In Yemen, Shocked to His Bones

The ruins carpeted the city market, rippling outwards in waves of destruction. Broken beams, collapsed roofs, exploded metal shutters and fossilized merchandise crumbled underfoot. In one of the burnt-out shells of the shops where raisins, nuts, fabrics, incense and stone pots were traded for hundreds of years, all that was to be found was a … Continue reading “In Yemen, Shocked to His Bones”

The Shame of Killing Innocent People

On April 26th, 2017, in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, the Saudi-led coalition which has been waging war in Yemen for the past two years dropped leaflets informing Hodeidah’s residents of an impending attack. One leaflet read: "Our forces of legitimacy are heading to liberate Hodeidah and end the suffering of our gracious Yemeni people. … Continue reading “The Shame of Killing Innocent People”

Reality and the US-Made Famine in Yemen

This week at the Voices for Creative Nonviolence office in Chicago, my colleague Sabia Rigby prepared a presentation for a local high school. She’ll team up with a young friend of ours, himself a refugee from Iraq, to talk about refugee crises driven by war. Sabia recently returned from Kabul where she helped document the … Continue reading “Reality and the US-Made Famine in Yemen”

Salt and Terror in Afghanistan

Two weeks ago in a room in Kabul, Afghanistan, I joined several dozen people, working seamstresses, some college students, socially engaged teenagers and a few visiting internationals like myself, to discuss world hunger. Our emphasis was not exclusively on their own country’s worsening hunger problems. The Afghan Peace Volunteers, in whose home we were meeting, … Continue reading “Salt and Terror in Afghanistan”

The Suffering of Afghan Refugees in Winter

Kabul – The fire in the Chaman e Babrak camp began in Nadiai’s home shortly after noon. She had rushed her son, who had a severe chest infection, to the hospital. She did not know that a gas bottle, used for warmth, was leaking; when the gas connected with a wood burning stove, flames engulfed … Continue reading “The Suffering of Afghan Refugees in Winter”

Survival and Dignity in an Afghan Winter

“Mirwais, son of Hayatullah Haideri. He was 1½ years old and had just started to learn how to walk, holding unsteadily to the poles of the family tent before flopping onto the frozen razorbacks of the muddy floor. “Abdul Hadi, son of Abdul Ghani. He was not even a year old and was already trying … Continue reading “Survival and Dignity in an Afghan Winter”

Soft Necks Will Not Be Slaughtered

July 29, 2012 Abdulhai remembers his father being killed by the Taliban. “Anyone who takes up a weapon in revenge, whether the Talib or any other, is acting like the Talibs who murdered my father,” he says, in a matter-of-fact way. “The solution does not lie in taking revenge, but in people coming together like … Continue reading “Soft Necks Will Not Be Slaughtered”

The Sky as It Falls

Kabul – For the Afghan Peace Volunteers, living in a working class area of Kabul’s “Karte Seh” district, daily problem-solving requires a triage process. Last week, upon arrival, I looked at the sagging ceilings over the kitchen, living room, and entryway and felt certain that shifting to new living quarters should be the top priority. … Continue reading “The Sky as It Falls”