Want To Stop Violence? Start With Yourself

April 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Yesterday, I was sent a very graphic video of the atrocities being committed in Bahrain.   The video was 10 minutes long, but I have to confess I had to stop half way into it.  I have no interest in sharing the details of the video.  It suffices to say it was real and it was close up.

My first reaction was to think how silly I am to have created The Love Project Inc. as a forum to inspire myself and others to lead lives with greater honesty, courage and love.

Watching this video, the images of violence and horror sobered me to a world that has never been part of mine, but which is alive and well, and with consequences affecting all of us.  In that moment I thought; no more Love Project.   It is a naïve attempt in front of such powerful destruction.

Read more

Share

Sending Love To The Troops

December 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

Couple’s care packages show troops they are appreciated.

Share

Another Woman Dies In Afghanistan

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

An 18-year old Afghan woman was shot on Tuesday outside her job at an US based development company.  She was killed because she was a woman.  She was killed because she was working.  The Taliban is stepping up its intimidation against women sending bands of thugs to harass women who want jobs, education and their own style of clothing.

Last March 8th, I participated – as one of the organizers – in a night of readings of blogs and essays by Afghan women.  For two hours actresses read on a stage the words of women who struggle to have basic rights and we heard of their pain to be considered replaceable by their own fathers and husbands.

While most of us may feel unable to actively do something about their plight, keeping their words alive make their existence not be forgotten.  No one should have the need to write the poem below.

But Not An Afghan Woman

I would love to be anything in this world
but not a woman
I could be a parrot
I could be a female sheep
I could be a deer or
a sparrow living in a tree
But not an Afghan woman…Continued

memory_thumb_1

—–

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) – A gunman lying in wait shot and killed an 18-year-old woman as she left her job at a U.S.-based development company Tuesday, casting a spotlight on a stepped-up campaign of Taliban intimidation against women in this southern city where U.S. troops plan a major operation in the coming weeks.

Although there was no claim of responsibility and police said the motive for the attack was unclear, Taliban militants have been particularly harsh with women who work for foreign organizations or attend school. Bands of thugs are increasingly harassing women who want jobs, education and their own style of clothing, women and aid workers say…Continued

Share

Out Of Silence

March 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Video coverage of Fox News of Out Of Silence: Readings from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project.

It was a really moving night with amazing performances by all the actors:Summer Bishil, Nadia Bjorlin, Conchata Ferrell, Jodi Long, Nichelle Nichols, Teal Sherer, Bahar Soomekh, Nancy Travis and Marcia Wallace. Fred Ponzlov directed the night with profound honesty and allowed the words to hit us with full impact.

We heard poems and essays that talked about rights and freedom: “Where should I go to remove your footprints from my heart?” said one. And we heard voices that spoke of love: “I am fifteen and the boy I cannot forget waits on the street to see me with my burqa on the way to Lala’s bakery” said another.

For all the people that attended this live event these words served as a reminder of the freedoms we have and expect and inspired us to do more for those voices which have been quieted but not silenced.

Share

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Today is International Women’s Day. I have to confess I’ve never paid much attention to this day or what it meant until recently.  I’ve always been aware of differences between men and women when it came to earnings or in work situations, where women have to assert themselves to survive in the “boy’s club”.  But my thinking was very limited.  It lived in a developed country and in a middle class environment. International Women’s Day is not about men opening doors for women or who is picking up the check, or our right to wear short skirts without being bothered. International Women’s Day is about the discrepancy between the percentage of women in the work force and the percentage of wealth we hold.  It is also about our right to make decisions on how to live our lives, our rights to our bodies and education.

With all the advancements in communication and the interconnectedness of the world, we are now fully aware of how women are treated in many parts of the world and it is hard to fandom and impossible to accept.  No woman should be stripped from her sexual pleasure.  No woman should be made into a slave. No woman should be made into an object and every woman is entitled to an education.

I know it is a huge issue to tackle.  Centuries of behavior that needs to change but we can do it; one step at a time.

Tonight, I’m one of the organizers of an event which will have a number of actors reading the writings of Afghan women who are stripped of every liberty awarded to men and are under complete control of either the Taliban or their own family. Tonight we will read their words and thus give them voice and hope the more we hear their voice the more we will empower them and us to make a change.

Let’s do something meaningful today to let the world know we care. Bringing freedom and equality to women is at the center of our survival.

Share

Afghan Women Writers

February 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

The Producers Guild of America, Women in Film and the women’s committees of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Writers Guild of America West, have organized a night of dramatic readings of blogs, essays and poems written by Afghan Women living in Afghanistan who are mentored by American novelists, screenwriters and journalists. This mentoring program, Afghan Women’s Writing Project, was started by novelist and journalist Masha Hamilton, whose efforts have given Afghan women something to hold on to – their voice.

In supporting their right to think, speak and write, nationality and religion are not important; we are human beings reaching out to one another.

It is hard for us Americans to understand that there are women in other parts of the world who are victimized on a daily basis simply because they are women. It is hard for us to grasp that a young woman not wanting to be married off, has no recourse.  Or that education is denied to women and that often they are treated as no more than possessions.

We are astonished when we read: “When I open my eyes to this world, everyone turns sad. When they learn of my gender, people say; oh my God. When I am small and need my father’s love and kindness, he turns his back on me, giving all his love to his son instead”.  And our hearts ache when another woman writes: “…Suddenly the blast took all my happiness and its grimy smoke brought darkness into my life. When I opened my eyes everything seemed in disarray. I checked my American watch.  I found my hand full of blood”. And our hearts beat with theirs when we read: “I am fifteen and the boy I cannot forget waits on the street to see me with my burqa…he knows my smell, love is blind for him”.

So on March 8th, Jennifer Beals, Summer Bishil, Nadia Bjorlin, Conchata Ferrell, Jodi Long, Nichelle Nichols, Teal Sherer, Bahar Soomekh and Marcia Wallace will read the words of these brave women who risk their lives every time they put a pencil to a paper and we will listen to their voices with compassion, admiration and exhilaration.

In helping produce this event it is my sincere hope that we can continue to find ways to support the rights of women to thrive – at home and abroad - independently of political and socio-economic interests; just human beings reaching out to one another.

The program, “Out of Silence” will be held at the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance on March 8, 2010 – International Women’s Day, and is directed by Frederick Ponzlov.

Share