RAWA.org, February 12, 2017

Messages sent for Meena’s 30th martyrdom anniversary

The messages were sent by RAWA supporters from around the world

The messages were sent by RAWA supporters from around the world. We offer our heartfelt thanks to these wonderful people for the support and love they have for our leader and struggle.

Il Coordinamento Italiano di Sostegno alle Donne Afghane (CISDA) ( http://www.osservatorioafghanistan.org/ ), RAWA’s group of Italian supporters:

In memory of Meena, 30 years after her assassination

CISDA message for Meena for martyrdom anniversary
Photo: CISDA

Dearest Meena, 30 years ago you were brutally killed by ruthless fundamentalists determined to eliminate anyone who dared to obstacle their plan. These fierce, misogynist minds have been able to commit, undisturbed, the most brutal atrocities whilst the main forces who have been ruling the country in the last three decades, have passively allowed these crimes to be perpetrated.

Dear Meena, you never accepted such brutality, and so you stood up and sacrificed your life to end these savage crimes against the Afghan people.

For someone though, your endless struggle and determination to improve the life of innocent women and children around the country were not acceptable and had to be stopped. These criminals were committed to silence your voice and punish you for daring to speak up against their fundamentalism and misogyny.

Yes, dear Meena, these criminals have killed you, but your struggle continues. Your hopes for a peaceful world are still alive and stronger than ever.

RAWA, the extraordinary organisation that you have established and which CISDA has been proudly supporting since 1999, has tirelessly carried on your struggle and faithfully followed the path that you have shown, despite the significant risks and many difficulties.

Dearest Meena, you have showed the way and undoubtedly RAWA members "will never turn back”.Dear Meena, today you are alive in every woman who achieves the very same objectives that you have set out; you live in every woman who speaks up and fights against violence; you are the flame burning in every child saved from a future of destitution.

And you are an example to all of us.

We know that fundamentalism in Afghanistan has not been defeated; that women have not been liberated; that drugs have become the main business of the country; we know that the number of drug addicts is rising dramatically and that very little has been done to promote economic development. But most importantly, we know that there will be no peace and democracy in Afghanistan as long as war criminals like Rasool Sayyaf, Abdullah Abdullah, Ismail Khan, Younis Qanooni, Mohaqiq, Khalili, Rashid Dostum, Atta Mohammed Noor remain in power, nor until the day in which the Afghan government will reject any negotiation with criminals like Hekmatyar, one of the instigators of your assassination.

We join the struggle of RAWA and stand by all the democratic forces in Afghanistan: any success in this struggle is a key step towards the eradication of fundamentalism in the world.

Dearest RAWA sisters, your struggle continues and we will always stand by your side!

Sonali Kolhatkar ( http://www.sonalikolhatkar.com/ ) (USA), writer, producer of Rising Up with Sonali, and founder of Afghan Women's Mission:

Sonali Kolhatkar message for Meena for martyrdom anniversary
Photo: Sonalikolhatkar.com

I first came to know of the story of RAWA's founder Meena when I was in my 20s. I decided soon after that if I ever had a daughter I would name her Meena. (Alas I have two sons and no daughters). Meena's life story had a profound impact on me. A brilliant and passionate woman risked everything to organize for the betterment of her people and paid the ultimate price. It is the stuff great legends are made of.

Every time I have met a member of RAWA I have felt that I was in the presence of Meena's spirit. She has inspired countless Afghans and even non-Afghans. The women and men who today follow in her footsteps risking their lives for their country, are the living embodiment of Meena's legacy.

Today Afghanistan is in need of more "Meenas" than ever before. We know through the work of RAWA that foreign interference has only brought misery to ordinary Afghans and that people rising up and struggling for justice - just like Meena did - is the only path to liberation. Some day Meena's dream of a just and peaceful Afghanistan will come true. We must believe in that, hope for that, and work toward that, so that her sacrifice was not in vain.

Edu Montesanti, author and freelance writer:

Meena, an Inspiration for All Mankind

"Those who die for life cannot be called dead", was used to sing Venezuelan Alí Primera, Hugo Chávez's preferred songwriter. Few words depict Meena's life like these ones.

As we miss Meena for long 30 years, it is important to understand that Meena's resistance was not only for the so noble and hard Afghan cause - surely not. Meena gave her life away for her people, and for ideals. So precious ones. Her matchless grace, passion and bravery are examples for all mankind - and much more than examples: her life and blood are for every hungry in every corner of the world, for every child who cries, for every sick and raped everywhere.

In Latin America we have a long history of resistance against foreign powers, and against local cowardly as puppets of the Empire as those the Afghan people have been facing since the 19th century. Common fights, common losses, common dreams, common victories.

Meena's life and blood cry out today among Afghan stones for her invaded and stolen homeland, as much as for every humankind she loved so much. Meena and Alí Primera; Afghans and Hugo Chávez' "sons" today: common ideals of freedom, justice and peace as we miss Meena for so long 30 years. Meena died so young to live for ever.

If Meena could cry out among us in Latin America today, I would dare to invite her to cry out these words by Alí Primera being sure she would love to do so, and that she would repeat them to Afghan people she loved so deeply, as well as to the whole world:

Mother, how I adore you / because I love my people / and you've taught me / to fight for them / You've taught me / to share my bread / to share my love / to share my dreams / I want now / to share my arms / the same ones / I embrace you / I want to hug my people / Mother, let me fight / You've taught me not to kill the butterflies / not to cut the roses / that in your garden you cultivated / I learned, little by little, to love others / For the humble, mother, let me fight / I hope you understand / that the struggle for men and women is not done for charity / Mama, let me fight...

For Meena, all our love. All she wants is, surely, us to follow her victorious paths today. An example and inspiration for all mankind.

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