Fareedoone’s story on being a student in a war zone


I’ve been on the phone to Fareedone this morning explaining what we’re trying to do today and he had a lot to say and is very excited. Read his story below. Tonight, he’ll be talking to Lubna in Baghdad and and Arsalan and Khadija in Islamabad.

My name is Fareedoone. I am 25 and I am from Afghanistan. I am a Student of Law in Kabul. I was invited by World Have Your Say to share my experiences as a Student who’s grown up in a conflict zone.

I am contributing to the Rebuilding Process in my Country by informing the people about the positive things that happens in Afghanistan. Afghanistan today is a lot different to the Afghanistan which was 9 years ago during Taliban and before that.

There have been many concrete efforts on the part of the Afghan Government and the International Community to rebuild Afghanistan; many positive steps have been taken forward in the reconstruction of the nation.

Now miles of new roads connect places that were once far from one another, and many thousands of homes and businesses now have stable supplies of electricity. Millions of children now go to school and opportunities for higher education are plentiful.

But I also have witnessed many sad and heart breaking events in my country. One day, when I was twelve years old, I went to watch a football match in town. The Taliban brought this young guy out onto the soccer field and beheaded him. I was so close to it that I could hear the sound of the blood pouring out.It affected me for months, I could not eat, I could not sleep.

Earlier this month, I lost my friend Sharif to the Taliban attacks on the Indian embassy in Kabul. Sharif was a really nice guy and we played football together. He was also the only bread-winner for his family.

Some times the sadness drives me to the verge insanity but the unity that I see amongst Afghans who rushes to help those who have been injured in attacks motivates me to take another step forward and help my country.

There is a lot that I have to say, a lot that’s been in my heart for years and I want to bring out. Today is the best time and a great opportunity provided by WHYS so that I can share with you what we have gone through.

If there are any questions that you would like to ask, you can call me today on the WHYS.

God Bless All

23 Responses to “Fareedoone’s story on being a student in a war zone”

  1. 1 zainab\Iraq
    October 27, 2009 at 15:39

    Salam Fareedone

    How are you? well it is a tragic but nice story..
    Do you know sometimes I feel that we (as Iraqis) are extraordinary people cuz of what we are facing everyday, i thought it is so difficult to bear all this suffering.. and it’s appearantly that it is not only us (i mean not only Iraqis), it is your problem too, or let me call it ..it is our test, that we must go through.. and the question here is this:Are we gonna pass this test, however it is hard!!?

    My questiopn to you is this:
    with all these bad conditions you are living in, do you think of leaving your country, i mean do you feel sometimes that ENOUGH, i must live as all the other people are living, without hearing these horrible news of everyday?i must travel and find another home!!

    thank you, and wish you the best insha Allah.

    • 2 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 12:10

      Dear Zainab,

      We indeed are extraordinary people because of the circumstances that we are in, but I would like to tell you that we are not being tested by a divine power, why would God test us? It is the ill-fated some who are putting our patience to test. Today my city is attacked again. I could not go to work, the terrible thing was when I could not get through to friends and colleagues to ask them not to go to the office, its surrounding areas were under attack. I kept calling them on their mobiles, my heart was beating fast… you can imagine what I went through

      As for your question. I have not for once thought of leaving, it’s against my vows that I will keep struggling for my country. Let me tell you one thing, If am ever caught in the middle of an attack, I will not go alone, I will take as many as possible of the culprits with me

      All the best

    October 27, 2009 at 19:21

    Thank you for sharing with us your experiences of terror. Most of who do not even know how to cock a pistol nor would want to be near any assassin can not imagine how people can survive in such situation. Through you we are reassured of the spirit of enduarance.
    You talk of other friends that have follen on the way. Do you often think about other Afghan children that are not as lucky to be in school as you are?
    Tell us about them.
    Tell us about your future with regards to their plight. What empowers your decisions of the future?

    May Allah help you attain a fruitiful life.

    • 4 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 12:18

      Dear Arthur,

      I am a man of deep conscious who believes in helping others. Personally I have helped In opening a school in my village for girls. Some cases that happened in my village prompted me to take this cause of opening a school for girls. In one case a small girl of 11 years old was exchanged for a fighting dog by her father so that he can compete in the dog fighting competitions. In another case a 13 years old was gang raped. I wanted to give these girls an opportunity to realize for themselves what their rights are.

