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RAWA.org, 06.02.2020

Messages sent for Meena’s 33rd martyrdom anniversary

We offer our heartfelt thanks to these wonderful people for the support and love they have for our leader and struggle

Messages sent for Meena’s 33rd martyrdom anniversary

One of RAWA’s achievements and honors, especially over the last two decades, is that it has built relations with secular and revolutionary personalities, institutions and organizations around the world. Unlike the common propaganda methods of the imperialist media and institutions, we have expressed the pain and suffering of Afghan women alongside their struggle and resistance to break free from the chains of fundamentalism and colonialism.

We were particularly successful in establishing groups of supporters everywhere (especially the US and Europe) after the rise of the Internet and social networking websites. These groups have stood by Afghan women in the most difficult times and have supported us in our cry for freedom and democracy. It can be said for sure that without the material and moral support of these conscientious and conscious people, RAWA would not have become a prominent Afghan women’s organization in the world.

A number of these organizations and personalities have sent their messages for Meena’s 33rd martyrdom anniversary, claiming their alignment with RAWA and support for all Afghan women strugglers. They were read out by Hamasa.


Il Coordinamento Italiano di Sostegno alle Donne Afghane (CISDA), RAWA’s group of Italian supporters:

Dear Meena, we miss you.

We miss you even if, unfortunately, we never met you. For 20 years now we have known who you where and what you have done for your people. We miss your bright, open, secular vision over your country and over the world.

Your young life was taken away 33 years ago, by the hand of Heckmatyar, a fundamentalist war criminal, who’s been welcomed with all honors by the whole leaders of your battered country.

But your immense legacy was saved and today, in Afghanistan, your voice has become the voice of thousands of you comrades that ask for peace and justice, freedom for women, schools, health system, work and democracy in all sectors of the society. And that are working very hard, despite the risks and the straits they have to face.

Dear Meena, even here in Italy we feel we are your road companions and we wish to continue to struggle with all our strenght so that your voice will never fade, because the struggle against fundamentalism, misogyny and for a better world shall become the struggle of all people of the world.

With all our love

The women of CISDA


Message from Friends of RAWA, Japan

We, Friends of RAWA, would like to send our solidarity message to RAWA in order to commemorate the death of Meena.

We firmly believe that her spirit has been still alive in dozens of people’s heart inside and outside of Afghanistan after her physical death, and that her incredible courage and action have been inspiring all of us in the world to commit ourselves to challenge various forms of injustice which are right in front of our eyes.

Only through the hard-edged struggle in the daily lives, people will gain human rights, gender justice, democracy and peace not only in Afghanistan but also in the rest of the world including Japan. This is what we learnt from Meena’s and the surviving RAWA members’ way of life. That is why we have been eagerly seeking for actual solidarity with RAWA for the last 16 years whilst raising voices against the conservative, discriminatory and oppressive regime of Japan.

We also believe that there is no border when we try to unite for peace and democracy. We would like to share your courage, joy and sorrow, and to plow ahead together for a better tomorrow and the future, linking arms all the time.

One day, we will surely overthrow the dictators and their shameless followers in Afghanistan and Japan. One day, we will smile each other to celebrate our achievement together. Until the day comes, our struggle will continue.

We are always thinking of our dearest sisters in Afghanistan.

With everlasting solidarity,

Friends of RAWA, Japan


Message from Edu Montesanti

Arise Forever, Meena, My Love!

The coward scythe crossing Meena's way used to be unimportant to her: Meena is a shared bread in a land divided between brave people who historically defeated great powers on behalf of the Afghan people, and insipid puppets, meaningless characters lacking a homeland and soul insisting on fighting against the best of Afghanistan.

Hate in someone's eyes, aggressivity in other's mouth and violence in many hands never frightened Meena, on the contrary: Adversity used to encourage even more the lonely Kabul's heroine who was worth a thousand warlords, a young woman who grew up transforming threatens and locked ways into opportunities, and tireless practice.

Nothing nor nobody could deter Meena's Payam-e-Zan. Nothing nor nobody could prevent Meena's Payam-e-Zan from being spread, 33 years after her martyrdom.

Meena's Payam-e-Zan will never pass away, as certain as her fight for those oppressed, hungry, feeling cold, raped, was not an act of charity but a deep sense of justice, a cause which came from the bottom of Meena's heart. It is part of Meena's soul.

