Thursday, July 14, 2011

A curiosity about the Hazaras of Afghanistan

The Hazaras in Antique Bamyan

A few days ago a person among the recipients of our press release for the demonstration in Milan had asked me to give explanation on “how the Hazaras are different from the others in Afghanistan” and I sent her these answers via mail. Now I would like to share it here as well, so the other readers would read it. The mail sender was somehow blindly defending the ethnic Pashtoon as she was influenced by the propaganda of the Pashtoon leaders but here we bring quite clear examples of how the Hazara people are. We highlight here the differences of the Hazaras with the Pashtoon.

The purpose of these answers and comparisons is not enmity or to be against the other ethnics of Afghanistan, but is to bring clarity on the situation of Afghanistan that would help the foreigners know this country better.

The other purpose of these answers is to separate who does good and who does bad things in Afghanistan, to show who are the Taliban, and who support them, and to say that all people of Afghanistan are not the Taliban. DISTICTION between good and bad, right and wrong is a difficult thing to do indeed, but explanations, clarity and examples would help do it better.

Like the Jews of the WWII, we Hazaras as victims and survivors of historical mass-massacres in Afghanistan deserve the right to relate our history and our stories, memories and documentations regarding our genocide to the people of the world, as well as to our own offspring, generation to generation to reveal the cruelty that was done against us.

Therefore we would like to ask the readers to share our writings, stories and articles to as many people as possible, so that we would reach to a desired justice that is the need for humanity and for a long term peace among the people.

1- The Hazaras do not have illegal armed groups such as (Kochis, Taliban) as the Pashtoons do. The only armed group they had to defend themselves against the Taliban attacks, was the first group who joined the DDR Process (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) after the defeat of the Taliban in 2001.

2- They instead have a legal economy and most of the villagers are farmers.

3- The Hazaras do not cultivate opium as the Pashtoon do (which economically help and nourish the growth of fundamentalism, extremism and terrorism in Afghanistan)

4- They instead cultivate grains to nourish a legal economy in the country and help the peace process.

5- The Hazaras do not stone the women as the Pashtoon do.

6- They send them to schools and give them the right to study and improve and serve the society.

7- The Hazaras do not cut nose and ears of their women.

8- They let them improve and become leaders in the society. (Most of women in police are the Hazaras. The first women governor, the first women mayor in the history of Afghanistan is a Hazara, the Hazara women join the police and the army of the country as long as there are opportunities for them.)

9- The Hazaras do not train the little boys and girl to commit suicide attacks.

10- They send their boys and girls to school to be useful in the society.

11- The Hazaras do not commit suicide attacks as the Pashtoon (extremists) do.

12- They instead protest in civic ways such as; paving the roads with mud, giving medals to donkeys and putting a big lantern on a city square, as the people did in Bamyan.

13- The Hazaras do not burn schools and other public buildings.

14- They instead make schools. Most of private schools and universities and Kabul belong to the Hazaras. More than 65 % percent of first and second position students in all faculties of Kabul University are the Hazaras while they were banned from higher education through official governmental decrees during the monarchy (in 1960s) but whenever there are equal opportunities for them, they have proved to be not only equal but even better than the other ethnics, in education. They say, the only weapon they have against the fundamentalism in Afghanistan is the education thus they do not have arms.

15- The Hazaras do not let narcotic addiction to come to their youth, instead they encourage the youth, for arts, sports and positive recreation activities, their athletes have brought many medals in international level for the country. Their artists have brought many prestigious awards and prizes for Afghanistan.

16- In the government, as an act of racism, the Hazara ministers were all boycotted by Karzai’s racist team, but the Hazara did not pick up guns to ask for their rights, they instead conducted many civic gatherings and demonstrations to protest against racism and discriminations.

17- The provinces of the Hazaras were all collaborative and cooperative with peace process of the country to have a peaceful life in the country, but they were all neglected by the racist government for any kind of development, reconstruction and improvements. Instead the racist government sent Kochis to burn those areas to shift the war there from south of the country to those areas.

With around six million people the Hazaras make roughly 20 % of population of Afghanistan but their share in the national development budget is something less than 2 % because of discrimination. While Afghanistan is a multiethnic country and the resources and the political powers are to be shared based on the population of the ethics as agreed in Bonn Conference in 2001 after the defeat of the Taliban. With Bonn agreement, the people of Afghanistan put an end to the war to begin a new life with peace, justice and equality. The Bonn conference was the end of a dark period and the beginning of a brighter one, but most of the articles agreed in that conference were neglected by the racist team of Karzai government. The base of Bonn agreement was equality and social justice among the ethnics in power sharing and sharing of the resources in the country which are not applied yet after ten years.

