Posts Tagged ‘Violence’

Faces of Pakistan

February 25, 2009

The Pakistan that I see in the media and the Pakistan I see on the ground seem to be two very different worlds. I don’t delude myself into thinking that they are not both realities of the same country, but I wish that people could see what I am fortunate to witness here on the ground. In that vein, this video is a collage of the faces of people I have met in my travels…

Kenya;My beloved Country

February 1, 2008

December 10, 1964  Oslo, Norway 

 Martin Luther King’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (Excerpt)

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.

If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.

“the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression”

January 31st,2008 Lahore,Pakistan

Just watching the developments in my home country Kenya from Pakistan and I fail to understand why the trail of destruction has to continue.My Kenyan friend based in Karachi actually wrote home and told them that he felt much safer here in Pakistan.

 When will the destruction end and the healing begin?

Why do we have to take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?

I pity not those who have a choice to watch the fighting through the media lens at the comfort of their home and continue to call for more actions!I pity those that have had their mud house burnt and are now living in the local school.I pity those whose dear one was burnt to death while seeking refuge in the church!I pity that one whose shop was burnt to the ground after toiling hard for 30 years to build it!

I still believe that we shall overcome.

News from Nairobi

January 3, 2008
First up, we’re safe. I’m sitting in our flat in Nairobi looking out of the window at a very calm and serene day. Traffic is flowing and people are walking past the window, nearby shops are open and the sun is shining. The only signs that anything unusual is afoot is the fact that there is far less traffic than normal – many Nairobians are staying at home – and that the shops have less food than normal – food supply lines are somewhat disrupted by the troubles.

Troubles feels like the right word – this is not a civil war, nor is it ‘ethnic cleansing’ as I read on the BBC website. At present, what we are seeing is very localized violence in certain areas of Kenya (mostly the cities) and Nairobi (mostly the slums).

The violence is also relatively targeted (well, as targeted as an angry mob of young men can be). It is aimed pretty squarely at members of the Kikuyu tribe, who provided the majority of the support for the ‘winner’ of the election – Mwai Kibaki.

A little history may help to explain what you are seeing on your TV screens. The Kikuyu are the largest tribe in Kenya. As a result, they have held many of the key positions of power since independence. Unsurprisingly, many non-Kikuyu resent this and saw this election – the first for ten years with a non-Kikuyu candidate – as a chance to redress the balance. Predictably, they rallied behind the opposition leader – Raila Odinga (while most Kikuyu rallied behind Kibaki). In the run-up to the election, despite polls to the contrary, many non-Kikuyu became convinced that Raila was miles ahead and that the only way he would lose would be through fraud. In this historical backdrop, the election needed to be cleaner than clean. Unfortunately the government seem to have been reading ‘How not to run an election’. (

The violence that has followed is a mixture of the immediate outpouring of frustration and anger, an attempt at violent revenge against Kikuyu, an attempt by non-Kikuyu to force a recount and opportunistic looting. In many ways the puzzle the media back in the UK should be trying to explain is not ‘why so much violence’ but ‘why so little’ (