      As far as other children are concerned, I teach English and Computer lessons for free to deserved students. Some of me expatriate friends who brought books and other stuff I make sure that it reaches the deserved and deprived. From my salary I buy stationery every month to help

      All the best

  3. 5 Tom K in Mpls
    October 27, 2009 at 21:00

    In listening to this, I found this specific topic to be more ‘window dressing’ than not. But in reading Fareedone’s initial letter and listening on air, I found he addressed important points on two of the current topics, feeding Africa and deaths in Afghanistan. In essence what I got was, It can’t be solved today, *we* must do it ourselves, and it will not be painless.

    Fareedone, please correct me if I am wrong and please follow up for all.

    • 6 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 12:25

      Dear Tom,

      I agree with you, nothing comes cheap. One has to sacrifice and endure a lot to get it. I had once read it some where, “Freedom is not a gift to be given to you, it must be achieved at the cost of blood.” I go to work at 7:30 every day and at 4 we are closed for the day. Normally most of my colleagues would look at their watches and 5 minutes to 4 they will be packing to leave. I argue with them and ask them why are the expatriates who are here to rebuild this country stays till late to finish their work. Why can’t we do the same? It is our country and at the end it belongs to us to build it.

      Tom, it is a long struggle and we must keep faith that we will stir through the dark times, from the rain of bullets today we will some day walk hand in hand with friends and beloveds under a rain of blessing and prosperity

      Till then we will hang in there

      All the best

  4. 7 Tom D Ford
    October 27, 2009 at 23:45

    Fareedone, thanks.

    • 8 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 12:26

      Dear Ford,

      your thanks seems to be from the depth of your heart, i thank you for giving me an ear and listen to what we in the War Zones are going through

      All the best

  5. 9 Chuksagwu
    October 28, 2009 at 08:12

    Hi, Fareedone you story is indeed one that got me thinking, how you and your countrymen have been able to brave this reign of terror. I really admire your efforts to acquire education despite the challanges. please encourage your fellow youths and children to embrace education . We in Nigeria pray for you.

  6. 10 Fareedoone
    October 28, 2009 at 12:31

    Dear Chuksagwu,

    I am pleased and honored to know that your prayers are with us. One always needs comforts and the prayers in a country where every day a new terror happens.

    I must tell you that I specifically make documentaries for youth and children to encourage them to be educated. The light of education in a war thorn country like Afghanistan is very important and because of the fact that more than 67 Percent of the population is under the age of 25 it is very essential that the youth today are educated

    All the best

  7. 11 patti in cape coral
    October 28, 2009 at 12:59

    Hi Fareedoone – I don’t know what to say to someone who has been through so much except that I wish all the best for you and success in your efforts.

    • 12 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 14:38

      Dear Patti,

      I can feel your heart and that is more than any thing you matter utter. Thank you for wishing us success. Some day a bright sun will appear from behind the dark clouds and we will look up to smile and soak the tears from our eyes, we will remember that friends like you prayed and wished us success.

      All the best

  8. 13 scmehta
    October 28, 2009 at 13:56

    Sadness is the best motivator of all the human emotions; it is capable of silently working upon you to become a resolute, rational and wise personality. It’s the persons like you, armed with compassion, concern and determination, in the present tumultuous times in your great Afghanistan, who can give a healing touch to whomsoever they touch-on; Besides, they are the most suited to positively motivate their people and even help in uniting the estranged/misguided ones.
    Keep up with your faith and good efforts; God be with you.

    • 14 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 14:44

      Dear Scmehta,

      Sadness that has been born out of the ashes of dead friends, ruined houses, lost happiness and innocent orphans desire to be hugged and loved puts in us a well that encourages us to keep stride forward. Honestly I work and work to fill the emptiness inside me, I am scared some times that I may go insane for the things I witness

      Pray for us, we need you

      All the best

  9. 15 1430a
    October 28, 2009 at 14:56

    Even though I’m not a regular listener of the show,I just wanted to Thank Fareedone for this story.I really admire you as a person and would love to tell you that you are a brave man.I know there are more people as such in Iraq and that is why I call Iraq “the incredible country”…..

