on the 15th anniversary of Meena
Dear Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA):
I respectfully and humbly offer my message of solidarity for your commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the martyrdom of founding leader Meena.
I wish to extend my heartiest CONGRATULATIONS for the 15th Anniversary of RAWA's founder, Meena. I am sure that Meena's dream in the RAWA's struggle for emancipation of all Afghan women will be carried out until it achieves its goal and world's recognition.
The new Afghan government which had been supported by the United States and her international coalition nations will no doubt support RAWA's above aim.
Finally, Happy Anniversary! Carry on the good works.
For RAWA and women throughout the world the fight for justice and the right to live without oppression goes on. RAWA's work is especially vital now that the world is watching Afghanistan. Women worldwide support RAWA's struggle to give the women of Afghanistan the chance to live in freedom
To know of your situation is disturbing, but to be ignorant is more saddening. Take and cast from you the sorrow of a people, the tyranny of man-hold. Your strength could counter Hercules and your emotion and experience could reduce a grown man to tears. It must be difficult to scream "LIBERATE!" on empty stomachs. Yet you continue to do so. And I see faces beneath each burqua, and I feel courage emanating across the globe.
Cold, thirsty, scarred
Infertile, thirsty, mines dotting the landscape
The children, the children.
I see more than stars and stripes ~ I see ancient forelornment and shadows of war and tyranny. No, this is not my nation. But I belong to all people and the sting of a people wounded runs deep.
Dear Women of Afghanistan,
I am very impressed by what you are doing and very proud of you! You are very strong and courageous women - my heart is with you.
I'll pray for a truly free Afghanistan for all people.
I pray that you get the recognition that you deserve.
Keep on going!
With warm love,
My message of solidarity to commemorate the 15th martyrdom anniversary of its founding leader Meena (I don't speak English): Os envío mi solidaridad en el triste aniversario que se acerca.
I wish for humane treatment of Afghanistan women, including rights to education, access to public resources, and the right to work.
REVOLUTIONARY ASSOCIATION OF THE WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN - RAWA
Message of Solidarity:
The name Meena is spoken with reverence by those that knew this most honored woman in the history of Afghanistan - with exception of those that she defied and she rose up against - they feared Meena.
For these incredibly honorable, brave and resilient women that have chosen to follow in her footsteps, this date and its most honored purpose was selected by those very same women to honor the memory, work and life of Meena.
It is absolutely beyond comprehension what the women of Afghanistan have been forced to endure over these many years and RAWA has been there through all of it. They didn't back down, they didn't hide and they showed no fear. Sadly it is far from over. But Afghanistan has an enduring and relentless RAWA dedicated to protecting the honor, peace, hope and opportunity for those charges of its vision and mission - the Women of Afghanistan.
There is much more to say, but the message would be never ending. During the beginning of another conflict a military commander remarked about attacking the U.S., " ... I fear that all we have done was to wake a sleeping giant." That sleeping giant was awoken within Afghanistan and these women will never quit pursuing their mission.
The 'sleeping giant' the world should be wary of is its women and they have embraced their RAWA counterparts and the plight of the Afghan women. The world beware should these women finally find a catalyst to unite their efforts for peace, non-violence and human rights. They will not be denied and peace cannot happen until that time. RAWA is at the very forefront of this emerging movement.
We will defend and advocate for the women of RAWA and will support them in any which way they need assistance. They are the true and legitimate vanguards for peace and hope for all of Afghanistan and the best way to provide enduring peace and accord in their country may be best achieved in the hands of the women of RAWA.
With My Deepest Respect -
I am with you in thought and in spirit in your struggle for freedom and equality for women in Afghanistan. Your courage in the face of such daunting odds is truly inspiring for the rest of us. You reinforce my belief in the strength of women as long as we stand together, united.
Keep up the struggle. Victory!!
It is my fervent hope that the woman of Afghanistan may return to their country as useful members of their society living in peace and freedom. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
A message to the brave and strong women, not only of RAWA, but to all of you who struggle for a decent life in your own country: Keep on fighting for your generation and those who come after you - RAWA leader Meena's death was also a beginning, unleashing an incredible wave of international solidarity with Afghan women - so something good still has come out of it; the world is now aware of your struggle and is with you! One enemy has been canceled, now we must try for durable peace and a dependable government which will respect women's rights in all areas. We Europeans will do what we can using the institutional means in our hands, but you are out there right in the trenches -
Palermo / Italy
Dear Rawa activists,
Please accept my admiration and support for the wonderful work you are doing, and congratulations for the event you are having next month.
Dr. Neta Ziv, director
I am sending this letter to show you my support in solidarity.
My heart is with all the women of Afghanistan and the children.
(with love from Canada)
My husband and I are very grateful that we found out about the RAWA organization. We don't know much about your founder, Meena, but we admire the courage it must have taken for her to have founded this organization.
In recent times, we have realized how blessed we are to live in a country that protects basic human rights and recognizes the rights of women. And this is what we wish for you: the safety that comes with peace, the prosperity that comes with education, and the freedom to attain your goals.
May our message of support join with a thousand others like it, and may you feel the strength that comes from knowing there are others behind you, and the conviction that comes from knowing you are right.
Heather Born and Michael Cohn
I wish I was in a position to offer more than just moral support to your cause. Maybe when I complete my university studies I will be. I offer the following thought which I hope may be of some solace; Out of the dark let there shine a light. A light to guide us and to bathe us in its glory. History shows us that evil must always in the end be its own undoing and the righteous will triumph and prevail. The Prophet showed us the way, as did Jesus Christ, and the Buddha. For these people were God's messengers, his angels. I am a believer in the spirit of man and the all-conquering power of love. I personally do not attempt to define Allah/God but I am forever conscious of his presence. May peace be yours.
Gold Coast, Australia
I sent my message of solidarity on behalf of Committee to Defend Women's Rights in the Middle East, in farsi and pdf format. If you had any difficulty in getting the file, please let me know. I'll send the message in English.
All the best,
It is good to know that even in the most difficult of circumstances that there are women like meena and organisations like rawa to fight against oppression and injustice. in memory of a courageous woman keep up the good fight.
On the occasion of your February 4th gathering, I am sending you a message of support. Your efforts to defend the rights of women in Afghanistan, and to provide young women with the education and health services they deserve are absolutely valiant and admirable and remind people all over the world of what real feminism and respect for humanity is about. I also am very grateful for your messages that keep us informed about the impact of the current war on the status of women in your country, and that provide an important corrective to the rather inaccurate accounts in the American media. Please accept my best wishes.
Professor Coco Fusco
New York, USA
How proud we are of RAWA and the courageous work it does. RAWA is a treasure, not only for the women of Afghanistan, but for the entire world. We wish RAWA continued success in gaining freedom and equality for the women of Afghanistan.
Allow women to be free, this is the most important Revolution, in Afghanistan and everywhere in the World! I strongly believe that men can't be really happy in a place where women are unhappy. I wish there will be more and more men in Afghanistan to fight with you, and not against you.
As an European woman and World citizen, my heart is with you!
To the women of Afghanistan: My support and encouragement for your strength, courage, and commitment to equal and human rights. May you ultimately find peace, freedom, justice and prosperity in your homeland.
Yours in international sisterhood,
We would like to offer our support and deepest condolences on this occasion. Her courage was an inspiration to women all over the world.
Ellen and Layla Embleton
All support and solidarity for all the people of Afghanistan. Look ahead and get involved in new projects, (schools, libraries, clinics...), with women, men and children, working together.
All the best,
Castrillo. Manchester, UK
Drood bar zanan-e shojaa va azadi khah- e RAWA.
Dear Mehmooda and all my Afghan sisters.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences for the despicable act of barbarism by the fundamentalist Islamic regime of Afghanistan perpetrated against the founder of your noble organization, the true martyred, Meena.
Fifteen year ago. May she be proud of you, "Brave Daughters of Afghanistan". Please accept my brotherly support and solidarity in pursuing your worthy cause.
I am an American of Iranian origin and have witnessed the suffering of my fellow countrymen and women under the brutal regime of the Mullahs and their henchmen in Iran.
Theocracy and fundamentalism as a basis for governing a nation is doomed to eventual failure, due to its inherent brutality, regressiveness and corrupt nature.
A greater goal for us all should be to get the United Nations and the international community to out law and reject theocratic regimes and maintain the principal of the separation of the religion and the state as the paramount and necessary pre-requisite for all governments in the world.
Musa (Moses) Madani
Salam Bar zanane Mobareze Afghanestan!
Jamee zanane Irani dar Vienna/AUSTRIA dar in ruz ba shoma ebraz hambastegy mikonad.
Ma in ruz ra geramy dashte wa bedin wasileh hargune zolm wa setam ra be zanane jahan, mardud elaam mikonim. Sazemane ma az tamame jonbesh-haye Demokratik zede khushunat hemayat karde wa kahad kard.
Be omide ruzy ke azadye Ejtemaii baraye hamegan mohaya shawad.Khususan barye zanane wa Kudakan.
Modiriate Jammee zanane irani dar Wien
We stand in support of all you are trying to accomplish for yourselves, and for women who must be hidden, everywhere.
Please know that we honor your struggle and your pain, and wish you well: strength to keep on going desire to stand forth love for those who behave wrongly compassion for those who are nasty
May you be surrounded by strength and peace in your mission each moment.
First i express my thanks for giving me this opportunity to send message for the coming 4th FEB. commemorating late sister MEENA's 15th death anniversary.
I want to praise the sisters of RAWA for their untiring endeavor in the development of the refugee women and children of Afghanistan and that too against all odds from the government and the society.
I also want to say that i have already forwarded a petition "asking for donation from the UN high commission for refugees" for the RAWA through www.petitiononline.com you can visualise this : www.petitiononline.com/afghan/petition.html
I've also forwarded a free fax(availed from RAWA) to the British Home Secretary asking for the speedy process of the arrest of the afghan war-criminal Zardad.
Of course, these are nothing compared to what you sisters are doing . but i would like to say that you must extend your base of works to other downtrodden refugee women of different countries the world over.
I express sorry for my in-ability to be present at the function.
Dear Afghanistani Sisters:
I would like to express my great gratitude toward brave Afghani women who fought the evils of suppression and repression all these years. It has not been an easy ride and the road ahead is filled with dangers. I would like to remind you that promises that are made could disappear at anytime without notice. The sugar quoted promises of equality must not deceive you the brave souls of Afghanistan. We need to collectively keep their toes to the fire and make sure that they do not forget the miserable conditions of Afghani women in the past. Please Please Please do not blink. The road to freedom is long and hard. But it is well worth the efforts.
With best sincere wishes
Professor of Economics and Coordinator of Coalition of Iranian Diaspora
Dearest women of RAWA,
Your courage knows no bounds. Thank you for being the beacon that lights the way for so many others. Even the harshest adversity and the assassination of your founder could not dim your message of love for one another and revulsion toward religious fundamentalism, an insidious threat to cultures everywhere. Thank you for your love and courage.
With much gratitude,
My dear friends,
It is a pleasure to let you have my message of support on the occasion of your founder's death fifteen years ago. Since I first came to know your organization I have been following your activities and spread the news about you among my friends and colleagues. I have also always read with interest and trepidation all the e-mails you have sent m, especially those in the aftermath of that terrible day last September and always prayed for you, asking God to give you the strength to continue your battle for justice and freedom in your devastated country. I thank you very much and please, do not stop keeping me informed. With love and peace,
Anna Maria Fasoli
Fifteen years and yes, RAWA had made progress! Through events out of your control, the world can no longer turn a blind eye to the horrid, inhuman living conditions pressed upon you by fundamentalist terrorism.
The world hears your cries.
The world knows your fears and your tears.
The world can no longer sweep the terror under the rug of ignorance.
The winds of change are blowing in your country and for your people.
The courage and strength of RAWA members in Afghanistan & Pakistan teach all women, men and children over the world what it means to have faith, to fight for what you believe. I only wish I could do more. The woman of RAWA bring much humility to those of us who although live in free countries, and we gather strength from your resolve.
To the youth of your country, hear the voice of RAWA, know that you can achieve your greatest dreams, but the fight for freedom is long and difficult. As those RAWA member become tired, you must help to carry the burden. Be proud in your elder RAWA members, protect them. Know that they fight for your future and help them always to continue the fight for democracy, education, freedom independence from fundamentalism!!
With much love, respect and Gods Great Speed!
Cindy in Tucson,
Dear Women of Afghanistan,
I think I speak for many women when I say that we are very concerned about your situation. Although we are far apart in miles we are close in our thoughts and our hearts. Although we may differ in our choice of religion, style of dress, food and other customs we believe in basic human rights and the opportunity to live a decent life that includes personal safety, education, the opportunity to earn money and have food, shelter, clothing, books, music, creative and personal expression.
We know that you have had a difficult time and we want you to know that your suffering has been exposed to us. We have seen videos and films that have been made by other women and brought back here.
Many of us feel helpless. We donate money, blankets, cameras, but we wish we could do more. We want to see you well represented in the new government in Aghanistan.
We give you support in whatever ways we are able.
You are not alone. You are important. We want you to have the freedom and the opportunities that is every person's basic human right.
Many blessings to you,
Thanks for your work of making known to the world the situation of Afghanistan women both inside and outside the country. I hope you find a way to work within your country to bring the best of education, health care and social freedoms to all women and girls there.
In memory of Meena,
In this special day my heart is near you all, begging God for you and your people and for PEACE coming soon to all of the world. I have a strong believing that West and East must be only ONE. I pray God everyday for all the people who suffer the unfair ambition of power. Please, don't hesitate in continuing fighting for what you consider the best and be sure that I mymind stay together with every of you.
I send you many kisses and a strong desire of win because your goals are very important for all the women who suffers too and even for the ones who morally support you.
