| May 28, 2014
The Song that is Inspiring Afghan Voters
Photos from Election Song VideoLet’s put our hands together, let’s get together.Our hands hold our votes and our votes hold our future. My fellow citizen It’s my vote, it’s your voteIt’s a privilege for enduring peaceMy dear fellow citizen, with our vote leadership is in our hand
On April 5th, an historic election was held in Afghanistan. Over 7 million voters participated, and the elections were generally a peaceful affair. We at AIL hosted election workshops leading up to the vote, and asked the managers of our Learning Centers to educate students at the centers about why the vote was important, what steps they needed to take in order to vote, how to research and select candidates, and how to vote.
The effort to encourage Afghans to vote was not limited to our workshops and Learning Centers however. At a private school owned by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (our CEO) the Arts and Culture Teacher, Mehrjui, set a poem she had written about the election to music. The song encourages all Afghans to become aware of their responsibilities, to select a good candidate for President and to vote. The PSYPS Arts and Culture students sang this song at a celebration on International Women’s Day as well as at our election workshops. The song was incredibly well received, moving many in the audience.
The students, staff, and administration at the school quickly realized how powerful their song was, so with the help of the AIL Academic Advisor and the AIL video production team, they set about recording their song so that it could be shared with a wider audience. They had no idea how popular the song was about to become.
The song quickly went viral, being aired on Afghanistan’s National TV station, as well as on eleven other stations. The song has been played many times over and candidates running for president even asked if they could buy the song to use in their campaign. The PSYPS students and staff declined to sell the song, deciding the purpose of the song was to encourage all Afghans to participate in the elections, not to support just one candidate.
As Afghanistan moves closer to a runoff election this summer, the song continues to be played on the radio and the video over the airwaves. In short, the song continues to encourage Afghans to participate in the upcoming elections and to make sure their voices are heard.
We encourage you to take a moment to view the video made by the students, to read the lyrics below and to see the hope in these young people’s faces. After watching, we hope that you will stand with the youth of Afghanistan, and join us as we work with them to create a peaceful future for their nation.
(Chorus Song)Let’s put our hands together, let’s get together.Our hands hold our votes and our votes hold our future. With one vote, we can be our sultan, our voiceFor a better choice for a better leader My fellow citizen It’s my vote, it’s your voteIt’s a privilege for enduring peaceMy dear fellow citizen, with our vote leadership is in our hand My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen!With the name of God, we speak from the power of our thoughtsFrom our decision, unity, humanity and rightNo longer speak of suicide bombing, explosion, but of creativity and prideDon’t speak of the hills under the thornSpeak of the friendship of verdant soil and the rose gardenSpeak of spring, spring and spring (Narration) Let’s hope that this spring Afghanistan will turn into a magnificent garden. A garden in which the smell of every rose invites the world for a spectacle.Let’s hope for a different spring, for a different year and for a different AfghanistanDon’t forget my fellow citizen, our rendezvous is in front of ballot boxes on April 5, 2014 (Chorus Song) Our choice is the remedyOur choice is for the day of rendezvousWho we want will be crowned sultan My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen! Attend the opportunity with passion and turn the enemies into wretchesThis colored finger is the guiding path and this fist is the hummer for the oppressor My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen!