Nov 24, 2007

Public Awareness on Enlightenment, Human Rights & Social Interactions

By Seddiq Rahpoe Tarzi

Public Awareness on Enlightenment, Human Rights & Social Interactions
November, 2007

Executive Summary 1
Situation Analysis 2
Goal, Mission, Objectives 3
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats 4
Operation 5
Long Term Strategies 6
Conclusion 7


Our country Afghanistan in its very existence is one of those countries that have a vast diversity and variety within itself; in its population, languages, lifestyles, public opinions etc. Its cultural norms and practices are unique. However in the recent almost three decades of war and internal conflict has left its inhabitants far behind the modern life and advancements in all fields benefiting the human kind.
As being a perfect platform for everyone, every person has played their role through out the decades to cultivate seeds of ignorance, prejudice, violence, hatred, hostility and discrimination among the people of Afghanistan. Among the nation whose unification once would have frightened and left its enemies in fear in order to accomplish their malicious and mean goals Its enemies made every possible effort and used each and every possible tool to its own advantage, and religion and people’s religious beliefs were at no exception.

This community of volunteers (Serenity Campaign) aims to make every possible effort to show its people the path through shared knowledge, information and awareness of peace.
The persons contributing to the Serenity Campaign are those who feel for their country. For the people of this country who have no personal interest whatsoever in forming a community. Our aim is clear for the very cause mentioned and is free from any political and/or personnel opinion and/or influence whatsoever.

With the downfall of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s population has a tremendous opportunity to create peace and serenity that support the social structure of afghan community. The new government in Afghanistan supports this direction in its National Development Framework, with a strong focus on private sector development of peace and serenity. But the only thing that has not been changed that should be is poppy production of the farmers especially in south areas. Poppy production is one of the main reasons that we can not avoid, which has a strong relation with anarchy and insecurity. It’s the crop that all the benefits have been taking by terrorism and by people want to bring violence to the country; the producers just get addiction and sickness plus residents by this crop.

PAEHIRS will tell residents that the production and trafficking of poppy in Afghanistan poses a devastating threat to the stability of both Afghanistan and the surrounding region. While the transition to a licit economy may not be easy, it is only through the development of a licit economy that Afghans can be truly free and the next generation can have a better future. A poppy-dependent economy prevents prosperity and security; challenges the new democracy Afghans worked hard to establish; effect an environment of insecurity and fear; prevents foreign investment and participation as a respected member of the international community; and keeps millions of Afghans from improving their quality of life.

PAEHIRS want to cover most of the issues that residents need the awareness on in south Afghanistan. And one of them is gender and women issues that PAEHRSI want to cover through this campaign beside peace and poppy messages.
The PAEHRSI’s founder, M. Saleem Zmarial recognized this opportunity because of his work with Afghan community and his development background. Zmarial has worked as a Senior Administration and Finance Officer of United Nation Office for Project Services for first democratic Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council Elections, in endeavors to practice democracy and a struggle for peaceful province right after he founded the first private FM radio station in Helmand to educate people in deferent fields of life and show them the positive effects of the democracy. He has also worked as a Public Information Officer in one of the Poppy Elimination Programs in Helmand and currently is the first time elected deputy director of Journalist’s Independent Association in Helmand. M. Saleem Zmarial wants to bring up all his experiences to promote peace in the province and country.

The PAEHRSI’s co-founder Basima Shah holds her bachelor degree from 12th class studied in Helmand province. Right after school she started working in a USAID funded program “Alternative Livelihoods Program/South as Public Information Assistant after one year she promoted as a gender officer in the same program. After working as a gender officer/manager for two years in Helmand province she acknowledged a lot more about gender issues and women situations in the province. Being as a medical student in Kandahar university plus part time job as a gender manager with ADP/S now she want to bring up all her experience with women issues and terrible situations of them to people and residents in stories, dramas and messages that will describe most of the history and current situations of the women throughout this campaign.

Afghanistan sits insecurely on a historic thoroughfare in the middle of Asia.
For centuries, it has been a crossroads of trade between northern and southern Asia, and for centuries, Afghans were considered among the best merchants in the world. However, after the Soviet invasion of 1979 the country faced a decade war followed by a civil war that opened the opportunity for the Taliban to take control of the nation. During these many years of war Afghanistan lost its standing as a developing country on its way to stability and prosperity. Basic infrastructures were destroyed pushing the population into a survival level of living. Prior to these conflicts, there were serenity among residents; even Lashkar Gah has been called Little America by other national parts of Afghanistan and so were other developmental works in progress throughout the country..

