The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

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Poets Dream of Peace in Afghanistan

In a recent piece focuses on twenty Pashtun poets that get together every week  to share their dreams of peace:

Jalalabad is regarded as the heartland of Afghan poetry in a region better known for its warriors than its wordsmiths, on a plateau south of the Himalayan mountains of the Hindu Kush.
Meeting every Friday — a day of rest in Afghanistan — the poet’s circle consists of men in long traditional white, grey, black or brown Afghan shirts who sit on plastic chairs in a courtyard covered by vine leaves tumbling over a bamboo roof.
They take it in turns to speak from behind a makeshift wooden lectern, their words offering strength and hope in dealing with life in a country ravaged by war for over three decades.
Their language, Pashto, is the dominant tongue in the south and east of the country.
Poet’s circle member Baryali Baryal said humour is the best antidote to the relentless stress of living with war.
“We have been in war for three decades, so everybody is sad, suffering from different problems,” he said.
“So since it’s war, I write funny poems. People are unhappy, so I think if they sit five minutes with us and we make them laugh, they will feel happy.”
With a large, earth-coloured Afghan shawl on his shoulders, Baryali took his place at the pulpit and began describing life on the streets of Jalalabad, to the laughter and applause of his audience. Continue reading


Malala Yousafzai Addresses United Nations

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child. “I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child,” she said.  She also invokes the names of Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King while advocating for peace and non-violence.

She marked her 16th birthday by delivering the speech on Friday at the UN headquarters in New York.