Nov 30, 2008

My Farsi blog is back oline

I was really worry for the last 48 hours because the hosting blocked my account and the host service was Iranian. I am always afraid of reality and this time i had doubt would have my data back. Thanks for your supporting and thanks for my friend Roohollah who was enthusiastically striving to revive back my Farsi blog.

Thanks for Esra and all friends of who had concern on this issue.

Nov 28, 2008

I will be the prize winner today

I am quiet excited now, the prize for freedom of expression will be given to me today in Siena, it is early morning and i am in Athena Hotel in Siena.

The ceremony will be started at 11, so I should get ready sooner. Last night i slept at 2:00AM, it is 6:30am now but I have to shave and have my breakfast very soon. Last night we were invited by ISF (Information and Safety for Freedom). I was excited to hug my great friend Pino Scaccia last night. There are 6 Afghan students, five female and one male who are also invited to this ceremony. Emal Naqshband the brother of Ajmal Naqshbandi who was beheaded by Taliban in 2006 is also in the group.

Will write you more about this in next posts

Nov 26, 2008

Drug Addiction in Afghanistan

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A young man who was repatriated from Turkey while he was intend to cross the border to reach Europe. After spending several months in prison in Turkey he repatriated to Iran border and Iranian police border caught him and put him jail. After 6 months he repatriated to Afghanistan. He became addicted in Iran and now he is in Russian Cultural Palace among hundreds of other addicts who wriggling with their wounded bodies in the darkness of corridors. These addicts who are staying inside the Russian Cultural Palace told that they became addict while they were in Iran and working.

According to the most recent UN figures in 2005, there are about one million addicts in a country of about 30 million people, one in 30 Afghans are addicts.

Nov 23, 2008

Meeting Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh in Prison

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It is not easy to meet Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh in prison. He is condemned because of blasphemy and any one who dares to meet him, has the perspective of being questioned or followed by police man, inside the prison. "Visitors who are visiting Kambakhsh will be followed by police because they are controlling Kambakhsh's relations outside of the prison". I was already told that by a friend of mine, who is a police officer.

It was almost 11:00AM, at least one hour left to meet the prisoners; I had to meet Parwiz Kambakhsh to let him know that he is the winner of the Freedom of Expression award in Italy. Standing in line for minutes where hundreds of people waited just the same to meet their relatives, imprisoned. At the gate of the prison a police man with a board marker signed visitor's hands, next door the visitors have to deliver their mobiles phones and knives. Before approaching the meeting room for the prisoners, there are two check points, one where stamps were put on the visitors hands and the last one is the control to make sure the visitor doesn't carry something that can be dangerous or suspicious. My right hand was signed by a big marker and stamped at the last check point before entering into the prison.

The salon is terribly noisy, you can't hear even your own voice. Visitors are shouting to the prisoners and prisoners shout to visitors. The guy who called the prisoners is called "Jarchi" (Farsi). It was the second time I asked him to call Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, and then immediately he appeared. I waved to him and went a step closer behind the bars but the reticulated wall of metals didn't allow me to touch his fingers.

He seemed disappointed and desperately waved at me. Only for a few seconds I got closer to him, closer to hear him, which was difficult because of the noise. Suddenly my left shoulder was pulled back roughly and I saw two policemen who asked me what I was telling to Kambakhsh.

The police men didn't allow me to get closer to him anymore. But I had a chance to tell Mr.Kambakhsh about the prize, that he become a winner by the Information Safety and Freedom award (ISF) in Italy. He expressed his feeling to be happy to hear that, but the final words I heard from him were: "I need help to get out of the prison."

The police men didn't give me another chance to talk with him anymore, so I waved to him and promised to spread his message outside.

The Italian version already published here.

Nov 16, 2008

From Turin, northern Italy

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As some of you may know that I came in Italy. Right now I am in Turin and last night was one of the first programs which were scheduled, the rests are in coming week.
Last night’s program was organized by the mayor of Almese “Bruno” and Valeria, Ignazio, Silvia and Meri who doesn’t like her name appear here. I appreciate them deeply for the efforts they did.

Lots of questions rose, among the questions a teenage girl asked me: “Why Taliban don’t allow children to go to school”.
This is question that even Afghans couldn’t find the answer; it’s like unanswerable question for us because we can’t find the reason why Taliban burn the schools, killing the teachers, burning the books, very recently men squirted the acid from water bottles onto three groups of students and teachers walking to school in Kandahar.

The only thing I remember to answer to this teenage girl “Francesca” was they don’t like the children go to school to study science but religious school to train the new generation of Taliban.

It was a wonderful night with lovely people. During few days of my stay, I realized there are many things in common between Italian and Afghan. The people here are so friendly and welcome the guests and visitors; the people here showed me great hospitality.

Nov 5, 2008

The Dream of Martin Luther King Become True

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Today, early morning when I opened the news pages on Internet, I read "Obama became the next president of USA" I became excited and suddenly stood and shouted. I couldn't control myself and I said "Greeting Obama! Oh great man in which the dream of Martin Luther King became true now. The people who were close to me they laughed at me but I couldn't control myself, while I was shedding tears I came out from the net café. When I arrived home I wept fully, but tears from happiness. However I don't believe to pray but I was praying for him to win, this was my hope and today I am the witness that my hope turned real.


