I am back from an incredible week in Afghanistan and wanted to share with you some highlights of this most important trip.
I traveled with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, a group of young men between the ages of 14 and 20 who are working on creating peace within the war-torn context of Afghanistan. The question the boys ask of their fellow Afghanis and the international community is: Why not love?
Why not love instead of war, poverty, instability and ongoing cycles of hatred and revenge?
To help illustrate this questions the boys engaged in a walk for peace, a tree planting for peace, and a candlelight vigil. As international partners we were able to participate in different activities that supported the boys.
I think the poem and video created by the boys below is the best explanation fo their work and world view. Please read and watch and join me in celebrating the incredible work for peace the boys are engaging and the presence of the FSPA and 8th Day community in their struggle. Peace Liz
P.S. I am in the video but you only see the top of my head covered in a black scarf! I did not look up at the right moment.
Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
On 19th March, the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, with an
international team of 24 peace activists, planted 55 trees at a school
in Kabul, Afghanistan. They did this to usher in the Afghan New Year,
in hope for a new way of living, a non-violent way of rebuilding the
We need a different tree
For seekers of roots, life has ample proof
that Power and Privilege consistently oppress the People.
This Power and Privilege is perfected in war,
& accepted universally like any other conventional tree.
its shade kills the People.
Why would an Afghan mother want a tree that kills?
Why would scholars promote it?
Why would the few rich and powerful insist on it?
Why would the People want it?
War is NOT what we wish to plant on any day, & certainly not today.
We wish to plant a tree rooted in Love,
a Love which says,’I live and love, so I shall not kill.’
If we wish to live without wars,
we need to plant a different tree.
“The name of the Ho-Chunk Nation means “People of the Sacred Language” or “People of the Big Voice.” And when no one was listening to them, they spoke to each other and chose to return, and strengthened each other for the return here where their action spoke louder than words and they eventually, after 11 removals and five weary returns, were ceded parts of their original land. ” Kathy Kelly, Truthout
Dear All – First I would like to say thanks to Prairiewoods, Marci Madary, and Sr. Marla for giving me the opportunity to help with a retreat this past weekend in Iowa. It was wonderful to meet and be with some of the Affiliates and Sisters as we talked about radical mutuality and what that looks like in times of war, fear, and uncertainty. Thanks to all who helped to organize this event and all who were there!
I am including a link to an article today by Kathy Kelly, a committed peace creator, who has advocated for the people of Iraq since the first Gulf invasion. She highlights an action and effort for peace that is travelling right through the heart of Wisconsin – near so many of you I thought some might be interested. It is a walk for peace that left Chicago and hopes to make it all the way to the Republican National Convention in September – educating and advocating along the way. For more information on the walk go to www.vcnv.org
I think Kathy’s reflection points to an important question for us as a nation at this time…how do we use our voice in these times of ecological decline, war, economic downfall, and human rights violations? How can we speak as a people of peace, nonviolence, and mutuality? Answers may be slow to come and even hard to find but to be open to the question is place for us to begin and to find our own sacred language in these times.
Much Peace Liz