To the poor, to the peasants, to the workers who live off your sweat, to the exploited, to the young people who unknowingly die in wars: from Paropamisus to Dasht-e Margoh, from the Wakhan to Selseleh-ye Safīd Kūh, Meena's outstretched hands for them, always hurried to succor her beloved people.

A moan is heard from the Afghan caves for Meena's blood through the years. And Meena's blood, for every Afghan victim year by year, is always crying out.

“There are people that fight one day and are good, others fight one year and they’re better, and there are those who fight many years and are very good, but there are the ones who fight their whole lives and those are the indispensable ones, ”Bertold Brecht used to say. So brave and so sweet as every real hero, martyr Meena Keshwar Kamal is an alive example that love can truly be; Meena lived as she believed. Meena fought all her life. Her life was a fight.

"Those who die for life cannot be called dead, so it is forbidden to cry for them now!," used to sing the Venezuelan singer Ali Primera. It is forbidden to cry for Meena today!

Rejoice, Afghanistan! Meena lives! Encourage themselves, people from all over the world: Meena's fight is for solidarity, and social justice, against the power of money and all kind of dominance. Meena's fight has no borders.

Arise forever and evermore, Meena, my love!


Message from East Kurdistan Free Women’s Society (KJAR)

We send our revolutionary greetings and salutations on the day of the commemoration of the ever living leader of women and founder of the first independent women’s organization in Afghanistan, to the women of Afghanistan and especially the freedom-fighting women who have not given up years after the assassination of Meena and are still fighting for their democratic and freedom-seeking aims and remembring their leader who emphasized on the great role of women in the revolution.

The freedom-fighting leader had found her path and her revolutionary passion and headstrong struggle had stolen the sleep of the dark-minded. What Meena had envisioned and then passionately acted on which was a struggle against colonizers, religious fundamentalists and every other thing that oppresses women sexually and enslaves them, are exactly our aims, the Kurdish women who have fought for years and given countless sacrifices in their fight. Just like Meena and other freedom-fighting women of Afghansitan, we believe that if women are present in the struggle no superpower can stand in their way and is bound to be defeated. It is absolutely clear that such killings show the effectiveness of the struggle of leading women and freedom from occupiers. But history shows that killing leaders has not stopped our struggle. On the contrary, it has made women stronger and persistent in continuing our efforts for the revolution.

Like KJAR we believe that socialist aims and revolutionary goals of women that can bring about a free and democratic society for the different strata of the society will never stop working. Since we share our aims and have stepped on the same path, it is more important that all the sections of the society, and especially women of different counties unite to attain those goals.

In the end, we commemorate the memory of Meena Keshwar Kamal, leader of the freedom-fighting women and emphasize on the continuation of this struggle in ever more rigour and give a reminder that a free society is possible with the freedom of women.

Long live the revolution and unity of women!

Long live the revolution of the women of Afghanistan!

Women, life, freedom

East Kurdistan Free Women’s Society (KJAR)


Message from Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD)

Warm and militant greetings of solidarity to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan – RAWA

Dear Women of RAWA!

On behalf of the MLPD I send you militant greetings of solidarity in remembrance of Mina, founder and leader of RAWA, and her assassination 34 years ago.

Our mutual friendship shall be a firm bond in the struggle for women's rights and the liberation of women in a society without exploitation and oppression!

We experience worldwide an awakening of women, which frequently bears the stamp of the masses, especially in Asia. The rising of women against all forms of gender-specific oppression, against brutalized violence and intensified exploitation, is part of the progressive change of mood that has emerged worldwide against rightward developments, fascist and Islamist-fascist governments.

The existence and work of RAWA are important for the awakening of women in Afghanistan. The German federal government and the bourgeois parties obscure to the public the true situation of people in Afghanistan, especially that of women and girls. And so here in our country we report that, in RAWA, there is a revolutionary women's organization that “invisibly” supports Afghan women in a situation of indescribable oppression and violence due to war, terror, aggression, and attack by jihadist groups, Taliban and IS.

We report that women do not know whether their children will return home from school alive, do not know how they can feed their babies and children; that two-thirds of Afghan girls do not attend school, and in many areas there are no doctors and medicines – and that they join with RAWA and organize themselves for their interests, and RAWA provides them help, support, and education. That women are beginning to educate themselves, build schools for the children, and, in agricultural projects, take steps to achieve an independent livelihood.

We report about the courageous rising of Afghan women and their organization RAWA.

If only the picture of a suffering Afghan people is conveyed by the media, and not the fact that a revolutionary movement exists, then the intention is clear: to give a justification to the occupation by US and NATO troops, which has been veiled for 19 years with phrases like “for the liberation of women”, “war on terror”, “promotion of democracy”, and “aid for women's rights”! These are the lies that the imperialist powers tell to the population in their countries. Their sole aim is to distract from the interests pursued with their imperialist occupation, and that they are involved in a murderous war. In 2019 alone, according to official reports 3,800 innocent people died. The German government, however, declares Afghanistan to be a safe country of origin, and since 2017 refugees are again being deported to Afghanistan – a disgrace, against which especially young people and women here in Germany are active.

What connects us is our joint struggle against imperialism in our countries, the strangler of the world's women! We in an imperialist country, and you in a country oppressed by imperialism.

We wish you great success, confidence and strength for your commemorations and for the further course of the struggle. We are happy to pursue this path together, side by side with the working-class movement and the oppressed of this world!

Let us advance our close friendship.

Long live international solidarity! For the liberation of women!

Monika Gärtner-Engel


Message from Tom Block

I am deeply honored to be asked to provide a statement for such a courageous and creative woman as Meena Keshwar Kamal. I became aware of Meena's story as the creator and painter of the Human Rights Painting Project (in conjunction with Amnesty International). For that project, I painted a series of portraits of Meena, and learned of her powerful work and tragic end.

Meena's legacy is central to the struggle for freedom and justice for women in Afghanistan, as well as lighting a candle for other freedom fighters around the world. That RAWA is still an operating and growing organization, working against all odds and with much personal danger for those involved, is testament to Meena's creative vision and inspirational power. Thirty three years since her murder, and her legacy is alive as ever.

In my many years of work at the intersection of art, society and the struggle for human rights, I have come to believe that those, like Meena, who are willing to risk their lives for the values they, and we, hold so dear -- is the only thing that makes them truly real. Ideals such as "human rights," "justice," "equality" and "freedom" are nothing more than words, as easily uttered by Donald Trump, Saddam Hussein or Augusto Pinochet as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or Meena Keshwa Kamal. These values only become real for everyone -- for all humanity -- when someone like Meena says that the highest human values are more important to them, than their own personal safety and path.

We -- everyone in the world who fights for the highest human values -- all owe Meena a tremendous amount of gratitude for her willingness to make the ideals real, for all of us.

With my appreciation for the work that Meena did, and for your continuing her legacy.

Sincerely,

Tom Block

Creator and Painter, Human Rights Painting Project (in conjunction with Amnesty International)

Founder, International Human Rights Art Festival


Message from Meera

I received deeply touching email recently sharing about how my art, a form that is unusual in your country is honoring Meena.

As I sat with that email I was moved to tears if joy knowing how very difficult events in my life, raped as a very girl whose mother has recently died of cancer and only sister had recently died of a heart condition. Leaving me lost and vulnerable. I trusted someone to be my friend and they turned out to be a person who was angry and very mean. Then I was raped and shortly after became pregnant. I was forced into a marriage which brought daily violent physical and mental violence. It lasted four years and, at that time from the battering, the bones in my neck grew crooked, I received a left side brain injury and suffered pain from the neck injuries for 50 years. Fortunately that neck injury was corrected 10 years ago. My husband did some research and found that at times people with that type of brain injury at times without training start to sculpt.

I would not change a thing in my life if that is what it took do create art of humanitarians. All of you dear ones have gone through SO very much more.

Fast forward in my life and I remarry a man who is kind and loving and saw many things in my life journey, my trials and tribulations in life never took my love or Trust of God, away from me, and strangely made me stronger. He saw that my Trust in God guided me in a way that made me a stronger and kinder person with a great interest in nonviolence and those who choose that type of journey. That is why Meena’s life touched me so deeply.

Meena’s was a life much more difficult than mine, a woman who had a heart so big that it was overflowing with the need to help others in risk of her own life. She was the type of person I wanted to add to my series of sculptures of humanitarians for Justice Nonviolence and Peace and was on of the people who I admire greatly. A spiritual warrior with the armor of love and compassion. A person who withholding hatred chose to focus her attention of the important needs of others. Education, health, creativity, skills to move others forward to service LIFE. Such an amazing and remarkable journey! “The greatest joy we have in life is Giving to Others from the heart.” This means the joy of caring for others. Anger takes a huge amount of energy. Kindness, compassion, and loving service to ourselves and others brings an influx of spiritual strength.