More than five years into the reconstruction process since the Bonn agreement, conditions for peace and serenity in Afghanistan, especially for those in the south, have remained virtually unchanged. The illiteracy rate is more than 85% in the south areas and more than 90% of the population lives under the poverty line. Corruption, serious breach of law and order and government’s growing inability to provide security and justice are creating severe inevitable dissection and tension between the populations. People are now losing hope on the improvement of the situation looking to what little the government has done to meet the challenges.

In Afghanistan particularly Helmand province the opium business has a strong role in everything security, administration, corruption, terrorist activities and etc... Afghanistan is the world’s top poppy producing country which produces 93% of world’s opium in 2007 (UNODC Report 2007) Helmand is the biggest poppy – producing province in Afghanistan responsible for 40% of world production. And this series have been continued up to now from Taliban but PAEHRSI want producers and farmers to think it’s the time to change back to the progress and development of their country as they used to be and they were living in with peaceful space with their families.

Same with gender issues, in many rural areas, especially in the more conservative tribal

belt, the situation of women has not changed to any degree since the removal of the Taliban. The majority of southern Afghan women remain housebound, unable to carry out the slightest decision without their husbands’ or other male member of the family’s permission; most of them are kept far from getting education their compulsory and Islamic right, many women dies during child delivery in homes they are not taken to hospitals. On the rare occasion they are allowed to leave their homes, they are required to wear the burqa.

PAEHRSI want to tell residents that till when the women won’t be able to get their fundamental rights.It is within this background that PAEHRSI wants to make an impact and grow peace that allows residents to inspire for brotherhood into their country.

The mission of Public awareness on Enlightenment, Human rights & social interactions is “To bring peace, brotherhood among residents by positive messages through out media outlets and Focus Group Discussions (FGD)”
With this in mind, the PAEHRSI campaign’s objectives are:

Public Awareness on Enlightenment, Human rights & Social Interactions
want to do a campaign naming peace to generate its meaning inside residents so that they feel their peaceful space as bond/base of development in their country.

We will let the people know about their rights as being residents of this country and as such their individual responsibilities towards this country and the present situation, we will let the people understand the present threats to their stability and brighter future of their children, we will encourage the people through our awareness campaign about the honorable way of living, and will directly & indirectly educate them on the high standard principles and ethics of humanity, we will through our program expand their knowledge on how different civilizations and nations have passed through these stages through out the history to attain the positions they have now and will strive to enhance their knowledge and analysis skills of differentiating between the good and the evil and let the people decide what way they want to live. [This way the message of peace would have been embedded in the programs itself])

This campaign will generate new thinking and new ideas among residents and will make them feel their responsibilities toward their country.

Public awareness on Enlightenment, Human rights & social interactions
Serenity campaign messages’ will inspire and encourage community to award hope and peace and will reach out its messages and ideas through out TV programs, radio broadcasts, posters, leaflets, news papers and focus group discussions with people in different part of the province.

Public awareness on Enlightenment, Human rights & social interactions
serenity campaign symbolizes the hope for economic prosperity that will arise from strong regional ideas and positive messages.

PAEHRSI will enhance the value of peace inside the residents through this campaign
PAEHRSI will raise awareness among residents of Helmand about the importance of peace to community and the importance of economics in the society at large;

PAEHRSI want residents to feel that by growing legal crops/stuff YOU and the rest of the community reap its benefits.
PAEHRIS want to explain its messages in ripple way to the community so that each of the them feel their importance in the community.

The farmer and producers think poppy the only alternative for their families’ lives but PAEHRSI want them to think differently by telling them that who grow agricultural products that are harmful for the human race never benefit from it. People should be made aware of the harmful effects of poppy and thus discouraged from growing poppy, even though the individual may get a better return in terms of monetary value but PAEHRSI will consider the long term effects of this situation as people can’t satisfy their hunger by consuming poppy by changing their minds with positive messages.

PAEHRSI will describe women issues from past, present and future situations in shape of stories, messages and announcements throughout media and print materials. PAEHRSI will alert people once again on the history of Afghanistan by this part of the campaign.

These efforts are designed to bring greater attention of the people toward peace and serenity in their society that will have the positive impact on their lives’.


With the strong aims and strong team of PAEHRSI this campaign will get success in the Region.

PAEHRSI believes and will make every effort that the resident will support this campaign since most of the residents are willing to have serenity and peace in their community.

PAEHRSI have access to the local community through one of the popular radio station radio Samoon in Helmand province which will convey the greater parts of the messages’ to the people.

