Tag Archives: Afghanistan
I was in Peshawar, and I saw a dream; a very short one. In my dream I was standing over the body of a shaheed that was wrapped in a white shroud. A wound was clear in his forehead. We were in a room with a little light, people were coming to see the shaheed, and I was looking but not taking part in the whole Janaza. I knew the brother who was in the dream, so when I saw him I told him about it and then forgot all about it!!
I went back to Afghanistan. We were fighting in the outskirts of Jalal Abad, and I was leading a group of fighters. Our mission was to be a light and mobile force, always sneaking behind the frontlines. It was very dangerous so very few would venture there. The brother who I saw in the dream was a teacher, so he wasn’t the type that I expected in such a place.
I was making a final preparation before an attack on communist positions. I needed to go back to take care of something when I heard a familiar voice. But I couldn’t put the picture together; this brother was not supposed to be here. I thought I was imagining, but he came out from behind some trees; he wasn’t alone. With him was another brother, also not the front type, they were supporters who helped the struggle from offices in Peshawar.
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The recent unprovoked massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, 9 of them children and 3 of them women, initiated widespread but temporary public discussion about the future of the war. However, in an age of tweets and instant messaging there was hardly the necessary span of attention to recognize the grave implications of increasing U.S. war crimes. A fleeting domestic reaction indicated a successful desensitization that suggests the imperialist culture has conquered, but unfortunately few recognize that the future directions of both Afghanistan and America are now joined. An analysis of the means utilized to cultivate such domestic indifference reveals that reestablishing liberty at home would require resistance to the mechanisms that prevent it abroad.
By now most Americans are familiar with the case of Robert Bales but none know the names of his victims. Few recognize that, by almost any proposed definition, his actions of terrorism are hardly different that Bin Laden’s and fewer would admit that America has sanctioned terrorism as a tactic for it’s troops as long as they are in national uniform. The inability to acknowledge these truths is largely due to a blind bias presentation.
Within hours of the massacre, international media informed publics of the complex circumstances surrounding the affair. A frontpage headline from that Sunday’s Washington Post summarized the gist of the message. “Accused Soldier Faced Pressure of Deployment,” it read and was followed by subheadings stating, “Afghan mission fourth since 2001” and “suspect in rampage known for calm demeanor.” Almost immediately the whole world was informed not that a terrorist had slaughtered civilians but about Robert Bales, the fact that he was a family man, certainly wasn’t much of a drinker, never spoke bad about Muslims, joined the military after 9/11, that the bank had foreclosed on his mortgage, and that he had recently separated from his wife. Robert Bales may have been a killer, but as an American soldier at least he was human. The Afghan children, women and men slaughtered and lit ablaze however were collateral damage, an unfortunate toll of war, nameless and thus easily forgotten.
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A German-Afghan man whose information prompted terrorism warnings across Europe in 2010 told a court Tuesday he traveled to the Afghan border region with the intention of fighting there, not of returning home to carry out attacks.
Ahmad Wali Siddiqui told the Koblenz state court in the second day of his trial that he and a group of others bought iPhones, Sony laptops and other electronics on credit in Germany, then sold them on eBay to fund their 2009 trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“We wanted to fly there to live life according to (Islam’s) Sharia law and fight jihad,” he said, using the Arabic word for holy war. “We didn’t want to ever return.”
The 37-year-old faces a possible 10-year sentence, if convicted of membership in a terrorist organization.
No pleas are entered in the German legal system, and the first two days of his trial have been one long statement by Siddiqui about how he ended up in the border region at a training camp of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and later al-Qaida.
As we followed the little boy through the valleys we realized that he was very annoying!! The boy was carrying a sack full of flour on his back, so he was slow and we took turns helping him, when he was carrying the sack he was quiet and not bothering us that much, but after we started helping him he showed us his other side!! We [were] supposed to be going secretly so no one would take notice, but this boy was a portable radio station!!
