segunda-feira, 4 de novembro de 2013

Women with no names - (part 1)

(written 6 months after the end of my mission , already back in Portugal )

(if you want to travel to Pashtunland, press play on the music bar above )

I never really had a plan. I just felt, after my journey in Eastern Congo, a huge desire to share with as many as I could, the tough reality that some people are facing and that the world´s news don’t even care to cover… There would be a million more things to say about Congo, but for sure, by many others that know much more than me….but I can say that I am glad that my insignificant voice is trying to be one more pointing to the world, that there is much to be done about some crucial issues, as war, sexual violence, hunger and diseases….
Showing some pictures , and telling some parts of very true stories felt like a good way of making people to open their eyes, in order to ……. Make our world a better world.

And now Pakistan…. I have tried to write when I arrived there, but for many reasons, I stopped until now…. Lack of time  would be probably my better excuse, but there are many others… While I was there, once again, (it happened in Congo as well), the emotions were just too strong, too tough to handle….one tries to focus on the life saving “business” and tries to leave the feelings on a stand by to deal with them latter…. Very busy days , with a lot of work sometimes all day and all night… And just to finish my list of excuses not to write, is the MSF policy that discourage us to share in blogs, facebook, etc ….everything that might touch the very sensitive religious , cultural or political issues of that part of Pakistan…. And as  you will probably understand it’s a bit impossible to say a word, without going into those subjects…. And I totally understand and respect that policy, and while I am working for MSF, any word I say will be representative in a way of MSF….

But here I am, trying to do what I feel like, the right thing to do, telling what I felt about one of the most controversial parts of the planet for the last 10 years…. A lot to say, and I don’t even know where to start…

Short summary about the place where I was living and working. Pakistan is like many other countries in the world, a country with a very recent, unstable and polemic national identity…. Totally different cultures, totally different languages, and one can say 1 religion (with some small minorities)….Islam. So its not difficult to understand Pakistani main marks of its young life to understand that it’s a diverse and complex country. I was working in the NorthWest provence or KPK, north of Peshawar, and quite close to the border of Afghanistan, in the land of big ethnic group, the Pashtun, with a long and rich individuality as a language and a culture, a history to be proud of… “Their” land is divided by the border of Pakistan-Afghanistan, once made by the British Empire and like many times in the history , the Europeans created fake divisions, and fake unifications as they pleased with historical consequences.
To make a long story short, that area is controlled by the Pakistani government but officially a war zone due to the many acts/attacks against the Pakistani government.  It’s a very conservative area where its said to be the biggest garden of Islamic extremism in the world….

I want to go into the medical issues as soon as possible, but I need to share my position concerning these complicated issues…just because I think its extremely important that everybody should think twice before having an easy made opinion about a problem that its dividing the world, and killing so many on a daily basis….I was raised catholic , but since many years now “transformed” atheist…. So I look at every religion with the same spirit . Islam is not the problem ! It seams so obvious that almost shouldnt be commented, but because so many still think otherwise, I think its important to stress it! Islam fundaments its actions in peace and respect for the human being, and we westerns, are making a  huge mistake if we judge the Muslims or the Arabs by the horrible inhuman acts that a very very small minority is making, they say in name of Islam…. Just remember that the media, just cover the horrible things that sell….they never (almost) cover the normal people, who just want to live in peace and love their family and live their lives like all of us….in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc….and hate their own compatriots who are using the name of their country and their god to justify horrible violence.

So the way I see it…. It’s a cultural issue, a political issue , with a religious excuse…. In that area of Pakistan, it helped the Pakistani leaders, of the recent decades to use fundamental believes to control a remote part of the country that they had problems in controlling, and by brain washing people about extreme ideas of Islam, and then naming themselves the voice of Islam it was easier to control the population and doing whatever they wanted, no questions asked… Solution ? Tolerance, respect…..and above all…. Education!! Books and teachers , would solve the problem in an area where the education rates are on the lowest levels of the world, mainly women…. Once again….its not Islam that discriminates the women, its certain cultures that believe that the women shouldn’t be educated, shouldn’t be seen as human being on the same level of the men…

And its here and about women that my field stories starts……

Women with no names to me, names I don't remember, names I couldn't even pronounce, but that would change my life forever..... Women with no names !!!

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