13 year old Abdulai will keep the Afghan peace vigil from 22/10/2009


This may be a chance for Afghan youth to raise the possibility of love, for Man to do a little something for other Men, by standing and waiting firmly for peace before the giants that be.


10 Afghan youth, including 13 year old Abdulai, have committed to give voice to peace amidst the noise of war.


We will speak our conscience to all who are willing to listen because we have wishes that are common to all Men.


We are ordinary, insignificant Afghan youth who believe that human civilization and history is waiting for further concrete encouragement to turn the tide on violence. We wish to encourage a turnaround for peace, confident that love and truth are strong enough to stand before giants.


We will have a cultural event “Voice of Peace in Afghanistan”. About 100 Afghan youth are expected to participate in the singing of songs, the reading of poems and the delivery of the message of peace. This will be held at the Bamiyan Peace Park on Thursday the 22nd of October 2009.


After the cultural program, 10 of us, including 13 year old Abdulai, will keep a day-and-night vigil till our ordinary message of peace reaches the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, President Obama.


Here, the autumn nights are already freezing cold, but our friendships and your actions of moral support elsewhere will keep us sufficiently warm.


Here, at this small corner of calm in a world of widespread conflict, we will wait with fellow human beings everywhere who cannot wait any longer for true peace to be given its due time and space.


Place of vigil : Bamiyan Peace Park, Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan


Date : 22nd of October 2009, Thursday


Cultural event : Voice of Peace in Afghanistan


Our Message of Peace : Reconciliation of Civil Hearts


Cultural event program :


1400 Opening address


1410 Peace Quotation


1420 Peace Flute


1425 Peace Poem


1430 Peace Song


1440 Peace Sketch


1450 Message of peace “ Reconciliation of Civil Hearts”


1505 Peace Song         


1515 End of Cultural Program


1515 Beginning of vigil till the delivery of our message of peace “Reconciliation of Civil Hearts” to Obama


Abdulai before the giants




Our challenges which require your hand of friendship


  1. Publicity


We wish to encourage the world with our small action for peace in the midst of super-power violence. We hope to give peace an Afghan human face while our fates are decided by others.


We will post our message of peace “Reconciliation of Civil Hearts” and updates of our vigil on our web-site http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog


We will invite the few media we have here, though we know that the current world media is predominantly interested in war.


Please publicize our effort in the ways you can.   If not, just mention us to your friends and contacts in your conversations and discussions about Obama’s Afghan ‘war of necessity’.


2.     Encouragement by being in touch with us at journeytosmile@gmail.com


As we seek to encourage the world to turn the tide on violence, we are not ashamed to say that we need encouragement too.


In a country silenced by war for 30 years, those who still hope for peace are few and those who would do a little something are even fewer.

Like everywhere else, there’s fear.


  1.  Keep vigil with us


If time and space allows you, either individually or together, we ask that you’d keep vigil with us till Obama has acknowledged receiving our message of peace.



Introductory message to our Afghan vigil for peace


Is this our Afghan moment of peace?

A chance for Man to do a little something for other Men


Every now and then, a chance comes for Man to do a little something for other Men.


We stand before giants at a time when Afghanistan’s heart is withering, along with the hopes of human civilization.


For us who live in war, we have a heightened awareness that the end comes to all of us eventually but we wonder if, in the short meantime, we can find compassion and truth.


We’re convinced that neither compassion nor truth can be found in war, so we’ve decided to sound our voice, for we have to cope somehow with the disappointment we carry, an anger at ourselves and at life.


Our voice of peace is frail and shaking but it is not fearful. And today, we wish to deliberately take it back from the noise of war.


Our only worry is that we would not be heard by those too rich, powerful and hardened to empathize.


The elite of Afghanistan, America and the world, through their determined actions, are teaching us to crave for power through violence, to pursue money through selfishness, to rule through lies and to dominate through pride. And while suffocating in this moral decline, to be seen as saints.


With all due respect, we shall not learn these grievous vices, which make us so detestable we begin to hate even ourselves.


And we ask that these elite leaders do not make it impossible for us to aspire after the finer human qualities which all of Mankind dreams of : kindness, hard work, dignity and peace.

We have had 30 years of war and grieve that our families and friends have been killed so that our elite and your elite may thrive. We are tired. It’s a fatigue of our souls. We do not wish to live like this anymore, like inconsistent beasts.


We have agonized through many nights wondering what happened to us and to Man, why we’ve come to fear darkness as if there was no light, why a corrupted in-humanity is the best we can wish of any power.


Each time we think of anyone as ?? ????? ‘without conscience’, we get cynical that Man is capable of such heartless-ness and we lose our grip on the hope we’re clinging to, that Man can change.


Sometimes we cry, but is there any purpose left to silent tears that don’t bring reform?


