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Old 10-07-2001, 01:43 PM   #1
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veiled

quiet stillness
she sits in the desolate evening
the gentle forbidden scent of perfume
speaks volumes of truth
where the throats of those with voice
would be ripped out
through the hanging shroud
she's as good as dead to them
nothing but huddled trash
on a crumbling street
she must cover her beautiful eyes
but just because no one can see them
doesn't take away from her prettiness
or the kind insight she possesses
her feminine grace will not be stilled
she will not cease to paint her nails in lovely colours
or fight as a mother would for her children as they starve
she will not stop loving
or give up her friends, her caring
she will cling to what is right and who
she knows herself to be
even as they seek to destroy her warmth
perceiving it, in fearful stupidity, as weakness
~~
for some of the most amazing and dignified women I have ever heard about; I hope that one day they will have the chance to show their brave, gorgeous faces to the world

------------------
but for the grace of love I'd will the meaning of heaven from above...
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Old 10-08-2001, 11:24 PM   #2
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she will cling to what is right and who
she knows herself to be
even as they seek to destroy her warmth
perceiving it, in fearful stupidity, as weakness


I wanted to say thank you for writing this nikki, of all the things said and written at interference over the last few weeks -- and particularly in the last 2 days (though i've read only bits and pieces, skimmed thru a lot, don't really have the time or patience to read over essays on righteousness) and then I found this beautiful poem, and it says so much more...

thank you, again, Nikki

you are not only a tribute to your gender but to the entire human race itself

Thank You, God Bless

------------
Her face The fast rain tearing Courage to feel this To tell of this to be alive Trying to learn unteachable lessons
-Adrienne Rich

it's a cold and it's a broken 'Hallelujah'
-L. Cohen

~Stay safe tonight~
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Old 10-08-2001, 11:27 PM   #3
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Female Foes of Taliban Seeking Support Abroad
Afghan Group Says Women Are Angry, Want Freedom and Rights Restored

By Susan Schmidt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 8, 2001; Page A02


She uses a fictional name, communicates by cell phone and traveled here from Pakistan days ago under a cloak of secrecy. Tahmeena Faryal, as she calls herself, is a member of the Afghan women's resistance, working to end Taliban rule and to drum up more support for their cause.

Faryal's group, Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), runs secret schools and employment sites for women and girls inside Afghanistan, where they are barred from both. RAWA, which was founded two decades ago and claims 2,000 core members in Afghanistan and Pakistan, also aids some of the hundreds of thousands of women and children who have fled the Taliban and are huddled in refugee camps on the Pakistan border.

In what may be its most daring work, RAWA brings brutal images of Taliban rule to the world beyond Afghan borders through its Internet site, www.rawa.org. RAWA members have photographed scenes of privation and punishment and even the public execution of a woman in a Kabul sports stadium. They have risked their lives to capture the images using small cameras smuggled into the country and carried under the tent-like burka garments women are forced to wear.

"Women of Afghanistan are very, very angry," Faryal said in an interview, explaining what motivates such risky ventures. "They are hopeless, helpless, but they are also very angry."

In the early 1990s, Afghan women in Kabul and other cities went to schools and universities, showed their faces and wore Western clothes. Nearly half the doctors and more than half the teachers in Afghanistan were women.

But since the Taliban came to power in 1996, women's rights and freedoms have been all but eliminated. Women in Taliban-controlled areas must paint their windows so no one can see them. They cannot leave their homes unless they wear a burka and are in the company of a male relative.

If the Taliban weaken, Faryal said, "the burka would definitely be thrown out in Afghanistan with anger."

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, RAWA has increased its efforts to build support among humanitarian and women's rights groups around the world.Hence, Faryal's visit here.

Her life may be at risk when she returns to Pakistan if her identity becomes known, so she says little about herself other than that she is in her mid-twenties and from Kabul.

Her organization wants Americans to know that the Afghan people are not the enemy and that they, in fact, have been terrorized by their own government. And the group wants to caution the United States against building up the Afghan Northern Alliance, which RAWA says has a history of lawlessness and violence that exceeds even that of the Taliban.

"It's important not to bring the Northern Alliance to power," she said. "We want a government based on democratic values. That is not possible with the fundamentalists in power."

