From Afghans to Gazans, Why Can't We Touch Your Faces?

Uploaded by ourjourneytosmile June 26, 2011

'From river to the sea, everyone should be free.'
~ Nabeel Raee, teacher of Jenin Freedom Theatre, traveling on the West Bank hills

We in Afghanistan sense
your loneliness.
It is hard to be born human,
and not be regarded as one.
It is hard to be a mother
who can't cook enough for meals
and laugh enough with her children.
It is hard to be a youth,
and not feel young at all.
It's hard to lose
the human capacity for happiness.
We share your anger too.

But let's not be angry for too long. Hasn't war taught us that love is needed to guide anger, the same way we've seen mothers shaking with grief but standing with grace? Don't be angry with your family and loved ones because they had snapped at you after the usual hard day. We should forgive, and try to stay as human as life allows.

Please stay together, and [do] not submit to human laws which pull humans apart. We can't expect people in the rest of the world to worry about us in Gaza or Afghanistan. It hurts more than we're willing to utter, but we'll find sufficient strength to accept that people are normally too busy to wonder if we're really such "terrible" human beings [like the Israeli government says].

It's irritating that politicians are universally well-dressed while making our world so socially distant and emotionally intolerable. We know that peace, equality and freedom will come when the politicians step aside and let the people converse. But they aren't going to step aside unless we persuade them with our dignity, like many people across the world are doing now.

In adversity, we share with you the occasional burden of being 'no-bodies', But surely, we must cling on to some meaning, cling on to the hope that God doesn't intend for us to be discarded ( like trash ), that there are such qualities as compassion, that human company exists.

To the people of Gaza and Israel, we are reaching out to you, as President Obama and world leaders keep extending their violence on their own people, and on us whom they don't see. They believe in force.

'What we can do, and will do, is build a partnership with the Afghan people that endures -- one that ensures that we will be able to continue targeting terrorists....( 'permanent base').....When threatened, we must respond with force.' Obama in his Afghanistan 'withdrawal war speech'.

We the people believe in love. We send you our love through our friends on the US Boat to Gaza sailing with the Freedom Flotilla 2.

A fortnight ago, there appeared a remote possibility that two of us would be considered for travel on the Mavi Marmara. It gripped us that we may have been able to share each other's pain at a closer distance, for a little while.

The people of Mavi Marmara and the other flotilla boats have opened up the seas of our hearts. Afghanistan needs a flotilla too, but you would know that Afghanistan has no sea. We imagine the blue seas.
Imagination helps friends not to worry about whether they're available for each other ALL the time, or whether they will ever see each other face-to-face.

20-year-old Skye Miller was our friend for a brief moment, introduced to us by Kathy Kelly, one of our dear activist friends on the US Boat to Gaza. Skye was dying from cancer in a hospice and Kathy had passed her a blue scarf from our silent, peace walk in Kabul this spring.

We sent a message to Skye,

'Mohammad Jan, Abdulai and I are typing this email feeling a sadness, and feeling that life must be more than just what we see. It is meaningful for us to give you our small 'salams' through Kathy and through the visions of peace colored in blue. Thank you Skye! '

She passed away with her family by her side, a few days after her reply,

'Dearest Kathy, I cannot tell you the happiness that I felt after receiving the e-mail from Mohammad Jan, Abdulai and Hakim and to know that I am in their thoughts. I am enjoying the weather and hope that you are too. Enjoy your weekend. Be well, Skye.'

Here, sometimes, the sky is so peacefully and enjoyably blue we can almost touch it. What antagonism has poisoned Man, and who on earth and in heaven has determined, that we can't touch your face?



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