Humans were born from wisdom and, thanks to wisdom, they began dialogue and opened the gate to understanding. Wisdom has an origin in whose name I shall begin my words.


On the occasion of the Human Rights Week, we have come together to join hands and say, “Humans are inherent parts of one body”; to say that humans give warmth to the world in which we breathe; and to say that we respect humans if they respect life, because respect for life is the origin of all beauties.

The great German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht said in this beautiful poem:

The little house below the trees at the lake,

Smoke rises out of the chimney.

If the smoke wasn’t there,

How cheerless would be

The house, the trees and the lake. [1]

We, you and I, say: Let us appreciate the warmth of human’s presence in life and stand up to guard this excellent tradition of our ancestors; stop the war and praise peace, which is the most beautiful fruit of understanding. We, you and I, say there would never even be a little house with smoke rising out of its chimney, if there were not humans to breathe love into life.

Today, you are guests of Armanshahr Foundation, which has valued humans and fought for freedom in the past eight years in Afghanistan and throughout the past 18 years in the region. In this fight, language and pen have taken the field not guns and violence. We believe that no violence can bear the fruit of peace. Peace is the work of the righteous people and we are not short of righteous people in our age if they come together and paint the world the way they wish; a painting that shall represent the resurrection of colours; colours that have been created for beauty.

This is the 138th Goftegu public debate of Armanshahr. We have built this beautiful centre for human being; for “a very humane human being” because we believe it is not possible to change the world without them.

This centre has addressed a large number of people for many years, more than 20,000 people have addressed it and it has published more than 150,000 copies of books in the service of collective wisdom. Today, we shall be happy even if each of those copies has reached only three readers. In that case, we have more than 450,000 fellow travellers who take their steps for humans and freedom.

We are still living the excitement of the 2nd International Women’s Film Festival – Herat, which we organised in collaboration with the Roya Film House a while ago in Herat. We still carry the excitement of thousands of enthusiastic members of the audience who watched the films in the Festival; excitement of men and women who love to love.

We take as good omen the coinciding of the 18th anniversary of Armanshahr Foundation with the Human Rights Week and we are pleased to host all our dear guests during this happy week. We are happy to sit together and talk with each other. In addition to the panels and the educational workshops during the Human Rights Week for the students and rights activists of this land, Armanshahr Foundation and its close partners – the French Institute of Afghanistan and other friends collaborating in this regard – shall present you with several cultural programmes.

We shall benefit from this week to award the statutes of the 3rd Simorgh Peace Prize to artists who have worked for humans from the bottom of their hearts; who have spent their lives and suffered to uphold respect for humans. We cherish this week in honour of humans and begin it in the name of the wisdom giver. During this week, we expect nothing but your companionship.

I conclude by reciting a short poem from the French poet Charles Baudelaire:

Nature is a temple where living pillars

Let forth at times confused words;

Man passes there through forests of symbols

Which observe him with familiar eyes. [2]


[1] Original German:

Das kleine Haus unter Bäumen am See.

Vom Dach steigt Rauch.

Fehlte er

Wie trostlos dann wären

Haus, Bäume und See.

[2] Original French:

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers

Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;

L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles

Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.