18- The news and information on Hazaras areas are being boycotted by the government. A couple of years back, the government officials threw hundreds of volumes of fiction and non fiction books written by the Hazara authors to the rivers, to calm their voice down, which is exactly comparable to book burning of Nazis but this news was censured by the Afghan Government not to reach to the international media.

For all these abovementioned reasons the Hazaras are considered to be “The outsiders” (as said in an article by National Geographic) because they are different, they are not like extremist PASHTOONS, because they do not kill, they do not burn schools, they do not commit suicide attacks, they do not cut the nose of the women, they do not cultivate opium, and they do not blast public buildings.

Because they are open to democracy, they are open to freedom, human rights, women’s rights and equal opportunity and justice for all. Because they are the survivors of historical genocides in their country thus they need peace, rehabilitation and justice to release from this historical pain.

Because they believe that freedom is a basic right for the human beings and to arrive to a “SUB LEGE LIBERTA” there is need of a public awaking revolution, that is only and only possible through education, literacy and a public brightening process and the Hazaras already do that, they educate even their elderly women in the villages by their own means of support.

Therefore they are very badly discriminated in all areas, from politics to the public services and civic rights. The long way of discrimination against them has an old root and it still exist.

One of the very basic examples for discriminations against the Hazaras in the National Budget of the country;

While a Pashtoon minister’s monthly salary in Karzai’s cabinet was 3,000 $USD in 2007, in the same year, the annual budget for the agriculture of a Hazara province (the whole province) with a population of 400,000 people was allocated 2,500 $USD!

Is it not a clear discrimination, injustice and act of racism against an ethnic?!!

It is only a drop from a big sea. We face the injustice all days anywhere in Afghanistan, therefore you see large number of Hazara refugees and asylum seekers in different countries but we never pick up guns to ask for our rights, instead we follow peaceful ways which are long, hard, exhausting but we know that we reach to prosperity one day, as THERE IS ALWAYS BRIGHTNESS AFTER EACH DARKNESS and we know very well that “NO TYRANY WOULD REMAIN FOR EVER” so we conduct demonstrations, gatherings and seminars to deliver our message of justice and equality in Afghanistan to the people of the world.

In spite of all these injustice, acts of racism and obvious discrimination against us none of the Hazaras commit suicide attacks to protest against this injustice, they instead held seminars and civic protests to look for ways how to eradicate discrimination from Afghanistan.

It is better to wash our eyes and see things through reality and to be honest with our consciences at least.

Revealing these realities, would never mean enmity with the other ethnics of Afghanistan. We all are brothers and sisters and the brotherhood is meaningful when every one has equal rights and opportunities based on their capacities.

We have all the time said, what only we want is, justice and equality! “No big brother, No small brother” but all people of Afghanistan would have equal rights and equality, that is how we could reach to a real and stable peace in Afghanistan.

No specific privileges and no prejudice just for belonging to a specific ethnic.

At the end I would like to bring two quotes from Mazari, the Hazara Leader during the three years resistance of the Hazaras in west of Kabul (1993-1995) who was then killed by the Taliban as the first victim of terrorism in Afghanistan.

“We are not the enemies of the Pashtoons, nor the fond of Tajiks, but we are in favor of a brotherhood based on which we all could reach to justice and equality!”

Abdul Ali Mazari- Hazara Leader, 1994 west of Kabul.

“What we want is being a Hazara would not be a crime anymore in this country!”

Abdul Ali Mazari- Hazara Leader, 1994 west of Kabul.

And one last thing:


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Caro amico Italiano, cara amica Italiana , IO e TE diventiamo NOI!

Stiamo cercando collaboratori/traduttori volontari per la versione Italiana del nostro sito globale:

Di questo sito attualmente esistono due versioni, una in lingua inglese e una in lingua dari (Persiano).

La comunità Hazara ha una popolazione di circa 2,500 persone residenti in Italia, sparsa in diverse città italiane. La maggior parte degli Hazara abita a Roma ,Venezia, Milano, Torino, Bologna, Ancona e Varese....

Gli hazara, pur essendo così numerosi in Italia, non vengono riconosciuti come afghani, forse perchè i tratti somatici tipici di questa etnia non sono riconducili all’immaginario collettivo che in Italia e nel mondo si ha degli afghani: una persona di etnia Pashtoon, dalla lunga barba, che indossa un turbante e con un kalashnikov in spalla.
In realtà la gente comune ignora che in Afghanistan convivono altri gruppi etnici, tra cui gli stessi Hazara, i Tajiki, gli Uzbeki...

Questo non si verifica solo in Italia, ma anche altrove nel mondo. E’ così da sempre, come se fossimo stati boicottati come cittadini del nostro paese. Ogni volta che un hazara si presente come afgano, la gente rimane incredula nel constatare che esistono afgani visivamente diversi dai Pashtoon.

