It was amazing to see hundreds of portraits smiling from the walls in the yard of Star Educational Society building, Young, old, men, women, workers, lecturers, students, politicians, craftsmen, all were smiling. And unlike at many other social events, hundreds of visitors were calmly listening to the organizers’ descriptions while looking at the portraits. They must have imagined the feelings of the people when they smiled. Some visitors were whispering: “It brings in a very good feeling, but how can smiling portraits possibly generate peace in the current worsening situation?”
“One Thousand Smiles for Peace” is the name of an extensive campaign initiated by the “Non Violent World Organization”. The campaign included collecting thousands of smiling portraits all over the country being exhibited in a series of exhibitions they held in Kabul, Balk and Bamyan in cooperation with other local civil society organizations. Simultaneously with Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2016, they held one of their exhibitions in Star Educational Society’s campus, which is located in Sabiqa Bus Stand, Puli-Sokhta, District 6, Kabul.
“We are collecting one thousand smiles for peace from many different ethnic groups throughout Afghanistan and other parts of the world.” Said Faiz Aham Sada’aq, one of organizers. “Through this project, we are promoting nonviolence, unity, solidarity and conflict resolution among human beings around the world, so, together, we can create a sustainable peace.” He said.
Since the escalation of insecurity in Afghanistan, which raised huge concerns about the country’s future, several campaigns launched to encourage peace and solidarity to bring a feeling of hope among people.
Qudratollah Rajavi, peace activists and a member of Non-violent World organization believes that such campaigns do not change the problems of insecurity, unemployment and poverty in a short-term but they change the mindsets which think that there is no exit for situation except running away to other countries or picking guns to fight.
“Our goal is to build confidence and hope, so that people believe in their potentials and abilities and they come to believe that peace can’t be outsourced, instead, we by ourselves can build our peaceful future. If people are convinced that there are many peaceful ways with which they can get what they want or what they deserve, obviously, they will ovoid violence.” Said Qudratollah Rajavi.