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We are those two Afghan children, killed while tending their cattle

March 3, 2013

‘We are those two Afghan children’

Two young Afghan boys herding cattle in Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan were mistakenly killed by NATO forces yesterday.

They were seven and eight years old.

Our globe, approving of ‘necessary or just war’, thinks, “We expect this to happen occasionally.”

Some say, “We’re sorry.”

Therefore today, with sorrow and rage, we the Afghan Peace Volunteers took our hearts to the streets.

We went with two cows, remembering that the two children were tending to their cattle on their last day.

We are those two children.

We want to be human again.



I Am Hurting Too

By Dr Hakim ( Dr Teck Young, Wee )

Raz Mohammad, Abdulhai and I in Kabul, AfghanistanRaz Mohammad, Abdulhai and I in Kabul, Afghanistan

…the UN calls the acute malnutrition of nearly one million children in the Afghan south ‘shocking’. Almost three quarters of all Afghans do not have access to safe drinking water. On several occasions in the past few years, Afghanistan was declared the worst country for children and women, and yet, many of us still hold this warped presumption, “Afghanistan is the worst country for children and women but whatever we are doing over there MUST somehow be right!”

Abdulhai reaches out to the Chinese President

Watch ‘Afghan Abdulhai reaches out to the Chinese President’ : Look, this is the border of China, & this is Afghanistan’s. I want a better life without borders.We human beings created borders, like with this ruler, Jamshade. And we were separated from one another. I am writing 朋友 ‘peng yu’, which means ‘friends’. For the current Chinese President Hu Jin Tao, & the future President Xi Jin Ping, I have this message : 我要跟你们喝中国茶 ‘Wo yao gen ni men he zhong guo cha’ ‘I want to drink Chinese tea with you!’ 谢谢! ‘xie xie!’ ‘Thank you!’ Friends everywhere, write to

One World One Week

The Afghan Peace Volunteers
January 18, 2013

Dear Friends,

Each of the Afghan Peace Volunteers in these videos is dreaming of finding friends from all 195 countries of the world. To date, friends from 22 countries have joined us: Sweden, USA, Singapore, Afghanistan, Australia, UK, Poland, Ireland, Canada, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Egypt, Chile, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Haiti, Iraq, Syria, Switzerland, Austria.

They all want to play their tiny part in building a world without borders.

This is our resistance in the age of repression, believing that “every hand of friendship is an act for freedom!”

Enjoy the video messages below, and Help us find friends who will join hands for better and fairer ways of organizing our global economy and community. Join us by writing to

We Share Life in Kabul

by Martha Hennessy
January 9, 2013

A boy living at the Darlaman Refugee Camp. Photo Credit: Martha HennessyA boy living at the Darlaman Refugee Camp. Photo Credit: Martha Hennessy

We are two weeks into our stay with the Afghan Peace Volunteers and the time is filled with many meetings and discussions. Before their departure our British delegates interviewed several of the peace volunteers about conditions in their country. Zekerullah’s testimony stood out to me; he held such compassion and wisdom beyond his years. He was asked what he would have to say to a young man from the U.K. who is considering joining the military and possibly coming to fight in Afghanistan. He stated that he hoped the man (his counterpart) would not become a soldier but would stay home, do the work that is needed there, and take care of his parents. Zekerullah’s insightfulness typifies the responses I’ve heard, again and again, from the Afghan Peace Volunteers when they talk about the ravages of war and their visions for the future.

Seeking Security in Afghanistan

January 10, 2013
Martha Hennessy and Kathy Kelly
Writing from Kaubul

This week, in Washington, D.C., Presidents Obama and Karzai will discuss a proposed Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. Presumably, they’ll note some of the main security problems Afghanistan faces.

Afghan Peace Volunteers deliver duvets to women at the Darlaman refugee camp in Kabul. photo credt:  Martha HennessyAfghan Peace Volunteers deliver duvets to women at the Darlaman refugee camp in Kabul. photo credt: Martha Hennessy

The people of Afghanistan have only seen cosmetic improvement in their living conditions. UNICEF reports that 36% of the people live in poverty and that over one million children suffer from acute malnourishment. According to available World Bank figures, about 73 percent of people in Afghanistan lack access to clean drinking water and 95 percent do not have access to sufficient sanitation. Limited access to medical facilities and the absence of knowledge, skills and the ability to effectively manage these diarrhoeal diseases usually leads to the death of 48,545 children each year, - approximately133 children per day.

In Kabul, Widows and Orphans Move Up

Zainab, Umalbanin, Ali,  Kathy and Martha going up the mountainsideZainab, Umalbanin, Ali, Kathy and Martha going up the mountainside

January 7, 2012

Kabul —Yesterday, four young Afghan Peace Volunteer members, Zainab, Umalbanin, Abdulhai, and Ali, guided Martha and me along narrow, primitive roads and crumbling stairs, ascending a mountain slope on the outskirts of Kabul. The icy, rutted roads twisted and turned. I asked if we could pause as my heart was hammering and I needed to catch my breath. Looking down, we saw a breathtaking view of Kabul. Above us, women in bright clothing were navigating the treacherous roads with heavy water containers on their heads or shoulders. I marveled at their strength and tenacity. “Yes, they make this trip every morning,” Umalbanin said, as she helped me regain my balance after I had slipped on the ice.

About ten minutes later, we arrived at the home of Khoreb, a widow who helped us realize why so many widows and orphans live in the highest ranges of the mountain. Landlords rent one-room homes at the cheapest rates when they are at this isolating height; many of the homes are poorly constructed and have no pipes for running water. This means the occupants, most often women, must fetch water from the bottom of the hill each and every morning. A year ago, piped water began to reach some of the homes, but that only meant the landlords charged higher rent, so women had to move higher up the mountain for housing they can afford. It only made their daily water-carrying longer and more arduous.

From Cowley Road to Kabul to The Afghan Peace Volunteers

January 5, 2013

We, the Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK delegation , have now returned from Afghanistan. We spent two weeks in Kabul as guests of the Afghan Peace Volunteers. This is a remarkable and unique community of young men who first came together in Bamiyan under the guidance of a local doctor, Hakim. Inspired by the nonviolent spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the group first came together in 2008 to create a peace park in their locality. Bamiyan is a mainly Hazara area of Afghanistan and the local people have suffered at the hands of the Taliban. In March, 2001 the Taliban destroyed two ancient giant statues of the Buddah in Bamiyan. For a more detailed background to the APV, visit their website,

There Are Seeds of Hope Everywhere

and Martha Hennessey
interviewed by Dennis Bernstein

I’m very intrigued with the country Afghanistan. It has an amazing history, amazing people, and with my one trip there, I just felt in my bones that I needed to come back and see these people again. And the question of, you know, who the enemy is– I do come from a faith-based slant on this, and I just want to meet the so-called enemy. And my brother fought in Vietnam when I was 14 years old, and so war to me has been a very personal experience, and I’ve also worked with a veteran population in my therapy training. And so, for me it’s so important to not condemn everyone and anyone and to just go into desperation and isolation. For me, I have to reach out. I have to go and meet the people and work with people, and for me this is very important, and I have great hope. I know, you paint quite a picture of our culture in, awash in such greed and violence, but I, I hold out hope, and we have to just keep forward with this effort. It’s so important.