I love you all and send you my heart.
To whom it may concern:
This letter is from a woman in America that has felt the draw of sisterhood for the women of Afghanistan. Women are the mothers of the world and deserve the respect as such. We all have mothers. Without women there would be no one. Women hold together the family, give love, and want only the best for their children, no matter where they live. To treat a woman as an equal as a man is a sure way for future generations of doctors, scientists as women will encourage others with the capabilities to go on in education to make the future brighter and better. A womans mind is a powerful source that God has seen fit to put into a creature of amazing strength. That strength can be shared with any and all with the right amount of respect and freedom. The women of Afghanistan have showed me they deserve that respect. Under the veil the hearts of the women have grown to unbelievable proportions. Women are the keeper of the fire. Please know that we, the women of the United States, admire the women of Afghanistan and will stand beside them in their climb up the ladder to respectability, education and the love of God.
Mrs. Jeanette Carles
I am happy to express my solidarity with you on the commemoration of Meena. I had been deeply moved by her story, her courage and the beautiful poetry she wrote. Her picture and part of a poem hang on my wall. My thoughts will be with you on February 4th.
Love and God's speed from your sister in Switzerland
WITH YOU ALWAYS. MY FAMILY AND I WISH YOU TO HAVE SUCCES ON FACING INJUSTICES, AND MAY SOON FOUND ALL WHAT YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR.
Frida Mazzotti de López Azuara.
My heart goes out to all of you on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of your beloved leader Meena. My thoughts and sympathies are with you as you struggle to make sure that Afghani women maintain the rights that you recently regained after so many dark years of oppression. As a professor of Women's Studies, I will be sure to educate my students about the history of your organization and its fight for freedom and dignity for all Afghani women.
Greetings from Denton, Texas, U.S.A.! I applaud your difficult work and stand in solidarity with you as you fight for women's human rights in Afghanistan.
Dr. Claire L. Sahlin
Director of Women's Studies
Texas Woman's University
I wish to add my voice in solidarity with RAWA. Your fight is the fight of people everywhere for freedom and dignity. Now is a time of great hope and great danger. I know that the courageous members of RAWA will not shrink from the struggle at this critical hour. For that, the entire world should be grateful. I know I certainly am.
Chuck Van Wey
Dear RAWA, Of course I support you. My heart goes out to you. I am an artist/draftsperson with two children and a husband. We have had troubles, health difficulties and heartaches but nothing compares with the devistation of our families, culture, way of live and ability to simply live our lives in peace as you have endured. Let me know what I can collect for you here now that you can go home. I know that you need warm shelter and food first, meaningful work for the heads of your households and need to rebuild your homes, but you also need creature comforts, art supplies so that those maimed and hurt deeply can heal by expressing feelings and beautiful things to look at to rest your eyes from the harsh devistation of your country. Your children want to play and laugh like all other children. Your teenagers still need to learn how to be adults by pretending in small ways to be adults in the safe environment of a community that supports them.Girls still want what all girls want. Boys still want to be together in normal ways again and learn how to be grown up in a normal environment rather than the insanity and chaos of war and a culture that hates women. Let me help, tell me what you need from me here in Houston, I promise I will do whatever and as much as I can to help you and I am awe inspired by your bravery and courage in the face of death.
Much Love and Admiration,
There are those who think about "doing it"; others sit on the side and watch "it happen." Meena MADE IT HAPPEN. Women in Afghanistan and around the world are deeply indebted and grateful for her vision, courage, and hope.
Phyllis T. Albritton
I understand that there is still much violence and much hunger in your country, and that women are still suffering terribly. On this, the 15th anniversary of the martyrdom of your founding leader Meena, I hope and I pray that some day her vision will be realized. You are brave and wonderful women, and your struggle is extremely important.
My name is Lorraine Guay: I am a member of the World March of Women. Since the war, we organised actions of solidarity with the women of Afghanistan.
Please receive my solidarity wishes for your 15th aniversary: you are an inspiration for elle the women ...and the men...of the world
Please accept my appreciation and support for your vital work. You are helping to build a new and more democratic Afghanistan where women will no longer be oppressed by religious fundamentalists.
Dear Friends at RAWA
With the wishes and solidarities. Please note that we have an small section dedicated to Meena at http://www.golshan.com/march08/meena.html We would like to dedicate a full section to our dear beloved friend, Meena, in Persian. Any help would be greatly appreciated. On the similar note, we recognize you as the only true revolutionary organization from Afghanistan and would like to have more cooperation.
With best regards
To: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan:
My heartfelt support is with you in these trying times. You are brave and strong, and I admire the work you are doing on behalf of the civil and human rights and the well being of Afghan women.
May there be better times ahead.
I believe that the members of RAWA deserve the respect of the world for speaking out, at great personal risk, about the oppression of Afghan women (and men) under the rule of fundamentalist extremists, at a time when nobody else seemed to care. The fighting that has since happened in your country has brought even more suffering to many of your people, but it has also brought a bright hope for the future. I wish you well and I hope that your organization will be given the honored place that it deserves in the effort to rebuild your homeland.
Although I cannot be with you, I have sent your website's URL to all of my friends - you are all in my prayers - and I am very grateful for the profound courage that you have shown; not just for the women of Afghanistan, but for all women, all people, the world over.
In a world sadly in need of heroes - YOU ARE HEROES - for all of humanity; heroes of human rights, human dignity, and the human spirit.
God bless you ~
Here is my message of solidarity in support of my Afghan sisters ... commemorating the 15th matryrdom anniversary of Meena.
To my Sisters of RAWA,
I live in Los Angeles, California, USA. I have never experienced hunger, or homelessness, or war, or poverty. I have never been beaten, or draped to cover my womanhood. It is difficult to imagine that these things happen to my sisters in this world... and yet I know they do. My heart breaks, my eyes weep, my voice cries out telling others to be aware of what is happening, and to help as they can.
Please know that there are many of us who support you.
I feel so small and insignificant when I say this.
Iam so far away. I have sent RAWA money and I forward RAWA E-mails to other Americans to educate them on what is happening with Afghan women. I pray for you, and I pray for the end of hatred, oppression, greed, fear, arrogance, prejudice, inhumanity and war.
I stand in solidarity with you in spirit, in love, in courage, in the dream of a different world. I am your sister, and you are mine!
With Love and Prayers for Peace and Equality for All,
From a woman in New York City to a group of very brave women half a world away, my thoughts are with you at this important time. I hope that a brighter day dawns for you in your native land very soon and that positive changes in your lives are permanent.
Claudia Bukszpan Rutherford
New York, NY, USA
First I would like to start off by saying how happy I am to hear that their will be a celebration held to honor our founder Meena. I would also like to say that everything you all are doing isn't going unnoticed. Their are millions of people all over the world that know of RAWA and many of them (including me) support and stand behind you all the way. My message to all of you is that faith is as strong as God and when you lose faith in yourselves then you lose faith in God. The power that is given to us by God can overcome all the man has put in our ways and only then when we overcome all evil and tyranny can we gain salvation. Keep showing the world that your voice will not die and that no matter what happens in the future you will continue to grow and become stronger.......Thank You,
I strongly praise RAWA and the work that they are doing to stop the oppression of Afghan women and in turn sending the message to all women that they have rights and one of the most important of these rights is the right to be a human being. I think that RAWA is the voice of those who can not be heard, of the ones who have had their voices stolen. I stand in solidarity with RAWA in giving these women their voices back and in giving them their right to humanity. As long as organizations like RAWA exist, then victims of oppression and inhumanity will always be heard and people are listening. These are not just women without names on the other side of the world, these are our sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, that are suffering and these are also their children who are suffering so we are all suffering through their struggle. Never give up in the fight to liberate these voices RAWA because as long as one woman is bondage and is murdered, raped, abused or oppressed then n! ot one of us can truly say we are completely free.
Hi dear Mahmoda
Thank you for your letter, our hearts go out to the people and women of Afghanistan, hope your country will be completely liberated on all fronts, socially, economically, and other aspects to improve the chances of enduring peace and justice and social co-existance among all and the basic need to improve women's and girl's conditions as equal partners to men, but as you know in such societies like ours, it might take a while longer to realize these nobel goals.. but it will take place for certain.
please feel free to post, publish, translate this poem which I composed with your inspiration as a gift to you and RAWA and Afghan women and people who are struggleing for normal peaceful life. http://www.iraqipapers.com/iraq-afghan-poem.html
please feel free to call on me if u have any further comments. as well, your appeal will be published in iraqipapers.
all the best wishes.
Talk to you soon.
It is a sad moment, when the day comes closer that you inevitable have to think and, remember the martyrdom of any other person. Only situations where real civilisation is absent, produce martyrs. As a person living in the luxury of already 57 years of peace, it is my duty to wish the same to you, people of the east. I hope that remembering Meena will become a sign to the authorities in your country that things have to change, the rulers have to respect you women as at least equal. What are man without women ? I, as a man grew up in a nation that has equal rights for women and, I can asure any man in the world that the result of this equality is positive for both sexes.
Brave women of Afghanistan, hold on, civilisation is inevitable.
my deepest respect, my regards
Although I cannot be with you in person on this day commemorating the tragic death of your leader, I am with you in heart and in spirit. I keep you and your struggle always in mind and in my prayers. Although I'm poor and unable to help out financially, I do respond to requests for action whenever I'm able. I wish I could do more but I do what I can.
The world was blessed by Meena's presence. We draw courage from RAWA's strength and valor. Keeping in mind all that Afghan women still must overcome, I am humbled.
My prayers and thoughts are always with you and your extremely important and difficult work. You women of RAWA are Heroes and role models of enormous bravery and devotion to right and justice for all women. Please continue and don't lose heart! I hope your Feb.4th function is a great success.
My fondest regards and great respect,
Goldberg, New York City
I greatly appreciate the tremendous good work that RAWA is doing for the lives of Afghan women. I especially commend your approach of not cowing down to the western powers and continuing with your strident criticism of the Taliban and the Northern Alliance for their past and present crimes.
Keep up the good work and I wish you the best of luck.
I am happy to found women like people who form Rawa. I live in Spain, but i feel your anguish and your pain, and i am very proud to know there are women fighting against the injustice and the sexism more marked... So, I only can say: THANKS FOR EXISTING! (In spanish, "Gracias por existir").
A great kiss for all you!! And, continue like that!
Please continue your good works in Afghanistan! No other group has done more than yours to defend the principles of democracy and liberty, especially for the women of Afghanistan. It is a disgrace that RAWA has been left out of the entire process of rebuilding Afghanistan. The women of Austin, Texas, USA support your efforts 100% and wish you all the best.
We stand in solidarity with you.
Your organization is an inspiration to all those around the world committed to social justice and equality. Your relentless bravery and resillance is humbling to your supporters. Your founder was not martyred in vain. Keep up the struggle.
I wholeheartedly support the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) in their fight for justice and against religious fascism. We can never let our guard down as the forces for evil never let theirs down. We must continue to stand up and express what we know is right regardless of personal consequence. They can only kill our bodies but not the message of everlasting peace and justice for everyone inclusively.
In my own case, my husband, a Moroccan man, was unhappy that I placed my RAWA poster on our bedroom wall but I don't care because everywhere that women are hurt in the name of religion is a place where we must fight. We must continually fight, as women and as Muslims, against the forces that would twist our religion to oppress us.
May Allah bring blessings to the women and men of RAWA and make them strong in the years to come.
Sarah H. Ouadghiri
The work you are doing is extremely important, and you have the deepest respect and admiration of women and men all over the world as you valiantly struggle for basic human rights. We pray for much better times for you all soon.
Best wishes always,
Meher J. Dalal
I have watched events unfold in the world with growing apprehension. But I also have growing hope. There is so much information available to everyone now. How many of us knew of the plight of Afghan women even a few short months ago? Perhaps even in these evil times, we can seize some good and build upon it. My heart goes out to you. I wish you all, I wish us all, peace in our time.
Dear Members of RAWA:
Your struggles are not bound by race, gender or religion. Your sufferings and sacrifices are human ones. You are a part of the human family, and you have been abused and ignored by your brothers and sisters in this world. But your courage and dignity amid the bombs and the beatings has called the people of our global society to task for thier transgressions. Your committment to a better future for all those who hope enjoy lives of peace and self-determination has inspired people everywhere to advocate for the physical and spiritual liberation of the oppressed. May God's grace go with you all, and those who pledge to walk with you on your journey to freedom.
QUE LA ESCENCIA DE LIBERTAD LAS SIGA COLMANDO DE HEROISMO, QUE DIOS LES CONTINUE BENDICIENDO PARA QUE ALCANZEN SUS METAS. ENHORABUENA A LA LIBERTAD!!!!!!!!!!!!
LENIS J. ALICEA-YILDIRIM
I stand by the vision and the actions of RAWA 100%! The fate of any society depends on that society's treatment of women. The human rights of women of all countries have a direct effect on the men, women and children of the entire world! Here in the US we have lost thousands of mothers, sisters, daughters, fathers, brothers, and sons because our nation, and the world, turned a blind eye to atrocities commited against people in Afghanistan. THANK YOU RAWA for the work you are doing on behalf of Afghan women, women everywhere, and all humanity!
I will be thinking of you on February 4 - of your bravery, of your many accomplishments in serving Afghan women and children under the harshest conditions, and of the hard struggle still ahead of you. Here in faraway Ohio, USA, I think of you each day with the heartfelt hope that you will succeed in helping to bring democracy, enlightenment, and peace to your long-suffering people.
Ph.D. candidate, German history
I'd like to be there with you in Pakistan to commemorate your leader whose poems I translated into Italian. I support with you the cause of Afghan women and I wish you all the best.
Dear RAWA members!!!
