By: Engineer Rahmat Sharifi
Mother: “Wake up son it is time for you to go to the library.”
Me: “Ok, mother.” I woke up washed my face, brushed my teeth and got dressed in 5 minutes after combing my hair. When I came for breakfast, it seemed the glass of milk for me was cold and I am getting late again, I checked the time oh that was 9:30 AM. I had to be fast. I believe books are my friends and they are waiting for me because no one else is going to turn the pages of my friend.
I was frantically trying to remember where I left my bike’s key last night, it might be in my wallet, yes there it is, wore my shoes and calmly got out of the door holding my bike. While trying to kick and start my motor bike, I heard gravel footsteps sound. I was shocked while watching a huge noisy crowed walking on the road among the people’s faces an innocent face popped up in front of my eyes with messed up hair and wearing old dress with open buttons, I thought he might be in hurry that he even couldn’t have time to tie his shoe laces. Human eyes are just like book of mind; what I could read was that he is thinking of his incomplete homework, his school and his friends.
But I asked myself why he is in the crowd? This was a question for me which I had no answer that time. Lost in thoughts loud Ambulance siren noise brought me back at the scene and when I concentrated on the voices of the people standing next to me, I was being asked to get aside for Ambulance go faster, after Ambulance crossed through crowd I realized about the young child whom I saw earlier and due to crowded surroundings I couldn’t find the young child. I left my bike on its stand and thought I should go inside the Masque he would be there, when I arrived near Mosque I couldn’t find a single foot space to enter the Masque, I had no option but to find him and to get my answers.
I took a long breath and entered the crowded to crossed to the Masque while taking care of my glasses it was too difficult for me even to breath everyone was pushing me and each other, oh my glasses it was smashed in the crowd while holding my cracked glasses with hands, I thought definitely I need this glasses to find and recognized the young boy from a distance, eventually I entered the Masque and got to know that 30 individuals were shot death travelling on bus, hearing such news was shocking but routine for us.
Tears flooded to my eyes and few men were looking at me having tears in their own eyes. After a while I searched around but I couldn’t find the young boy I was looking for, so I walked out of Masque and brought some ice from home as it was being requested from people. I could not stop thinking about the young boy. Then I got a phone call from my home and my mother asked me to come home. Reluctantly I moved towards home and went directly to my room and seated on my chair in front of computer, I was waiting for a chance to get out and find the boy, Alas my mother requested me to stay in home.
The prostrate feeling and desperation was hurting me and I couldn’t stop my tears; the chair I was sitting on felt like jail for me. Again I start hearing different voices of people through my room’s window, I guess the young boy might be among them, but I couldn’t get out of my room breaking the promise I made with my mother to stay safe at home.
I started feeling the walls around pushing me to limit my moves and to breathe. The room felt like a nut shell to me. After minutes past then hours, I requested my mother to let me go out of home and visit to the graves of innocents Hazara killed and thought I may be able to find the young boy, I got the permission after requesting intensely, I went to graveyard and the traumatic graves reminded me of the brutal firing few months before. That day hundreds of men and women were protesting against the killings of innocent 21 Hazara people their bodies were being buried, a major slogan of the demonstrators was shaking the ground beneath my foot, and each protester was holding play cards against the government in presence of large media reporters.
I was looking around to find the young Hazara boy, Once again protestors showed slogans….. Oh I heard a young boy’s voice where is he? I saw the young boy in front line of demonstrators when I turned around His voice gave me a meaning to be me; I saw myself in him, his voice with others made a loud slogan. Slogans for unity, a unity against the savages. I got my answer that the young boy makes his voices count, participate and demand unity of our nation. Even our young children feel unsafe, desperate, departed from society. The point is so clear to make yourself count, no matter if it is small or big you can give the society and nation.
This visit reminded me, once again that the most crucial decisions we can make for a better tomorrow concern how to raise and educate our children. The city has experienced a decade of bitter violence. Every citizen of this city must start a barefoot effort to help stop the cycle of brutality that I saw here.
I was convinced that increasing access to education with self awareness and religious tolerance is one of the few options a city had to win the battle against violence.
First Children are born expecting peace, and it is our job to protect this expectation as long as possible. As a child grows and begins to learn, the child’s value rises, the family value rises, and thus the community’s value rises, education being the substance of peace is kind of social multiplier effect.
Our future is not assured. Children today have incredible challenges ahead of them. They need to be ready, let’s give them safety, let’s give them open minds, let’s give them all love and encouragement we can. Let’s give them the chance to build a city that is better than the one they entered. The future desperately needs them to succeed. They are the hope we might have to find peace.
I am so sick of this seemingly endless target killing of innocent citizens, but the boy’s enthusiasm voice definitely gives me a hope for a peaceful future.