History, tradition and the present hardships of war and drought are seeing more and more Afghan girls married at younger ages.
The Ghost and the Machine
by Kathy Kelly with research by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
Fazillah, age 25, lives in Maidan Shar, the central city of Afghanistan’s Wardak province. She married about six years ago, and gave birth to a son, Aymal, who just turned five without a father. Fazillah tells her son, Aymal, that his father was killed by an American bomber plane, remote-controlled by computer.
That July, in 2007, Aymal’s father was sitting in a garden with four other men. A weaponized drone, what we used to call an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV, was flying, unseen, overhead, and fired missiles into the garden, killing all five men. Continue reading “Kathy Kelly – The Ghost and the Machine”
10 Years in Afghanistan
War No More. A video by Sojourners.
On 9/11, American missionary Heather Mercer was 6,700 miles away from New York City, behind bars in a Kabul, Afghanistan, prison awaiting trial. Weeks earlier in August 2001, the Taliban arrested Mercer and her close friend, Dayna Curry.
The two young women were ministering in Kabul through Shelter Now, a housing outreach organization. In one of the most dramatic stories of the 9/11 era, the Taliban put them and other Western missions staff on trial for spreading Christianity in the Muslim-majority nation.
Weeks later as the Taliban regime was under attack, anti-Taliban fighters freed all of them. Mercer and Curry returned to the U.S. and the Bush White House hosted a celebration of their freedom. In 2003, Mercer decided to relocate to Kurdistan, the autonomous area of northern Iraq. In 2008, she founded Global Hope, a U.S.-based ministry to northern Iraqis. Now married to an Iraqi Christian, she and her husband divide their time between a home in Texas and Kurdistan. Timothy C. Morgan, CT deputy managing editor, interviewed Mercer recently about the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and her goals for Global Hope. Continue reading “The Hostage Story of Heather Mercer”
Drop someone off at the airport here and you’ll be searched three times before getting into the parking lot. Kabul is a city of sandbags and armed men, both on foot and in big, shiny, assertive, urgently-honking vehicles. In Kabul much life is lived opaquely — behind barbed wire and thick metal doors and high walls.
Early on we are told that, according to the Red Cross, the area is enduring the worst security situation in 30 years. Those with a stake in how things are dread the talked-about (and fanciful?) departure of international forces – of the invaders and occupiers — for fear of civil war. Some seem to prefer the devil they’ve come to know this past excruciating decade to other devils harder to predict, harder to identify. Continue reading “A Midpoint Report on the Voices Summer 2011 Afghanistan Delegation”
An Afghan convert to Christianity was reportedly released from prison on March 31. Shoaib Assadullah, 23, was imprisoned in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. He was arrested in late October 2010 for giving a Bible to a friend (click here for more information). While detained, Shoaib was physically abused and threatened with death by fellow prisoners. He refused to recant his faith in Christ in exchange for his freedom.
Thank the Lord for Shoaib’s release! Pray for healing and strength for him, as he adjusts to life outside prison walls. Pray he will continue to entrust his life and future to the Lord. Pray for the release of other imprisoned Christians. Pray that believers in Afghanistan will stand strong in their faith and reach out to their neighbours, despite their small numbers.
Thanks be to God!
Your way commands us to make every effort to do what leads to peace
Your way compels us to please our neighbour for their good,
Your way is the path of humility, servanthood and love.
Your way is stand up for the life of a vulnerable child
Teach us your way – to walk in your love and righteousness
Teach us your way – this world needs your life of peace
Teach us your way – not to walk in our own foolish pride and fear. Continue reading “Prayer for Peace in Afghanistan”
Humanitarian organisation World Vision has expressed condolences and solidarity with UN staff in Afghanistan, after seven UN employees and four Afghanistanis were killed during riots at the operations centre of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in Mazar-e Sharif.
“The thoughts of World Vision staff are with our UN colleagues, and especially with the families of all of those who were killed,” said Dave Robinson, Senior Adviser for Global Operations at World Vision. Continue reading “World Vision Statement on the Killing of Seven UN Staff in Afghanistan”
For months, the US Army kept the images compiled by the so-called “kill team” under lock and key out of fear it could result in a scandal even greater than Abu Ghraib. SPIEGEL TV spent weeks researching the story behind the men of 5th Stryker Brigade and how things could go so terribly wrong. Warning: The documentary contains extremely graphic content.
You may watch HERE the whole documentary.
I am quite late with this good news. Yet, better later than never.