Thank you so much for all your hard work. The Women of Afghanistan deserve all the help and support you give them and then some. Their plight is one that many other women could suffer too.
Please keep on working until all women have their complete freedom and emancipation.
I am with you in spirit as you celebrate this anniversary. It is with a heavy heart that each life is remembered. And your leader knows she did not die in vain. The strength and accomplishments of your members and your group are a model for women's rights around the world. If you, under such dire conditions, can carry on the struggle for women's freedom, then we can all do something to reach this goal.
A member of Women for Women in Afghanistan, Victoria, British Columbia chapter.
My message of solidarity.....
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate RAWA on the work they have carried out for Afghanistan women. As a female catholic living in Northern Ireland I have a bit of an idea what its like to be treated as a second class citizen and exactly how that feels, although the injustices against Afghanistan women don't even compare. Please keep up the good work and hopefully you can join women all over the world and live a relatively civilized life in a relatively civilized world.
My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you all.
Slan Go Foill (Irish for'Bye For Now')
Dear Friends ,
I send you love and support on the 15th anniversary of the martyrdom of Meena who died in the hope of full equality for women in her country.
Let us all press on so that all people--men, women, children---may enjoy the respect and support they deserve as people of God.
Flora R. Shedd, ObJN
To the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan,
Your leadership and courage has been an inspiration to many of us in the United States who have been appalled by the treatment of Afghanistani women under the Taliban. Our support and good wishes are with you on this special occasion and always.
Hilde L. Nelson, Ph.D.
Center for the Study of Medical Ethics and Humanities
To all the women working for your human rights in Afghanistan,
We are so proud of the strength you have shown in your continued struggle for the life you deserve. When most of the world ignored you, our precious sisters; you kept the candle of hope burning and shouted loudly to us all, "We do not deserve this!". When they locked you up and tried to keep you ignorant; you risked all to make sure that your daughters were educated in order to prepare them for the future and to give them hope. When they covered you up and made you walk in silence; within hidden places you celebrated your womanhood and made your beauty an act of revolution and pride.
Today we celebrate you! Our hearts are with you and we gain courage from your determination. Keep shouting....
I will be with you in spirit on February 4th. I cannot imagine living through the experiences my Afghan sisters have. I pray that soon you will receive the respect and dignity you deserve. God/Allah bless you and keep you safe.
Your sister in the USA,
How I wish I could be there to stand beside you all. As it is, I can be there only in spirit - but I am there with my whole heart! Women, everywhere, stand tall, and work for justice and social equity.
I feel ashamed to express my solidarity, because here in the west, we have absolutely no idea what women in your situation have to go through. We can't even begin to imagine what it is like to have to live in a society that is based upon denial of the basic human rights for 50% of the population. Women's rights in Afghanistan have only become a political issue in the west, when it was convenient to us to put the Taliban in a bad daylight. It is only by information from organisations like yours, that we understand that these things were going on even a long time before. Nevertheless, I humbly offer my solidarity to your organisation, and to all women in Afghanistan.
It's so obvious over here - you, the women of Afghanistan, are the ones who should be running the country. The men clearly can't!
The oppression of women as practised in your part of the world is, in my opinion the main cause of the poverty, war and resulting misery suffered by your people - men included.
It breeds men who have never learnt restraint or self disipline. From a very young age they're taught to have no respect for the one person who can do most to shape their character - their mother.
And as far as the burka being a kind of protection for women. Who the hell from! From men of course. Men who have never learnt self control - possibly the main qualification for being a man.
I wish you the best in your struggle. I know you wont give up. Your courage and determination sets an impressive example to the rest of the world.
To the women of Afghanistan:
The women all over the world that are aware of your fight due to Sept 11. It there is to be any goodness from that day is that now the women of the world have heard your tears. Oppression of women occurs the world over, even here in the United States. I am 47 years old and have suffered myself from the foulness that exists in this world. It is time for women, everywhere, to stand up and say "NO MORE"!!! Time for all of us to have live lifes without fear and equal partners in the molding of our future societies. Courage doesn't come without risk sadly. Meena your founding leader had courage and she stood strong inspite of the threats I am sure she knew she faced for her courage. I cry for you and your children wishing I could take all of you home with me. To share what I have and lighten your load. This is unfortunately not feasible. Do know that you and yours are never far from my heart and my prayers.
With much love and deep respect,
To the Women of Afghanistan, You are in my prayers and thoughts every day.
I pray for your liberation and I hope for your lives to become easier and fulfilled. Please do not give up, your American sisters are with you in your fight, and I'm sure women all over the world wish you success in obtaining your freedom. God bless the Afghanistan women.
Dear Ladies of Afghanistan,
Congratulations!! I hope you can continue to prevail and progress until you possess complete freedom and equality. You all have suffered quite enough. I will support our governments continued efforts to promote you and your country.
My heart is with you.
Betty C. Coleman
Eagle Creek, Oregon
A small town near Portland, Oregon
Dear RAWA --
Below is a message of solidarity to be used as you wish at your February 4th event in Pakistan:
Today is Monday, January 21, 2002 and we in the United States pause to reflect and honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and radical activist for justice. Were Dr. King alive today, he surely would stand with the women of RAWA and support RAWA's call for justice for the women of Afghanistan -- recognizing that none of us are free anywhere until all of us are free everywhere.
In the spirit of Dr. King's resistance, I am proud to support and stand in solidarity with RAWA and honor the legacy of the martyred leader Meena.
Thank you, women of RAWA, for showing the world that women lead the way in resistance movements and that the spirit of nonviolent revolution is still alive.
We send you our greetings and best wishes for your commemorative anniversary on February 4th. We fervently hope that the good people of Afghanistan will now be free to build a society and government in which women and men can thrive. The work you have done to maintain education for girls and to courageously expose the infamy of the various bunches of yobs who have tried to dominate your country has been an example to us all.
Throughout the recent months, since we returned from the United States in September, we have relied on RAWA for a view on the realities of life in Afghanistan. You have given us all hope for a better future.
Yours in solidarity,
Suzanne Cox and Professor David Cox
Wishing the big success of the 15th anniversary of Meena's martyrdom. Here's my message:
Dear RAWA and all supporters:
My heart was shattered to learn about the situation about Afghanistan, especially that for women and children. My heart rejoiced to know bravest and purest people of faith like RAWA.
My heart cries to think about the cold Afghanistan winter and people suffering, but please keep up your spreading love to the world. What you are doing is real act of selfless love, and my heart is always with you - though we are an ocean apart.
I don't know how to pray an Islamic prayer as I am a Christian, but my sincerest prayer for RAWA and the people of Afghanistan, till the day real peace, justice, and democracy is rooted strongly in the land of Afghanistan, and throughout the world!
You may read the following which is from the Preface of my book, _The Women of Afghanistan Under the Taliban_. "The fierce and spirited lives of Afghan women are reflected in studies and collections of their stories. Valiant voices of the living tell us of their enduring strength in the face of the ravages of war. Forever silenced voices must also be heard as the powerful legacy of ancient Afghanistan continues. Meena, a martyred founder of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), said it best in her poem: her voice, she says, has mingled with thousands of women to break the sufferings and the fetters of slavery."
Our group would like to send RAWA and the women of Afghanistan a message of solidarity. Afghan women you are not forgotten and your struggle is felt by us.
We wish you much love, respect and most of all liberation at this troubled time.....WE WISH FOR PEACE
Message from SWOA (supporting women of Afghanistan) and
WACUP (women and children for peace)
I'am impressed by the work you do. I'am impressed by the risk you take, while you do this work. I thank you for the work you do and I think it is a big effort, we have to take, to improve the situation in Afghanistan and you already doing a big deal. Thank you.
S.Rathje / C.Rave
I LIVE IN SOUTHERN OREGON IN THE USA AND THERE IS A STRONG WOMENS COMMUNITY HERE THAT HAS BEEN AWARE OF RAWA FOR A LONG TIME AND WE BRING UP YOUR PLIGHT AND PASS OUT INFO AND YOUR EMAIL AS MUCH AS WE CAN. WE HAVE A CHOIR NAMED WOMEN WITH WINGS AND WE SING FOR THE LOVE OF IT. ANNUALLY WE GIVE A CONCERT OF SONGS THAT REFLECT OUR SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL FEELINGS AND THIS YEAR WE CHANGED SOME OF OUR MUSIC TO REFLECT WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH REGARD TO TERRORISM. LAST YEAR OUR THEME WAS PEACE AND JUSTICE. I WOULD LOVE TO SEND A VIDEO TAPE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION TO SHARE. IT IS NOT A PROFFESSIONAL TAPE BUT WILL GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW A SMALL COMMUNITY CAN REACH OUT AND POSSIBLY GIVE YOU ADDITIONAL HOPE AND STRENGTH IN PURSUIT OF FREEDOM. WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG !!!!!!! DONT GIVE UP.PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE SUPPORTING YOU IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, SOME VISIBLE AND SOME NOT. LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP.
WITH LOVE AND HOPE,
Dear Women of RAWA,
Your bravery and courage humbles me.
Taliban men I would not wish to encounter, nor other Jehadi.
I understand it comes a point when a person can choose to risk their life in defiance or risk their life in fear, when cowering and hiding doesn't ensure safety or security anymore, and then there is only one right choice. My Jewish ancestors faced similar choices.
I wish I could express the sadness and grief I felt just hearing your stories and seeing the photos.
I knew that the US Govt. and the CIA were not "fair" and "nice" nor does our Govt. live up to it's high principles -- it's mostly lip service.
Before I met you, I was not fully aware HOW criminal the US Govt is, until your work led me to do further reading and education.
I apologize for all the Americans who do not know the nature of your plight. I have learned how the Mass Media in America shields it's citizens from the truth and feeds them just the truth that the power elite want them to know, how it shapes the news to hide things while pretending to inform, and uses doublespeak to justify murder.
They call it "stability". Sometimes they even call it "Democracy".
I heard the word "stability" in reference to General Dostun, and it gave me chills and filled me with anger.
They use "catch phrases" with strong emotional meaning, but empty of action, or the opposite action. Some Americans who do understand feel as powerless to affect their rulers as many Afghanis feel, feel that it's pointless, but I've learned that our voices are heard when they are many.
Even I am guilty, I now write informative letters to the newspaper and call talk radio pointing out hypocrisy and the tragedy and suffering we create and finance, but I do so from the comfort of my home.
I want everyone to hear your story so the murder can stop, in Afghanistan and in South America and all over. .
I want everyone to know your bravery, so they know the true courageous soldiers in Afghanistan are the Revolutionary Women, not the warlords.
I want everyone to know WHO we should be supporting in Afghanistan to bring about Democracy, not the sick Jehadi.
I will continue to support you, in protest and in more financial help.
I could only send $100 at the time, but I will send more soon.
Our thoughts are with you as you commemorate the life and death of the founder of RAWA. RAWA and all of its members are leaders in shaping the future, for women of Afghanistan and for women of the world. You have our full support, and we stand ready to help you in any way we can. Thank you for your courage, your determination and your vision of equality.
Best wishes from Equality Now
In response to your day of commemoration of founder Meena, I am pleased to support your movement to liberate the women of Afghanistan from the oppression they have lived with for over 20 years. With freedom women can add to the culture in ways men have been kept from considering. The more liberty we all have the better we will be, provided we live in a responsible, accountable way. RAWA has proven itself to be a courageous group of women, warrior women -- something we women in America are happy to support.
Gari Lovaas Leary
Producer of GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS
I first heard about you from a report on CNN. Ever since then, I have followed your progress and activities. I admire your work and your courage enormously. You are a great role model for women everywhere. I send you my very best wishes and hope you may have all the strength you need in the coming months especially.
On this important day, commemorating the martyrdom of rawa's founding leader, I would like to offer a message of peace and solidarity to all Afghan women.
Despite the abhorrent acts of the fundamentalists in your country, the dignity and strength of Afghan women remains. I wish you all the success in your endeavours to improve the quality of life of Afghan women, and pray that one day your country will once again be peaceful and happy. May Meena rest in peace, knowing that her vision is being carried on to this day.
Your work is an inspiration to women and men all over the world, and a reminder that it is important always to think for oneself, to care for others, and to rise above spiritual poverty.
With best wishes
I would like to take this opportunity to send you my message of solidarity.
I am a member of the Labour Party's Britain in the World policy commission, Chair of the South East Region of the Labour Party and Executive member of the Transport and Salaried Staffs association (a transport trades union). I am sure that all the bodies that I represent send their wishes of solidarity as well.
I try my best to tell people about your cause and most people I tell about you have every sympathy with you. I have forwarded your email to any of my acquaintances who I feel may have sympathy with your cause, and I wish you all good luck and Gods blessing for the future and my thoughts and prayers are with you always.
Mission Aviation Fellowship
I have never been so impressed with a group of people in my life. I say a group of people, because they are more impressive than any group of women - or men - that I have ever been aware of. The bravery, strength and committment they show, in the face of danger is a constant reminder to the Western World of not only the magnitude of the task this organisation faces, but of human endurance. Of succeeding against the odds. Of risking everything in a battle to ensure their children are left a legacy to have the most fundamental of human rights.
You have my respect. I am awe of you all and the way that you continue to support each other and stand up for what you believe in (and for what you are entitled). I admire the qualities that you each have and am proud to be associated with RAWA. For as long as I live I will continue to support you and spread the word of your suffering and fight for humanity.
Nicola Gilbey, Aged 30,
I wish to tell the women of RAWA and Afghanistan that their strength and perseverance through times which most of us could never hope to understand makes me so very proud to be a woman. I am humbled by their strength.
I also wish to say that I believe that where women have an equal voice, and an integral, active role in their society, one finds more peace, more justice, more compassion and more beauty within the world.