    With love from the Himalyas,


    • 16 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 15:24

      Dear Abhinav,

      Thank you very much for the kind and motivating words. Every man has the brave self hidden in, it needs a spark by the events around to bring that bravery out and do what your heart guides you to do. The first time I was chased by the Taliban in 2000 while they were still in power because I had long hair and my dress was clean and stylish. The three of them chased me down the street but could not get to me; they saw my house so they started throwing stones at the gate and threatened to come over the wall. I had to go out and my brother also accompanied me. They started hitting us with sticks and dragging us to shave our heads. The neighbor girl that I was fond of me and visa versa was watching with tears in her eyes, I did not pleaded with them not to shave my hair and this stunned them. One of them said let him go, its just waste of time. In my response not to plead and beg them had not given them the chance to humiliate me. The hatred and fury on that day brought the brave side out

      Enjoy life in Himalyas

  10. 17 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
    October 28, 2009 at 15:06

    Salaam, Fareedone,

    I listened to your conversation yesterday with Kadija and Lubna, and it gave me great hope for the future of our world, that there are young people like you in it.

    In 1972 I spent several months in Afghanistan, when my father was assigned there by the WHO. For part of that time we lived in the hotel right across the street from the UN hostel. This morning I was staring at video footage of the violence and fire that killed UN and Afghan people this morning, wondering if it had happened at the same building where we stayed nearly 30 years ago.

    I fell deeply in love with Afghanistan all those years ago, with its people, its culture, its history, its beauty. I have wept for Afghanistan many times since then, during the Russian occupation, during the rule of the Taliban, during the invasion of US and NATO forces.

    But today I am smiling. I have heard your voice, read your words, and I have confidence in your youth and commitment to your country. Salamat bashi!

    • 18 Fareedoone
      October 28, 2009 at 15:33

      Dear Tara,

      Jur Bashi wa tashakur as sameemay dil “Thanks from the depth of my hearts, and may you always be safe”
      You know my mother would always tell me when she would pick an apple in the country where we were refugee and with a longing would say, “ah if you would have seen the apples in our garden, if you would have seen the grapes in our garden, if you would …” I would often times ask Mom what was it like and she would say the same thing that you mentioned today. It has happened many times that we would be scheduled to hold a meeting for a good cause but suddenly a bomb would shake the bulding and we would all rush to the basement. And the later effects of rumbles and heart ach it had left while we watching it on Television would kill in us the human side for the day, you could see every one around with pain in the eyes and sighing.

      Like you I love Afghanistan, every part of it, every person in it. Today we need the World Community because frankly speaking I have friends in International Community who cares about Afghanistan. Who wants to build schools that will not come down during earthquake, or bridges that won’t collapse for decades, just like they would do it for their own people?

      Thank you for your encouraging words. I hope we stay in touch

      All the best

  11. 20 Tracy in Portland, OR
    October 28, 2009 at 18:14

    You are a hero. Your story redeems my sometimes battered faith in humanity. My Dad is fond of saying “life is good as long as you don’t weaken”. Stay strong Fareedoone. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Portland, OR

  12. 21 Jim Newman
    October 29, 2009 at 12:56

    Hello Fareedoone
    In nine years the Taliban have gone from being a cruel oppressive regime to heroic freedom fighters. My question is: if the USA hadn’t needed that pipeline to cross Afghanistan and therefore had not invaded Afghanistan, in your opinion, where would Afghanistan be now after nine years of non-invasion?

    • 22 Fareedoone
      January 23, 2010 at 07:17

      Dear Jim,

      Sorry to get back to you after such long, i was in provinces working on a story
      First thing first, Taliban are by no means Freedom Fighters, nah they are the wicked source of evil, I am not look at the presence of the International Community as invaders, at least for the time being. I am looking at a bigger picture, Afghanistan, out sourced, unskilled and at war with one another needs the International Community to rebuild. Whatever the motives of the US or whoever, we Afghans are trying to rise out of the ditch of ashes and blood and reconstruct this country, which at the moment we cannot do it alone
      If the US was not here, where Afghanistan would have been, Right? I would not have been right now having access to internet in my own country, writing to you and sharing what we go through, Afghanistan would have slid back centuries and generations to anarchy and ignorance, whatever little was left standing would also have abolished because of war

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