Obama is the one who wants to change. He turned the dreams of millions of people to reality, millions of people who were hoping fall off the walls. Now, he is the winner and turned into the hero of his nation and the people in his country. He is the one who said, once there was a great man in US history who told his people:

"I have a dream, I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

But today another great man has appeared one who can follow this way and turns his dream to reality. Today, another great man has appeared in the 21 century, from the same people who loudly tells his people: "Things are fine just the way they are. Take a look around, our world needs a change, you can be that change."

His appearance was with encouraging people and giving hopes to those people who were hopelessly living not for a single moment, but for hundreds of years. He appeared to assure his people that "Things are fine", what a beautiful motto.

I write these words, while the tears fall down from my eyes. I shed tears for the happiness of those people who are happy today in the US, for the people who were dreaming to become the winner, for the people who were fighting against injustice, discrimination and civil rights. Tonight, what a fabulous night would be for them. I wish I was there, I wish I was one those people who shed tears of happiness and victory today.

You know, from what pain I suffer in this corner of the world? Only God knows from my heart. Everyday when I wake up, my moments starts with tension, an explosion in the city or suicide attack, all things go along, removing security from me. Everyday I have to go out but when I go out, you know I am completely unsure, that I will come back safely.

You know, I haven't seen my mother for months and she is waiting for months to see me and my hope is to meet my mother and leave myself among her arms and shed tears fully. But you know why I can't reach her? Because in 150 kilo meters, the distance between me and my mother, everyday we hear that Taliban beheaded people, took them with themselves or killed them on the road. But I want to see my mother.

Nov 3, 2008

Afghan National Army

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This is the picture of our young people, our noble children. I am proud of them, two days working with them i believe they are so strong to stand up against enemy, against Taliban and strangers who are against our nation. I am so glad and proud today to see the National Army of Afghanistan getting so strong. Before Mujaheddin and starting civil war, Afghanistan had the most powerful Army. This is was a threat to neighboring countries. As i see and the interests among people who are joining to army day by day i am sure that they will be strong again.

Nov 1, 2008

Blogging for Afghanistan

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From The Guardianweekly

Despite decades of civil war, marauding Taliban and deadly military air strikes, Afghans have experienced some changes for the better over recent years. Health facilities, schools and roads have improved, and a fledgling media industry is finding its feet. Bloggers are off to a fast start, with Nasim Fekrat, also known as Afghan Lord, leading the way. This 25-year-old ethnic Hazara knows all too well the dangers of self-expression, but believes freedom of speech is vital if Afghanistan is to leave its bloody past behind.

Friday October 17th 2008

Lead article photo

Signs of change are visible across Afghanistan. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

When I was 11 years old my father pushed me to pray and I would not pray. One night my father raised his hands to the sky and said: "Please god, take Nasim. Kill him, take him back – I don't want him." He did this in front of me and my siblings and nobody said anything. That evening I couldn't sleep. I was thinking death would come right at that moment. I was so scared, thinking god would come to take me soon, that I kept moving my hands and legs to make sure I wasn't dead.

My mother was kind to me. After my father kicked me out of our house she gave me blankets and told me: "I can't help you, your father is very stubborn, but go to the roof and sleep there." Eventually I left and went to Kabul where a local family took me in. All I did after that was read books.

When I created my first blog I used a pseudonym – I wanted to escape my identity and to be neutral. I told people I was born in Afghanistan but that was it. I didn't want to be seen as one type of person or another. Now in my writing it's no secret: people know I'm Hazara.

In Afghanistan, when you write your opinion in the public sphere, you are labelled a racist. I've been receiving a lot of threats. Someone by the name of Coffin posted on my blog, saying "Soon I will find you", and I also received an email that said "Your days are numbered". People approach me from aid organisations that don't exist. But I've been dealing with this since 2004 when the police shut down the satirical magazine I had started, so these sorts of things are very normal for me now.

Our life, or our society, is completely different from in the west. I told my friends that as long as you have bread to eat here in Afghanistan, don't go to Europe; in Europe we are not treated as human beings. Our looks are different, our ways different. It takes a long time to match with them, to understand. When I went to Hamburg I asked two German people for directions and they completely ignored me; they turned and walked away. So I tell my friends, if you want to go to Europe, fine, just visit for a little while and come back.

Newspaper media is very new in our society. There were just one or two newspapers up until the Soviet era, which were only propaganda for political parties. At that time freedom of speech had little meaning. Now, with people coming back from Iran and other countries, Afghans are more educated, they are more interested in news and in reading. We now have more than 20 daily papers and 100 weeklies.

I don't read Afghan newspapers; most of them are not independent. They are biased towards a specific political party or organisation, or whichever donor is giving them money. We don't have a situation here in which very few people earn enough money to publish a newspaper.

All that I write is with a view to making an Afghan thinktank. I want to bring independent thinkers together who can talk about Afghanistan in a different way. I don't want a repeat of our history of massacres and tragedy. This has become my mission.

One thing I still don't know is how to deal with the past. Afghan history is full of genocide and bloodletting – and we still have warlords wielding power. So writing about the past, dealing with it, is kind of taboo in this society. It doesn't matter who you are – if you are Pashtun, Uzbek, Hazara, Tajik – whatever you write, somebody will attack you. People think we should just forget the past.

Nowadays when I see my father I kiss his hands, but he is not happy with me. He regrets what he asked god for, to take me. I can read that in his eyes. But I forgive him. Because at that moment I decided I wanted to be a man for myself, not for my father. It made me very strong and able to take care of myself. In my life, whatever I wished for, I reached out and grabbed it.

• Nasim Fekrat was speaking to David Lepeska.