I hope in the new Afghanistan, women can once again help to bring these things to their country where they were denied this opportunity before; and that Afghanistan can emerge a noble and peaceful nation after so many years of pain - emerge a place where young women speak their minds, and look forward to their days with hope and excitement, and young men can do the same, but with books and not guns to guide them.
There are women around the world who, as they become more aware of the injustices women have faced and continue to face, wish to support them through whatever means are available. Through education we can free ourselves and conquer the belief that women are property to be used and discarded. Let us unite and empower ourselves to lead the countries of this world to live together in peaceful co-existence.
Please accept my support to RAWA and the struggle of Afghan women.
Know that your efforts, courage, and sacrifices are appreciated by many throughout the world: You care for your country and its women and children and the world stands with you in your human rights efforts.
After all these years of trouble and hate-ridden times, may a dove of peace and harmony descend upon all the suffering women of Afghanistan, bringing you solidarity and tranquility in your homes, in the streets and among your distraught children, may this dove make Afghani men understand that women and men are born equal and deseve the same rights as every creature is entiltled to on this earth.
to the women of RAWA
I have followed only recently the development of RAWA as an international player for the rights of women. From my western, comfortable and privileged home in london, I have watched in awe the courage and dedication of the women of RAWA. For any society to be able to develop and progress towards a future, it is imperative that women have equal rights to men, and education of girls as well as boys. It is the only way to put an end to women being treated as invisible or third class citizens. I wholeheartedly support the plea of the Afghani women and women everywhere who find the extraordinary bravery to fight for rights that I take here for completely granted. It is a long and sometimes lonely road that RAWA women have chosen to defend their rights, and thus their identity, and they deserve, more than any other wordly cause, support on an international scale. Wishing you all a wonderful day in memory of Meena.
BA Student in Modern Foreign Languages with Education.
Dear Mamoona, and beloved sisters of RAWA
We are so grateful to you for your courage, your struggles, your political clearness and also for your incredible work in informing us!
Thanks to you, we know the dangers of all fundamentalisms for women and democratic people, and we recive force from your force. In these dark days we read your messages every day and spread them through our web site (www.wforw.it) We will continue to support you and be in contact in all the way we can do it.
Thank you for exist...
I'm am so happy there's been progress in the fight for womens rights in Afghanistan.
I didn't know much about all the plight there until after September. It's terrible it takes so much to get our attention. When we're afraid it's always easier to look the other way rather than dealing with it. I believe Pres. Bush being a kind Christian man has furthered the fight for all human rights.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
for your struggle.
To some of the bravest and strongest women (people) on earth. You have all my support, prayers and hope that this new era brings you liberty and self-determination. May your children and future generations be empowered by the sacrifice and hardship you have endured, that it might enable them to live in peace.
You have our thoughts and blessings here in SF.
San Francisco, California
On this solemn day of remembrance please know that a privileged woman from the United States stands behind women everywhere in the world who seek lives of meaning, respect, accomplishment and joy. Let us never forget."
Thousand Oaks, California
The women of Afghanistan and the courageous women of RAWA are the rightful voices to lead the restoration of justice, democracy and civil society in Afghanistan. Devotion to freedom from the tyranny of religious fundamentalism, which has crippled Afghanistan and all of her people, has been the great gift from RAWA to the people of the world.
The spirit of RAWA has filled many of us in the "first world" with a joy and uplifting that is unparalleled.
The just claim to participate as full and equal members of the emerging new order MUST BE RECOGNIZED BY ALL GOVERNMENTS AND PEOPLE, WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF AFGHANISTAN.
from an ordinary woman who values justice with freedom above all else,
I am writing in solidarity and a show of support for your upcoming conference. I cannot think of an organization I've recommended more than RAWA in hopes of educating friends and family members about the situation in Afghanistan. Your strength and courage are incredible and provide inspiration throughout the world in the struggle for gender equality and social justice.
Good luck in your future work.
George Washington University
Dear mehmooda , sahar saba, and everyone;
I hope that the women and the people of afghanistan get freedom and that the fundamentalist do not get power.. which seems to be happening.. there is not a free afghanistan unless the women and the people of rawa are involved. let the voice of freedom be heard and that voice should be rawa.
I wish I could be of more help..help me to help you rawa. I am woman..I work at a bank and I am married with a child of my own..a daughter. Freedom for women means freedom for her and those like her. let our love of god and our family and lets not forget ourselves..guide us to freedom and happiness.
I have tried to be informed I listened to sahar saba and I get mail from mehmooda and I open and read and try to learn.
we are so far apart. yet so similar. women should be equal. women should be potected and also the protector. the women of rawa need and deserve a voice and position in thier government!!
I will pray that god and faith will be with you.
I wish to add my support to the cause that Rawa is committed to and to also commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the death of its founder, Meena. Rawa has continued on courageously in the path set by its founder. I honour your faithfulness despite the very real threat of grave personal danger. Women and children have been protected, fed, educated and given hope by your organization. It is my hope that, since the fall of the Taliban, your organization will be recognized and validated in your own country and that the women of Afghanistan will be truly liberated--able to enjoy freedom, political representation, education and employment and that in future years children will grow to flourish in a rich and equal Afghani culture, freed from oppression and persecution.
Dear members and supporters of RAWA,
When I discovered your website several months ago, I told every woman I know about it immediately. You told me about all the things I had been wanting to know about in Afghanistan, about what was happening to all the innocent women who had been so horrrendously mistreated by the Taliban, while the news reports here only told me about what the military was doing, how many bombs had been dropped, how many caves had been destroyed.
I am tremendously impressed by your bravery and strength. I'm a writer, and I hope that I will be able to be one of the people who tells your stories one day- because they should all be told. Please keep up the good work- there are many women in my country who are with you in spirit.
I am a woman, a christian, a mother, a wife and a musician. My heart weeps for those women who are not free to sing their heart's desires or free to simply live in peace. In my country, I see young girls take for granted the freedoms that they were born with. Sometimes I feel that we do not hold our freedoms as precious and we hurt the spirit in which they were granted. I thank you for your sacrifices, they have taught me to appreciate my freedom.
I thank you for your persistence, you are the truest example of strength in womanhood. One day you will all sing freely. One day I hope we will sing together. I pray that you will learn from our mistakes and keep your freedom precious when it comes because it will come.
Dear Sisters, Feminist Net wishes the Women of Afganistan to enjoy all of the human rights very soon. It always supports the activities of RAWA, the organisation which fight so strong for these rights. Solidarity and Sisterhood lead us.
My heart aches for you when I think of the oppression under which you live. We are all born with certain human rights, which we have no business denying to our fellow HUMAN. Man or woman, we all feel the same joy and pain. I long for the day when we can stop inflicting pain and suffering on oneanother.
Until then, you are my heart and mind.
Hope this one reaches you RAWA! I have sent many e-mails, but none so far has reached you.
This is a message of solidarity with your courage and determination and good wishes for your ceremony to celebrate your founder. The UK Women's Link with Afghan Women, founded in London in December to support RAWA and other Afghan women's organisations and all Afghan women, salutes you.
Jean Stead (Advisory Board, UK Women's Ling with Afghan Women)
We live in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, and want you to know we have been spreading the word about you and your organisation. Many people here are concerned about you and we all send our love and support and hope for peace.
sandi, john, james & frances beecher
Mehmooda, I have just sent RAWA my message of solidarity. I want to take this opportunity to praise your work and that of the men and women in your organization.
I would also like to point out that when RAWA was represented in the San Francisco Bay Area I came to Mills College in the hope to connect with the RAWA envoy. Frankly, I am used to American and international ambassadors and diplomats, CEOs and women of all rank and work who are happy to make themselves available to appear on my television programming. I was shut out of spending any kind of time with the RAWA representative. To me this was short-sighted and without even curiosity. My work has long presented women sitting shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues, treated with dignity and respect, and women's issues presented at a time when no other media was offering this perspective. I am disappointed in the handlers and your own people that a friendly, safe and producer of high quality programs was not included in your press relations. I hope you will remedy this in the future.
I await your reply.
Gari Lovaas Leary
Producer and Director of GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS
I'd like to send yours a message of solidarity in this day to commemorate the 15th martyrdom anniversary of its founding leader Meena.
I wrait from Spain. I hope after the war the live in your country could be democratic.The womens and mens are the same, only we have different for the sex. Yours troubles are the troubles of all the womens in the world. But now you have the future. And the future with ilusion and hard work will be definitily better. The childrens have the culture and safe right.
I will think in the Afganistan's people in this special day.
My best wishes from spain.
Dear freinds in Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. We seize this apportunity, while we honor the memory of Neena, congratulate you for your efforts and activities concerning the suffered Afghan women. We beleive that the women of Afghanistan would not be able to liberate their selves unless they participate in liberating all the masses of afghansitan along side of other Afghan revolutionary forces. The Afghanistan should first be liberated from the influence of all aggressive governments such as USA, England etc. The only way is to revolt against all reactionary forces and help the people of Afghanistan establish their own political power and build the coutry in an equal human way. We have faith for the suffered people of Afghanistan and will stay by their side in order to liberate their country from reactionary islamic forces and aggresive governments which are trying to impose their own policy upon the people of Afghanistan by supporting criminal and bandit armed groups. The people of Afghanistan should know US and other capitalist forces are not there to help the people of Afghanistan but to colonize them in a new way. Once again, we support the revolutionary program of RAW in connection with liberation of the Afghan women. Please allow us, along with your side, rember Neena as a symbol of bravery for the Afghan women. Since many years ago, our association, which has been formed by houndreds of Iranian former political prisoners, has intiated protesting and informative campains in favour of the suffered poeple Afghanistan.
With International solidarity
Association of Iranian Political Prisoners(in Exile)
Know that women and men all over the world send our love and passion for justice to each of you. We also send you strength and courage in the face of unknowable hardships. For my part, I am organizing a concert on RAWA's behalf in Sebastopol California. We will sing and dance and pray for RAWA and send some money too!
And finally, I send you this song which we will sing there...
Women Must Be Free
Locked inside their houses
Deprived of sunshine's strength
Women of Afghanistan
Your home's a living hell
And it's all I can do
To listen to the news
While bombs rain down hard
On your villages and towns
The Taliban may fall
But the Generals reconvened
A government of men
Without women is obscene
And it's woman to woman
All over this world
Mothers and daughters
We all love our little girls
Their rights have been denied
It's female genocide
Together we must make them see
Women must be free!!!
Forced to wear a full-length burkha
They cannot go outside alone
Prohibited from learning
A few brave ones teach at home
Now is the time
For people everywhere
To rise up and defend
Our sisters over there
Free to be who we want to be
Free to learn to read and write
Free to choose not to fight
Free to turn our wrongs to rights
Freedom's more than just a dream
It grows inside my heart it seems
We've got to stop this hating game
Human beings are all the same
love, Kym Trippsmith
Mother of Ravyn & Jabali
Hello. I'm writing to express my support for you on February 4th in Pakistan. I very much hope that the Afghan women will receive the recognition they deserve and have a substantial part of the new administration. My prayers are with you and also the other people of Afghanistan who are starving and blighted by these terrible wars.
Good luck and much love,
Ps. You have many friends in the area of Scotland that I live in. People who lived in Afghanistan in the 1960s and 1970s.
Until 11 September 2001 none of the people of the global community expected this tragic time for the world. Is terrorism and now this war because of the frivolity and ego of men? Is all this a result of power hungry greedy men or the result of the illusions of humans that are so pathetic and sad, full of pure hatred, and therefore, empty of spirit with little reverence for their fellow human: man and woman? How can any of the people involved in terrorist be correct?
The only true facts that we know resulting from all these acts of senseless cruelty, tyranny, and war are: 1.) innocent people especially women and children will suffer and die; 2.) one woman's child will kill another woman's child - (ah such a tragedy for all the women of the world); 3.) there never is a winner in such senseless destruction, there is only death, sorrow, and demoralization; 4.) Our Loving Father, God, no matter what name we call Him CANNOT and DOES NOT Condone Hatred and Murder.
No matter who or where people live, all people world wide, have the right to live their life in dignity without suffering from tyranny, cruelty, disregard of anyone's right for human dignity, peace, and happiness. No one should be forbidden to practice their faith and have their own relationship with God. The more educated we, each member of the global family, become then each of us will become more receptive and understanding of each person's rights to pursue their own level of emotional and education status. As M.K. Gandhi had taught: "...equality for everyone, no rich, no poor, no one with power, no one helpless - freedom and equal rights for everyone. The only way to world peace and the peace of an individual is through love, respect, understanding, and most important the acceptance of each other and their religious beliefs."
4 February 2002 is the day brave women of RAWA, the women of Afghanistan, and the women of the global family join hands to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Courageous Meena's death and martyrdom. This joining of hands also will make a statement that ALL WOMEN demand and deserve the dignity of a quality of life which includes safety from brutality, rape, and other demeaning acts performed by any terrorist group throughout the world.
Also, this day is the day when all the women of the world should join hands in peace and speak loudly so the whisper from the bottom becomes a roar at the top. This roar will be the voice of every woman on earth demanding that all women throughout this world is treated in dignity and is allowed to reach for an intellectual and emotional state of well being and education. When all the women of the world join hands in solidarity speaking in unison in celebration of the bravery of MEENA and all the women of RAWA and Afghanistan then we can say that we are above any terrorist act and that we have the strength to put an end to this "meaningless cruelty and slavery."
May we, all women, march and speak in unison not only on 4 February, 2002 but to continue speaking out as long as it takes to STOP all this senseless and meaningless cruelty and stupidity.
