By Dr Hakim

I’m so often caught up in the daily concerns of work and the wars raging across Afghanistan and many parts of the world that I forget how remarkable it is that at the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre in Kabul, 19 small teams with more than 70 active Afghan Peace Volunteers are putting nonviolence into microscopic but concrete practice.

There’s also the pulsating energy from 100 eager street kids ready to change themselves.

All these ‘small people’ with ‘big souls’ touch me. They move my days and nights.


Night after day in Afghanistan

Night after day,

while many are stressed sick

providing for their mud shelters and dented aluminum plates,

and a few are unhappy despite excess cash,

I’m tired of all popular news.

I’m irritated by the stale showiness

of stiffly-dressed politicians and business sharks

sweet-talking the world.

I’d rather spend time with the unglamorous millions,

like with boot-polishing street kids, Mahdi and Inham.

They never claim to be smarter or better,

like when Mahdi offered his meek, non-digital sound byte,

“No human is above another”.

In their discarded voices,

they nurse gratitude rather than greed.

 00 Inham and Mahdi

Inham and Mahdi

Reflections reveal to us many warts:

We’ve been stratifying life along these general themes.

Some humans are more moral than others.

We use animals, plants and non-living things however we see fit.

At all cost, we chase the ‘bottom line’ – money.

That is, even without violently ‘spearheading’ abroad,

our normal lifestyles are shockingly imperialistic.

To discontinue these dehumanizing habits,

the youth try to weave horizontal relationships

and wage a different story : morphing me into we.


The Afghan Peace Volunteer Coordinators build horizontal, equal relationships

“I don’t want to watch the news anymore,” 16 year-old Marwa said.

What she was politely implying was, “Today’s media is shit!”

“We need to be our own message,” another Afghan Peace Volunteer suggested.

This is ‘Why we can’t wait’, Martin Luther King had written:

We can’t expect militarized mainstream structures

to value the air, the soil, the water,

rivers, mountains and trees,

children, our mothers, the people,


Especially when we’re uncertain

whether we or future generations will survive,

“We need to call 911!

Our home is on fire,” pleaded Robert, an indigenous activist from Standing Rock.

“We need to feel again.”


Mother Earth is on fire!

These days, our leaders, political reflections of our egos,

neither embrace healthy feelings or facts.

“It’s mayhem

for the sake of private power and profit,” stated Ghulam.

In the grief of Mother Earth being carpeted by toxic bombs

and voraciously raped by oil drills,

we need to unlearn our deadly education,

with great urgency and patience,

day and night,

as if every day

was Mother’s Day.


Unlearning our deadly education


Each group that resists or falls

Is not inconsequential.

Every civil movement raring to

disturb the rotting or obsolete conventions

can see themselves as tiny suns,

stars that cycle their gifts of energy,

desiring seeds to break through their sleep

and turn our nightmares and visions

into floral paintings and nourishing cuisine.

They are volcanoes with sub-atomic power,

attracting more beauty, momentum and respect

than Trump Donald or Teresa May or Trudeau Justin.

How could mortals who fart and defecate

fantasize about


unless we goad them to?


Every civil movement is a tiny sun

The volunteers are strong

because they recognize their crumbling

psycho-social and biological selves,

and are not willing to leave the world

without understanding their human identity.

They are small people of disobedient actions,

serving, stumbling, doubting, persisting.

They exuberate fluid art

and rigorous clarity.

Because they love life,

I want to love them back,

day after day.


Fluid art and rigorous clarity

01 Organic Permaculture

Green, Permaculture Team

02 Borderfree Street Kids School

Borderfree Street Kids School

03 Food Bank

Food Bank

04 Winter Duvet Project

Winter Duvet Project

05 Microloans and Worker Cooperatives


06 Borderfree Cycling Club

Borderfree Cycling Club

07 Accounts and Finance

Accounts & Finance Team

08 #Earth! GEN

#Earth! GEN ( Green, Equal, Nonviolent ) Team

09 Relations and Networking

Relations & Networking Team

10 Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution Team

11 Education

Education Team

12 Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre

Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre

13 Media Team

Media Team

14 Global Days of Listening

Global Days of Listening

15 Atan

Afghan National Dance Team

16 Blue Scarf Team

Blue Scarf Team

17 Borderfree Afghan Football Club

Borderfree Afghan Football Team

18 Psychology Team

Psychology Team

19 Future Institute of Nonviolence Afghanistan

Plans to establish a Peace Institute in the near future

20 Afghan Peace Volunteers March 2017

Afghan Peace Volunteers, March 2017

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