New generation vital to peace in Aghanistan

As adapted from and “inspired by” a report in the Gisborne Herald newspaper (November 2012) by Marino Harker-Smith

“the international correspondent”


EDUCATION is the most pragmatic way to make the world a better place, which it is why it is te focus of doctorate study for Afghanistan academic Tariq Habibyar. He has an ultimate aim of returning to contribute to a new democratic and conflict-free Afghanistan.

“I believe education is the foundation for sustainability and peace in Afghanistan, and I want to contribute to a stable Afghanistan. I have always been passionate about education and changing the status quo of education in my home country. My generation have a lot to contribute to a more stable and peaceful Afghanistan.

In my studies I have been focussing on values such as unity, respect, care and especially love. It’s these values that make up one’s character. But only with ethical commitment and integrity can a person be a productive, responsible and informed citizen.

My family is from Herat in the south-west of the country, but I’ve already worked in several provinces of our war-torn country as an education lecturer. I want people to know about the real Afghanistan – the everyday people behind the conflict.

And how it’s this generation, our  generation that can make things change. It;s OUR responsibility!

There’s so much beauty in the country as well, which is not something people outside hear about much.

Afghani people are steeped in a rich culture, yet with a tragic history as well, particularly at the hands of the Taliban rule and their extremist views. People are fearful of the Taliban, who ruled the country for six years. It was a very dark period. Ordinary Afghani people do not want the ideologies of he Taliban to come back to Afghanistan.

My personal view is that peace negotiations could be possible with the Taliban, as long as they are willing to accept a more moderate constitution

The conflict hit close to home, when in May last year, my best friend was killed in an attack, while working as an interpreter for the Italian forces. It was heartbreaking and tragic.

These tragic incidents happen on a daily basis and as a human being, I can’t stand by and watch all of this happening.

However, despite the dark times and the current conflict, Afghani people are extremely proud of their culture and identity to their country..

We, Afghanis  have a strong sense of national pride and identity to our country.

I know that my future lies in Afghanistan, but am sympathetic for people who have to flee out of concerns for their safety, which is why negotiating peace is even more of a priority.

Change is coming, but not without help from the international community – whether it is a United Nations ceasefire or something else.

War is not the answer anymore. We can’t change the face of Afghanistan by ourselves. The Afghani people have suffered enough and that shouldn’t happen.

After all, we are ONE human community and I believe the problems of Afghani people should be considered the problems of the global community.

When I finish my degree, I plan to work in New Zealand for a couple of years to build some international experience, before hopefully heading home to help rebuild the new peaceful Afghanistan.

I’m optimistic about that, because of the passion I see in my generation. Serving humanity is my biggest passion.”

As adapted (slightly) from and “inspired by” a report in the Gisborne Herald newspaper (November 2012) by Marino Harker-Smith

Thank you


“There are better ways than war to prevent conflict.”


PROFILE Mohammad Tariq Habibyar

Studying towards a PhD in Education

A strong desire to improve the opportunities for young people in his home country, Afghanistan, is Tariq’s main motivation for studying Education at UC.

‘Learning and teaching proper education is the most pragmatic way to make the world a better place,’ he says. ‘I come from a war-torn country. I’ve learned that education and job creation can bring peace and stability… A PhD will give me the opportunity to serve my country by supporting the education of the young generations in Afghanistan.’

Tariq’s PhD will investigate the role schools and teachers play in developing students’ identity, focusing on values such as unity, respect, care, and especially love.

‘It’s these values that make up ones’ character,’ he says. ‘Only with ethical commitment and integrity can a man be a productive, responsible, and informed citizen.’

Tariq says he has a ‘deep fondness for’ and ‘sense of connection with’ humankind and feels ‘impelled to make a meaningful and lasting impact on people’s lives’.

Having worked as a business development adviser in Afghanistan, and on several projects in the field of social development there, Tariq has firm ideas about where he wants his career to take him. He hopes to serve in the Ministry of Education, working on the national curriculum, and his ultimate goal is to become Minister of Education. He would also like to set up a non-profit organisation supporting education and job creation for young people. First, though, he plans to establish an academic career in New Zealand so he can bring international experience to those roles.

Life as an international student at UC (University of Canterbury) has been ‘extraordinary’ for Tariq. ‘I am very happy to have the honour of coming here,’ he says. ‘The atmosphere at UC is friendly and encouraging. The College of Education staff, and in particular the School of Māori, Social and Cultural Studies in Education, are very supportive. New Zealand is the most amazing country I’ve been to. Kiwis are hospitable and kind, and I’ve peace of mind here. I just love it!’

Although most of his time is dedicated to his research – ‘you have to be ready to read lots and lots!’ – Tariq is also writing a documentary novel based on his own life. He likes to spend time with friends, makes regular internet calls to his family in Afghanistan, and enjoys exploring New Zealand.

Tariq says that for PhD study, students’ choice of university should above all be about getting the right support for your particular research topic.

A PhD is about contributing new knowledge to the topic you are interested in. I’ve realised that you could be doing your PhD at one of the world’s elite universities and not get the results you want. For me, I cannot imagine any university could provide me with the kind of opportunities UC has done.’


EDUCATION is the key to removing poverty!

Don’t worry about the world ending today…

it’s already tomorrow in “the little scenic and tranquil haven” that is New Zealand (or “Godzone” as it is sometimes affectionately known)


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  1. craiglock Says:

    MANY MORE COMMENTS OVERNIGHT (many, already on this blog (together with hundreds of thousands on my various other blogs…true!) …so hope it’s not slowing down your loading speed!). Am really pleased you are enjoying my writings, as the reason I write is to share.
    Am having to remove many and so sorry can’t reply individually, but DO try to read as many as possible daily
    so “thanks for the thanx”

    “As we live and move and have our being, so from this vision, we create heaven in our own lives… and perhaps even heaven on earth.”
    – craig (as inspired by Acts 17:28 and the words of Felicia Searcy)

    “Aim at the earth and you may not get off the ground.
    “Aim at the stars and you may reach the moon.”
    “Aim at heaven and you’ll have earth thrown in…
    and you may even hit the stars.”
    – craig (as inspired by the famous quote by CS Lewis – 24th May 2012)

    “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
    – Leonardo da Vinci

    “If a man is called to be a street-sweeper,
    he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
    or Beethoven composed music, or
    Shakespeare wrote poetry.
    He should sweep streets so well
    that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say,
    here lived a great street sweeper
    who did his job well.”
    – Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: and

    All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –

    Instead of trying to reply to each one of you, I’ll just keep on writing

    “If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster.”


  2. Amedar Says:


    You could definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart. “Until you walk a mile in another man’s …


  3. Marino Harker-Smith Says:

    Hi there,
    Just noticed your reblog of the story I wrote for the Gisborne Herald.
    Could you please correct the spelling of my first name. it is M.a.r.i.n.o
    I like the idea of your blog “unsung heroes”, just wondering who writes this blog?


  4. craiglock Says:

    Hi Marino

    This is just one of my many WordPress blogs on the pursuit of peace and trying in some small way to help break down barriers (social, economic, political and religious)….and how “ordinary (“what’s that” people can make a difference in the world. Incidentally, journalists and war correspondents and their stories (true) from my various blogs form the basis of some of my various books. Pleased you liked this blog.



    Don’t worry about the world ending today…

    it’s already tomorrow in “the little scenic and tranquil haven” that is New Zealand (or “Godzone” as it is sometimes affectionately known)

    PS: Have corrected the spelling. It was a nice interview and excellent article you wrote, Marino


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