Rebecca L. Staunton
Dear sisters and friends,
On this day honouring the great Meena, founder of RAWA and a wonderful source of inspiration for all humans who aspire to the freedom and equality of Afghan women, and women everywhere, let me say that I (and friends in the Australian Labor Party), wish to send a message of support and solidarity to all RAWA people everywhere. The principles for which RAWA stands are eternal and immutable, and cannot ever be destroyed by bandits and religious fanatics. Meena will be known to history for ever more as one of the truly great human beings, a person of tremendous personal courage, compassion and political awareness. On this day we remember her, and her contribution to the world. Long live RAWA!
Your brother,friend and comrade
My Dear Sisters - Truly, you are the bravest human beings on the planet, and I am so proud that you are women! No one can say they have faced more formidable obstacles than you have in your struggle for female freedom and self determination. Please know that on the other side of the planet, in front of my computer screen, I have repeatedly wept tears of proud respect for the courage you've shown in defying the repression. Please tell women like me, who are near New York City, how we can support your struggle. I would like to stand vigil on your behalf, and help in any practical way. Wishing you every success,
Professor Elizabeth Seaton
New Jersey, USA
Dear all at RAWA,
Congratulations on all your wonderful achievements - brave undercover work, important educational activities and vital networks of support for oppressed women. Stay strong for the future and let's hope that 2002 will be a year when the women of Afghanistan will at last be liberated.
Mehmooda and RAWA:
The change of government in Afghanistan must not be allowed to be just the replacement of one oppressive regime by another. The United States and other democratic societies must insure that the new leadership is truly committed to insuring that human and civil rights are established and upheld throughout the land. The most pressing and visible concerns are the rights of women, who have been systematically suppressed and brutalized for so many years. It is only because of the persistent and courageous work of RAWA that these issues--as well as the broader ones concerning human rights in general--have been brought to public attention and awareness. There are many details of the political spectrum on which healthy discussion and disagreement may and, indeed, should occur. However, the history of state-sponsored abuses with respect to human dignity and well-being are so egregious in Afghanistan as to call upon all people and nations to help redress them. We must all work together to see that this is accomplished.
It is of course a priority for all countries--not just the United States--to see that terrorism is eradicated. To that end, it is not sufficient simply to bomb the Taliban into submission nor, for that matter, to capture and/or kill Osama bin Laden. Those of us who enjoy the luxury of an existence free of abject poverty and despair must recognize that the roots of terrorism lie in the enormous disparity between our lives and the far more numerous lives of those who are without opportunity or hope of any kind. This disparity is growing as is the perception by the world's poor that they are disregarded by us. After we have mourned the loss of those killed in the United States on September 11th and those murdered in Afghanistan for much of its history and after we have rounded up as many of the criminals responsible for these acts as we can, we must look at the bigger picture. Assuredly, we can not save the world alone, but we must lead the way. If there is a role for RAWA--as I think there should be--beyond the establishment of human rights in Afghanistan, it is to help address this broader and most important issue.
In solidarity with and support of RAWA,
Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation
New York, NY 10028
CONGRATULATIONS ON SURVIVING FOR 15 YEARS. YOUR COURAGE AND DEDICATION ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ALL WHO SUPPORT WOMEN'S LIBERATION.
Roger S. Gottlieb
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Humanities and Arts
I am a 27 year old woman living in Sydney, Australia.
Women have equal rights here. It is illegal to discriminate against us. We have access to free school education, university education, health care and every level of life that men do.
I am full of admiration for you. You women are true heroes. You fight just for the basic human rights of women in your country.
You women are the future of Afghanistan.
If you do not prevail, your country will never be whole.
You are the leaders of the future generations and your brave acts will ensure that women are respected and one day treated as equals in Afghanistan, and perhaps Pakistan and Saudi Arabia too.
I am sorry that your leader was murdered in Pakistan. Let this tragedy strengthen your struggle.
Whatever you do, don't let the fundamentalists win.
My greatest respect and admiration,
You have and have had my support for years. i'll be keeping track of your function in pakistan (where i lived for a year not so long ago). many people support your worthy cause.
I am following what you are doing with your newsletters and in the media. I do so hope you can continue this great work. I support you 100%.
I lived in Afghanistan as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1969-1971. I traveled around the country as a smallpox vaccinator and spent many nights as a guest in large and small villages. I came to love the country and to especially cherish the conversations I had with the women in the villages we visited. I almost cried the first time women kissed my hands in welcome. I had never felt so kindly accepted. I kiss your hands and wish you well. I mourn with you the loss of Meena. I know that the spirit of Meena works within you and you WILL make Afghanistan a better place for women, children and men. The women of the world support you. They have seen the injustice and barbaric way you have been treated. We must promise each other that such injustice will never be allowed to happen again. Peace and justice, my dear sisters.
Where do i send my message of solidarity.
The other question i have is how about support ? Do you need financial support ? and What about support for schools in Afghanistan ? Thanks\
Dear Brave Women of RAWA,
Congratulations on all of you have achieved under such difficult circumstances. Your martyred founder Meena has truly left a tremendous legacy in the people and organization she left behind. Please bear in mind that there are people all over the world who also remember Meena and her work. She will not soon be forgotten and neither will your continuing work.
Until it is no longer necessary to struggle so hard for simple human rights and dignity we are with you. Carry on!
Los Angeles, CA, USA
You are a wonderful organisation, an example of courage to women throughout the world. Your daughters will thank you. Love and strength to you and all women of Afghanistan,
On this occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of your founder Meena please know that women all over the world are supporting your work in creating a more just society for everyone in Afghanistan. Your bravery in the face of intimidation and terror is an inspiration to all of us no matter where we live. You are teaching us that we all have a responsibility to our children and to oppressed women everywhere so that they may develop into the best they can be as Allah intends. As you move forward in your work I hope you feel and sense our prayers and support.
In Peace and Justice
I praise your organizations great works.RAWA not only supported the women of Afghanistan,but muslim women around the world.Your plight to secure rights for women is inspirational.You have stood strong through many trails, and tribulations.My only hope is that many will look to your example,and gain strength from your accomplishments.You must remain steadfast in your beliefs that things can change for women not only in Afghanistan, but everywhere women are oppressed.
Stand and fight back ..not just one of you but all of you .. you what ever force you have too . you have been abused too long.. make us all proud to be a woman.. be srtong i will pray for your strength .
Dear Women of RAWA,
I am pleased to send this message to show my support to your organization and to it's martyred leader Meena. It has been my great pleasure to support the women of Afghanistan in their time of crisis and I am sure that Meena would be just as proud as I. The determination of RAWA and the women of Afghanistan is amazing. To each and every member of RAWA I congradulate you for your hard work and offer my support for as long as it is needed.
Director of International Relations for the
The Whitecotton Foundation for International
Miss. Mallisa Whitecotton
Thanks for all the remarkable work you have done, through all difficulties. You are teaching the world what peace and dignity are, after suffering all martyrdoom and what I consider real hell from Northern Alliance and Talibans. Your strenght helps me to cope with everyday little problems. I sincerely hope they will listen to you and learn.
My sincere solidarity, greatest appreciation and true sisterly love
I cannot tell you how much admiration and respect I have for the Revolutionary association of the Women of Afghanistan. Sitting here in my home in Devon, England, I can only begin to imagine the courage and bravery required by you all. I hope soon you will see some rewards for your struggle and I will continue to support you by spreading the word and wherever possible with finance. I pledge my solidarity with your cause.
Dear Women of Afghanistan, I am sending this in support of the 15th anniversary of the death of Meena.
I have shared the violation of your human rights with many people here in Oregon, USA, especially professional women.
I am a Christian man and am praying for your freedom daily. I believe that women everywhere are the fabric of our societies.
Keep up the good work.
To all of you at RAWA, I send my support and best wishes on this occasion of the 15th anniversary of the martrydom of your founder, Meena. May your ongoing work for the women of Afghanistan be blessed and meet with success in the very near future. My prayers and good wishes are with you.
May God bless you all.
Dears, My name is Zarghona Rassa Living in London since 1994. All this time tried to fight for the rights of women, more than a year ago setup a group of Afghan Women to come together and help other women. After 11th of September I am involved with Orgainsations as Amnisty International UK (past 2 years), Oxfam, UK,s Women links With Afghan Women & etc.
This is just a message of solidarity to you for your gathering about your friend and coleagu Meena.
Best wishes and good luck with all your work
I hope that the RAWA will be able to take an active role in all aspects of leadership in the future government of Afghanistan. Also, I hope that women will be able to have AT LEAST half of all the positions, at ALL LEVELS of the government and the private sector.
My support and best wishes for your future success!
Dear Meehmuda and women at Rawa, This is my message of solidarity to you: I send my love to the event on 4th February, to the women of Afghanistan in this function, to praise your courage and strength, and to wish you more, in memory of Meena, whose poetry I read once in a while, as a reminder of the crossing point for women, where we "will never turn back" because there is too much to loose. Also to the men in this function with my strongest wishes that they build bridges to make more men understand that no freedom can exist on the backs of women, or anybody else.
I will carry on letting others know what you are doing and passing your messages to others. Here is to a present building a just society for everyone, to each according to need and from each according to ability.
Isabel Ros Lopez,
Dear Brave Women of RAWA, Congratulations on all of you have achieved under such difficult circumstances. Your martyred founder Meena has truly left a tremendous legacy in the people and organization she left behind. Please bear in mind that there are people all over the world who also remember Meena and her work. She will not soon be forgotten and neither will your continuing work.
Until it is no longer necessary to struggle so hard for simple human rights and dignity we are with you. Carry on!
Los Angeles, CA, USA
You are a wonderful organisation, an example of courage to women throughout the world. Your daughters will thank you.
Love and strength to you and all women of Afghanistan,
On this occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of your founder Meena please know that women all over the world are supporting your work in creating a more just society for everyone in Afghanistan. Your bravery in the face of intimidation and terror is an inspiration to all of us no matter where we live. You are teaching us that we all have a responsibility to our children and to oppressed women everywhere so that they may develop into the best they can be as Allah intends.
As you move forward in your work I hope you feel and sense our prayers and support.
In Peace and Justice
Dear sisters, thanks for all the remarkable work you have done, through all difficulties. You are teaching the world what peace and dignity are, after suffering all martyrdoom and what I consider real hell from Northern Alliance and Talibans. Your strenght helps me to cope with everyday little problems. I sincerely hope they will listen to you and learn.
My sincere solidarity, greatest appreciation and true sisterly love
My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and with all Afghan women. Your work has been invaluable in letting ordinary people here in the United States know the truth of what has been happening in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. Keep up the good work!
Dear Mehmooda and RAWA,
I want to send a small message for all of you. Hopefully you will be so flooded with messages of solidarity that you won't be able to read them all, and of course I will understand if you choose not to read mine.
I first found out about RAWA last July, and when I began reading the stories of the women in Afghanistan on RAWA's website, I was moved to tears. Meena was a remarkable woman and so is every member of RAWA. I admire all of you for your steadfastness in your goals and for your bravery. I think of all of you every day and pray for your safety and for your success in winning rights and freedom for women in Afghanistan. I wish that I were even half as brave and strong as all of you are!
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Dear RAWA members, Please find attached a letter sent to the international donors in Tokyo, that also includes some of the recommendations by Afghan women at the Brussels conference. Let me know if you have a problem opening the attachment. Has your organization been invited to attend the Tokyo meeting? Please let me know if you feel that your concerns were taken seriously and if not, what these were and how you would want them to be addressed. I would be grateful if you could tell me what other Afghan women's groups attended the Tokyo meeting. Take care and many thanks, Farhat Afghanistan: Donors in Tokyo Must Fund Human Rights
(New York, January 18, 2002) -- The international donors who are meeting in Tokyo on January 21-22 should fully fund human rights initiatives for Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch urged today.
The donors' conference, convened by Japan, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, will discuss funding priorities and make commitments for Afghanistan's reconstruction.
"Human rights musts be a central pillar of the reconstruction effort," said Mike Jendrzejczyk, Washington Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. "Afghanistan obviously needs development aid to rebuild the country physically. But rebuilding the basic institutions of society is no less important."
Jendrzejczyk said the priorities should include rebuilding the judicial system, reintegrating refugees, and protecting women's and children's rights. These efforts would require that relevant ministries in the new government, such as the Ministry of Women's Affairs, be adequately funded.
Human Rights Watch further urged donors to fully fund the United Nations mission, to ensure its capacity to investigate human rights abuses, and to provide funding and technical assistance for a new court and legal system. The legal system should emphasize the recruitment and training of Afghan women judges and lawyers, Human Rights Watch said.
Human Rights Watch also called for an infusion of funds for the clearing of landmines.
Refugees in camps outside of Afghanistan are also in urgent need of support and protection. Human Rights Watch warned against any attempts to force refugees to return to their homes against their will and before international monitoring and screening mechanisms are put in place.
Human Rights Watch's recommendations to the Afghan donors conference can be found online at http://hrw.org/press/2002/01/tokyo_donor.htm.
Women's Rights Division
Human Rights Watch
Please accept my heartfelt sympathies on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of your organization's founder, Meena. The RAWA has kept the problems of the women of Afghanistan before the eyes of the world, and no doubt will be needed as much in the future as in the past.
My heart is with you on this anniversary. May your message be heard and your goals be met.
With deepest respect and admiration,
I just wanted, on the occasion of the martyrdom of Meena, to congratulate RAWA on your perseverance in the face of what often must seem to be insurmountable odds. You have the support and prayers of women around the world. You are in our hearts.
Our best wishes to your organization on the anniversary of your leader's martyrdom. We support the work that you and your colleagues have done over the years and encourage you to keep working towards a free, democratic and equal Afghanistan society where women are able to realize their hopes and dreams. You all have an amazing amount of courage and determination and you have our heartfelt admiration.
Yours in sisterhood,
Dear RAWA, I think you are the only group that has consistently stood up for women's rights in Afghanistan, and I support your efforts to bring the women of Afghanistan into full participation in the modern world, with freedom of choice, of dress, of profession, rights to have an education and to exercise individual freedom in all aspects of life.
