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Saturday, March 19, 2011

International peace activists arrive in Afghanistan for week of actions

From Wagingnonviolence.org

by Eric Stoner | March 18, 2011

A group of 28 peace activists from the US and Australia, including Waging Nonviolence contributors Simon Moyle, Jim Haber and Jake Olzen, has just arrived in Afghanistan. They immediately connected with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, a truly inspirational group of young people who I had the good fortune of getting to know during my trip there in December. As Voices for Creative Nonviolence co-coordinator Kathy Kelly explains in an article that was widely published today:

Last evening, they showed us photos of an unusual walk they’d held in the streets of downtown Kabul that morning. Dressed in white, with the young women wearing sky blue veils and the young men in the same color neck scarves, the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers carried sky blue and white banners proclaiming that Peace is a Pre-Requisite for Progress. They are seeking an end to wars in their country. “Why did you choose sky blue?” I asked. “Because it shows that there is just one sky over all of us,” Chahara replied. Although they came from different ethnicities and various provinces, they walked shoulder to shoulder, 40 of them, on a bright, warm day.
The delegation’s itinerary over the next few days is jam-packed. Kelly writes that:

On March 19th, in Kabul, Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers will hold a candlelight commemoration, remembering the children recently killed in Afghanistan. Following this ceremony they will plant saplings as a symbol of their dedication to a nonviolent future. Their compassion extends beyond Afghanistan to young people in other lands, some of whom they will connect with through a “Global Day of Listening,” a 24 hour Skype communication which they’ll host on the first day of spring [March 20], Afghanistan’s “Nau Roz” (New Year’s Day) holiday… (see: www.livewithoutwars.org and www.ourjourneytosmile.com or email globaldayoflistening@gmail.com to arrange participation for yourself and/or your community.

Hopefully over the next few days we will be running the dispatches from our contributors on the ground, so check back for updates on the work of these courageous activists.

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