Peace Day campaign in the north

10 Sep 2009

Peace Day campaign in the north

10 September 2009 - With just eleven days to go until the International Day of Peace the different regions across Afghanistan are gearing up for the final days of events and activities.

In the north of the country the campaign has so far seen Afghan actress Leena Alam, launch the campaign when she called on all parties to respect the day’s ceasefire.

On 14 September a kite flying competition will be organized by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNAMA.

More than 60 kites will be given to children in the Sosmaqala camp and the winners will be awarded Peace Day prizes.

This week a news conference was organized in Mazar-i-Sharif by the Cooperation Center for Afghanistan with a panel composed of the head of UNAMA’s Northern Region, the deputy governor of Balkh, representatives from the Afghan police and army, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), representatives from the Provincial Reconstruction Team and the head of the Department of Women’s Affairs in the north.

“We call all our partners from the national and international community to do something for Peace,” said Pavel Ershov, the head of UNAMA’s northern office.

“This Peace Day campaign arrives in one of the most crucial periods for the future of the country. This Peace Day will be a unique opportunity to show the strong will of the Afghan people for Peace,” he added.

Many events will mark this campaign in the north, such as drawing and writing contests for schoolchildren in Mazar-i-Sharif, handicraft activities in Sar-i-Pul, theatre plays workshops, discussion panels on the topic of Peace, and many other activities.

On 16 September, a Peace Day gathering will be organized in Mazar-i-Sharif by the local Peace Day committee.

During this celebration for Peace a number of activities such as traditional music and dancing, plays, and poetry reading will be presented to guests, highlighting Afghanistan’s time-honoured culture.

In addition, another kite flying competition will also be organized by UNAMA and the PRT for the orphans of Mazar-i-Sharif, on 21 September.

This event will be followed by a giant dinner for all the children in one of the local restaurants of the capital of Balkh.

“The road towards peace is long and full of obstacles, but each celebration of this precious gift is a step forward, another obstacle over-stepped,” said a teacher from a school where the drawing and writing contest is taking place.

As the north of Afghanistan gets ready for Peace Day, many people are hoping and aiming to answer the question: What are you doing for Peace?

By Alexandre Brecher-Dolivet, UNAMA