My best wishes for your success.
Vivianne T. Nachmias, M. D.
To the Brave Women of Afganistan:
Women of courage and committment have kept civilization alive through the ages. Without us the world is lost. That you have any country and people at all is through your courage to perserve, for your children and for yourselves. We hear you, we see you, we pray for all of us around the world who are subjected to patriarchal ignorance and torture whether mind or body. You are the symbol of the worst that can happen. May we never see it again. May you rise to be the conscience of your country and the world!
To the Women Of Afganistan,
Please know that there are hundreds of thousands of women in the United States who are watching your struggle and praying for your lives and freedom. Praying that you receive the basic human dignity that any human being deserves. We pray for you, we hope for you, we cry for you. May your children live to see you grow old in peace.
Pasadena, CA 91104
Having read several of your information letters on the web, I was touched by your bravery in difficult situations, moved by the beauty of your use of the English language and grateful for the existence of women who have so often saved community and their men from disasters which we, more aggressive males can create.
Particularly for the most disadvantaged in this world, I have seen how women heir families and men, despite the brutal treatment that which we tent to unleash upon them; I have looked with hope when women have achieved, in large numbers, high positions in many field of occupation, for I recognise that, without their full participation, we will never be more than a limited society.
I hope that your founder, Meena, will be increasingly remembered in this world, when understand how important a contribution women can bring to this world.
As an older male of seventy two, having tried to serve my felow human beings for most of my life, some of which has been officially acknowledged, respecting all religions and ideas, except fundamentalist: Racism, Religion, Nationalism and all else that we impose upon others, I express my respect and gratitude to the brave women of RAWA and to their founder for I doubt if I would have the courage and commitment that you have all shown, I shall therefore remember you with deference on Monday the the fourth of February.
Peter C. Friis, Australia.
Dear Afghan women: Since I became aware of your loss of basic human rights several years ago, I have been doing everything in my power to let other Americans know about your situation.
Please be assured that we are your sisters. None of us is safe until you are safe. None of us is free until you are free.
On this anniversary of Meena's assassination, please keep in your hearts that we are with you.
Frances Cerra Whittelsey
Huntington, New York, U.S.A.
Dear friends in RAWA,
My heart is heavy with grief at your burdens, and yet my heart sings with joy at your courage, strength and perseverence. You are extraordinary women, and a source of great hope for our dangerous, troubled world. Know that you are not alone in your struggles -- you are loved, you are valued, and you are very deeply admired. I only wish I knew how more of us on my side of the planet could help you.
With very best wishes,
Laura Shanner, Ph.D.
University of Alberta
I am writing on behalf of both the research unit at the university and Justice for Women (RAWA was awarded a special prize by JFW at the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize event in October 2001).
We want to send our solidarity, support and hopes for the future to you. As Justice for Women we too organise events at which we mark the death of a woman who was important to us, whilst at the same time celebrating the contributions of individual and groups women to our personal, local and global struggles for liberation and freedom from abuse and violence. Our acheivements are the best way to remember the women we have lost.
We will keep you posted on the upcoming events and love gathering here in Corpus Christi. I am so thrilled to be in contact with you via cyberspace. I wish I could hug you! But know, as I write this I am crying what I call "ugly tears" right now. Ugly because they come from love, but a love that is so powerful it hurts.
I don't understand why the world is the way it is. But I know that I will not live another day of my life without being grateful for all I have and to use all of what has been given to me to help my sisters around the world. The suffering of women must end in order for the entire world to heal.
Humankind so easily forgets its place in the cosmos. I strive now to remember always!
Love in action!!!! We are with you all!
Dear RAWA members and supporters:
I just want to say "thank-you" for your amazing courage and commitment to the ideals of justice in the face of such enormous repression. Women all over the world are grateful for your zeal and hard work on behalf of Afghani women, which is ultimately a commitment to humanity itself.
Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Professor of English,
My dear Sisters - I send you my deepest gratitude and respect for your courageous work for the women and children of Afghanistan. I am one who understands this tremendous effort also benefits men in every way. Your activism has stirred the international movement for women's liberation and has energized all women-loving people see what we can do in our countries to lift up the status of women and girls. Afghanistan is everywhere - and so are determined women who will not rest until all women everywhere have the same opportunities and choices that men have.
Thank you for inspiring the world with your courage and determination!
congratulations for all what you are doing for de women of Afganistan! I hope peace will come to your Coutry.
I am in education - primary school. So one day when the internet comes to Afganistan I hope the children of my class can send @mails in English to the children of Afganistan.
Priester Joris Eeckhoutlaan 38
9800 Deinze - Belgium
I am writing to express my support for your organisation. It is imperative that more women of all political persuasions contribute to the planning and re-building of Afghanistan. Fundamentalism is a tyranny and will never bring freedom to anyone - men or women. My wish for you and your country is that everyone will be able to reach their full potential in a safe, non-violent environment. I will continue to support you financially as I believe your stand against religious fundamentalism is the real key to the freedom you all long for.
Congratulations on maintaining such a vibrant, genuinely beneficial organisation for so many years. I wish you many more successes in the future which will, hopefully, mean the end of RAWA! as your society stabilises into a peaceful community.
Dear Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan:
I am deeply sorry that Patriarchal male elites./ combined with fanatic militarism and blood lust has devastated your people, your soil, and the resources which you women have worked so long and so hard to bring into being and the obstruction of your participation in government is disgusting...The Bush/binLaden/911 "hijack" was a scam because there is much reporting from Europe that USA planned to attack Afghanistan in October....long before this WTC plane crashes.
I am inspired by your courage and determination....and yet the forces of destruction, violence and cruelty...and genocide ...the major foreign policies of the United States and this gang who have taken over our government....are pursuing the same course that was pursued in Bosnia/Sarajevo ... after 3 million Muslims were displaced, dislocated and dispossessed....
The USA has used this 911 "hijack" to make war on Afghanistan...and leave their old jpartners The Northern Alliance back in charge...
This was a diversion so the American people would not know that we are facing a major depression globally caused by corporate capitalism and militarism...
I see the demise of the US as the superpower as the credibility...and deceptions...come forth. This government is a theft...Bush was not duly elected....and he is doing exactly what his father had planned...same thing as Desert Storm and Iraq.
I have been active in Green Party in Califonria.. since the US Green Party came out in full support of RAWA to be included for leadership in the new government....We need new leadership in our government as well...to change this fascist, militarism...blatant misogyny and woman hating...child destroying...Earth hating.. fanatics...
Women must take leadership for this century to creat peace and security....and a new economic system based on caring and sharing, and alliances for building peaceful communities.
Chronic warfare is the US agenda...and selling arms ..weapons..planes and missiles...they keep wars going to make money for the "defense" contractors....and banks.
I support you in all ways. I pray for you to survive this holocaust on the people of Afghanistan.
Sophia K. Mubarak
I am writing to express my support for your organisation. It is imperative that more women of all political persuasions contribute to the planning and re-building of Afghanistan. Fundamentalism is a tyranny and will never bring freedom to anyone - men or women.
My wish for you and your country is that everyone will be able to reach their full potential in a safe, non-violent environment. I will continue to support you financially as I believe your stand against religious fundamentalism is the real key to the freedom you all long for.
Congratulations on maintaining such a vibrant, genuinely beneficial organisation for so many years.
I wish you many more successes in the future which will, hopefully, mean the end of RAWA! as your society stabilises into a peaceful community.
why do they refuse
knowledge of education
opportunity of career
freedom of independence
why do they hide
your soulful eyes
your beautiful face
your womanly curves
G. Renee Hays
We must fight the oppression of women...REGARDLESS of religionand economic standing. Women all over the world deserve the right to live vibrant, happy, wonderful lives. We deserve the right to educate ourselves, to contribute to a society by having a career, to raise our children in a society that respects and treasures the contribution of all of its inhabitants, to govern our OWN bodies. We deserve to live in a world where men and women RESPECT and HELP each other in their daily lives. There is no excuse for mistreatment. NONE. As sisters, we can help make the world a better place, even if we live very far apart. I think of the oppressed women of Afghanistan and other places every day and do what I can to help. Together, we can move mountains!
United States of America
I am writing to show my support for your brave work in fighting against fundamentalism. All fundamentalists, whether Muslim, Hindu or Christian, hate women. Fear and control of women's sexuality is a common thread.
The disease of fundamentalism not only eats away at the heart and soul of a woman, but destabilizes the family unit and destroys the hope of future generations. Like a canary in a mine, the status of women is an indicator of the health of a culture and nation.
The spiritual essence of all religions is love but fundamentalism is the opposite of love. Underneath the often pathetic and fanatical control of women lies a deep, despairing fear of women. How does one fight such fear? How does one understand such fear?
Fundamentalists in other countries like Indonesia and India, etc. are bothering women - can RAWA link up with women's groups there and form an international coalition against fundamentalism? Have people in any country succesfully fought against fundamentalism? If so, what political and strategic lessons and tools were learned and used?
Martin Luther King, the American Civil Rights leader who fought for Black rights, once said that 'justice delayed is justice denied'.
Women, the majority of every race and class, have always been told to WAIT for other rights to be won (e.g. racism, colonialism, etc.) before thinking of their own rights.
DO NOT WAIT. While Afghanistan is being restructured, keep demanding inclusion. You go, girl!
Thank you for the excellent work you are doing, on behalf of Afghan women and of all citizens. The email messages I get from RAWA are both heartfelt and informative. Your dedication, in spite of horrible circumstances, is most admirable.
It is my hope that you and your organization will play a key role in Afghanistan's future.
Thank you for making the world a better place for women.
In early November of 2001, I wrote a letter to USA TODAY, which they failed to publish, and which pressed for more reporting on RAWA's effort to insist that women be part of discussions for any peace process, and be included in the slate for a new government in Afghanistan.
I support democracy in Afghanistan and the rights of women to be considered as equals with men under the law in Afghan society.
President, Friends of Animals, Inc.
Darien, Conn., USA
Dear Sisters in the Struggle for Freedom and Justice,
On this sad occassion of the anniversary of the assasination of Rawa's founder, Meena, I would like to express my profound and deep solidarity with your struggle. Words cannot begin to describe the bravery and courage of the women and girls who risk their lives simply to teach children how to read. It is a blasphemy against God and humanity that we are in the 21st Century and women and children are still in bondage. What is most appalling is that the rest of the world stands by and lets this happen. Dr. Martin Luther King once said "The mighty arc of the Universe is long, but it leans towards Justice." Please remember these words and I pray they give you succor, spiritual sustenance, strength and support when you need it most.
I send you all my love, admiration and prayers, especially to all the little girls. Some photographs have been printed here in the newspaper of the young Afghan girls who want nothing more than to go to school. They are so beautiful, they are like flowers. They make me weep.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP THE STRUGGLE FOR YOUR GOD GIVEN RIGHTS AS HUMAN BEINGS ON THIS PLANET!
Gia Gracielle Galeano
Dear women of RAWA and Afganistan
I am not sure what to say as whatever I say will not be enough, so please accept my poor offering.
Sending you my warmest wishes, and my hopes for you to keep finding the strength to carry on your day-to-day fight forrecognition and respect.
Hoping for a better future for you and all women around the world.
In peace and solidarity,
To the courageous women of RAWA --
Your fight against religious fanaticism is the fight of women everywhere -- the poison of fundamentalism has reared its ugly head against us, at some point, in nearly every culture, in every nation. I believe you are the bravest women in the world today, and my thoughts are with you.
Never give up! You are not alone.
Arise for Social Justice extends solidarity to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan and all the women of Afghanistan struggling for peace, justice and freedom on the commemoration of the 15th martyrdom anniversary of the founding leader Meena.
Arise for Social Justice (Arise, Inc.) is a non-profit poor peoples' rights, anti-oppression membership organization located at 91 Rifle Street in Springfield, Massachusetts 01105, phone: 413-734-4948, fax: 413-781-3712.
On behalf of the members of Arise for Social Justice,
Michael Lindberg, President
Jackie Logan, Vice-President
This is a time of great change in the world. It is also a time of dawning awareness that women are abused and silenced worldwide. We send you our prayers and strength in this time of transition and struggle. Raise your voices with pride and courage. You are not alone. You are heard. We all share the same vision - a world where women have security, opportunity, care for our children, and respect. The world is beginning to listen and we must demand that it hears EVERY one of us! THE TIME IS NOW!!
I want to assure you that in my country many women and men are aware of the importance of your fight. We "cross our fingers", we pray God and we let other people know about what you are doing.
God bless you !
To the women of Afghanistan,
Your continued courage, resistance, and creative power inspire me daily. When I feel challenged by my own limitations, I think of the power you find to sustain your lives, and I feel motivated to break through my comparatively small fears, to continue my own expansion and growth, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and creatively. When I feel empowered in my life, I send that sense of power toward you, hoping my intentions, and those of the hundreds of thousands of women around the world who hold you in their hearts, will help to strengthen your resolve, renew your visions, and energize your work.
Your power astounds me.
Working in solidarity with RAWA has brought inspiration, light, guidance, and focus to many people in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. When planning a performance benefitting RAWA, all we had to do to get donations (from often greedy and somewhat economically challenged companies) was to mention that we were acting in solidarity with the women of Afghanistan. For the past three months, at least once a week, I have received an announcement about another event, benefitting RAWA. Know that the people of the San Francisco Bay Area hold you in their hearts and minds, through their actions, prayers, meditations, activities, and daily conversations.
I wish health, healing, prosperity, and a growing sense of empowerment and entitlement for you.