In every turn he announces that Arabs are traveling with him to Shegal valley!! We tried to convince him not to say anything, he would keep his mouth shut for half an hour then burst again unable to control himself. No secret ever kept in Afghanistan!! This fact is learned the hard way by all who visit or invade the country!! Our journey took us to a very isolated area where a man lived with his family in a little house built from stones, his sheep were kept at night on the roof of the house!!
To get them up there we saw him carry them one by one while climbing a trunk of a tree that he propped against the house, the trunk was cut to be like a ladder, a very crude one, he later brought all of his sheep down to make a room for his two guests!! Yes for us!! We spent the night on the roof cushioned by the layers of manure and a sheep’s skin, it was below freezing, it was so cold that we were unable to move to make Fajr prayer, we watched the sky turn from dark to light and encouraged each other to get up and pray!! After many days of walking and little sleep and living on corn bread, we were almost starving, but the boy was still not done with us!!
He started taking us around to deliver his load and gossip or pick up news from here and there, we demanded to be shown the way to the Shegal valley, but we were unable to know for sure what the boy was up too!! They all were the tribesmen of his clan and those valleys were his backyard!! Two days more and then we were told by some people in the area that we can just walk in this direction and we will come face to face with local fighters, and we were on our own!!
We did exactly that and found that we were actually crossing communist controlled area!! After we behaved calmly and made it into the new valley, we did meet some fighters who we recognized as real Islamic group because we saw that they were Islamicly educated and were practicing the Sunnah, some using the “siwak” and others were wearing the black eye powder “Kohol”, we were relieved to see them.
Later when we reached our destination, we fell under suspicion!! They were not sure how we reached them from that direction, the leader was not convinced that we made [it] on our own, he was thinking we might be spies!! Thanks to Allah, we met there some of the Arab brothers who were very close friends and they managed to calm the leader. The leader was just being careful, after all just few days before our arrival the Russian special forces raided their area and killed a dozen or so of his fighters.
The blood of the killed Russians was still visible next to the landing area of the helicopters that recovered their bodies, we were able to win him over and we were welcomed in the valley. I learned a lot about Ibrahim in few weeks, and we became good friends, little I knew that we would travel long journeys together later, and I never thought that I would be the one who will put him in his grave after a heroic life in the battlefield, but that will be a whole different story, may Allah accept him and forgive me and grant me the chance to see him hereafter, amen.
My class mate from middle school was very frail and his father was very strict about his time outside their home, we became good friends in high school where both of us took part in the Islamic group that was tolerated by the school, we were having many activities like camping in the outdoors north of Medina, some times we used the ground of the school to have weekend camp (weekend was Thursday and Friday, not Saturday and Sunday!!).
Most of us were in the scout movement too, for my friend that was a major problem, in Saudi Arabia at that time the scout movement used to have a very bad reputation, so it was difficult for him to convince his father about joining the scout movement, but finally he did. I was proud of him and always encouraged him to be more outgoing, for me it was not at the beginning that difficult to go around since my parents were both very tolerant and they trusted the Islamic movement that was flourishing back then, by government encouragement, so I always wanted my friend to have same level of freedom that I enjoyed.
We used to go to the holy Masjid of the Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him, to pray the Fajr prayer, so we used to wake up early and wake any one who is not up yet before the call for the Fajr, after the prayer we used to go to school then after the first 3 classes we used to gather in the prayer area in the school during the thirty minutes between the classes, we used to sit around learning ahadeeth while some prepared the tea and breakfast (beans that we call fool , humus and cheese that is eaten with flat bread).
Many of the sixty or so members of the Islamic group (out of 800 students) used to pray the four Rak’ah voluntary prayer before joining the circle, Mondays and Thursdays we used to fast and gather at sun set at school to break our fast and have some entertainments, like plays or Nasheeds.
The three years I spent in the high school were short but very full of activities, in the last year I was no longer studying but only coming to the school after everyone was leaving (: . When I went to Afghanistan I missed my friend a lot, he managed to go too but his father came after him and managed to take him back, he was back in the high school trying to calm down the situation, before trying again!! Read the rest of this entry »
The Case of Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a and his wife.
