Children want Peace everyday in Afghanistan
24 September 2009 - As Afghanistan celebrated Eid, one of the culminations of the Peace Day campaign this week was a huge outdoor public event in the name of peace at Kabul’s famous Nadir Khan Hill.
Creative peace banners on the roadside led people to the top of the hill yesterday where the festival looked liked a busy market against the backdrop of views overlooking the city of Kabul.
Activities were spread around the edge of the hill and formed a spacious circle for kids to fly their kites freely.
Lovely little Afghan girls walked among the audience with their paintings, the fresh and artistic brushes outlining their hopes for peace.
“I felt happy because I did this painting, I also felt sad because there is a war. The first person at the first stage of our lives who is protecting us are our mothers,” said little artist Najiba.
Her painting illustrated a mother, covered by the all encompassing blue burqa, holding two children in her arms in the conflict zone.
“I’m afraid my families will be affected by the suicide bombs and war. With peace we can live in safety which is a need for everybody,” she added.
Another young artist also interpreted her painting: “A year has 365 days. Today is Peace Day and I hope we can celebrate tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the rest as 364 peaceful days.”
Compared with the shy girls, the boys were a lot of more aggressive. More than 25 small boys took part in a wrestling competition and fought like little tigers.
“It is a different joy and feeling to train these kids,” the wrestling coach said.
In the past two years, he has trained more than 100 street kids and his goal is to “see these kids on the stage and perform in world-wide competitions.”
On the opposite side of the hill, performers and audiences wearing traditional or colourful modern clothes danced together with no boundary.
The voices of the singers echoed across the valley as the heavy dust went up into the sky mixing with the flying kites carrying the message of peace.
Also attending the grand occasion was Ghulam Nabi Farahi, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Information and Culture.
“The peace we have even for one second is important for us,” he said. “Afghanistan went through 30 years war, each day from one to 15 people lost their life, is there no other way except war to bring peace?”
The minister added that he thinks the way to bring peace to Afghanistan country is through competitions, public gatherings and most importantly, by “improving the economic situation and the education.”
The International Day of Peace was observed across Afghanistan on 21 September with a cessation of hostilities appearing to hold countrywide.
Events activities are continuing in the coming days to mark Peace Day.
By Kangying Guo, UNAMA