The Afghan authorities announce that Said (or Sayed) Mussa, the Muslim Afghan who was arrested and risked to be executed for converting to Christianity was freed, following pressure coming from the US government and many international human rights organisations. Thanks be to God.
You may rea the announcement of this happy conclusion of the affair in the New York Times.
STATEMENT OF THE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION OF THE WORLD EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2011
Execution Trial of Afghan Convert is Illegal
The trial of an Afghan man, Said Musa, who may face execution for converting to Christianity, violates the Constitution of Afghanistan approved by consensus in 2004 and must be stopped.
Forty-five year-old Musa was arrested after a television station in the capital city of Kabul broadcast images that allegedly showed Westerner Christians baptizing Afghans. Since the May 2010 telecast, Musa has remained in the infamous Kabul Detention Center and suffered sexual assault and torture with apparently no access to a lawyer to defend him. Continue reading “Execution Trial of Afghan Convert is Illegal”
By RAY RIVERA
Published: February 5, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan — The jail commander had remained silent as the prisoner, Sayed Mussa, told a reporter about his journey from Islam to Christianity: his secret baptism nine years earlier, his faith in Jesus Christ and the promise of heaven.
But when Mr. Mussa said he believed in the Bible but also loved the Koran’s teachings, it was too much. “So you love the Koran and the Bible?” the commander broke in incredulously. “What kind of love is this?”
A guard thumbing Muslim prayer beads squared his shoulders and started to rise. “You want me to beat him?” he asked. Continue reading “Afghan Rights Fall Short for Christian Converts”
Here is the most recent blog post of the new British Ambassador in Romania, Dr. Martin Harris. His Excellence’s blog can be found HERE.
* * *
Last week I had the honour to award certificates to forty men and women of the Romanian armed forces that will soon be joining the rest of the Romanian contingent in Zabul Province in Afghanistan. They had just completed four weeks training with British military instructors as part of a course of several months spent preparing for their mission.
This is a vital mission for Great Britain and for Romania. Continue reading “Martin Harris – Why Afghanistan Matters”
TWO Afghans accused of converting to Christianity, including a Red Cross employee, could face the death penalty, a prosecuting lawyer said.
Musa Sayed, 45, and Ahmad Shah, 50, were being detained in the Afghan capital awaiting trial, the prosecutor in charge of western Kabul, Din Mohammad Quraishi, said.
“They are accused of conversion to another religion, which is considered a crime under Islamic law. If proved, they face the death penalty or life imprisonment,” Mr Quraishi said. Continue reading “Afghan Christian Converts Risk Execution”
You absolutely have to watch this. My WV colleague John Schenk, who created this short documentary, is a real artist.
Am ptimit acest text de la Alex Nadaban, dar fiind prea lung, il afisez ca un text separat. Sursa este AICI.
In Afganistan, ca si in alte locuri unde si-a trimis agentii, CIA a fost acelasi instrument al intereselor politice si economice ale Washingtonului. Cu deosebirea ca implicarea ei in razboiul antisovietic si apoi in lupta pentru putere intre factiunile mujahedine a avut un efect de bumerang: actiunile Agentiei au favorizat nu numai nasterea miscarii talibane, ci si aparitia lui Osama bin Laden si a extremismului islamist. Povestea intamplarilor din tara central-asiatica si marturiile oficialilor americani si ale liderilor CIA ne ajuta sa intelegem cum au fost posibile abominabilele
atentate din 11 septembrie 2001.
Continue reading “Dinu Moraru despre Afghanistan & CIA”
The decision by President Obama to send additional troops to Afghanistan saddens me. I believe it is a mistake, it is the wrong direction for U.S. foreign policy, and it is disappointing to many of us in the faith community and our friends who spearhead the on-the-ground development efforts in Afghanistan and around the world.
I am a loyal supporter of your presidency. I worked hard in the campaign and have never been as proud of my country as I was when we elected you.
I’m writing to ask you to find another way ahead in Afghanistan. I wrote a similar letter to President Bush when he was preparing for war in Iraq.
I believe now, as you and I both did then, that war is not the answer. Violence breeds violence, and as Dr. King said, you can murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. As the apostle Paul said, evil must be overcome with good, which means that violence and hate must be overcome with justice and love, not more of the same.
There is a growing outcrz in the world, both in the US and Europe about the need for a radical change of strategy on Afghanistan.
