A popular concert for Peace
22 September 2009 - More than a thousand thrilled people were last night waving flags for Peace Day while eagerly awaiting songs from some of Afghanistan’s most famous singers.
The event at the historical Babur Gardens in Kabul was organized by the Afghan Civil Society Organization for Peace, one of the most well-known networks working for peace in Afghanistan with 240 member groups.
“We can use social gatherings in order to promote a peace culture in Afghanistan,” said Mr Hakimyar the director of the network.
The enthusiastic audience, including some family groups, seemed delighted by the special show and the young started to dance when the concert started after a few short speeches.
It may have been one of the rare opportunities in Afghanistan’s capital city, in which people could gather in a public place and enjoy an event without the fear of a suicide bomber or an explosion.
One of the young participants said: “I am very happy here today to celebrate Eid and Peace. I like both the singers.”
Leena Alaam a famous Afghan actress and UNAMA Peace Day Ambassador in Afghanistan participated in the release of white peace doves with other members of the civil society organization.
Jan Rogge the country director for the German Development Service (DED) said the event “was a popular success.”
Golalai Habib one of the activists for peace and women’s rights said: “Peace is celebrated now where it was a battlefield a few years ago and this is very important to me.”
Two singers who had been exiled in Germany performed songs mainly on the theme of Peace in all the four main languages of Afghanistan including Dari, Pashto, Uzbek and Hazaragi.
At one point the singer Wajiha Rastagar asked the audience to sing with her and the audience followed.
”I have a sentiment of happiness at this point to have been able to sing for Peace,” she said.
In response to a question if she was worried watching the thrilled audiences she said: “We belong to the people and they belong to us so why should I be worried?”
Dr Alema a civil peace service coordinator for DED said: “It was one of my dreams to celebrate this day with my people and that dream became true today.”
The Afghan Civil Society Network for Peace was created in 1996 to work for a peace culture and actually started to celebrate Peace Day in Afghanistan since 2003.
By Nilab Mobarez, UNAMA