Expanding Partnerships & Resources To Improve The Lives Of Veterans & Their Family Members
Friday, August 29
New Federal Building, ground floor
90 Seventh Street, San Francisco
Contact: Dr. Jennifer Boyd 415 221-4810 x342, email@example.com
Bring together organizations that serve Veterans, to strengthen partnerships between the VA and the community.
Enhance access to Mental Health and Homeless services for Veterans and their families in San Francisco and northern San Mateo counties.
Salaam, Friends — I would like to introduce a new series of interviews I am doing with each of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, by sharing an article just published by Dr. Hakim, their founder and adviser. I believe the article, and the interview he includes, shows the substantial impact the US presence has had on the lives of families here. Despite the US investment of more than $100 Billion dollars in non-military aide since 2001, the corruption is so rampant that the ordinary citizens live in virtual poverty. I seek your replies to the compelling message that guides me from the Nuremberg Principles that if I see an atrocity and do nothing, I am complicit. I invite all of us to question what we can do together to reverse this situation…..
We’re human fodder caught in the crossfire of armed groups and armed governments “No to wars!” By Dr Hakim August 12, 2014
“Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and theAfghan/US-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising. Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma holds up the sign for ‘Ukraine’, indicating ‘No to wars in Ukraine’. She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.Continue reading →
I am dressed for “going out.” Norms for modesty require that women’s heads and necks be covered at all times, that tunics ideally go to the knees, and that a skirt or loose fitting pants be to the ankles. Socks are preferred, but sandals are acceptable. The women are teaching me to tie my scarves for maximum modesty, and ensure that my clothing is appropriate. Only two of my tunics are long enough, and I contrast these standards with the short shorts and skimpy tops so prevalent for young girls in the US during these hot summer months! However, I do know that this style is very comfortable for sitting cross-legged on the floor at the Center!
I was delighted to sit in on a class for street kids who are learning to write Dari (their language) and to do simple math. The more than twenty students are attentive, engaged, and actively participating, even though it is late on a hot afternoon. Read more…
As I write a huge explosion startles us; it is hard to tell how close it is, and many of our community are out taking exams at the University or working at the Borderfree Center. We scramble to begin calling them, and go online to find out details. Twitter feeds tell us that a suicide bomber has targeted a foreign force convoy several districts away; four civilians were killed and seven injured (read Washington Post story). This is the reality of life in Afghanistan where an estimated 42 children are killed each week. Sometimes the explosions are “sticky bombs” stuck to the bottom of a car, and other times they are small Improvised Explosive Devices‘ (IED.) Fortunately, for today, we are all safe.
Afghan Peace Volunteers
Yesterday and today have been spent with the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APV.) We have talked often during the monthly Global Days of Listening, and they share their struggles and hopes to build a new reality, grounded in nonviolence. Community life is not easy for them; the majority of their lives have been lived under fear from the US’s longest running war, and they have grown up distrusting other ethnic groups and Internationals, especially Americans. Their willingness to reach out to other ethnic groups, and to us, and to try and overcome a lifetime of enmity, continues to amaze me. Continue reading →
We decided to go on a picnic, and twelve of us crammed into a van to head for a peaceful area about an hour outside Kabul’s downtown center. Those of you who have experienced traffic in Cairo can get a small sense of how challenging it is to cross Kabul. There are no lanes, no signals, and no rules; there are hundreds of potholes and honking horns. However, the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APV) are young and we cross town, bobbing and weaving and honking our way through traffic, clapping and singing with music blaring from our radio.
The land is bone dry clay, hard as rock, and I couldn’t visualize a park, but we wove higher into the hills, following dozens of others trying to escape the incessant heat, to an area that was cooler with more trees and a bit of grass. Continue reading →