We try to keep busy, studying without intention, surviving without joys, living without life. But we cannot ignore the insult that daily, those who are abusive, wealthy and deceitful triumph and those who aren’t Afghans or who don’t live here make costly decisions for us and our country, largely for the sake of themselves.


We ordinary Afghans didn’t ‘terrorize’ New York, in fact, even the worst of us didn’t, so please don’t demonize us with the fears that plague the world. We can ultimately only ‘terrorize’ ourselves.


We are not demons. We are humans, as terrible and virtuous as anyone can be.


Some of us have become so distrustful and so sad with hate, over those games that neither we nor the religious people of the world have any answers for, that we would rather perish struggling against our own cruel people than at the hands of strange foreigners, however kind. Internationals need not have to be hurt for what is our conflict and our journey to take.


We want freedom so instinctively that we want freedom from other sovereign nations too, from their distant, cold analyses dictated by their need to sleep safely at the end of each day, their profit, and their powerful, sacred lives.


It pains us to know that their charity is shaped by war. Their charity may help us out of our 2nd lowest Human Development Index ranking in the world but the war which they choose to hallucinate over only gives them false security and leaves us true madness.


Come live here if your imaginations ever lead you to think that violence makes everyone safer. It does not make any of us, our families, our children, our women or our future any safer. As war has been throughout time, it diminishes us, destroys us and finally, it ‘disappears’ us.


We grieve for the rest of the world too, for unfortunately, those who admire, emulate and advise the ways of militarism are the ones who will come against every brute force with at least an equal and opposite reaction, a Newtonian principle confirmed in the world of human relations; hate increasing hate, revenge fuelling revenge and a silly sense of retaliatory justice going in vicious circles, all of which we, the ordinary people of Afghanistan and the ordinary people of the world, no longer want any part of.


And you know what? They don’t even know us.


We’ve grown up thinking that our world cannot be humane. Now, we’re witnessing that it can only be violent.


But our hearts believe that even if the elite ignore us, belittling us doesn’t take away our worth.


We have hope that suffering has a value which overcomes defeat and that even if we are mistakenly hurt in perpetual wars that recognize no brothers or sisters, love has a value which overcomes even death.


As we stay this night in Bamiyan Peace Park, on a cold Afghan autumn night, we attempt to do something beyond us, to do a little something for the warmth of other Men.


As we await acknowledgement of our appeal for a Reconciliation of Civil Hearts, from the Nobel Peace Prize Winner far away, we know that we’re not alone. We’re waiting historically with the rest of the world.



Dear friends of peace,


Just to give a quick update that our cultural event at Bamiyan Peace Park ( picture above ) was graced by the US Representative in Bamiyan, Mr Eric Mehler.


Now, 9 youth led by 13 year old Abdulai ( picture below ) have begun their day-and-night vigil at the Park, in waiting for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Obama to acknowledge our message of peace ( printed below )


We will keep vigil with hope for our voice of peace to be raised in Afghanistan and the world, above the noise of war.


Please walk with us.


Love and peace,

Hakim in Afghanistan

On behalf of Our Journey to Smile

http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog for updates



The ordinary voice of peace from Afghanistan

Reconciliation of Civil Hearts


Salam, „aleikum! – – ???? ?????!

We welcome you and the possibility of peace to this forgotten but gorgeous place.

We thank you for your hearts of peace in joining us today.

We, the ordinary youth of Afghanistan, have a message of peace for you, for all the respected leaders of our disconnected world and in particular, for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Obama.

We are struggling because it seems that nowadays, the voice of war has its space and its rights; we wonder if the voice of peace has equal space and rights. We wish to raise our voice of peace to give it a chance, without fear or shame.

We are the youth of the mountains who do not represent any political or religious views except for those views which make us truly human, capable of acting in love and truth, in good times as well as in tragedy.

We are tired of war and we share with brothers and sisters everywhere a common aspiration to live in peace.

We face great problems indeed but we also have courage because the magnificent Afghan outdoors surrounds us and we have within us an even greater desire for creative, non-violent solutions.

We cannot remain silent to our conscience in firmly disagreeing with the current Afghan government/Taliban/US/NATO militarized approach to our country?s problems.

America is the largest arms dealer in the world and the world?s superpowers have enough nuclear war-heads to destroy this beautiful place, Afghanistan and our whole earth 10 times over. Thus, we think that neither America nor any other world power has a logical or moral right and capacity to bring us true peace.

In our collapsing world today, rhetoric has been shattered by actions that prove that the majority of the world?s effort and wealth in Afghanistan is directed towards war, and our common and apparently worthless deaths prove again and again that no human being wins, so we ask to be spared the frustration, disappointment and grief of such discrepancies.

We desire reconciliation. It?s time to struggle for a reconciliation of civil hearts instead of fueling a clash or confrontation of civilizations. We wish to converse as equal, fellow human beings, without the need for guns and bombs.

