Pul-e-Jawan: A Regional Peace-building Team

Feb 17, 2012   //   by Hameed   //   culture, links, Peace, university, videos  //  No Comments

Pul-e-Jawan, which lit­er­al­ly means “bridges of youth” in Dari, Urdu and Hin­di, is a group of region­al peace build­ing and active youth from Afghanistan, Pak­istan and India. In Sep­tem­ber 2011, Internews, Afghanistan took ini­tia­tive and invit­ed five cit­i­zen jour­nal­ists with an inter­est in peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion issues from each of the above coun­tries (a total of fif­teen peo­ple) to meet in Kabul.
The aim of Pul-e-Jawan is to pro­vide an exchange for the youth and to bridge any gaps and issues between the three coun­tries. When we met in Kab­ul back in Sep­tem­ber (I am a mem­ber of the team) we took part in a forum on secu­ri­ty and we met with pol­i­cy­mak­ers, NGO rep­re­sen­ta­tives, aca­d­e­mics, jour­nal­ists and oth­er senior experts in the field. There were five groups of three (in each group there was one Afghan, one pak­istani and one Indi­an) and each group worked to make pre­sen­ta­tions on an issue of their inter­est. One of the pre­sen­ta­tions that my team worked on was a com­par­i­son of state uni­ver­si­ties with pri­vate universities.

Video pre­sen­ta­tion:

For prepar­ing this pre­sen­ta­tion, our team vis­it­ed Kab­ul Uni­ver­si­ty and Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty of Afghanistan (AUAF) and we inter­view stu­dents from both uni­ver­si­ties. AUAF is a very expen­sive uni­ver­si­ty and not a lot of Afghans can afford going to there. After inter­view­ing, I asked a stu­dent there if the future lead­er­ship of Afghanistan will go to the sons and nephews of the cor­rupt com­man­ders and oth­er offi­cials or to them (those who are get­ting the best edu­ca­tion in Afghanistan). He answered, “excuse me!?”. My father is a com­man­der. I was kind of expect­ing that answer but I still want­ed to hear it from him. That was a Pul-e-Jawan experience. 🙂

In addi­tion to dis­cussing peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in the region, Pul-e-Jawan was a great net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for us. We worked eight hours every­day and spent most of the evenings going out and eat­ing Afghan foods in restau­rants of Kab­ul. One evening we all went to a restau­rant called “Sufi” and sang every­one took turn and sang a song in their own lan­guage. The rest of the group would try to sing along.
Pul-e-Jawan has a web­site and a Face­book page where we post and dis­cuss issues that are com­mon in the three countries.

Pul-e-Jawan web­site: http://pulejawan.com/
Face­book page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/254234317940298/