This is something I wrote some months ago (in April, I think) in hopes that it'll increase love and sincerity in our hearts so that we will stand up as one and, instead of just complaining about everything that's wrong in our society, start *acting* towards a better future. In it, I define what it means to be educated, as I often come across Pukhtuns who claim to be educated and all they are best at is complaining about how pitiful Pukhtuns are. My response is that, "Well, you say you're educated. How about helping them instead of considering them as the other? How should an educated person deal with her/his own people, who happen to be less fortunate than those who are educated?"
But anyway ... sorry it had to get so long! I swear it wasn't intentional. :S
But then again, when was the last time I wrote something short? LOL. (k, no, that's NOT funny.)
The last two years have been among the worst this Pashtun generation has ever faced. We lost thousands, if not more, of Pashtun, and it did not just start last year; it has been happening for quite a while now. We have been slaughtered, bombed, and maimed. Our properties, both public and private, have been destroyed. Our children have been denied the right to education, play, and even fresh and clean air. Our women have been harassed, tortured – both physically and mentally – raped, and butchered. Our progress and development have been blocked, and we are constantly being pushed towards the ages of darkness.
But have any of us been doing anything about it, whether as individuals or as groups? I don’t mean just prayers; I mean real action – which could be in any form. For example, arranging and/or participating in rallies against our genocide; writing to important news sources, online as well as print media, to give us full coverage in their news; arranging and participating in talks about Pashtuns to raise awareness about our sufferings; contacting humanitarian organizations to help us with foods, water, shelters, etc.; and doing whatever else we may have thought was important during our time of anguish. The problem is that many of us stayed healthy and in peace in our houses outside our war-torn land while our mothers became widows and our children became orphans in Pashtun lands, and this continues to happen on a daily basis. There’s nothing wrong with our being healthy ourselves, of course, but something goes wrong when we ignore our oppressed people back home.
Pashtuns have the potential to be geniuses; our great, honorable leaders of the past have proven that to us. We are an intelligent breed, and we can do so much for our own people as well as for the rest of the world if we try, but I am disappointed to see that most of us are not making any effort to help solve the dilemmas that are polluting our Pashtun soil. We abroad are doctors, lawyers, businessmen/businesswomen, professors, teachers, engineers, etc., but what we should be focusing on is: what good has our being so successful abroad done for Pashtuns in Pashtunkhwa and Afghanistan? I have actually started believing that education should not be measured by the amount of years we go to school, but it should instead be measured on how well we can use that education to do something productive for humanity, to bring a positive change in a place where it is severely needed. And as they say, charity begins at home – which, for us, is our Pashtun brothers and sister. If we haven't done anything for our people, I believe that we are worth nothing no matter what our profession is and how successful we may think we are. What is the purpose of education if it is not used to serve those in need? Unfortunately, quite a number of us tend to complain about the status of Pashtuns but are not providing any helpful remedies. We already know what problems we have, but we need solutions and action, not to hear anymore sad complaints from our own Pashtuns.
We all should be asking ourselves how we can make a difference in our lands. If our people are uneducated and poor, what have we done about it? What have we done to better our status nationally and internationally? We study abroad, we work abroad, we live abroad, but what good has any of it done to our people who are stuck in a land seized by the clutches of war?
Let us unite together and recognize our problems, discuss them with other Pashtuns, and figure out ways to bring us back to life. Let us make our language a priority among all the other languages we are living with, including English; let us not give our children the option of speaking either English or Pashto at home but practically forbid the usage of other languages in our homes so that they will learn Pashto. They are guaranteed to learn English – the current international language – as they grow up, anyway, and they can learn other languages on the way as well, but Pashto is our identity, and we must not let it be forgotten. In fact, if I may have the honor to admit so, I believe we should refrain from calling ourselves Pashtuns if we do not know our language.
Let us emphasize education and head on towards various different fields, instead of limiting ourselves to just one or two. We need variety, and having Pashtuns involved in many different professions will be useful in solving the problems that we face in many arenas of life.
Let us heavily focus on educating ourselves, other Pashtuns, and especially our youth about our history, our culture, our heritage, and the importance of all of these. Too many of us are proud of who we are, but do we know why? We need to ask ourselves what makes us a proud race, and if we cannot explain it to ourselves or to someone else, then that is a mighty sad sign that we lack knowledge about our own people. We have a beautiful history, and we should make sure to pass it on to our children so it can be kept alive; so our later generations avoid repeating the mistakes that we are making today or made in the past; so that we can successfully move towards a healthy future for ourselves, knowing that we are carving our footprints in the stones of our present while studying those of our past.
It is time to act and time to wake up. It is time to get united. It is time for us to use all our energy to help our Pashtun brothers and sisters in this time of depression. It is time to provide support in any way possible to our oppressed people in need. It is time to write, to get involved, to donate, to help, to provide support, and to do anything else we can to get ourselves out of our miseries.
May peace and prosperity be upon us all along with the rest of humanity; may we be successful in using our means, knowledge, and time in helping those who need us when they need us. Aameen!
Also accessible here.