Dear Friends and Family,
As an American, a New Yorker and an Afghan, I have struggled with
many feelings. I have wondered what I can do to educate people about
the state of affairs in Afghanistan now and over the past 20 years.
The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, it is September
2001 and my father's country has been destroyed day by day for over
two decades. I am disgusted by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.
my family, these have been household names for years prior to the
tragedies we witnessed on Tuesday. My father has spent years trying
to get people in our government to listen - he has sat around our
dinner table talking to his children for hours on end about what
happening to his homeland - so many of our friends have listened
my Dad spoke passionately about the hateful crimes the Taliban was
committing against innocent Afghans all in the name of Islam, an
Islam that my family does not know, an Islam that cannot be found
the pages of the Koran.
I beg you, as friends, to take the anger we all feel and try to
and spread knowledge. We all want retaliation. We want someone to
pay for the innocent people whose lives were taken away. But,
please, please, please understand that Afghans like me and my family
have never supported the Taliban. In fact, we have watched
helplessly as these cowards took the little bit of dignity the
Afghans had left after the Soviet war.
I went to work the other night and watched groups of friends, bright
and educated people, stop their conversations as I approached. I
have never experienced anything like this. My Dad recently grew
beard, but after seeing images of bearded fundamentalists on TV,
have asked him to shave it off to quell any possibility of attacks
out of ignorance. For the first time in my life, I am afraid to
people my ethnic background. My name is a liability. My coloring
makes me feel scared when people look at me on the subway. I find
myself thankful that my sisters and Mom have lighter coloring.
Please read the following letter. We all feel helpless right now.
If nothing else, please try to educate your friends. Please do not
perpetuate hate. Hatred brought down the World Trade Center. Hate
is hate -
there is no gray area.
Please forward the following letter to everyone you know. Take
moment to paste the letter into a new email, add your own thoughts
that people don't just skip by a subject heading that begins with
It is very possible that we will bomb Afghanistan in the coming
Maybe emails like this will not stop that from happening, but let's
not pretend that we do not know that those actions will kill innocent
and helpless people who have lived under the terror of the Taliban
for years. We turned our backs for so long. We have not written
about them, or if we have, we have not read those articles, we
skipped past them. People did not know where
Afghanistan was until three days ago. How is that possible? Bin
Laden was behind the first WTC bombing, the bombing of the Cole
the embassies in Africa -
ask yourself, how did we not pay
attention? Pay attention now. Know what is going on in our world.
All we have is hope, unity and the ability to open our eyes. Open
With much love,
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