A personal message from Zeena:
I'd like to share an important three-part film project, which I endorse, called "Women vs. Warlords". The film aims to bring greater world-wide awareness of the struggles and oppression of Afghani women under the current Taliban rule. The most urgent goal right now is for filmmakers Diarmuid Brannick (Co-ordinator) and Tim Hood (Camera Operator, Director) to get into Afghanistan next week to interview Malalai Joya, activist for women's education and literacy in that country. An extremely risky undertaking as Malalai Joya has suffered assassination attempts; a risk which could extend to Western filmmakers attempting to reveal the current plight of women in Afghanistan.
My reasons for endorsing this project:
The Afghanistan region gave birth to the origins of Tibetan tantric Buddhism as we know it today; a religion of peace, loving-kindness and in particular, reverence for the feminine principle within the mystical practices of tantric Buddhism.
Prior to the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan between the 7th to the 10th centuries, Buddhism was a major religion in the region. Around the beginning of the 21st century, among other oppressive and destructive actions, the Taliban destroyed two of the largest and oldest Buddha statues in existence, dating back to the 6th century, C.E., a blatant display of disregard for world protests and world heritage sites.
The Buddhist Master Padmasambhava (or Guru Rinpoche) was born in the 8th century in South West Odiyana, also known as Lake Danakosha, located on the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier. Padmasambhava brought tantric Buddhism from this region to Tibet and as a result Tibetans consider him “the second Buddha” to the Buddha Shakyamuni. Tibetan Buddhism is one of the few world religions which reveres its female religious leaders, feminine deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, dakinis and yoginis equally to their male counterparts.
As a Tibetan Buddhist yogini who has been initiated in the mystical practices and teachings originating from this region, I believe that the empowerment of the women of this sacred land to be of utmost importance.
The full description of this ambitious project can be read at THIS LINK.
(An excerpt is posted below.)
If this project moves you as it did me, please consider any donation toward funding - it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
OM MANI PADME HUM and Š-L-M
An Excerpt of the Filmmakers' Description:
Today in Afghanistan women are fighting for their lives, for their future, for everything.
We are seeking to send an Irish film crew, 2 people, to Kabul, Afghanistan for 4 days in late December 2019 for the purpose of conducting an extended interview and short film with Malalai Joya, a prominent human rights and literacy activist, who despite assassination attempts and smear campaigns continues to fight for her people.
The interview will be the first in a planned series of feature length interviews with three of Afghanistan's bravest women: Previously mentioned Malalai Joya, Journalist and women’s rights activist Farahnaz Forotan and celebrated educator Dr Sakena Yacoobi.
The focus of these in-depth conversations; the fight for women's rights and the power of literacy in that fight.
By amplifying the voices of these women, starting with Malalai Joya we seek to strengthen their resolve, the resolve of their supporters and share a deeper more intimate insight into their lives.
With the emerging presence of Islamic State in Afghanistan and the US negotiating with the Taliban, supporting, safeguarding and emboldening female leaders in the country is the single most important thing we can possibly do.
Afghanistan is widely considered to be the worst place in the world to be a woman, and is one of the only countries in the world with a higher female suicide rate than male. The situation for some women and girls is so bad they actually set themselves on fire in desperate protest or as means of ending their lives.
Amid government failure, among the fundamentalists, warlords and criminals battling for control and resources, through the years and different phases of dominion, despite widespread unquestioned misogynistic traditional beliefs many ordinary Afghans, especially women have risked their lives to empower their people. They have risked their lives to bring the light of literacy and smash the bonds of subjugation.
Please support us!
Update DECEMBER 16, 2019 by Diarmuid Brannick, Organizer
We have just over €2000 left to raise, all our costs have been brought to bare minimum to make this important project happen. If you can pledge a final donation or know anyone who could, please ask them. €10 or €20 at this point from enough people will make it all possible. Thank you!
Detailed information in this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/women-v-warlords