Dec 31, 2011

No Shelter, No Protection: Afghanistani Asylum Seekers Struggle to Survive in Greece

by Basir Ahang
Within the sprawling city of Athens, Greece, Victoria Park resembles a war front camp. Close to a thousand Afghanistani asylum seekers, many are children, now call this park home. Hoping to put the struggles of a war torn homeland behind them, they left Afghanistan to find security. Sadly, the hunger, homelessness, cruelty and desperation has followed them on their path.
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Zulmay, an Afghanistani refugee has been attacked several times by men he suspects are from a Greek nationalist group. 
‘This park is the only sanctuary for us. If we go outside of this park, we are assaulted.” His eye is swollen, oozing and bruised. An injury confirming his claim of mistreatment by Greek assailants. 

“If we go outside of the park, the Greek police will not protect us. The Greek police are reluctant to interfere when we are attacked. I went to the police when my head was bleeding after an assault. The police told me I should defend myself if I am attacked. Clearly, the Greek police will not register our complaints of harassment or assault.”

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Zulmay says it is not good to fight back. It will only worsen the situation for a refugee and it could land them in jail or prison. He is not going to take the chance of being separated from his wife and children just to fight back.
“My family needs me. I must find us shelter and food. I want to find a job to take care of my family.”
Along the roads of Athens, young Afghanistani refugee children work selling handmade items. For six months now, brothers Fareed, 8, and Hamyoon, 11, walk the streets selling to survive. Everyone in the family must do their part to earn money. Their parents ask them to earn at least 15 Euros before returning home to the park. It is a rough life compared to the children eating cereal and milk for breakfast in front of a television. A school bus will not arrive to taxi these refugee children to school for education. For now, the streets of Athens are their classroom. The lesson for “survival of the fittest” is now in session. 
These Afghanistani refugees are waiting to be processed by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), a UN agency mandated to protect and support refugees. The commission assists in the voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement. It is an immense and complicated process.
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Consumed with their own economic troubles, it appears there are Greeks without care for the plight of refugees. You would think that a people so steeped with a history of war would understand such things. The days of Spartacus are long gone. Why must a refugee fight for his life and the life of his children within this arena? Would it have been better they starve or die on the battlefields of Afghanistan? 
The cruelty and confinement in Athens has many refugees feeling an urgency to smuggle their families out of Greece and into neighboring European countries.
“We are not a danger to Greece. We only want to find safe shelter and a little food to feed our children. We desire a secure place to live and find work. Our people are capable and willing to work. We want our children to have a chance for education. Shouldn‘t everyone be allowed a safe place to raise a family? In my homeland, every day I felt fearful a bomb or bullets would destroy my family. Many of us have already suffered loss from the death of a loved one. A war that I did not start took away jobs and food for my family. No one should have to endure such things.” These words from an Afghanistani refugee mother sound like those of any parent concerned for their child.

Dec 26, 2011

Band-e-Amir (Afghanistan's Wonder)

Band Amir
Band Amir Bamyan

There is something really hard to know when is this war is going to be over, I mean it has been 30 years and only 10 years since Afghanistan is facing Taliban. Since then there have been some changes but from my point of view not that much that I expected. In some places there is no school and there is no hospital at all. In some places there is no water for the crops. And of course that year there will be no product, and this leads that economy will not grow.I don’t know what will happen with Afghanistan’s economy when NATO leave Afghanistan in 2014. It is going to be a hard time. And that is for sure.
From the time that there has been war in Afghanistan , it made Afghanistan a bit more down from culture to tourists. I have seen photos and weekly magazines that before war there was a lot of tourists coming from around the world.
Places  like this is very rare in the modern world.
Band Amir Bamyan
Band Amir Bamyan
A few short words about Band Amir: Band Amir have seven places like this one. Or seven dams like this and each one have different style and water. It was once a very huge touristic place. Afghanistan have a very rich History of places. Each is like a legend and some are unknown. 
Band Amir Banyan
Band Amir Bamyan
Band Amir is located in Bamyan province in Afghanistan.
Band Amir was once elected as Afghanistan’s first national park in 1960′s but unfortunately that did not happened due to Kabul situation of War. In 2004, Band-e Amir was submitted for recognition as a World Heritage site.
Band-e-Amir Bamyan
Band-e-Amir Bamyan
And finally in 2009 it was declared to be Afghanistan’s first national park. Some say that there is 6 dams but I have heard that there is 7 dams more. Anyways/
The six dams are these :
  • Band-e Gholaman (slaves)
  • Band-e Qambar (Caliph Ali’s slave)
  • Band-e Haibat (grandiose)
  • Band-e Panir (cheese)
  • Band-e Pudina (wild mint)
  • Band-e Zulfiqar (the sword of Ali)
Band-e-Amir, Bamyan
Band-e-Amir , Bamyan
I am praying that our touristic places to be back in list of touristic places in the world. It is going to be a great achievement for Afghanistan. Most of the world countries get their economics mostly from tourists from around the world.

I will recommend you to go to this attractive place. Of course when this stupid war is over. Or at least better.I went there for 1 day like some 5 years ago. And it is magical and unbelievable the water is like real blue unlike other rivers. And some believe that, dams water is pure and will give health.

Dec 17, 2011

Why Do I Blog?