We desire to patiently build our nation. So, while we appreciate your friendship and partnership, we desire just as much to trek on our own paths, build our own parks and choose which of our own mountains to climb.

We desire the dignity of working with our own hands and walking with our own legs. We ask for assistance that builds factories, industries, roads and an economy that would help us to stand on our own.

We desire justice and truth. So, we ask for your support in denying space to corruption, fraud, lies and deceptions and in quenching the abusive greed for power and money that are destroying our society and humanity as much as violence and war are.

Many of us are suffering at the expense of a few, so though the few rich and powerful are loud and dominant, their monopoly is neither moral nor democratic. We may be suffering, but suffering eyes can still see, not with the sight that sees only appearances, but with the insight that sees beyond words to raw but real meanings.

Perhaps, we have deeper anger, hatred and fears but we believe that humanity cannot overcome such giants with bloodshed. We learn to overcome them when we understand each other, so we ask for the nurturing of wide-scale, local and international humane relationships that would build empathy for our shared human condition, restore trust, and tear down barriers.

We need to explore human relationships and non-violent options like we pursue science, so that we can fulfill the enormous generational responsibility spelled out in the original charter of the United Nations:

“We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,.. And for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors…have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.” Preamble, Charter of the United Nations


Your soldiers individually mean well but we are not willing, like the majority of ordinary Americans and Europeans today, that any of them should perish, just as we?re concerned that not one more of our countrymen should die a violent death.

The world should not move along the unilateral, one-track path of violence and militarism anymore. We cannot cope; no human can. We should work together to walk along the multiple treks that lead us to beauty, to dreams and to those values, virtues and thoughtful conversations that

every heart longs for.

So please, we ask that the world shifts her engagement with our sovereign country to a civilian approach. We should have as many civil forums, as many civil negotiations, as many civil discussions and as many civil occasions for relationship-building as are imaginatively possible. We believe that these civil efforts cannot be accomplished through either our local military or any foreign military because humankind cannot build relations with weapons.

We desire to recover those friendships captured by Khaled Husseini, the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, in his book the „Kite Runner?, the kind of friendships in which we can say to one another and to all others, “For you, a thousand times over.”

We desire the security that other peaceful nations have. The Taliban had wreaked havoc in this valley too. And killed many of us. Our people fled from them across this very Hindu Kush mountain range. We do not accept their violent actions just as we do not accept the violent solutions the

world has been counting on.

We have become a terror to one another, in our inconsiderate actions and in our cowardly silence, and this must stop.

We hope to continue the 10 years of security in Bamiyan by refusing violence and by refusing to take revenge. And we wish to refuse the “insurgent? any further excuse to hurt us because of a foreign presence; brothers killing brothers, friends killing friends, humans killing one another.

Thus, while we understand the US/NATO coalition?s concern with security, we desire just as much that they would leave us responsibly and leave us soon.

We want all violence and fighting to end.

We want the Taliban, all Afghan warlords including the many warlords holding power in our present government, all regional powerbrokers, and the US/NATO forces to cease their operations, and to be brought to account for the killings they each are responsible for.

We need to travel this history and this future on our own.

You need not fear. We, the youth of Afghanistan, will ask for your help again if our paths take us to un-manageable scenarios, even in open spaces as free and as quiet as this. For then, we expect nothing but what our humanity guides each of us to do, to help a brother, sister, friend or

fellow human being in time of need.

Despite past betrayal, Hassan, the Hazara boy in Kite Runner wrote a letter to his Pushtoon friend Amir ,which got to Amir only after Hassan’s death. In it, we find some of our hopes too. “We dream that God will guide us to a better day. We dream that our sons will grow up to be good persons. We dream that lawla flowers will bloom in the streets of Kabul again and rubab music will play in the samovar houses and kites will fly in the blue skies. And we dream that some day you will return to Afghanistan to revisit. If you do, you’ll find an old faithful friend waiting for you. There is a way to be good again.”


We trust that the heart of peace in President Obama and in all men would help Afghanistan and the world towards true peace and reconciliation.

Thank you very much or as we say in Afghanistan, ?? ???? ???? a world of thanks!

From the bottom of our hearts,

???? ?????! Be courageous!

??? ?????! Be happy!

????? ?????! And be at peace!

The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers

. . . on Our Journey to Smile




An additional thought :

Our voice for every heart, including ourselves – Humanity has taken too long and lost too many in implementing non-violent, civil ways to resolve human conflict. We human beings can do better than repeatedly resorting to force and war to address human hurts and needs. Stop the

killings, stop killing one another, stop killing the people.

Stop killing us.

Be Sociable, Share!

Technorati Tags: Afghanistan message of peace to Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Obama, Obama's Afghan War Strategy, peace in Afghanistan