Dr Hakim Young is a Singaporean who has been working in Afghanistan for 15 years. Today he spoke about his work in conflict zones and his mission to end war
Don’t ever let our education or any ideology or any sociology interfere with what we all understand in our hearts that we should treat everyone as equal, treat them without violence.
Currently, there are 65.6 million people who have been forced from their homes, and now live in places that they can not call home.
Dr Hakim told us a story about a young Afghan boy called Najib. Najib’s parents were killed during the war. He and his grandma met Dr Hakim in 2002. Gradually, a friendship formed. Sharing with Najib taught Dr Hakim to let go of selfishness and that “survival was a form of resistance”, and he says that Najib’s eyes were full of questions, such as “why were my parents killed?”.
Telling one another our personal stories can end terrorism without any of these trillion dollars solutions
One day, Dr Hakim shared mangoes with Najib and his grandma. He asked Najib to smile for a picture, to which his grandma angrily said: “Najib has no reason to smile at all”.
At one stage, Najib fled Kabul to Iran. Dr Hakim has no idea where he is now.
Najib.. however difficult there’s a border-free world looking for you
Najib we yearn for you to hear this: help us find you, do not think it is impossible for us to love you
Another story shared by Dr Hakim is that of an Iraqi father and his nineteen-year-old son who travelled from Iraq to Finland with hopes of seeking asylum. They are now back in Iraq, with the son kidnapped. Dr Hakim is still waiting for news.
These days, Dr Hakim is working with an organisation which is based in Kabul, called Afghan Peace Volunteers. You can find out more on their website. They make connections between Afghan children and young people from other nations to discuss how to end war. Street children in Kabul have spoken with fifth graders in India, while another group of Afghan children spoke with UWC students in Italy. We are currently looking at starting a similar program here at UWCSEA East. Dr Hakim also told us about some other peace initiatives, from people refusing their conscription to people protesting next to an American Army truck.