After 3600 km on the road – all the way from Delhi – I arrived this morning via bus in Teheran. WOW, what a trip so far. I got stuck twice but I made it just 3.5 hours before the official start;-)
And yes, I will follow up with some blog posts later including some nice pictures from incredible Balochistan.
On my way to Teheran many people have been asking me: Why are you doing this?
Basically I have two major reasons:
Firstly, I do believe that it is very important to show the people in Syria that I not only think about them, but that I really care and be there. It gives them hope. And hope is simply all they have. I know they will happy to see me – even without giving aid – it will show show them: they are NOT forgotten. A very simply basic human desire. I carry about 150 peace cards from students in India and Pakistan with me which I will give the Syrian kids.
For me it is a question of priorities. It is not that I can easily afford this trip (which is partially funded) or that I do have the extra time doing it. In every free minute I work on a project back home in Germany and I continue my work for we_school in India. Virtually, with a huge amount of online time. I do it because I am convinced it is the right thing to do. Each border I have been crossing so far on this trip wasn’t a border between “friendly countries”. The tensions between India and Pakistan are high (Kashmir); the American influence in Pakistan is stretching the nerves of the Iran-Pak relations and crossing Balochistan (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran) is a layer on top of all: They are neither friendly with the governments in their countries nor are they in freedom with themselves. Tribes, warlords and foreign interests (India, USA, Saudi Arabia, Russia … ) keep the unrests going. There is no honest interest in peace. And then there is the Pak-Syria connection: The highest number of jihadists in Syria are coming from Pakistan!
Secondly, I am really so tired and desperate about our “Western” attitudes. I lost confidence in our media and our politicians. One of the reasons we started we-magazine a few years ago. I see capitalism running against the wall and destroying the last ethics and morals in politics and economics. What we witness in Syria is THE playground in the world of money and political interests. None of the countries involved cares about the Syrian people. Nor did they care about the Libyans, Iraquis, Afghanis, Pakistanis … you name it.
By joining this Peace Pilgrimage from the “East” doesn’t mean I do not say Assad and his government is right. No, not at all. Friends of mine are suffering in Syrian government jails. What I am saying is that there needs to be an end with our “Western Imperialism” which is only interested in money and What America has turned into after 9/11 is a mess. And I feel ashamed that we in the West don’t have the guts to speak up against our allies when they violate over and over again international law. It’s high time to do so. The world needs a conversation among EQUAL partners – equal in its purest sense. It needs an honest conversation and politics should strictly be seperated from money!
And last but not least there is curiosity and some kind of adventuresome spirit which keeps me going;-) No doubt!
So, here we go Peace Pilgrimage: This is our “official” logo and our common statement …
Peace Pilgrimage to Syria, is a civil movement of peace activists for providing humanitarian aid to Syria and strive to bring peace in the country as soon as possible. This movement has eminent personalities and peace activists from all over the world. This caravan after its presence in Iran will move towards Damascus on 9th April, with humanitarian aid which mainly consists of medical and pharmaceutical aids, to help and meet different groups of people and distribute the relief to the war stricken people of Syria. This convoy includes activists from countries such as Britain, Canada, Germany, Lebanon, Australia, Pakistan, India and Iran and they declare that:
This convoy is not affiliated with any of the parties involved in the Syrian conflict and it emphasizes on supporting peace and opposes violence in Syria and explicitly expresses that peace can be only achieved in Syria by dialogue and negotiations.
- Any foreign intervention in Syria is condemned and only the Syrian people without any pressure from outside decide their own future.
- Crimes committed in the name of religion by Takfiri extremist in Syria on religious minorities is condemned and we consider it necessary for governments of the region to stop sending arms and financial aids to parties and group involved in the violence.
- In the end the members of this convoy invite other governments and people movements from various countries try to do their best so that relief reaches the war stricken people of Syria in every possible manner and in the shortest time frame.
5 April 2014 / Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
And for those of you who speak Arabic and/or Farsi, here is the trailer.