The Story of Badar

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Written by Katy Fuller on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Just by talking to a young boy who had been recruited by a militant organisation and was preparing to carry out a suicide bombing, he saved the life of the boy, along with countless others.

“When I got into University, I felt very happy. I could hang out with friends till late and listen to music and go to restaurants. Meanwhile, one of my friends recommended to me training by Aware Girls. When I went there and saw a young woman with short hair talking about peace and religion, I felt resentment and wanted to quit. But my friend asked me to stay for some time.

Gradually, I got involved in the discussions and spent the whole day there. I came the next day too and kept thinking about the issues discussed even after the session ended. Slowly I began questioning my beliefs about gender, religion and politics. I was transformed from a rigid, intolerant and a bit aggressive young tribal man into a tolerant, non-violent peace activist. I felt more committed to my community and decided to play a role in peace and progress in my community. I joined several other forums and networks committed to social change and peace.

One day my uncle rang me and told me about 15 years old boy in our village who had joined a local militant organization. I left for my village the very next day and straight went to the house of that boy. The boy had been radicalized and prepared to carry out a suicide attack in Afghanistan.

When he came to say goodbye to his parents, they locked him in the room and informed elders in the community to help. This is how my uncle came to know about him.

The first day, the boy refused to meet me, but the second day, I was somehow able to engage him. I spoke to him for several hours and during discourse with the boy, the knowledge and skills that I had learnt during Aware Girls’ trainings helped me a lot. After two months, the boy had totally abandoned the idea of becoming a suicide bomber and wanted to live a happy normal life. The boy learned car repair and found a job in a workshop. He has also resumed his studies and is planning to sit in the secondary school examination as a private candidate. My peace journey is continuing and now I work with street children and strive to make them productive peaceful citizens.”

Today, Aware Girls continue to stop young people turning to violence and support women to claim their political rights through nonviolent strategies.

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