The journey to COEXIST has taken me to so many wonderful places in this world. I have had the privilege and honour of meeting some great and inspirational personalities. Each encounter has been as unique as the other. The one I am about to recount is a very special one. It was with the only female warlord of Afghanistan; Commander Pigeon, Qhumandan Kaftaar. Her real name is Bibi Aiesha.
Who would have imagined, an Afghan female warlord running her own army of men at the age of 70, in the remotest and most dangerous area in the northern parts of Afghanistan? A woman who has fought against all invaders of her beloved country for over 3 decades and now fights against the Taliban, who are responsible for killing many members of her immediate family.
I had the privilege of interviewing her for my upcoming book and took the opportunity to also kindly ask her if she would sign and support the “COEXIST”campaign. She told me that she would support anything that would bring peace to this world, but also told me apologetically that she is illiterate and that her son would write the statement; “Bibi Aisha wants peace for this world.”
She looked at me with her charismatic aura filling the living room of one of her loyal supporters awaiting my approval. I told her that I wanted her fingerprint on the painting, so I used the ink of my blue Sharpies by painting her thumb and she left her thumbprint on the canvas beside her dictated statement. As we both smiled in silence, she took my face softly in her hands and kissed my cheeks saying “I wish a long life for you my daughter. God be with all of us.”
Priceless moments as such are what humanity is all about.