Il riconoscimento della nostra identità Hazara non vuole essere un tentativo di imporci come gruppo dominante o superiore rispetto agli altri, ma far emergere la ricchezza e la varietà delle etnie del nostro Paese.

L’Afghanistan non è semplicemente quel paese che viene raccontato dai mass media, di terroristi Pashtoon pronti a farsi saltare in aria. Esiste un altro Afghanistan, formato da tutti quei gruppi etnici che credono e lavorano attivamente per la pace, ma le cui voci non hanno la possibilità di essere udite, perché rese mute dalla censura di chi detiene il potere.

Vogliamo far emergere queste verità, perché si sappia che in Afghanistan ci sono delle persone o dei gruppi che si impegnano per il rispetto dei diritti umani, che lavorano giorno e notte per far riconoscere i diritti delle donne, i principi della democrazia e della giustizia sociale.

Da sempre gli Hazara si sono distinti per la loro apertura ai principi democratici e per questo motivo sono sempre stati sottomessi e sottoposti a varie pressioni, nonché vittime di fondamentalismi e estremismi in Afghanistan e Pakistan.

Ora, grazie ai mezzi di comunicazione di massa e ai social network, possiamo farci conoscere al popolo italiano. Siamo investiti di una grande responsabilità, ma faremo il nostro meglio per darvi notizie corrette e precise del nostro popolo e del nostro paese. Vi chiediamo perciò di darci volontariamente una mano per la traduzione italiana di questi articoli e news sul nostro sito.

La manifestazione degli Hazara a Milano (Italia)

foto da Nicole Valenti

Gli Hazara d’Italia si sono riuniti a Milano e hanno condannato gli attacchi dei Kochi a Nahur, Behsud, e Daimirdad.

Sabato 9 luglio a Milano decine di manifestanti Hazara si sono riunite ad altre etnie e a cittadini italiani, e hanno marciato per le vie del centro di Milano, per sensibilizzare l'opinione pubblica sui temi della pace e della giustizia in Afghanistan.

I manifestanti, scortati dalle forze dell'ordine, hanno mostrato striscioni, manifesti e cartelli mentre urlavano slogan contro il terrorismo e i talebani.

In questa marcia hanno denunciato il radicamento del fondamentalismo in Afghanistan e hanno lanciato un monito sul rischio di una nuova guerra civile se il presidente Karzai dovesse continuare a sostenere il processo di pulizia etnica.

A questo corteo erano presenti anche i membri del Comitato Italiano Anti Razzisimo che hanno parlato dell’importanza di queste manifestazioni per vincere il razzismo e le discriminazioni in Afghanistan.

I manifesti e i gli striscioni dei manifestanti riportavano slogan quali:

“Stop al massacro degli Hazara”

“Non vogliamo che i Talebani ritornino al potere”

“Non provocate gli Hazara per far scoppiare una guerra, noi vogliamo la pace!”

“Le etnie afghane sono tutte sorelle, tutte vogliono la pace”

‑­”Karzai, vergognati di queste violazioni”

“I Kochi fuori da Nahur e Behsud”

La marcia è iniziata alle 16:00 dalla piazza principale della Stazione Centrale di Milano ed è finita alle 19:00 in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, vicino al Politecnico, con la lettura di una risoluzione in dieci articoli, tre dei quali recitano:

1- Noi manifestiamo per condannare gli attacchi brutali dei Kuchi (Nomadi Talebani) nelle aree degli Hazara di Nahur (Provincia di Ghazni) e Behsud (Provincia di Maidan) che hanno ucciso tanti innocenti e hanno costretto migliaia di persone a fuggire dalle loro case. I Kochi hanno bruciato case e hanno saccheggiato le proprietà del popolo mentre il governo afgano non solo è rimasto in silenzio, ma li ha supportati in questo crimine contro l' umanità. Noi, perciò, consideriamo il Governo afgano come un sostenitore del fondamentalismo, del razzismo e del terrorismo in Afghanistan e manifestiamo il nostro dissenso di fronte a questi attacchi sanguinosi.

2- I Talebani sono il gruppo più fondamentalista e pericoloso dell'Afghanistan, sono contro ogni tipo di democrazia, di valori e diritti umani. Intanto il Governo afgano li sta riportando al potere in virtù della loro etnia. Attraverso la nostra manifestazione vogliamo protestare e condannare la Riconciliazione con i Talebani,perché se loro ritornassero al potere, cancellerebbero tutti i risultati di questi ultimi 10 anni e l'Afghanistan diventerebbe ancora una volta una prigione per le donne e le minoranza etniche.