Why Do I blog?
As a young blogger, I see blogging as a way to share my positive thoughts and ideas on different subjects, arts (photography, drawings), news about Afghanistan and issues on a much a larger scale that is global issues affecting all of us. I do it mainly because it is a personal hobby for me. Blogging is not too much old as it became very popular in 1998. I started blogging in fall of 2010 and so my blog is not too old. There are many reasons that I like to discuss about why I like to blog.

Blogging is now a very social thing. Everyone can keep a blog for different purposes. One can connect and make friends around the world. It doesn’t require any special knowledge of writing and is very easy to start. Blogging is now also a serious thing. Some blogger have actually been punished by governments for expressing their ideas. Their writings have been seen as an insult to the governments and as a result some writers have had to face jail. On the other hand, bloggers's also get respectful prizes for their blogs specially the ones who write academically and on important global affairs. People use their blogs as a source of genuine information. Personally, I write my blog because I think writing is an important tool in understanding many issues and getting a message across to people.
When I blog, I feel like I am communicating my feelings and thoughts; communicating not only with the world out there but also with myself. As I write I put my feelings and thoughts into words and so I am in touch with the world, I communicate with the world. Sometimes I look at what I write, evaluate it and re-shape it. At times, I leave it as it comes with no more editing. I evaluate and edit my original thoughts and writings because it helps transfer my thoughts in a way that is understandable to the people who read my blog. After all, what I feel and write may not always be perceived as I intend but it helps a lot when thoughts are transferred neatly into words. But sometimes it is best to leave the words untouched and the interpretation to the reader’s own imagination. Sometimes I just write about what I dream. Sometimes I write about things that I would like to do one day. It may look like fiction, but one day I hope I will be able to do some of those. For example I want to go to the Amazons or climb to the top of the Himalayas.

Therefore as I write, I feel I am creating and the joy of creating is known to all.

I blog because there is so much I want to say. As a kid with great ambition and thus my blog title “akidwithgreatambition”, blogging is my first platform where I can raise awareness about issues that are close to my heart, important for me and I think important for everyone else. I write about nature. I write about how beautiful this world is and it can be for all. I write about nature because I want everyone to know about it and appreciate it as I do. I love our planet and am greatly concerned about how it is changing due to reckless behaviour of people. It makes me angry when I hear that thousands of hectares of forest are being cleared every year in Amazon for instance. I write about global warming so I can stay up to date with matters related to it and at the same time inform my readers about this important topic.

People might think it is a serious issue that adults should deal with but I believe the responsibility to keep our home clean and sustainable lies on everyone’s shoulders including kids my age. If we develop good habits of recycling, reducing pollution and buying environmentally friendly goods from a young age, we are more likely to keep such habits for the rest of our life and transfer them to our children too. So I write to help myself understand global warming better and raise awareness about it.

I also want to be a voice for the voiceless. I want to write and share about the painful life of kids in Afghanistan with the rest of the world by blogging. A large number of children are homeless in Afghanistan and they live on the streets. Most of them are beggars and labourers. In developed parts of the world, children don’t have to do any work. They enjoy their childhood and are worry free. In Afghanistan and a few other countries, children are deprived of their childhood and have to work or beg to feed their families. Most of them are abused too. These children do not have the same opportunity that I have so I write to share their pain and suffering with the world. I feel connected to them when I do this. One day I will be able to do more for them.

I also write my blog to inform the world about my country Afghanistan. People have seen a lot of negative things about Afghanistan on the media but I want to show them the other side too. I want the world to know that there is another side to all of this, a much bigger one. There is positive side. By writing about the old and modern artists of Afghanistan and their work I want to inform the world about my culture and how it used to be before the wars destroyed my country. I know there is a lot of violence and destruction going on but despite all these, there still is love for arts, music and humanity among my people. I hope that through my blog, people will realize this and become interested in knowing about Afghanistan.

Evolution Of Blogs

Really? I didn't knew that blogs had influence on society and it people, let me rephrase that : I didn't knew that blogs had influence on "World" and it's people. Yes blogs are very influencing thing for society's and you can say the whole world. Millions of people around the world that have access to internet and a passion for blogging is blogging right now. They are sharing their thoughts, their opinions (on almost anything), their ideas, their achievements....etc.

Form some people blogging have changed their life, and everything in their life!

This is because blogging is awesome, fun, cool, educative, informative, and anything you can imagine. Personally my self that I have just started blogging about 5 months ago. I have noticed a lot about my self that I have changed. People have noticed about me. Now that I see I am kind of recognized inside my people, and also a bit recognized inside world wide web. It is just so much interesting to me . That every day I think about it. I have got so much achievements from blogging. And recommend for any body to have a blog and share their opinions about their concerns. Some like to blog about writing reviews about movies and books and some like to just write about their daily-life. But you know it is just blogging that can be used for anything. With a blog you can have as many pages as you want as may categories as you want as many posts as you want except for files that is limited.

Blogging is changing world- Blogging Is having Influence on world!

Blogging is a type of free-style writing , but some take it kind of serious which is also nowadays visible to media world. Even some blogs have that much influence on governments that it leads to protests.

From my point of view blogging is the very easy and best platform for person or a society to raise their voice about something.

Some points about why is blogging the best platform:

  • It is Free!
  • It has a lot of features
  • Their is a lot of blog providers
  • You can share anything!
  • You will find other great people by blogging
  • Even some people earn their day living by blogging
  • Now blogging is a job
  • It is life changing! Trust Me!

This is my first post in Association Of Afghan Bloggers (AABW) . I hope that my posts and my opinions will be helpful and enjoyable to read. And your comments on posts are encouraged and will be appreciated.