Path of the Friend

Writings related to ‘Social Action’

Pakistan: Helping Ourselves

August 22nd, 2010

In a few weeks the vast floods that are sweeping through Pakistan will draw back. Then, when the rain has stopped and people begin to return to their land and the places they live, imagine what they will find. No crops, no livestock, no electricity, no clean water, no food, broken roads and bridges, the […]

Afghanistan: Women and Development! (3)

August 3rd, 2010

This is the third in a series of posts about the necessity of protecting the rights of Afghan women in creating a sustainable peace.  I discuss what is involved in that process and what can be done to help.  This analysis is based on scores of interviews from two trips to Kabul and on-going communication […]

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 […]

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 […]

Becoming a Citizen Diplomat

January 4th, 2010

Becoming a Citizen Diplomat

10 years ago my husband, Elias, and I sold our house and belongings, packed what was left in a small storage container, raised funds from a few friends and set off on an open-ended pilgrimage of direct service and teaching.

Voices from Kabul

November 1st, 2009

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN So ring the bells that still can ring forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen I recently returned from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and am surrounded by my journals, magazine articles, blog snippets, position statements from peace groups, everything written […]

Our Great Loss

August 2nd, 2004

MEXICO This story must be told. Omar Diop is a finely-built black man, about 45 years old with small laugh lines radiating from his bright eyes. He lives in Dakar, Senegal, where he has spent much of his life working for peace through nonviolence in central Africa. In July I traveled to Mexico to meet […]

Indigenous Survival

March 3rd, 2004

MAE LAN KHAM COMMUNITY FOREST, SAMOENG, THAILAND Trying to keep our balance in the back of the pickup truck as it struggles up the rutted dirt road, Father Wichai and I shout our conversation. He points to the yellow flowers on the thick stands of bamboo. “Not a good sign,” he yells. “When the bamboo […]