Watch Shy Bismillah Finds Friends from 34 Afghan Provinces


From top left clockwise: Pashtun – Barath, Tajik – Malik, Uzbek – Habib,

Hazara – Nemat, Afghans – All, Human Family Members – All


Habib remarked at how long it had taken for the human family

to agree in writing that

“all human beings ( including himself, Barath, Malik, Habib and Nemat )

are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

This ability to see beyond ‘my tribe’

was not practiced by those who killed Habib’s father,

nor by any of us who has the impression that

“They are an inherently bad, immoral, lazy,

silly and troublesome people.”

Awakening to a DNA consciousness,

I can look beyond ‘me’ and ‘they’ to ‘we’.

If they are bad, we are bad too.



From left to right : Uzbek, Pashtun, Hazara and Tajik classmates of a government school in Kabul

We are fellow learners in school, college and life,

all wishing for a decent future,

some of us unable to claim our ‘human right’ to education,

not because we are less intelligent,

but because the global economy

forces us to labour for our family’s survival.


Borderfree Street Kids from left to right: Pashtun – Tufan, Uzbek  – Su’ood, Hazara – Farzad, Tajik – Matin


From left to right: Uzbek, Pashtun, Pashtun, Hazara, Tajik labourers

under Kota Sangi bridge in Kabul, waiting for daily-wage work

Our instincts recognize the dignity in every child and working adult,

but our ‘normal systems’ today condition us to




and remain clan-ish loners.


A Hazara labourer


A Pashtun labourer


An Uzbek labourer


A Tajik labourer


Four Afghan dishes clockwise from top: Hazara dish – Quruti, Afghan dish – Chapli Kebab,

Pashtun dish – Dandakai, Uzbek dish – Qabuli Rice

We forget that all living things need food and water to exist.

In Afghanistan, where heavy battles are ongoing in at least 15 of the 34 provinces,

four Afghan Peace Volunteers from different ethnicities

cooked, bought and brought their ‘specialty cuisines’

and spent an afternoon together.

Every day, we believe the wrong narratives about Afghans.



The cooks and friends from left to right: Tajik – Nawid, Pashtun – Barath, Hazara- Bismillah, Uzbek – Habib


Pashtun Dandakai dish:  “The important thing about this dish of rice, oil, yoghurt and lentils

is that we share from the same bowl in friendship with one another, “ Barath Khan said.


Uzbek Qabuli Rice : “White rice, raisins, carrot slices, chicken or other meat…I love it!” Habib


Barath and Habib enjoying the multi-ethnic meal


Bismillah and Nawid are planning the International Day of Peace program of the Afghan Peace Volunteers,

in which they are hoping to gather Afghans from all 34 Afghan Provinces.

The theme of the event is ‘#Enough! Let’s be friends!”

How urgent it is to disallow our leaders and politicians and warriors

the prerogative and rhetoric to destroy our earth and human-ness

through their usual games.

We are all the Earth GENeration,

Green, Equal, Nonviolent.

Our planet, Nature and homo sapiens species,

being burned and bombed into extinction,

are calling on us to Relate! Relate! Relate!

It’s a Re-mergency.

We understand the inevitability of acting locally ‘here’,

but we also understand that ‘here’ isn’t our only home.

‘You’, ‘they’ and ‘the others’ are also our home.



Though we oppose violence and war, we oppose no one. We reach out to all.


Tamana, born in Sar-i-Pul Province, draws a heart over her birth place on a map of Afghanistan

NB : All photos by Hakim except 02 Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek Students by Bismillah, and 09 Afghan Food Eating Together by Muqadisa.