The joint committee received this letter from Shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a. He wrote it while he was being held in Kenitra central prison, in which he was subjected to barbaric torture after he was arbitrarily transferred on the 9th of October 2010. He was on hunger strike since the 6th of December 2010 while he was there until he was between life and death. He wrote this letter then speaking about the kidnapping he and his wife have been through and detention and torture in Temera secret detention centre and other secret centers.
He is now is solitary confinement, cut off the world around him in Toulal 2 prison, Meknes. He is one of those accused of being behind the Sala prison clashes (16-17/May/2011) or what is known by “Salé Zaki prison riot”
All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon his messenger, his family, his companions and those who adhere to him.
I am shaykh Abu Mouadh Nourdine Nafi’a, who is currently held in Kenitra central prison. Prisoner number: 26512, I am the one signed below, Nourdine Nafi’a who is sentenced to 20 years based on fabricated evidence under the guise of “combating terror”. I reiterate that I am innocent of all charges against me. I am a victim of American policies in the region. To clarify this I will outline what I and my wife have been through of suffering and violations in the dungeons of the secret services.
I am a Moroccan citizen, a member of the Islamic movement since the 80s. A Muslim, Sunni, following the Quran and the noble traditions of the prophet, according to the understanding of our pious predecessors such as Imam Malik, Shafi’i, Ahmed, Abu Hanifa may Allah have mercy upon them. I migrated from my homeland in 1988 to Afghanistan for the intention of joining the “Jihad”. It was not possible to go to Palestine, between me and it were thousands of barriers because of the “Arab cordon states”. My first stop was Europe and after repeated attempts I managed to travel to Pakistan in 1991, then to Afghanistan after the fall of the communist government. I made that country my homeland. In 1998 I left Afghanistan for Syria, Damascus, where I married the sister of Yassine al-Shaqori who is held is Guantanamo may Allah hasten his release. I began to trade to support my family, travelling between Syria and Turkey for trade. Read the rest of this entry »
In the mid 1980s I was helping the Afghan people against the soviets. I was doing many things at once: anything that could help the struggle was on my menu as long as it was not against Islamic teachings. One such thing was to help set [up] schools in refugee camps; to do so, I was traveling all over the North West Agency that borders Afghanistan to inspect the conditions and write recommendations for materials to be given to the organizations which ran the schools.
Also, I used to buy books and school supplies for the schools; these trips allowed me to learn a great deal about the region and the tribes and their customs. I enjoyed the beauty of Swat valley and the breathtakingly clear rivers of Kalam and Droosh. I spent time in Malak and lingered in Bahreen (an area where two rivers meet and converge). I used to accept the trip if I had nothing else to do at that time and a driver with good knowledge of the area was always with me. Some places were so exotic that I used to take my time admiring the whole scene; the only problem for me was the food, so I used to keep it simple: Don’t eat anything or eat only familiar things!!! My time in Peshawar was usually short and I used to hang out with a group of brothers who came there from all over the globe. We used to go to local restaurants and sometimes these restaurants opened only after midnight!!! Because they functioned as butcher shops during the day, and after midnight, they offered Kebab and Curry with freshly baked Nan.
I used to move a lot so I didn’t have a fixed address, but some friends used to offer me a room, sometimes in an office building or a villa. I used to keep my belongings in bags so I could move quickly. In one of such jobs, I was going to buy some mules, horses and donkeys to give to the Afghans who were to use them as pack animals to transport all kinds of materials to the fronts. But this time I had company; a brother was coming with me to help out. The brother was a very good person that I met few weeks before and he had one of the most interesting stories I ever heard: he was raised in Paris as a secular and almost knew nothing about any religion. His mother was a very strong figure in his north African country, so she wanted him to be educated and cultured in the western way of life.
Abdurrahman, as he was called among the brothers, was a twenty something lad who was sick when I met him. I noticed that he was very keen to follow the sunnah of the Prophet peace be up on him. I also noticed that the brothers didn’t like to sleep any where near him!! They said they just felt that a heavy thing on their chest whenever they went to sleep in the same room with him. I didn’t really care much because I always had nightmares and I was used to these kind of feelings. We became friends and he started telling his story. He said that he always felt that he wasn’t alone in his room back in France, so after many researches, he tried to put the pen to the paper and see if he can get whoever is there with him to answer his questions!!