Although many of the residents and people will be willing to see peace in the country/province but still this campaign will cost to send out messages up to the people and inform their mind positively.
There are logistical challenges including the high cost for both print materials and media outlets’ awareness.
Security on the ground serves as a major concern.
Considering PAEHRSI’s very nature of being a volunteer campaign obtaining and utilizing the time of the contributors that it would need to carry out the tasks remains a big challenge.
Efforts are needed to persuade and encourage expertise intervention to successfully carry out the campaign which may come at a cost.

At the moment in Helmand province most of the organizations want to play role in the campaigns that want to bring peace, stability and do public information campaign for human rights, women rights and legal crops cultivation especially in Helmand since it’s the most unsecured area and top poppy producing province in Afghanistan.
PAEHRSI may air its positive messages through the most popular radio station in Helmand province Radio Samoon.
Discussions will be organized between groups of different backgrounds to share knowledge and ideas/opinions on the issue.

Setup and how this will work:
The following diagram represents the basic format of the setup.


Admin/Finance Officer

Deputy Director

Media Officer

Mass Info/Liaison Officer

Security Advisor

Human Rights Officer

Political Affairs Advisor/Officer

Finance Assistant

Admin/Log Assistant

Women Rights Assistant

Children Rights Assistant

Ethnic Equality Assistant

Broadcast Assist.

Distribution Assist.

Liaison Assistant

Mass Information Assist.

Political Affairs Assistant

International Advisor

The position of each member in the setup is solely based on responsibilities he/she has in a particular situation and should be in no circumstances considered superior or inferior in comparison to the other members in the setup, and has equal right to express his/her feelings and suggestions.

Each member will volunteer at least 40 hours/week of his time to carry out the responsibility he/she has been assigned to.

The Steering Committee and the Community as a whole and all its members are free from any kind of political, personnel and financial influence and pressure. It should in no circumstances make any decision induced by any of these factors.


Year one

Obtain funding and establish campaign operations.

Year Two

Build out peace among residents

Year Three Start doing Monitoring and Evaluation plus campaign operations

Prepare a special program and allocate it time and days on when to air it. In the program you may ask the audience to send their opinions on security, on ideas of how to improve the situation. Etc.

Have a special theme for each of your program for example one day the programs theme could be Security, the next day it could be “Peoples’ role in security and stabilization of the country” etc..

This way you can create an interactive way of communication with the people and better know their ideas and concepts of the current situation in the country)

Search for seed funding to offset PAEHRSI financial support and in-kind service support

Generate new ideas of serenity among people of Helmand province.

Recruitment of volunteer staff members

Make contacts to supportive organizations

Generate press interest in moving with serenity messages/ideas

Give a specific time on the radio for this program for the audience interest

reach most of the messages by focus group discussion in the districts and city

Workshops for the residents awareness on serenity

Continue to build up serenity messages

Broaden the program on using the national media outlets for the campaign messages

Participate in trade shows

Continue FGDs and workshops plus trainings if needed

Recruitment of professional staff


In this incubation period many of the problems and challenges have been overcome. All the elements for success are in place. The final piece to ensure the success of PAERSI is the right financial support.

Nov 13, 2007

An Afghan journalist missing around with Koran


Ghows Zalmay is a media professional. I know him for quite sometime. He has published a new translation of the Koran. Zalmay has been arrested after complaints from religious scholars that the new edition was un-Islamic. He was arrested on the border on Sunday while trying to flee into Pakistan. Demonstrators protested in two Afghan provinces against the new translation of the Koran into Dari, the second most spoken language in Afghanistan. Religious scholars are outraged at Mr Zalmay's new edition of the Muslim holy book.They say that it is un-Islamic, that it misinterprets verses about alcohol, begging, homosexuality and adultery.

They also complain that it does not contain the original version in Arabic as a parallel text for comparison. I have no idea why zalmay would do this, I have known him as somebody who would go with the stream as long as it serves his purpose. I don’t see no benefit for him in misinterpreting Koran. Zalmai was the head of the so-called journalist union and at the same time the spokesperson for attorney general, two conflict positions, especially when the attorney general is an anti media crusader.

The Afghan constitution enshrines freedom of expression, but for many Afghans that freedom has clear limits. Religion is a taboo, there is zero tolerance to people who talk about religion.

Nov 4, 2007

Funny Staff Regulations!

New rules of engagment for staff :

SICKDAYS: We will no longer accept a Doctors sick note as proof of sickness. If you are able to get to your Doctor, you are able to come to work

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