Let's Bring Hope To Afghans

Last January, a poor Afghan woman sold her newborn baby to feed her other children. As if it wasn't sad enough comments under this article brought me to tears. This article was in an American media, but Canadians share the same set of stereotypes about Afghans who have been especially criticized since the Shafia trial. They are known as being hateful towards women, hateful of ''our values'', and very much different from Canadians.
Afghanistan has the misfortune of being in the media spotlight for the threats which the country may pose to the international community. Potential narco State, haven for terrorists and extremists, as well as source of disorder and chaos are a few of the titles assigned to the country. Canadians have no idea what Afghanistan is going through. We forget that Afghans suffer everyday from war, foreign interference, extreme poverty, famine, inequality, disease, unemployment, lack of opportunities, and so on. Afghanistan is a country devastated by more than three decades of conflict. It is among the world's 15 least developed countries. Countless Afghan children have died while many others have succumbed to malnutrition or disease (over 4 million since 1979 according to Unicef - more than Toronto's population). Among the survivors are those who are now orphans - war orphans whose existence has been forgotten by the world.

Afghans suffer everyday from the gap between the image people in Western countries have (which is propagandized by our governments and the press) and the reality. Afghans are proud and independent. The Afghan culture is beautiful and rich. Our xenophobia is an insult to their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents who have endured three decades of war. Their houses were destroyed, their land and property were grabbed by warlords, their children were deprived of education, their schools and roads were destroyed, and the fear of war caused many problems.

My aim is to complete four marathons in order to raise money for Afghans as well as to raise awareness about Afghanistan:

I hope my efforts will inspire other Canadians to be more sensitive towards Afghanistan and to take action. We can help Afghans to have again the opportunity to build a future of justice and harmony.