As the United States preparedto hunt down Saudi exile Osama bin Laden in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, it is gauging the political strength of his military ally, the Taliban. One factor in that calculation is the existence of women's resistance organizations, which persist despite the risk of death or imprisonment.

"They have a lot of energy, and women are half the country," said a State Department official. Women's resistance groups, he said, "have a place along with the other Afghani groups in charting the future for their country -- in trying to establish a broad-based government for their country."

RAWA is in touch with refugees in Pakistan who go back and forth to Afghanistan, so members are kept current about conditions in the cities and on the refugee routes. But because women in Afghanistan are so far removed from political discourse and decision-making, U.S. officials said it is unlikely that they would know much that would aid the United States or its allies in its military planning.

Taliban women and those associated with bin Laden's forces are especially cut off from what is happening, even in their own part of the world.

"Women in rural areas are not going to have much information because they are not out in public. They stay behind the walls and work in the fields," said Thomas Gouttierre, a State Department consultant and dean at the University of Nebraska's Center for Afghanistan Studies. "They have no transportation. They do go to bazaars, but once a season or less."

Gouttierre said there is no mixing between the Taliban women and Arab women in Kandahar who are relatives of bin Laden troops.

Some of bin Laden's Arab followers have taken Afghan wives, said Sima Wali of Refugee Women in Development, which has aided women in Afghanistan and whose work has been recognized by Amnesty International. Often the marriages are not by choice, she said, and the women are forced to undergo female circumcision. "Their own women are unhappy. What woman would opt for that surgery?" But, they are so cut off, Wali said, "no one knows what their concerns are."

Wali's humanitarian organization, like RAWA, helps fund clandestine schools and textile workshops run out of urban homes in Taliban-controlled areas. But the two groups do not share the same goals.

"RAWA is very controversial," Wali said, stating that RAWA comes from the extreme left of the political spectrum. "They don't represent the Afghan norm," she said, though she acknowledges that they are well organized and have garnered substantial resources from the West.

"Women in Afghanistan are so besieged," Wali said. "They are hungry. They want jobs and education."

Faryal readily acknowledges RAWA has a political agenda that separates it from organizations that provide humanitarian aid.

RAWA's founder, Meena (many Afghans use only one name), was assassinated in 1987 by fundamentalists and the Russian KGB, according to the organization.

"Hers was a powerful voice for the liberation of women and the liberation of our country," Faryal said. Meena's death is a reminder, she said, "always to try to be very careful."

"RAWA members have been very careful. If they were arrested, the same execution could happen to them."


2001 The Washington Post Company
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Old 10-08-2001, 11:50 PM   #4
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what sort of person treats their mothers... sisters... daughters... wives... in such a way that would make them virtually non-existant?

yet, the spirit lives in their hearts, and hope is the blood of the soul

--------
Courage to feel this To tell of this to be alive
-Adrienne Rich
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Old 10-09-2001, 05:22 AM   #5
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Old 10-09-2001, 05:28 AM   #6
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Old 10-09-2001, 05:31 AM   #7
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Old 10-09-2001, 07:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
yet, the spirit lives in their hearts, and hope is the blood of the soul
Oh Lord Make It Bleed...

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Old 10-09-2001, 11:48 AM   #9
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Hey...I didn't mean to copy your title, BTW. It was a sheer coincidence.

A very powerful poem, though. Excellent active tenses.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 10-09-2001, 11:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for the moving poem BabyG--and ZA, those drawings...wow.



------------------
Be a world, child, form a circle
Before we all go under
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Old 10-09-2001, 08:45 PM   #11
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yeah they are scary huh?

I checked out that RAWA website that wanderer mentioned and its absolutely terrifying. What these people, women especially, go through...

I just warn you if you do look at the site and look at the photos, there are some that are very graphic and quite horrifying.

You're a brave girl BabyG. Takes guts to write about things like this.

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Old 10-10-2001, 03:04 PM   #12
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yet, the spirit lives in their hearts, and hope is the blood of the soul
I love that.

if any of you want to read some really intense poetry, check at the poems on that site..
the pictures are horrifying, thanks for posting those Amanda

I shall perservere in spite of everything, and find my own way through it all, and swallow my tears.
-Anne Frank

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but for the grace of love I'd will the meaning of heaven from above...
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