3- Recentemente il Governo razzista di Karzai ha rimosso con un processo illegale dozzine di deputati Hazara dal Parlamento per boicottare la società Hazara. Gli Hazara sono considerati il gruppo più democratico e progressista dell'Afghanistan. La società degli Hazara ha avuto un notevole ruolo nelle varie elezioni ‑­di questi ultimi 10 anni, si è distanta per una considerevole partecipazione femminile. Questo spiega perchè i fondamentalisti del Governo di Karzai non vogliono la presenza di Hazara nel parlamento afgano. Vogliamo condannare questo atto di razzismo che ha indebolito il fragile processo di democratizzazione in Afghanistan e autorizzerà il fondamentalismo.

Tanti di quei manifestanti erano giovani Hazara che in Afghanistan hanno sofferto per le oppressioni e le discriminazioni e come conseguenza sono giunti in Italia per chiedere asilo.

La maggior parte dei rifugiati afgani presenti in Italia appartiene all'etnia Hazara.

Gli Hazara sono una comunità nuova in Italia, quasi sconosciuta alla società italiana.

Gli Hazara, dai tratti somatici mongoli, sono l’etnia che piu si è sparsa per l'Afghanistan. Come gli Ebrei durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, hanno subito massacri di massa in diversi periodi storici, perciò ora si possono trovare in ogni angolo del mondo a chiededere asilo e protezione a causa del loro sistematico genocidio.

Gli Hazara godono della democrazia nei loro nuovi rifugi, e credono in quei diritti di cui sono stati privati nel paese d’origine a causa del razzismo, della discriminazione, delle minacce e per la paura di persecuzioni. Trovandosi fuori dall’Afghanistan, possono approfittarne per esprimere liberamente loro stessi e il loro parere sui temi che riguardano il loro paese, senza alcun timore di subire minacce di morte o essere perseguitati.

Nella diaspora gli Hazara stanno cercando di creare un potere forte e influente che possa determinare grandi cambiamenti in favore della democratizzazione dell’Afghanistan.

Per la versione Inglese e per vedere piu' delle foto cliccare Hazara People

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Italian Hazaras’ protest in Milan Italy

Photo by Basir Ahang

Saturday July 9th 2011 Milan- Italy

The Italian Hazaras, in a rally in Milan condemned the Kochi Taliban attacks on Nahur, Behsood and Daimirdad, Hazara’s systematic genocide and Karzai’s discriminative action against Hazara MPs in the parliament of Afghanistan. They also condemned Jawad Zuhak’s assassination and asked the government to find and trail Zuhak’s murderers.

For more details visit Hazara People

Bamiyan, the future for Afghanistan?


At the start of July, NATO began to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, handing responsibility over to the Afghan authorities. Bamiyan is one of the first regions involved in this process.

The first thing that strikes you on arrival are the distant mountain, with two gaping holes on either side. In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed the two tallest Buddhas in the world: one 38m high, the other 53m. Today, this is probably one of the world's saddest landscapes. The empty niches represent years of barbarity, deception and delusion. At the scene, a few workers pick up the last remaining stones and safely stow them away. According to UNESCO, the stones collected following the destruction of the Buddhas could help to rebuild them one day.

The Hazara

A little further on, we reach the town centre. In reality, it's just a main street with a few stalls on either side of the road. Arriving in Bamiyan gives you the impression that you have left Afghanistan; there are almost no blue burqas and the inhabitants have Mongoloid features. Legend has it that they are direct descendents from Genghis Khan's soldiers. These people are Hazaras, the only Shiite ethnic group in Afghanistan, which is 90% Sunni. The Taliban denounced them as infidels. When the Taliban entered Bamiyan, they killed 15,000 members of the local population. Since then, the population has deplored the Taliban and lives in fear of their return.

Band-e Amir

Not so long ago, the Bamiyan region attracted the most tourists in Afghanistan. Habiba Sarabi is trying to entice the tourists back. In 2005, she became the first Afghan woman to be elected governor of a province. She decided to create Band-e Amir, the first Afghan national park. The series of six lakes in the middle of the mountains contain a certain curiosity. They come is a variety of colours so that the handful of tourists passing through - soldiers, aid-workers and even a few Afghans - can paddle on the turquoise lake.

An Afghan fantasy

Despite all this, Bamiyan is one of the poorest regions of Afghanistan. The inhabitants live in caves and use crude, stone-age tools. NATO forces are set to completely withdraw from the province, handing control to the police and army who are unable to drive out the Taliban. But Bamiyan gives a glimpse of how Afghanistan will manage on its own. Whether the Afghanistan of tomorrow will be able to resume its previous way of life or whether it will be deeply marked by the coalition’s intervention remains to be seen. For now, Bamiyan remains the illustrious vision of the Afghanistan's future in the minds of the Western powers.

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