War-weary Afghans celebrate Peace Day, urging end of conflicts

10:59, September 22, 2010      

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"When I was a child, the country was peaceful and relatively stable, but three decades of war created a lot of problems for us," said Kabal Mohammad, an elder Afghan trumpeter.

Mohammad and his partner drummer Tuesday played traditional music at a ceremony marking the International Peace Day on a hilltop in Afghan capital Kabul. But despite being surrounded by a cheerful audience, he still could not conceal his worries for the war-plagued country.

"We can find some food now, but we could not eat it calmly," said Mohammad. "We are in fear of explosions and gunshots."

"I am worrying for Afghanistan's children and youth," he added. "Many innocent children and elders were killed every day."

At the ceremony, about one dozen booths were set up, where blue and white flags symbolizing peace were distributed to children, and singers sang live-hearted songs before enchanted listeners. In a festive mood, children brandished the flags or flied kites to express their hope for peace.

"So far we enjoy today's ceremony a lot," said Frozan, a girl student of seventh grade."We want Afghanistan to be peaceful every day."

Her hope was echoed by her classmates. "I come to mark the International Peace Day in Afghanistan," said Nilofar, a girl wearing a white cap. "We want peace, and we request government to do more for peace."

Nine years after the collapse of the Taliban regime, Afghans gradually embrace the outside world and show their interest in things foreign to the country. Under a red awning, dozens of youths performed Muay Thai and others martial arts before an electrified audience.

With his body half naked and two ropes tied on his forehead and right arm, Mohmmad Jawad Hihsani said he practiced Muay Thai for six years and now is a member of the national team.

Hihsani said he loved Muay Thai, but fighting is the last thing he wanted.

"We want peace," said the young man "We don't like conflicts and wars."

Hihsani is eager to become the pride of the country some day, but he warned that peace is essential for his countrymen to achieve in sports or any other fields.

"We would not be successful in our education and sports, unless we can exercise our basic rights and live in peace," he said.

On Tuesday, various activities, including jogging and bicycling, were hosted in other parts of Kabul, as well as other cities in the country, to mark the International Peace Day.

On the same day, however, nine foreign troops were killed when a helicopter crashed in the restive southern region, making the casualties of NATO troops so far this year surpassing the whole fatalities in 2009. In Parwan province some 60 km north of Kabul, six workers with a local road building company were killed as their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.

"I want the government and Taliban to start negotiation and to stop killing each other; I want them to stop killing of an Afghan brother by another brother," said Mohammad.

"We only want peace," the trumpeter added. "Please stop war; we don't want it here."

Source: Xinhua (By Wang Yan)


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