The riddled recent elections, the drug traffiquing controlled by the Afghan worlords and the endemic corruption of the Afghan government lead more strategists to the conviction that the present solutions do not work. I offer you here two perspectives on this issue.
Sursa: Associated Press
Joi 20 august au început alegerile prezidenţiale în Afghanistan. Continue reading “Au inceput alegerile in Afghanistan”
Aeroportul din Kabul a fost o adevărată aventură. Ceea ce îmi complica viaţa acolo era faptul că preluasem din Dubai o cutie cu piese electronice şi un laptop pentru colegii din Herat. Dacă aş fi avut doar valiza mea şi geanta în care ţineam computerul, ar fi fost simplu. Dar n-a fost să fie.
Înainte de a merge mai departe cu povestirea, cred că este bine să vă dau câteva date despre această ţară, despre care se ştie destul de puţin la noi. Sursa principală este CIA World Factbook. Cu toată alergia mea la serviciile secrete, când vine vorba de date vrednice de încredere, CIA-ul este de neegalat. N-au ştiut ei de Nine Eleven şi de absenţa armelor de ucidere in masa în Iraq, dar când ştiu ceva. Ştiu bine. Iată, deci câteva date.
A doua zi a trebuit să mă trezesc la ora 3 dimineaţa pentru a fi la ora 4 la aeroportul din Dubai, pentru zborul spre Kabul.
Oare de ce în toată zona aceasta în care lucrez, majoritatea zborurilor sunt noaptea? Pentru mine care sunt pasăre de noapte, sculatul la asemenea ore este moarte curată. Dar n-am ce face. Astea sunt riscurile meseriei.
Acum când scriu, sunt într-un avion al companiei afghane Kam Air. Zburăm deasupra munţilor înzăpeziţi. Ne apropiem de Kabul. Am început coborârea.
Am aterizat la Dubai pe la 7 dimineaţa, după circa şase ore de zbor de noapte, timp în care n-am reuşit să dorm mai deloc, ceea ce nu mi se prea întâmplă. Eram sfârşit.
Era a treia oară când ajungeam în Emirate. Prima dată fusesem acolo în 2000, în drum spre India (vezi AICI prima parte a descrierii acelei călătorii).
Atunci am trecut doar prin aeroport, care era încă în construcţie. Îmi amintesc însă prezenţa agasantă a poliţiei şi a trupelor de securitate înarmate (unul dintre şocurile acelei călătorii, care m-a dus cu gândul înapoi în timp, la vremea comunistă de care scăpasem cu vreo zece ani în urmă).
Sursa imaginii: AICI.
Am pornit înspre Afghanistan într-o zi rece şi senină de sfârşit de iarnă, zburând de la Iaşi la Viena în circa nouăzeci de minute. Ştiind câte ceva despre situaţia dramatică din ţara spre care mă îndreptam, prietenii m-au întrebat dacă mi-e frică să merg acolo. Le-am spus, fără a brava, că nu m-a încercat niciodată teama în călătoriile mele. Aşa cum obişnuiesc să spun, călătoresc cu îngerii. Dacă ar fi altfel, n-aş putea face această slujbă. Teama m-ar paraliza şi aceasta nu mi-ar permite să mă concentrez asupra a ceea ce am de făcut acolo unde merg. Desigur, aceasta nu înseamnă că sunt inconştient cu privire la pericole sau că nu mă rog înainte de a pleca în călătorie, mai ales în locuri mai puţin sigure, aşa cum sunt Kosova, Liban, zona palestiniană a Israelului, sau, ca acum, în Afghanistan.
În următoarea perioadă voi călători pentru World Vision timp de două săptămâni în Statele Unite (Seattle şi Los Angeles) şi o săptîmână în Afghanistan (Kabul şi Herat). Sper să am destule a vă povesti când revin sau în timp ce călătoresc (funcţie de timpul disponibil şi de accesul la Internet), atât despre felul în care se vede criza financiară mondială de dincolo de ocean, cât şi din spaţiul cel mai fierbinte al lumii actuale.
Date fiind cele doua axe pa care mă voi afla (aceea a capitalismului atotbiruitor 🙂 şi aceea a răului 😦 – continui să mă întreb care este diferenţa; poate reuşesc să aflu de data asta) vă rog să spuneţi o rugăciune penrtu mine, mai ales pentru… prima parte a călătoriei. Cu cea de a doua nu-mi fac mari probleme. Ca de obicei, cplătoresc cu îngerii.
Rămâneţi sănătoşi şi sî ne auzim cu bine, pe blog sau aiurea.