With much love,
Dear RAWA members and fellow supporters, my heartfelt best wishes to you on this 15th anniversary of the martyrdom of Meena. I applaud you. I salute you and I pray for you daily. Your continuing struggle for basic human rights is beyond the understanding of most of the world. But, thanks to your efforts many of us are now beginning to be aware and to raise our voices, with yours, for freedom and justice for all!
May God richly bless your work and your lives.
Barbara M. Vaughn
Homestead, Florida, USA
Dear Mehmooda and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
This is a message to wish you well at your function to commemorate the 15th martyrdom anniversary of your founding leader Meena. I think of all of you and of the women in Afghanistan at the moment who have survived such dreadful things for many years and are still struggling to keep going now. I can only hope that life will improve for all the women
yours in solidarity
Your quest was not in vain. "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." You were a pioneer, and your dream of a land without fundamentalism is just over the horizon.
Fayza A. Elmostehi
Los Angeles, California USA
Deseo expresar mi solidaridad con el pueblo de Afganistan y especialmente con las mujeres en su lucha contra la opresión de que han sido vítimas, injustamente, por un fanatismo religioso mal entendido.
El derecho a la vida y el bienestar deben ser igualitarios para hombres y mujeres. El hombre que induce sufrimiento en las mujeres es menos humano y menos hombre que las mujeres que lo soportan.
Dr. Fancisco Guerrero C.
On the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Meena, it's founding member, we in the Gender Discussion Group at the University of Essex, UK, would like to express our admiration and continued support for all the work that your organisation is doing to help oppressed women in Afghanistan. Your continued work in the face of danger is an inspiration to us all.
on behalf of the Gender Discussion Group,
University of Essex, UK.
Dear friends, we know that on 4 February you are going to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of Meena, the founder of RAWA. We want you to know that we feel very close to you in this moment, and that in Italy, during the many public occasions when popular movements meet we are going to remember Meena's anniversary too.
We will demand solidarity for Rawa's struggle, democracy, a true fair peace, human rights and especially women's rights.
This is also our struggle, and for this reason we are grateful for your commitment.
Love from Associazione Iemanja'
As you The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) commemorate the 15th martyrdom anniversary of your founding leader Meena, please know that many people around the world are with you in spirit.
The world is watching the re-building of the troubled nation of Afghanistan, and ordinary people everywhere are deeply concerned about its future. Our politicians may be fickle and unworthy, but the ordinary people of the world are waiting for a genuine solution, and women across the world will not rest until the long suffering women of Afghanistan are properly represented, and finally freed from oppression.
We send you our best wishes and solidarity in your ongoing struggle for justice on this, the 15th anniversary of Meena's martyrdom.
The Women First Collective
Dear RAWA Members
Meena's breave steps created RAWA. The women in Afgan are about to enjoy the results. The intention of RAWA is great.
At this 15th anniversary, RAWA should determin to expand their scope to liberate all mouslim wemen in this world.
Specially, at this anniversary day RAWA must make a strong voice to liberate the following two classes of innocent women.
1. Fortunately, all wemen are blessed with a charming face and a beautiful shape. Why in Afgan and some other countries such as Saudi arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia, women are forced to cover their face. Why not open the face.
2. Why in some communities in certain countries, their girls are forced to accept bodily operation some thing similar to men's Circumcision. They perform this at an age when a girl do not understand the adulthood. They realize the worse part of it when got married. The brutal husbands in those communities want to enjoy sex, while leaving the Circumcised wife in a position where she just breath.
Wish you good luck
To, The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), Dear Madam,
Firstly, take my revolutionary best wishes for the people of Afghanistan on the 15th martyrdom anniversary of martyred human rights activist Meena, founding leader of RAWA. I m a 25 years old boy from assam, a eastern india state. We have always notiched how the fandamentalist organisation, both the northern alliance and the taliban has destroyed the once symbol of modern afghanistan, kabul.
I hereby want to send my messege of solidarity to the people of afghanistan whose homeland was destroyed in the 2 decades of gouup fightings between various brutal fandamentalist organisations. I and on behalf of the people of assam express our full solidarity with them who are fighting for a free and democratic afghanistan and hope that one day we all will meet in a democratic afghanistan.
To the RAWA:
I'm a senior women's studies major at a small college in a rural part of the Eastern United States. On behalf of all of my fellow students who tried to educate others toward social activism against the Taliban before the United States military campaign we send our thanks to you and your operatives who risked your lives in order to publicize and chronicle the horrors of that fundamentalist regime. Also we pledge our time and effort to help insure that women's rights is made an issue both here and abroad and denounce any attempt by the US to forward its own agenda at the cost of democracy and equality in the new Afghanistan govenment.
Message of Solidarity from the UK Women's Link with Afghan Women Greetings on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the martydom of your founding leader Meena from the UK Women's Link with Afghan Women.
Congratulations on all you hard work and courage on behalf of Afghan women over so many years. Let us hope that a new era has begun when Afghan women's human rights will be restored.
Parliamentary Assistant to Joan Ruddock MP
House of Commons
Assalam-u aleykum my dear rawa sisters !
My best wishes to all of you from Germany where I live. to remind you of myself : My name is Assadullah , born in 1969 in Kunduz from the ethnic Turkmen minority. My parents migrated to Turkey in 1982 and I studied journalism in Istanbul. After the September 11th , I made some tv programs on Rawa and Afghanistan for the CNN-Turk, the Turkish channel of CNN-International . I even interviewed some Rawa activists over the phone. And I have written a book on Afghanistan which is published in october 2001 in Istanbul. The book was bestseller in Turkey. And some papers in Istanbul praised my book as the best source in Turkish on Afghanistan.
Now I work on my second book on Afghanistan. in this work i focus only on Afghan women, their tragedy under jihadi criminals and Taliban. There will be a special section for rawa and its activities in my book. I hope to finish it till september or summer of this year.
now my message :
I love all of you very much. Each one of you like my sister. I appreciate your efforts . Meena Kishwar who founded this wonderful organization rawa, is a real KAHRAMAN in my eyes. I know very well, if sister Meena were now alive, she would be proud of you.
Your activities impress not only me, but also my Turkish girl friend who is also journalist. Her name is Gulhan and she asked me to send you her best wishes and warm salams .
the whole world is aware of your activities and they know that Afghan women have brave and courages representatives like you who are ready to fight any the enemies of my oppressed sisters.
I'm sure Meena has won a specail place in Afghan history. She is a KAHRAMAN exactly like the Malalay who fought against the invaders.
Man dar mukabil-i shima ba ihtiram tazim mikunem !!!
ba ihtirami firawan
We wish RAWA success in achieving the just and democratic society which the Afghanistan's past and present governments have failed to do.
All the women of the world are one. When one rejoices, all rejoice. When one suffers, we all do. We will stand with you all over the world against injustice and oppression.
Sue Spencer, SGI Vice Women's Division chief,
Rochester District, Washington, USA
To all Afghani women
I have been following your plight for several years and have been praying for a solution to the problems you and your country faces. The pain and suffering you have felt is something I cannot comprehend. The courage you have is amazing. I am in awe of you. I believe the women of Afghanistan will soon come into their own and show the world what true power, that of compassion, understanding and equality, is all about. The women of Australia bow to you, your mission on Earth is one of great hardship, but it will lead to great things in the world. Of this I am certain.
I am pleased to hear you will be holding a conference in Pakistan and would like to congratulate RAWA for its work for equality in Afghanistan and wish all Afghan women, men and children peace, freedom and prosperity after so much suffering.
All my best wishes go to you.
love Allison Bennett Refugee Studies student
Even though I lived in the United States, I fully support the efforts of RAWA.
Any nation or political movement, as that of the fundamentalist, that does not include women is a nation or movement that is destined to fail. They have failed in the past and they will fail in the future.
Women are an essential part of any county, religion or political party. Without input from women, those that support such estrangement are actually harming themselves.
The very nature of men and women are different and it takes the thoughts and ideas from both to make a country, religion or govenrment work. To consider women as lesser is to doom those that hold such beliefs.
Continue to fight for the freedoms that yours by birthright.
I write all this by means of a traductor,I don´t speak english.
From here I cannot make another thing that to send my moral support for RAWA, I don't forget you.
continue ahead and you don't look behind you don't let that the burka hides your soul
I am with you .
My name is Rocio and I am 32 years old, married, with a daughter,I´m spanish,from Barcelona. You are an example for all the women around the world
I have all the comforts but I don't have their force
I send you my heart and I hope your news.
Assunta Signorelli wrote: Thinking today, while we all, men and women, are experiencing a war, of women that, alone or together, seek to build pathways leading to peace, places of freedom and selfdetermination, makes it possible to imagine that, there may be a time when things will be different and life will be worth living for all. If these women come from places, the history of which would have aimed at their destruction and annihilation without success, then hope may turn into certainty and make us all feel a little stronger.
For this I chose to support RAWA, because I need to know that they exist, for only if they win my children and I will be able to live in a better world.
Today, the 4th of February, I would like to be with you but this is not possible and these words are that part of me that can mix with you.
Dear RAWA, On the 15th anniversary of the assassination of your founder Meena, you have much to be proud of. Your members have consistently risked their lives to serve the women of your country, to inform the world of conditions in Afghanistan, and to fight for the liberation of all in your country. I first learned about RAWA when two members gave a presentation at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC about a year ago. From that moment I have had the deepest respect and sympathy for your efforts, and have endeavored to share your message with my friends and connections.
You have my strongest wishes for your future success.
Sarah Taub, Ph.D.
Department of Linguistics and Interpretation
Washington, DC USA
I send my support to my sisters of Afganistan. Not a day goes by that I do not think about their plight. As an American, these recent times have increased my own awareness and as I gain knowledge, I pass it out to anyone who will listen. I wait, and not so patiently, until the day I can go to Afganistan and touch the face's that have been covered for to long.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dear members of RAWA and women worldwide:
Please know that you have the support of women (and men) world wide. We pray that this type of injustice to humanity never occurs in this world again, ever.
You have been especially strong and have weathered battles worse than most of us ever had to bear. Please use that strength now to move forward positively and to never again allow animals such as the Taliban to take over your lives.
You have acted with great wisdom in continuing to educate your youth. That education and consequential, intelligence and ability to analyze is precisely what is threatening to the ilks of uneducated animals such as those who have made life and living so very miserable for you.
When you have the courage to destroy the burkas you have been forced to wear in efforts to keep you humble, frightened and with no self esteem, you will destroy the old rule. When you have destroyed the old rule (at least mentally) you will rise and will never allow such cowardice to encroach on your lives again.
We (and many other nations as well) will help rebuild your country. You must help also. It will help the healing and fortify your strength.
My prayers and love are with each of you. May God help all of us and bless you thrice for your courage so far.
Anaheim, CA - USA
I am humbled and inspired by your persistence in the face of adversity. You provide a model for women everywhere to fight for justice against the forces of coersion and oppression.
With deepest respect.
Dear Mehmooda -
here is a statement from Eve Ensler. Bless you and your work.
V-Day sends our strength and support to and stands in solidarity with RAWA and the women of Afghanistan. We are with you and will be with you until the women of Afghanistan are safe and empowered. Women and men in 800 V-Days around the world are raising our hearts and funds this year to support your efforts. We know that women are not free anywhere until the women of Afghanistan are free, because Afghanistan is everywhere.
Founder & Artistic Director
SOLIDARITY MESSAGE FROM MEXICO
By this means and as President of Grupo de Tecnología Alternativa S.C., we express our solidarity with RAWA as we feel all women in the world should fight together in order to gain our full human dignity, as women and as human beenings.
We regret very much the state of violence throughtout the whole world, and asume as our main historical role the struggle for PEACE. We need peace in order to survive, and we, women, concerned with life itself, will support each other to overcome this dark age we are going through today. A warm hug to all of you. Don´t forget how strong we are!!!
Dra. Josefina Mena Abraham, Dean of IFU, project WATER.
As a young woman myself, it hurts that not every young woman in the world can share the same freedom as I have. I recently saw a picture of two women walking down the streets of a big city in Afghanistan in the seventies. They were wearing short skirts and no burka's. They could show the skin of their legs without being brutaly punished for it. It is a strange thing that thirty years later the clock has been turned centuries back. I hope that the women of Afghanistan will be able to lead their lives like I lead mine. Independent, free and fearless.
I send my love and support to Afghan women,
This is a message from Germany.
I wish you a lot of strength and support.
Dear Mamoona, and beloved sisters of RAWA
we are so grateful to you for your courage, your struggles, your political clearness and also for your incredible work in informing us!
Thanks to you, we know the dangers of all fundamentalisms for women and democratic people, and we recive force from your force.
In these dark days we read your messages every day and spread them through our web site (www.wforw.it)
We will continue to support you and be in contact in all the way we can do it.
Thank you for exist...
You are always in my thoughts. I know that you will have inspired ideas and plans to help your tormented country. I wish you strength and grace in the struggles ahead, and moments of sublime transcendence.
Yours in sorrow, hope, and solidarity,
Pamphylla of Boston,USA
Please know for certain that you and your plight are not forgotten by those of us living in the West. We think of you every day, and send all our thoughts and prayers for a world united in peace. Let us hope that our sisterhood can in some way serve that great cause.
From, one of your Western sisters
Dear members of RAWA,
I am sorry that I could not listen to speech of one of you invited by Amnesty International Japan in the last year.
RAWA seems to contribute to criticize war crimes by Taliban and Northern Alliance (United Front) and to protect women's human rights. Meena's spirit must protect you.
Secretary on Human Rights,
Association for Returnees from China
We support the cause of RAWA and its efforts to bring freedom and equality to the Afghan women.
You have too long been relegated to a class and situation that is totally unacceptable in today's world.
We will look forward to your emancipation and wish you speedy success.
Best wishes to all.