As he held the pen loosely on the paper and started asking, an unseen force used the pen in his fingers to write the answer to his inquiry. Soon they were exchanging information on daily basis. Then one thing led to another and the subject of religion came up; he was told about the major religions and of course Islam was the religion that got his attention. Soon he was practicing Islam by the help of these “Jinns”!! The thing that caught our attention about him was that most of his dreams used to come true in very short time!!
Time and time again he related to us a dream, and we paid attention to the details, and we were blown away with the accuracy. He was of course aware of the Hadeeth that says the most truthful amongst you in his speech is the most truthful in his dreams: meaning that a person who tells the truth at all times will see dreams that will come to be true.
The brothers were always waiting to hear what the brother will say in the morning. Sometimes he said nothing and sometimes told us his latest dream. One day he told us that he saw one of our brothers fall on his face and return!! The brother in the dream was joining a caravan into the North provinces of Afghanistan; the caravan was leaving from Chitral, and we were in Peshawar where the chances of communication were very low. I knew the Chitral area very well, especially the remote area of Garm Chashmah where the journey starts. Because the brother left us more than a week ago, we thought that he would be on his way to the North, but after Abdurrhman’s dream we were not so sure.
The day after we were told about the dream, someone rang the bell while we were having our breakfast. It was the brother in the dream. He told us how he fell and couldn’t carry on with the caravan. When he was left behind by the fast traveling caravan, he had to travel back to Peshawar. This was very unusual thing: anybody traveling to the North during that time used to take long time in preparation as the brother did, and the caravans don’t make the journey regularly, so most of the time the brothers take extra measures to be ready and endure to complete the journey. The brother in the dream was in very good shape and known for his determination, so when we saw that, we knew that it was a true dream. Many other dreams made us nervous; we were living on the edge, some were [even] told about a dream that they might die!!! The dreams were sometimes more complex, two events woven into one, both come true but in two different places!!
I was going and coming like before, but anytime I got a chance, I used to ask about the latest dreams. Alas, the Brother’s strong mother came to Pakistan with her Government’s power and was looking for her son. The Pakistani government put pressure on the brothers and someone lied to Abdurrhman to bring him to a house where his mother and many officials were waiting. They took him away. I felt bad for him because he didn’t want to go back. I didn’t like how he was set up, but my life went on. I always remembered him and his dreams.
During the spring and summer I was busy monitoring the departure of large caravans from “garm chishmah” (the hot spring), I wrote many notes to the headquarters in Peshawar so the Afghan Organizations can get the money that was promised to them when they transport the material from the border into Afghanistan, I was young and struggling to learn the Farsi language, but because they needed my notes, the Afghans used to deal with me on equal terms!!
Some of them were very high ranking in their huge organizations like the Jami’yat , I didn’t choose to be there doing that kind of work but agreed to do it when asked by the elders, but the winter was taking over and the mountain passes were getting blocked one after the other and no self respecting Afghan would start a journey in such weather, especially in the ”Hindo koosh”.
To travel to Chitral we used to go by air, in small planes of the PIA , because it was the only way in winter, the other way is always available (hiking on foot, to climb Lori kohtal in ten hours), I always preferred the airplane, but that winter I failed to book a head of time, so I had to go on foot. When I made it back to Peshawar I found my friends mourning one of our brothers who was basically doing similar things, monitoring caravans and paying for the transporters at a different border point, the brother was very liked and despite being very heavy he was very active, he was shot by robbers who ambushed his jeep after a withdrawing large amount of cash to pay for the transporters. Read the rest of this entry »
As a young lad I went to northern Pakistan to help the Afghan people in their struggle, in a small and quite town that used to be the capital of the kingdom of Chitral, I walked down the street from the house where we had our office toward the bazaar in order to buy some grocery, the whole town is on a hill and the streets wind up and down, you don’t find any kind of public transportation and most people walk , I loved the weather there because it was cold and the air was so fresh that I didn’t need coffee to feel alert , all I used to need was to step out and breath!! I was there as a part of a team that was given the task of monitoring the caravans of horses, mules and donkeys as they enter the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, each caravan consisted of thousands of animals!!
