Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Som broar över mörka vatten – ett integrationsprojekt

Av Christina Spännar & Vibeke Bing

Kanske du associerar TFF med Jugoslavien, Burundi, Irak, Iran, ickevåld och fredsdebatt? Men vi har i tre år också arbetat med frågor kring integration med tonvikten lagd på ensamkommande barn från Afghanistan. Insatsen här har letts av författarna av denna projektsammanfattning.

Vi är stolta över att nu publicera bloggen Som Broar Över Mörka Vatten där allt material finns. Projektet har finansierats av Arvsfonden.

“När vi åkte gummibåt över Turkiets hav till Samos i Grekland greps vi av Grekiska poliser. Poliserna kastade alla våra kläder i havet och gjorde små hål i vår båt.” Ali

“På kvällen satt vi i en båt. Vi åkte till Grekland. På vägen till Grekland fick vi problem med båten. En polisbåt kom och klippte sönder en del av motorn. Vi paddlade med händerna och fyra åror.” Hassan

Vi lever i en märklig tid. Framför våra ögon pågår en stor migrationsvåg av ensamma barn. Något liknande har inte hänt sedan de finska vinterkrigsbarnen kom till Sverige på 40-talet.

De barn, som utan föräldrar, nu flytt hit undan krigets fasor har gjort en annan resa. De kommer från länder vi inte vet mycket om. Vilka är dessa barn och ungdomar, vad tänker de på och hur är livet i Sverige? Vi har lärt känna och lyssnat till några av dem. De är alla från Afghanistan.

Hur deras berättelser kommit till och vad de har att säga kan man läsa i denna rapport, som summerar tre års projektarbete. Här kan man också få veta hur vi sökt arbetsformer som kan underlätta den svåra etableringsfasen.

Vid öppnandet av en utställning

Vi berör också det komplicerade i att återförenas som familj.

Vi vänder oss till alla som arbetar med barn, ungdomar och föräldrar. Men också till alla som är nyfikna på vad som sker i vår samtid.
Känns läsningen tung – bläddra vidare till pojkarnas berättelser och det öppnas en ny värld.

En av de unga sammanfattar vår tid tillsammans såhär:

– “Jag har fått hjälp, ni har fått hjälp, vi hade kul!”

Det är bara att instämma!

Vibeke Bing
Projektledare, folkhälsovetare

Christina Spännar
Projektledare, sociolog

Sammanfattning av projektet

Som broar över mörka vatten – ett integrationsprojekt har haft som övergripande syfte att stärka människor i övergångsskeden i livet. Målgrupper har varit nyblivna föräldrar, ensamkommande flyktingbarn/ungdomar samt föräldrar som kommit till Sverige som flyktingar eller som anhöriginvandrare till ensamkommande flyktingbarn och ungdomar.

De övergångsskeden som stått i fokus är att bli förälder och att migrera. I det senare fallet handlar det om att bryta upp från ett socialt sammanhang och finna sig till rätta i ett nytt. I migrationsprocessen ingår ofta också att återförenas som familj efter år av splittring.

Projektet kan liknas vid ett träd, Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistan – What Now?

By Johan Galtung

Islamabad, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 Feb 2014

Your Excellencies,

The basic point is that Pakistan will not get that commodity called “peace” in Kashmir, Afghanistan and Central Asia by pursuing the ends and means of Washington and some local elites only. For peace to blossom the goals of other parties also have to be considered; and they are many. The logic of the political games pursued today presupposes some kind of victory or domination of “our side”: neither feasible nor desirable for peace. Hence, the need for some visions for peace politics is Kashmir, Afghanistan and Central Asia for tomorrow or the day after, with the hope that they can be useful when you have come to the end of the road with current policies. Nothing of this is easy; and without visions even impossible.

The fairly detailed, non-dogmatic vision appended (below) was my acceptance speech of the 2011 Abdul Ghaffar Khan International Peace-Builder Award by the Pakistan-American Muslim Association.