Robert Gilroy and Shirley Septon
We as individuals and members of KAIPPG--Kenya AIDS Intervention/Prevention Project Group--applaud your invaluable efforts to aid the valiant women of Afghanistan, and we especially salute and honor your founder, Meena, who gave her life for this most important cause. Her immense courage, and that of all of the women of RAWA and Afghanistan, is a beacon and inspiration for us all, and we who work for the human rights of women both locally and globally salute the living spirit of your founder on the anniversary of her martyrdom.
May we all pause to give thanks, reflect upon, and celebrate her life and work, and the heroism found in each and every woman, as we are all of us connected in struggle and solidarity.
With All Best Wishes Always and Profound Thanks!
Yours in Sisterly Struggle and Hope,
i highly appreciate the work this org. is doing for the upliftment of the supressed women.Women are the INSTALLERS of-----MANKIND ---- .Those who dont respect them are the biggest enemeys of god though they might be big saints for people.
I pray for the success of this org. thank you!!
I have been an admirer of RAWA since my college days at Texas Tech University in Lubbock in the early 80's.
At times, we college women would ponder how things could possibly be so horrendous -- as in the pictures we saw? Your plight was truly beyond belief. But little did we know -- the worst was yet to come.
Today, my contemporaries all know who RAWA is; many have leaned of RAWA post Sept 11th.
I admire you for your integrity and grit, and have supported you in purchases of merchandise (I'm wearing my RAWA boxer shorts as I write this); forwarding RAWA news to others, and the like.
The future belongs to you, I assure you.
Your friend in Texas,
On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the martyrdom of Meena, I declare my solidarity with your cause to help oppressed women in Afganistan to build a decent life for themselves and their families.
I salute you for your courage and your proactive approach to the problems of the oppressed and your speaking out concerning the realities of decisions and actions being taken since the Americans have become involved in fighting terrorism in Afganistan. The world needs to know when a new regime is just as oppressive as the last, as you have made known about the Northern Alliance. I support you as best I can.
To all of you at RAWA. I send you a message of strength, love, and friendship.
I know that your fight is far from over and I pray for the Afghan people that they will one day know peace and freedom.
New York, NY
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." - Gandhi
The eyes of the world are on the government of Afghanistan today, more now than ever before in history.
I pray for healing for the nation, and for the hearts and minds of the people, as well as for their war torn bodies.
I pray that the women of this region of upheaval and conflict can stay strong and continue to stand for their beliefs, and help the government form policies and programs to promote the health and welfare of all people.
Dear RAWA, Remembering you all on the martyrdom anniversary of your courageous leader Meena. I send you strength and courage to continue the brave work that you undertake to free all women of Afghanistan.
May you be provided with all that you need to face the challenges in this time of great turmoil. And may you be granted the freedom that is your birth right.
Kathryn Bullen (Adelaide, South Australia)
Dear Afghan sisters,
I have wanted to send you a message of solidarity for a long time, but never did it, until you sent out this invitation to do so.
I am a member of Amnesty International and, as such, deeply committed towards human rights. I am also a woman, mother of 3, and I have always felt a deep solidarity for all my sisters around the world who were born in countries where women's rights are not respected, who have to struggle everyday against a system that keeps them in an inferior position and who suffer in their everyday life freedom restrictions, bad treatment, abandon....
What you, in Afghanistan, have suffered during all those years is beyond human imagination. To me and to most women in Western Countries, who are used to live, walk, talk, work, study, laugh, dress, etc. the way we want, the barbarian restrictions imposed on the Afghan people, and most of all to women and girls, seem like something of another world.
I deeply admire and support all the members of RAWA, who have treasured hope and have struggled so hard to educate, assist, give medical care and spread information in the middle of hell.
The day the Taliban regime fell was a day of joy and celebration for us in Belgium too.
I send you all my very best wishes. I deeply hope that the changes that are taking places in Afghanistan will not forget half of its population. The weight of tradition is not a reason to leave behind women and girls on the path to development.
Western women are following with great attention what happens in Afghanistan. All the best, sisters !
Dear Women from the RAWA!
With these words I want to show you my solidarity -
I`m moved by your will to change things that made women suffering for such a long time.
I like to read your news, your critical view of all cruel and so-called human events and happeninds in Afghanistan.
With warm greetings,
Dear Brave Women,
I am writing to say that I admire you so much, pray for you daily and wish you freedom and happiness. Now and always.
Dear sisters in struggle,
I congratulate you on your continued efforts on behalf of Afghani women and children. May your work be reflected in a new Afghanistan where peace and equality is prized and practiced.
Thank you in the name of all women everywhere.
Brooklyn, New York
I am writing an article on you. Please explain why you object to the Hezb-i-Wahdat and to the Parchami Party. Thank you for a prompt answer. This article will be published in Le Monde diplomatique, the most important French monthly.
President of International Coalition against War -France
To Members of Rawa. It is with great honor to write a message for your function to honor the 15th martyrdom anniversary of its founding leader Meena. She certainly was a remarkable woman and has inspired thousands of other women to be equally remarkable. I have such great admiration for the women of Afhganistan You certainly have shown the rest of us what can be accomplished with courage and determination. You have done so much with so little and I think of how so many of us in the western world have done so little with so much. You are setting and example for the women of the world.
The pioneer women of our countries had those qualities of courage and determination. They too accomplished so much. It is time for us to dig in our heels and start cleaning up our societies.
I feel it a privledge being a member of your organization. There is so much to be done in all our countries if we all work together and learn from each other I know we will make a better world for all.
Yours truly Bev Blundell
Dear "Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)",
I highly appreciate your work and your activities. On the occasion of the commemoration of the 15th martyrdom anniversary of the founding leader Meena, which you are going to hold in a big function on February 4, 2002 in Pakistan, I would like to express to you my full and intimate solidarity!
Dr. Max Siller
Univ.-Prof. of the University in Innsbruck, Austria
I have just send a message of solidarity, and i hope that the message sent will show RAWA supporters that they have support and love from all parts of this world.
My name is Parissa Ebrahimzadeh, and I am a college student attending The University of California, Irvine. I have been granted money to conduct research this year, and my topic is Female Gender Construction, how females were placed into their roles and positions. I am focusing on woman in the Middle East entirely, and alot of my focus i hope will give light to your current situation in Afghanistan. I will put into my research as much information as i can obtain about RAWA, the mission, as well as the situation. I am hoping that this research will be another voice for women's rights to come to light and gain further attention, directing the attention towards the current Afghanistan situation. If there is any one i can talk to in my area, or any functions i can attend here in California, please let me know. I woul! d love to begin a correspondence that would allow for me to gain information and add to my research.
Your sister and supporter,
Dear Sisters: Please know that there are many people in the world, both women and men, who support your struggle for full freedom and recognition in your homeland. May you achieve all your dreams.
we would like you to know that we support your activities even if only by thoughts and distribueing your informations among as many people as possible because we are just a poor institution ourselves. However, we admire the strenght and endeavours that you and your sisters undertake under such harsh conditions and we wish you stronger supporters and a bright future.
Team of the FFBIZ, Berlin
We send you this message of solidarity and support for the February 4th, 2002 commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the martyrdom of your founding leader Meena.
Your struggle has inspired people around the world from all walks of life. It is with pleasure and optimism that we follow developments in Afghanistan. Please accept our warmest wishes for success in the future.
The Larsen/Johnson Family
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dear friends in RAWA,
My heart is heavy with grief at your burdens, and yet my heart sings with joy at your courage, strength and perseverence. You are extraordinary women, and a source of great hope for our dangerous, troubled world. Know that you are not alone in your struggles -- you are loved, you are valued, and you are very deeply admired. I only wish I knew how more of us on my side of the planet could help you.
With very best wishes,
Laura Shanner, Ph.D.
Just a few words to show my solidarity and admiration to your organization for your relentless work in favor of the women in Afghanistan and for the country as a whole.
It's people like you who make the world a little bit less horrible. I'm doing my best to make your organization known wherever I can.
I wish you the very best. You are necessary!
I understand that RAWA is going to hold a big function on February 4, 2002 in Pakistan to commemorate the 15th martyrdom anniversary of its founding leader Meena. I send salutations and best wishes on your important anniversery. To support RAWA is to support world peace.
You women are my heroes. You have faced so many obstacles in achieving freedom for the women of Afghanistan. The women of America applaud you for your courageous struggle. I will continue to support you through donations and prayer.
To my sisters,
Even though an ocean separates us, our religion and skin color are not the same, and we speak different languages, I want you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you in your times of trial. I realize I cannot comprehend what you are going through, but can only encourage you to stay strong.
Fellow members of RAWA,
I think it's important on this anniversary to show solidarity with women all over the world. It's also important for the world to recognize the need for one set of laws for everyone. That way everyone is equal. No special laws, because when you make special laws for special groups it prevents that group from entering the main stream. The women of Afghanistan NEED to be in the MAIN STREAM of society. This idea is for the whole globe not just Afghanistan. I think about the Women of Afghanistan and I want the world to also think about this and what it means for the entire global society.
>From Sheffield, England, I send my warmest best wishes of solidarity and love to my sisters in struggle.
May your goals be reached in the very near future and help make a further contribution to a world where all human-beings are equal and in which we are all free to pursue those things which are meaningful to our own lives.
I salute and embrace each and everyone of you!
A Message of Solidarity to My Sisters in Their Struggle To My dearest Sisters,
On the aniversary of martyrd Meena please embrace,with joy, all that she accomplished out of love for you. RAWA in itself is a feat to proud of. Hold your heads high my sisters and continue to be brave. The world often saves its cruelest burdens to be borne on the shoulders of women and throughout history women have overcome their oppressors and carried their burdens with grace.
It is rarely without teary eyes that I read the news of your plight in the Middle East. Your strength and dedication to your children and families is truly an example that those of us in the west should strive to follow. When I see that you are risking your lives to educate your daughters and their brothers and to provide home work to the widows I am ashamed at the ridiculous western values that I have grown up with and the many freedoms I take for granted.
Here when a woman chooses Islam as her faith she wears the veil with joy and smiles beautifully when she speaks of her religion. It is my truest wish that someday those who pervert the words of your Prophets to the humiliation and degredation of women will be held accountable. I hope that God will smile and you will be free to live, learn and worship in any way you choose.
With love and prayers
Amanda L. Bourque
Dear women of RAWA:
Just a quick note to thank you on behalf of all women all over the globe. Your struggle mirrors the struggle of all women everywhere. Patriarchy and oppression exists everywhere and through your courage and indomitable spirit I hope that women everywhere will come to realize that the fight against oppression can yield results.
I think of all of you courageous women and I hope that you know how much you are admired and looked up to. I stand with all oppressed women of the earth and I give a silent moment to your revered leader, Meena!
Seattle, Washington USA
As you commemorate the life and death of your leader in a place far from me in California, USA, I want to let you know that your work is part of the work I do for girls, especially with the United Nations, and lives in our spirits as well as yours. Your struggle has been and is a sobering one, and the recent attention because of the attacks on the United States, must have you on a path that is dark and light.
If I can have a moment for the light, let me tell you that your voices have helped me broaden the scope of the first United Nations curriculum on and for girls. Girls Speak Out at the UN has male domination as a given, and your long struggle against it in your country as a model for girls.
Amulya, a girl with whom I work lives in India, and she counsels me to take risks in the name of girls and women in her region.
Congratulations and you have my continuing support.
Cofounder (with Gloria Steinem) and Executive Director
Girls Speak Out
Pacifica, California 94044 USA
Women really do need to stand up for each other. Long before Sept 11, you warned us about the Taliban. The Struggle for women's rights is not over. Last night on the TV news, I learned that a United States Air Force Officer, who flew bombing missions over Afghanistan, is now being asked to wear a shroud and hood covering her head, because she is a women, and the military has stationed her at a base in Saudi Arabia. She is suing the United States Secretary of Defense in civil court, because she feels totally humiliated by that style of clothing. She has taught Air Force men how to fly fighter jets, but she is not allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. Can you believe that? Your leader Meena was very brave to start this struggle in her part of the world.
You have my support, and that of my friends, for your struggle to improve the lives of all women in Afghanistan. Life, health, education and respect should be the rights of any human being in any society, not limited to a privileged gender or status. Your strength, tenacity and courage are an inspiration.
L Waugh, Preston, Lancashire, England.
Thank you RAWA!! You help to keep alive the spirit of Meena and all strong, brave women. Thank you for your courage to stand tall in the face of oppressive forces. We have so much to be proud of. The world will be a better place for our daughters.
In solidarity with your organization and its very important work on behalf of the oppressed women of Afghanistan, and all victims of obsessively fanatical fundamentalism of all stripes, I send greeting to you from Brooklyn, New York, with wishes for continued success for all your efforts.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." - Helen Keller
"There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."- Johann von Goethe
"Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe."- Edmund Burke
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhwre. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." -Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from the Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph." -Haile Selassie
"The first duty of society is to give each of its members the possibility of fulfilling his destiny. When it becomes incapable of performing this duty it must be transformed." -Alex Carrel, Reflections on Life
"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." -Amelia Earhart
"The fearless are merely fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave." -James A. LaFond-Lewis
All of these quotes embody what Rawa does and I stand by you with all my heart. Thank you for all you do.
The strength and courage of afghan women shines so brightly through the darkness that envlopes Afghanistan. So brightly that even women, here in Australia, have realised your plight and shed tears for your pain. With urgency we have rallied together and in solidarity we raise awareness and funds for you.
You are not invisible and we are not blind - you are in our hearts and minds everyday.
Rachella Birch-Samios and Emma Wall (organisers of 'Music for Life' fundraiser)
My fondest hope is to see Afghanistan and all of its people living in peace and prosperity. It is the women of Afganistan and other countries who must unite to stop sensless wars and the devastion they wrought upon innocent people.
I stand in solidarity with RAWA and all women who believe in and work for peace and justice for all.