Near the border the bank of a beautiful river was my favorite spot, I used to buy my self couple “Nans”(local bread) and eat them after dipping them in the ice cold water, when I finish my job a driver used to take me back to Chitral, in the road I used to listen to the armed guards and the guide as they tell me about the area, the area is rich in history, some locals clamed to be the descendants of the soldiers of Alexander ( known as the Great) who passed through the area during his conquest of Asia, I saw some tribes who were still worshiping Idols in a largely Muslim country, their areas are very mountainous and the roads used to be accessible only in summer.
I used to walk in Chitral to a flat grassy field where I used to watch games of polo, horses were flown by airplanes from all over Pakistan to compete in the championship, there were no stadium or any fences and I used to watch for free!!! The region was an earthquake zone, we used to experience several small shocks a day and the stone walls bare the marks of larger quakes.
One day there, I told the cook to buy us a rooster, not to eat it (: , but to wake us before down!! It was winter and I was waiting to hear the call of the rooster all night long , I couldn’t sleep well because I was waiting!! But no call came at all, after we prayed the Fajr, and the sun came up I went out looking for the rooster, I found it sleeping!! I tried to shake it and it started calling!! Of course we found another use for it!!
While we were in Chitral an old man by the side of the road was selling some kind of sweets, when he heard the brothers (who were from Medina) he spoke to them in Arabic!! They were very surprised because the old man spoke in the dialect of Medina while he looked just like an old chitrali sweet seller.
The man’s story was very interesting to us, as a twenty something he was still in Medina when a King from Chitral came for Hajj then visited the Masjid of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the King of the small kingdom wanted to hire a teacher for his children from Medina some one who is willing to travel to the little known Kingdom of Chitral, the young man agrees to go and his strange story begins.
The whole region in the foot hills of the Himalaya was a chess board for the two super powers, The British and The Russians who wanted to check each other in the 19th century and early 20th century, in the so called “Great Game”, Chitral was one of the places where battles were fought in that Game, when the World War II ended and India and Pakistan was about to be born as new nations, Chitral was an independent Kingdom, the young teacher lived in the palace and was doing well, until the whole Kingdom was absorbed into Pakistan, the King became a regular guy and the teacher, now married, became a poor guy surviving by selling sweets, his children were adults but none of them spoke Arabic and he hadn’t heard of any of his family back in Medina in more than fourty years.
The brothers promised to help the old man visit Medina after all these years !! imagine the shock when he sees the transformation that took place in his absence, this was in the 1985 and he was , I was told able to visit after few years.
As a young man it never occurred to me that I my self could end up away from Medina for decades, now I see the years fly and I am 2 years shy of my 30th year away from Home!!
To be conintuied…
I have a bit of good news, yesterday I visited the hearing specialist and received a good hearing aid!!
I am able to hear better now, today I took it ( the hearing aide) in a test drive (: , out side and actually I heard ( although not clearly) the announcement over the loud speaker that is inside the building!! the windows are closed so to hear anything at all is a huge thing for me, also I asked my younger neighbor to walk next to me and speak in a low voice while he is to my left, he did that and I was able to understand him, before I used to ask him to be to my right always and to speak up specially when we walk outside, we enjoy walking out for hours back and forth and I used to have hard time hearing, the hearing aide is said to have many new technologies like noise reduction and it is fully programmable to help me hear things other old hearing aides were unable to, they said it can detect a use of phone and adjust accordingly, I will see if I call after two weeks by the will of Allah, I lost my appeal to reduce the phone restriction time, so my chance to call comes at January 8 /2012.
I will write again soon, I hope that all of you are fine, it is Saturday December 24 2011, 9:15 pm and in few minutes they will lock us behind the grill away from the computer so it is time to say salamu alykum, please share it with my family may Allah reward you.