Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WASEEM MAHMOOD: Finalist for One World's People of 2008 - Last Day to Vote for the Person of 2008


Mahmood in a promo picture for his book "Good Morning Afghanistan," about the radio station he helped launch after the U.S. invasion in 2002

To VOTE go Here All the folk here are likely to INSPIRE and CHALLENGE each reader here to find a way to do more for human rights and peace...

All are stellar choices - yet somehow this man has captured both my heart and my sensitivity to the need for peacemakers much more visible in all three of the Monotheistic Faiths particularly and well beyond! (And thereby counter-acting some of the myths about ALL Christians, ALL Muslims, ALL Jew are...this or that)People of 2008 Finalist: Waseem Mahmood Here's an excerpt from the short bio below:

the phrase "yeh hum naheen," meaning "this is not us," is being repeated all over Pakistan. In October 2007, Mahmood founded the Yeh Hum Naheen Foundation with the aim of changing the negative image of Islam. He captured the attention of some of Pakistan's biggest young stars, and their version of the song quickly rose to the top of the charts in the country. From there the song -- and its message -- have spread like wildfire across the nation of 172 million, 95 percent of whom are Muslim.

December 8, 2008
Brittany Schell and Jeffrey Allen, OneWorld US/Nominated by: Bill Gunyon, OneWorld UK

WASHINGTON, Nov 24 (OneWorld.net) - With the signatures of over 62 million Pakistanis committed to the Yeh Hum Naheen Foundation's anti-terrorism campaign, founder Waseem Mahmood has become a leader in a movement promoting Islam as a peaceful, tolerant faith.

Waseem Mahmood / © Waseem Mahmood / tGood Morning Afghanistan - started with a simple observation by his children -- that the radical depiction of the Muslim faith was inaccurate, and dangerous. One song, 6,000 volunteers, and all those signatures later, he is changing perceptions of the Muslim religion worldwide and helping to build peace in one of the more volatile -- and he says misunderstood -- countries of the world.

Mahmood is a British author and media producer. After his sons raised their concerns about the radicalization of young Muslims in England, he used his professional skills to help put together a catchy tune with some powerful words: "Hamein jis naam say tum jantay ho...woh hum naheen. Humein jis aankh say tum dehktay ho...woh hum naheen. Yeh hum naheen, yeh hum naheen, yeh hum naheen."

In English: "The name by which you know us -- we are not that. The eyes with which you look at us -- we are not that. This is not us, this is not us, this is not us." Another part of the song says: "The stories that are being spread in our name are lies -- this is not us."

Now, the phrase "yeh hum naheen," meaning "this is not us," is being repeated all over Pakistan. In October 2007, Mahmood founded the Yeh Hum Naheen Foundation with the aim of changing the negative image of Islam. He captured the attention of some of Pakistan's biggest young stars, and their version of the song quickly rose to the top of the charts in the country. From there the song -- and its message -- have spread like wildfire across the nation of 172 million, 95 percent of whom are Muslim.

Four thousand miles from his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, Mahmood decided to launch a petition drive in Pakistan, asking people to sign a "Yeh Hum Naheen" statement condemning terrorism. A four-week petition drive and media blitz earlier this year drummed up over 62 million signatures via the foundation's Web site, text messages, and volunteers scouring the cities and countryside with clipboards and pens.

Even Mahmood has been surprised by the overwhelming response of Pakistanis agreeing that "this is not us!"

"I knew we would get a few million people here, but 50 million -- it's almost as if we've given them something they were waiting for," said Mahmood in a recent BBC report.

Mahmood's father, Sultan Mahmood, wrote regularly about tolerance and peaceful co-existence. His son sees the Yeh Hum Naheen movement as a way of carrying on that legacy.

Go here to find this bio, a VIDEO of the SONG inspiring this movement and more...
Here

Also go to bottom of this post for a description of the book by Waseem Mahmood***

Editor's Note

Proceed with caution. Our finalist list has been expanded this year from 8 to 10. Try not to be overwhelmed by the extra dose of inspiration. You might find...
Continue reading

CAST YOUR VOTE HERE: Vote for OneWorld's Person of 2008
To VOTE go Here

FINALISTS:

Martin Fisher
José María Prazeres Pós-de-Mina
Ashwin Naik
Aid Workers Killed in the Line of Duty
1 Million Signatures Campaign for Women's Rights in Iran
The Women of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Waseem Mahmood
Patricia Smith Melton
Francisco Soberón
Pamela Adoyo

See also People of 2007 Including: Molly Melching, Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, Rajendra Pachauri...

People of 2006 including: CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Rashad Zidan, Al Gore, Anna Politkovskaya, Al Santoli...

SEMIFINALISTS for 2008

Peace Brigades International, human rights protectors, Colombia

Mandawuy Yunupingu, Aboriginal musician, educator, and activist, Australia

Winter Soldiers of Iraq and Afghanistan, United States

Antonio Arrendel, Sport in Society, community development worker, United States

Losang Rabgey and Tashi Rabgey, Machik, community development, Tibet

The People of Zimbabwe

Troy Davis, death row inmate, United States

Han Lin, International Campaign for Freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma; and Jeffrey Hellman, Honoring Home; democracy activists, Burma

Women of Zimbabwe Arise, human rights activists

Paul Farmer, Partners in Health, doctor, Haiti/USA

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Virginia Stacey, labor rights activist, United States

Emmanuel Tasur, educational entrepreneur, Kenya

Soverign Medical Order of the Knights Hospitaller, natural medicine charity, Caribbean

Patty Hall, H20 For life, United States

Monica Alonso, Pan American Health Organization, United States/Spain

Olena Prykhodko, democracy advocate, Ukraine

Janny Beekman, Stichting Nahid, Afghanistan development organization, The Netherlands

Adenike Olufunmilayo Esiet, Action Health Incorporated, Nigeria

Carlo Tortora-Brayda di Belvedere, Alchemy World, social entrepreneurship schools, Ethiopia

Deelip Mhaske, Foundation for Human Horizon, land rights activist, India

Richard Frechette, Notre Petit Freres and Soeurs, caregiver, Haiti

William McDonough, sustainable designer, United States

Ardoch Youth Foundation, education support organization, Australia

Jayne Lytel, Act Early Against Autism founder, United States

Andrew Kutt, