Path of the Friend

Writings related to ‘Peace’

Snapshots of Kabul

May 12th, 2010

Kabul, Afghanistan The Streets Kabul was nervous today. The car bomb went off at rush hour, rattling the windows of our guesthouse, the smoke rising about a mile to the west. People came out on their roofs and stood quietly, watching the cloud of smoke ascend. I saw one woman staring, her hand to her […]

Pakistan: The Politics of Fear: Part 2

April 28th, 2010

. The U.S. Role in the Return of the Taliban After 9/11 the people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and many international optimists like me expected the US-led international community to commit to rebuilding Afghanistan and undertaking reforms in Pakistan – a western-led Marshal plan for the region. What we got instead was a Republican president and […]

Pakistan: The Politics of Fear: Part 1

April 22nd, 2010

It was tea break. I joined the stream into a large gloomy room with no windows (for our security I was told) in the National Library in Islamabad and confronted a sea of men, all of us pushing for our portion of strong sugary tea. None of the faces felt familiar – Muslims from all […]

Pakistan: A Prayer in the Militant Mosque

March 31st, 2010

The following letter by Elias – and the next ones to come by Elizabeth – were written from Pakistan, where Elias was invited to address a conference on “Sufism and Peace” sponsored by the Pakistan Academy of Letters. The experience described in this letter occurred toward the end of our stay. The Mosque The dawn […]

Afghanistan: Glimmers of Light

January 25th, 2010

Most of my liberal friends are discouraged about Afghanistan. They are convinced the Afghans don’t want us there, that the military is not capable of doing anything right, and that we have to admit the Taliban are the default leaders of so backward and misogynist a country. When this discouragement is coupled with news media […]

Does the U.S. Military belong in Afghanistan?

January 20th, 2010

Recently I traveled to Kabul with a small peace delegation because I wanted to experience for myself what is happening there and what the people say they want and need from my country.   I have spent 40 years protesting war and working for peace in conflict areas and I assumed I would return from […]


July 30th, 2003

GAZA “What reign is worse than that of militant virtue?” – Amin Maalouf The taxi drives south toward Gaza through the pleasant Israeli countryside. There are well-kept farms, villages, fields, and forested hillsides. After leaving the taxi at the heavily militarized border crossing into Gaza, my colleague (the Jerusalem Representative from the American Friends Service […]

Jesus Wept

July 26th, 2003

JERUSALEM, BETHLEHEM, RAMALLAH, HEBRON “Bus number 14 was blown up right there,” my guide told me, pointing across the Jerusalem street. “Seventeen people were killed. And over there a suicide bomber dressed as an orthodox Jew entered that hospital on the corner and exploded himself, killing three people in the lobby.” We walked along the […]

A Gesture

April 11th, 2003

COLORADO The feelings generated in us by this war are not easy to hold. For months so many of us worked to stop the war from happening, feeling a great communal determination and newfound solidarity, at the same time feeling dread of the imminent violence, and anxiety for the long-term hatreds it will feed. And […]

Creating a Nonviolent Culture

March 19th, 2003

COLORADO “After the final no there comes a yes, and on that yes the future of the world depends.” – Wallace Stevens Elias and I returned to the United States from Iraq in time to permit me to attend the first five-day meeting of the International Governing Council of the Nonviolent Peaceforce. My work with […]