Makhmalbaf Family Official Website - وبسایت رسمی خانه فیلم مخملباف

Letter Of Mohsen Makhmalbaf To Kofi Annan

Fri, 25/01/2002 - 17:00

His Excellency Kofi Annan
UN Secretary General  You are managing the United Nations Organization at a time the international relations are defined based on opportunities and threats not on mutual philanthropic aspects and sympathy. In such a globe, the contemporary would surely have reacted to the presence of the Taliban in Afghanistan only a few days later if the country had enjoyed oil resources like Kuwait. And since it was not the case, Afghanistan’s catastrophe was forgotten under the Burka of silence in the world media. Afghanistan remained in forgetfulness until the rich world was threatened by the impoverished one. 
 But it seems that the life of attention created by threat is shorter than the life of attention created by opportunities. Hence, the world, despite its promises to rescue Afghanistan, pays only 4.5 billion dollars in the next five years. Divided by the 20 million Afghan population, an amount of USD 225 would be allocated to each Afghan for renovation of Afghanistan in the next five years; that is USD 45 per annum or about USD 4 per month for each. 
 You as the one who manages United Nations Organization, teach Afghans how it is possible for someone who owns nothing to eat, to wear, to rebuild his destroyed house all over again, to cultivate his land of mines and change it into a wheat field and to build schools for his children in order to educate 95% of illiterate women and 80% of its men, who even before the Taliban rule were deprived from education only with USD 4 a month? 
 The rule of the Taliban resulted from the marriage of ignorance with poverty and Today’s Afghan government, though modern, needs to change ignorance and poverty to wealth and knowledge. 
 You could only extend the hope for the future which has been lost for 20 years in Afghanistan, when you, as the UN Secretary General, convince the Rich countries to respect and consider the minimum humanitarian needs everywhere in this global hierarchical system in order to prevent the outburst of the people in the impoverished countries against the rich ones.  However, apart from the official reports, let us-to criticize ourselves- confess that in our country having faced the inflation of a myriad of universities, 746,000 homeless Afghan children and young adults having sought asylum to us for years, are totally illiterate. Why don’t you, as the UN Secretary General, ask the government of Iran and Pakistan to allocate at least one chair in each school, high school and university class for education of Afghans in order to take a significant step in the human development of Afghanistan? And upon return, why don’t you ask the United States of America to spend only USD 1 on flourishing and renovation of Afghanistan more than what it spent in bombarding the country? It must not be forgotten that the Taliban are not only a political group but also a culture and changing a culture demands education and transformation of the economic principles both requiring the genuine help of the world.  
At the end, I would like to present you 3 copies of the movies I made within the last fifteen years on Afghanistan and a book I wrote on this issue before the incident of September 11th. 
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration. 
Mohsen Makhmalbaf