However, why do present policies so often seem to be non-starters?

The British empire drew three lines with disastrous effects for Pakistan: the Durand line in 1893, a 1,600-mile wound defining the border with Afghanistan, dividing the Pashtun nation – the biggest nation in the world without a state – into two parts; the McMahon line of 1914 defining the border with China in ways unacceptable to the Chinese; and the Mountbatten line of 1947 leading to the catastrophic violence of the partition. These lines have to be negated, liberating Pakistan from that past. Read the rest of this entry »

Q & A with TFF Associate Heela Najibullah

The daughter of Afghanistan’s last communist president reflects on politics and pluralism in the strife-riven state.

Heela Najibullah was only 10-years-old when her father became the president of Afghanistan. To Heela, Mohammad Najibullah was Aba, father, trying to create reconciliation among an Afghan nation divided between communists and Mujhaideen, religious warriors fighting the Soviet occupation.

Though Heela saw her father working towards an inclusive solution to the Afghan conflict, few in the general population could separate Najibullah the communist from Najibullah the president calling for reconciliation.

In the decades since, however, Najibullah’s image has undergone a transformation. Pictures of a man once tied to communism now hang in people’s cars, windows and shops.

In an interview Al Jazeera, Heela Najibullah talks about her father’s changing image 25 years after the Soviet withdrawal. Continue reading the interview here…

Saddam, Osama, Gaddafi, Chavez – and Obama

By Johan Galtung

Contemporary reality, but what is real? Two of the above were killed under Obama’s watch; Osama executed by Obama extra-judicially, in cold blood, the other two by proxies (Chávez: we do not quite know). Two of them were dictators; Osama had no state, Chávez had, but won elections apparently not more rigged than Florida 2004, Ohio 2008.

What were the problems, how might they have been solved? Read the rest of this entry »

Beholding 2014

By Richard Falk
Written on December 31, 2013

2013 was not a happy year in the chronicles of human history, yet there were a few moves in the directions of peace and justice.

What follows are some notes that respond to the mingling of light and shadows that are flickering on the global stage, with a spotlight placed on the main war zone of the 21st century – the Middle East, recalling that Europe had this negative honor for most of the modern era except for the long 19th century, and that the several killing fields of sub-Saharan Africa are located at the periphery of political vision, and thus their reality remains blurred for distant observers. Read the rest of this entry »

Legalizing opium in Afghanistan

By Jonathan Power

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine who lived 460-357 BC, concluded that diseases were naturally caused and were cured by natural remedies. Opium, he wrote, was one of the latter. But he was also of the opinion that it should be used sparingly and under control.

If only our governments today could take such a sanguine and informed view of the use of opiates in medicine today.

No one needs a more enlightened attitude than the Western forces now operating in Afghanistan where for years they have been committed to destroying the peasants’ main source of income. Afghanistan produces more opium that anywhere else in the world.

Some observers say this eradication programme has done much to push country people into the Taliban camp. The West has long been shooting itself in the foot. Read the rest of this entry »

Malala and Eartha Kitt: Words that matter

By Richard Falk

There are two ways of responding to an invitation from an American president. I recall that when Amory Lovins, the guru of market-oriented environmentalism, was asked about what was his main goal when invited to the White House to meet the president he responded self-assuredly: ‘To be invited back.” That is, be sure to say nothing that might so disturb the high and mighty to an extent that might jeopardize future invitations.

A positive reading of such an approach would point out that Lovins was just being realistic. If he hoped to have any influence at all in the future he needed to confine his present advice to an areas situated well within the president’s comfort zone. A less charitable interpretation would assume that what mattered to Lovins was the thrill of access to such an august portal of power.

Never receiving such an invitation, I had a lesser experience, but experienced similar temptations, being invited by a kind of institutional miscalculation to be the banquet speaker at West Point at the end of an international week at this elite military academy in which the cadets and representatives from a couple of hundred colleges had been fed the government line by top officials at the Pentagon and State Department.

