can’t we see it? Don’t we hear it?
The shattering of glass.
My throat was tight, my head hurt & I shivered badly for 6 to 7 hours.
I was feeling torn, “Was my son on the street?”

Pandora’s Hope Meets Afghan Action

Snowy Morning in KabulSnowy Morning in Kabul

By Mary Dobbins

One morning we headed out to listen in on a joint meeting between the seamstresses at Afghan Action and Pandora’s Hope, the APV based seamstresses. The morning was bright and cold with freshly fallen snow covering the roads and buildings. A deep blue sky spread above the snow covered mountains and the morning mist was dissolving in strong sunshine. From the car we could see men shovelling snow – with attention to the getting it off the roofs. Small avalanches of fluffy new snow fell onto the sidewalks from the flat roofs.

For Mothers Everywhere, Bereaved by Senseless Violence

Afghan Mother with Her Two DaughtersAfghan Mother with Her Two Daughters

By Mary Dobbing

The mother told us about her pain. She told us of the tragedy and shock of her young sons being randomly killed by a suicide bomber who had targeted one of the numerous NATO convoys in the streets of Kabul. The two boys had been walking to school and the suicide bomber triggered his device killing them along with other bystanders. They went out to school on an ordinary day and never came home. She said that even now she still cannot bear to let the other children out of her sight, let alone go to school. She asked “what will become of them?” When we asked them, the girl said she wanted to be a teacher and the boy wanted to be a doctor.

Tales in a Kabul Restaurant

Twelve children killed in the Kunar province, April 2013: Photo credit:  Namatullah Karyab for The New York TimesTwelve children killed in the Kunar province, April 2013: Photo credit: Namatullah Karyab for The New York Times

Kabul—Since 2009, Voices for Creative Nonviolence has maintained a grim record we call the “The Afghan Atrocities Update” which gives the dates, locations, numbers and names of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces. Even with details culled from news reports, these data can’t help but merge into one large statistic, something about terrible pain that’s worth caring about but that is happening very far away.

When Are You Coming Back to See Us?

by Jerica Arents

Jerica in Bamyan, 2010Jerica in Bamyan

The APVs, despite the seemingly insurmountable difficulties around them, are paving a new way for young people in Afghanistan.

How can a veteran of war in Afghanistan help us understand good conscience?

April 7, 2013

Below are excerpts of an interview of Nao Rozi, an Afghan National Army veteran, and now a member of the Afghan Peace Volunteers.

Excerpts of Video Transcript

Nao Rozi: I was an Afghan soldier for 2 years and had combat roles.

Hakim: What did you learn from your experience?

Nao Rozi: If I think about the root issues, philosophy since the time of Plato has tried to bring the minds of the public under government control. Sometimes, I thought that soldiers and wars were necessary but when I joined the military as a soldier, I saw the injuring and killing of soldiers and opponents like the Taliban. I thought, “Is my presence necessary? Is it correct to have a weapon?” I held a weapon before people I didn’t know and who didn’t know me… We weren’t enemies because we didn’t even know one another. Even before greetings, we were supposed to kill one another.

I concluded that I should leave the army and after that, I had a crisis.

I had almost changed 180 degrees. I was affected by the war. I tried committing suicide a few times. I felt alone.

Guantanamo Fast in Afghanistan

by the Afghan Peace Volunteers

“I fasted because I wanted to share their pain in a tiny way.” Khamad

“As I was giving my room a new coat of paint, I knew that the prisoners at Guantanamo are not free to paint their cells.” Abdulhai

“I felt that no one should have to go hungry.” Zekerullah

“I did this today for people who are complete strangers to me, but who are as human as me.” Nao Rozi

“Why should people have to suffer and experience torture even if they were guilty?” Barath Khan

Love Letters from Kabul – on Safety

15th March , 2013 ( Gregorian calendar )
25th Hut ,1391 ( Afghan calendar )

Dear friends and fellow human beings,

From Samia

We seem to hear voices everywhere telling us, “You are stupid. You are weak students. You are poor. You were brought up badly.”

We can’t escape these voices. We are never safe.

Samia and being safe from the ‘voices’Samia and being safe from the ‘voices’

Walina and Wajia and I felt this way again this week. We ‘ran’ to Hakim to complain, to sulk and to find some room to be ourselves.

Surely, there’ll be a limit to our patience.

I’m not sure if this world was meant for little girls.

The Borders We're Used to Guarding

…What would it be like to have friends from across borders? What questions might they pose to us? What excuses could possibly be acceptable for tolerating the policies that make their lives difficult?