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Post 5: Experiments In Simple, Nonviolent Inter-ethnic Community

Posted on Veterans For Peace
by Living in Kabul

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 Sherri Maurin

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


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Post 4: A Friday Picnic In Afghanistan

Posted on Veterans For Peace
by Fridays, in the Muslim world,
are days of relative rest and the gathering of family and friends.

Sherri & Friends Sherri Maurin

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

 


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Post 3: Arrival, New Friends, Border Free Center

Posted on  Veterans For Peace SF
by Salam from Kabul!
Peace To You From Afghanistan!

Borderfree Center Opening Sherri Maurin

I arrived at 10am on Thursday morning, to sweltering heat and heavy lines. Smiling, yet shy children, peaking out from behind mother’s scarves, made the long wait at Customs easier, but once I was released into the scorching heat of Kabul, my all black clothing, including a head scarf, seemed like a bad choice!

The entrance was virtually empty except for the armed guard off at a distance. No one is allowed close to the airport, so the search to find my waiting friends, when all of the numbers I had weren’t working, was a challenge! They were there, but without internet or phone access we never connected, and instead I was given a ride by an Al Jazeera reporter just returning to Afghanistan to cover John Kerry’s arrival. Continue reading


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Post 2: The Clouds Over Kabul

Posted on Veterans For Peace SF
by KabulAfghanistan

2014-0805-FlyingintoAfghanistan-S-Maurin800The sky framed by the oval plane window on the last of 4 legs, is ablaze. The charcoal horizon elevates a deep orange bank of clouds which are churned into a paler, lighter orange, and the hills of Afghanistan rise from behind this striking colored curtain with dark contours, sharply outlined with ochre highlights.I’d been less optimistic when the flight was delayed without warning; when the call to board finally came an hour late, a tsunami of passengers raced towards the security check—all seeking to be first, only to be queued again for a transport bus to the actual plane.   Continue reading


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IVAW & VFP @St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 15, 2014
Saturday, 11am–2pm
Market Street: 2nd street to Civic Center
San Francisco

Be visible and be heard! Support us, join us and cheer us on —Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Agains the War at the 163rd annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The West Coast largest Irish event celebrating Irish history and culture. Continue reading