The officer tasked with arranging the program decided that it might be more interesting to have for once a speaker who had a more critical outlook on the U.S. role in the world. I was invited, and accepted with mixed feelings of being both co-opted and challenged. It turns out that the seductive part of the occasion was to find myself housed in a suite normally reserved for the president or Secretary of Defense; it was luxurious and so spacious that it took me some time to locate the bedroom, although I did almost immediately find the fridge stocked with beer and food. First things first. Anyway, Read the rest of this entry »

Balkan integration process in a global framework

By Johan Galtung

Keynote, European Center for Peace and Development, Beograd, 11 Oct 2013

The Balkan integration process within, and the global framework without, are both parts of the story of empires that come, leave deep and bloody faultlines within and without, and then decline and fall.

Thus, the Balkans were doubly divided in the 11th century by the schism between the Catholics and the Orthodox in 1054, following the 395 split between the Western and Eastern Roman empires, Rome vs Constantinople; and the declaration of war on Islam by Pope Urban II on 27 Nov 1095.

The two dividing lines intersect in Sarajevo, the Bosnia and Herzegovina-BiH Ground Zero for Euro-quakes. The Hapsburgs from Northwest annexed BiH in 1908, and a shot followed in 1914. The Ottomans from Southeast defeated the Serbs in 1397 and were defeated in the 1912 Balkan war, leaving Slavic and Albanian Muslims. A little later, 1918, the Hapsburgs also went the way of Roman and Ottoman empires: Decline and Fall; over and out.

The Soviets came, and went the same way in 1991; the US Empire is following – by 30 years? – meeting their fates, not in the Balkans but in Afghanistan where empires are said to come to die. Today the Balkans are run from Brussels; by the deeply troubled European Union with “high” representatives, and by NATO, led by a bankrupt country, right now ridden by government shutdown and the threat of default.

A four factor formula for positive peace indicates four tasks: Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistan is fighting for its very existence

By Jonathan Power

There is an “in” political word – “blowback”. Pakistan certainly has it. We can also call it “the chickens coming home to roost” or the “sins of the fathers visited upon the children”. The question is can the new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, do anything about it? His predecessor wasn’t able to do much and neither could the military government of General Pervez Musharraf which preceded him. Now we have to see if Sharif can find a solution. If he fails Pakistan might rip itself apart.

“Blowback” is happening because the shots are increasingly being called in political life by the extremist Islamist fighting units that the now threatened Pakistan political establishment itself created. Read the rest of this entry »

The U.S.’s Afghan exit depend on a Syrian one

By Sharmine Narwani

Washington’s options in Syria are dwindling – and dwindling fast.

Trumped up chemical weapons charges against the Syrian government this month failed to produce evidence to convince a skeptical global community of any direct linkage. And the US’s follow-up pledge to arm rebels served only to immediately underline the difficulty of such a task, given the fungibility of weapons-flow among increasingly extremist militias.

Yes, for a brief few days, Syrian oppositionists congratulated themselves on this long-awaited American entry into Syria’s bloodied waters. They spoke about “game-changing” weapons that would reverse Syrian army gains and the establishment of a no-fly zone on Syria’s Jordanian border – a la Libya. Eight thousand troops from 19 countries flashed their military hardware in a joint exercise on that border, dangling F-16s and Patriot missiles and “superb cooperation” in a made-for-TV show of force.

But it took only days to realize that Washington’s announcement didn’t really have any legs.

Forget the arguments now slowly dribbling out about why the US won’t/can’t get involved directly. Yes, they all have merit – from the difficulties in selecting militia recipients for their weapons, to the illegalities involved in establishing a no-fly zone, to the fact that more than 70% of Americans don’t support an intervention.

The single most critical reason for why Washington will not risk entering the Syrian military theater – almost entirely ignored by DC policy wonks – may be this: the 2014 US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Help, we can’t get out” Read the rest of this entry »


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