Those who have difficult challenges become stronger and can choose to become more compassionate. The scriptures of all religions teach this. In my country a sculpture is not a figure of worship. It is the reminder of people who have known the importance of doing What serves Life, not what destroys life. An example of courage, commitment and action for bettering people’s lives.

Reading about Meena’s life brings an awareness if how a strong connection with Divine Love is in all hearts, no matter that religion, country, or ancestry. We are all connected to the Divine, and by not judging others but just loving them and treating them with kindness, we create a strength and an opening for the Divine energy to flow though us with a goal to change things for the better.

I have a copy of Meena’s sculpture in my house and it is in a University Library in my town. I talk to school children about how brave and courageous Afghan women are living in such repressive conditions and how a book about the woman named Meena’s needs to be read and remembered, that love and courage live on in the most difficult of times.

I will be 75 this year, and have instructions for my bronze copy to go to you all when I pass away and it can be shipped safely. Who knows when that will be, but these instructions are written down and kept safely for when the time comes.

With Prayers, admiration, and love for you all, all who worked by her side, and have carried out her work, thank you. And many others around the world who have read her and your stories.

With deepest gratitude and love of her example, Meera Censor,(a humanitarian sculptor of people from different countries and cultures, and religions have shown what love, service and kindness can do, and the importance of Nonviolent Social Change even at the threat of their lives, because their actions and caring are never forgotten.

“With violence the heart weeps. With love, kindness and compassion the heart sings. Which will You choose.”

Meera


Message from “Gemeinsam Kämpfen” (“Let‘s fight together”)

Salutations from “Gemeinsam Kämpfen” (“Let‘s fight together”), an internationalist feminist organization from Germany

Dear friends and comrades,

We, the internationalist, feminist organization “Gemeinsam Kämpfen” (“Let‘s fight together”) sendyou the warmest greetings to your demonstration in commemoration of Meena.We are very happy that our voice could travel all the way to this event in Afghanistan. We arehonoured to take part in the commemoration of a woman who was dedicated to the fight for thefreedom of women.

We see in Meena a woman who was very determined to live a life as someone who resisted anyoppression. In a very confident and fearless way, she was raising her voice and taking action againstsoviet occupation and fundamentalism. With this, she was active in the freedom of all Afghanpeople through which she devoted herself especially to the freedom of women.

Meena was murdered, like many other women who are resisting oppression and the roles set out forthem. She was murdered by puppets of the russian occupation, and the loss of a comrade likeMeena is extremely painful.

But they couldn‘t kill her lovely and courageous spirit, and we see how it stays alive with RAWA.The way RAWA is fighting imperialist power interests, war, fundamentalism and its effects onwomen almost 40 years after Meena‘s death is proof of this. Meena‘s spirit is spreading across theworld through our connections as people who fight against patriarchy, imperialism, fascism andfundamentalism beyond borders.

Strong and courageous women are the biggest threat for the patriarchal system. We share the painand anger about the killing of Meena and other women like Sakine Cansiz, Marielle Franco, BertaCarceres, Hevrin Khalef and our comrade Sarah Handelmann.

Patriarchy has many faces. But our resistance has many faces too, and it gives us a lot of strength tostand together in this fight. We see how also the german gouvernment plays a role in the war in your country. They say theywould make it more stable, but in reality they are making the region and communities moreaccessible to their power interests and capitalist expoitation. They are saying that now your countryis secure. But in truth, they are hiding the fact that after all these years of sending german soldiers,the situation is actually worse – in particular, for women. With this argument, they are deportinghundreds of people back to Afghanistan.

As an internationalist feminist organization, we are standing against all of this - against germanweapon exports, the european border politics and imperialist power interest.We stand by you in this arduous but beautiful struggle and are happy to unite to make our liberationan alternative to the capitalist and patriarcal system.


Message were also received from Reza Farmand (Iranian poet who has written several poems for Meena), Confederalism of Kurdish Women's Communities, Freedom-seeking and Secular Women of Iran, Germany and Frauenverband Courage.



Category: English, English RAWA