David Smith-Ferri

David Smith-Ferri is a member of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) and the author, most recently, of With Children Like Your Own. He is in Kabul at the invitation of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (www.2millionfriends.org). He can be reached at dsmithferri@gmail.com

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 7:49am
In Afghanistan, Dreams of Duvets and Nightmares of War
I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. ––William Butler Yeats Haroon has recurring dreams. Haroon whose father was killed when he was a boy and who remembers a gnawing hunger during the long winter in every year of his childhood. At night, he dreams that someone drops him from a great height. He freefalls through the air, crashes to hard ground, and dies. During the day, he dreams of relief from the anger and confusion that pursue him, and of being a photographer, a traveler.
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Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 12:51pm
Sunrise and Sunset in Afghanistan
October 7, 2012, Kabul, Afghanistan. At 5:15 a.m., the main street outside the Afghan Peace Volunteer’s (APV) apartment is quiet, and the first weak rays of gray light filter down through dusty, polluted air. In the distance, the hulking brown mountains circling the Kabuli plain emerge ominously from darkness. After yesterday’s dust storm, a thin brown film covers everything: windows, the shop stall roofs where children fly kites in the evening, bicycle seats, burlap sacks protecting fruit and vegetable displays, doorknobs, throats, the leaves of trees.
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Monday, October 8, 2012 - 1:56pm
Against Odds: An Evening with Children's Joy in Afghanistan
Here in Afghanistan, survival – physical, cultural, and psychosocial – is a pressing and inescapable reality, a day-to-day struggle against odds for many people, especially as the harsh Afghan winter arrives, and necessary preparations for it are compromised by poverty, violence, and displacement. Women and children are at the front lines of the struggle.
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Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 4:37pm
Above the Drone of War, Voices for Peace
In 1876, at the so-called Battle of the Little Bighorn when U.S. Cavalry regiments attacked an Indian village along the Little Bighorn River in Wyoming, the first casualty was a ten-year old Lakota Sioux boy named Deeds. Unaware that U.S. troops were nearby planning an attack, he and his father were combing a hillside looking for a lost pony when U.S. troops encountered and killed him.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 11:23am
Afghanistan Improving? Rubbish
A December 9 article in the Wall Street Journal began with the following sentence: "After touring bases in eastern Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he was confident the war strategy was working, rejecting doubts that have been voiced by some inside the administration as the White House finishes work on a review of the campaign." "There is no doubt the security climate is improving," Gates told a press conference in Kabul.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 7:35am
Drones Cannot See What Afghan Civilians See
KABUL, Afghanistan – “We live in constant fear of suicide attacks,” said Laila, an Afghan woman who lives in Kandahar city and who visited with us yesterday. “When will the next one strike and where?”
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Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 1:09pm
'Without Peace, Life is Impossible': What an Afghan Boy Knows that US Forces Don't
In a small storage shed at the edge of town, we watched as fourteen-year-old Sayed Qarim signed a simple contract agreeing to borrow and repay a no-interest, 25,000 afghani loan (roughly $555). Daniel from the Zenda Company, the loan originator, counted out the crisp bills and handed them to Qarim, who smiled broadly and shook hands. Qarim, whose family farms potatoes and wheat, plans to use the funds to purchase a cow and her calf. “There are great benefits of owning a cow,” Qarim explains.
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Monday, October 25, 2010 - 9:14am
Bamiyan Diaries, Day Four: “Tell Them to Come to Afghanistan and Make Friends”
Again and again in this isolated Afghan province, when visiting Afghan people in their homes or when talking with members of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (AYPV), we have heard this message: “We want to know the people of the world, and we want the world to know that we are human beings, not animals.”
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 9:08am
Bamiyan Diaries – Day One
Bamiyan Province in Afghanistan, a stunningly beautiful mountainous region, is located in the center of the country, roughly 100 miles from Kabul. Most people here live in small, autonomous villages tucked into high mountain valleys, and work dawn to dusk just to scratch out a meager living as subsistence farmers, shepherds, or goatherds. The central government in Kabul and the regional government in Bamiyan City exercise little or no control over their lives. They govern themselves, and live for the most part in isolation.
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Monday, May 11, 2009 - 11:18am
We, Too, Are Underdogs
AMMAN, Jordan - On the first Saturday in May, at Churchill Downs, the underdog, come-from-behind, runaway victory of Mine That Bird in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby thrilled people across the world. Racehorse victories are attributed to team efforts: credit the jockey and the trainer for winning. And the trainer in this case - Bennie Woolley - was as much an underdog as Mine That Bird was a long shot, having never previously run a horse in a stakes race before Saturday.
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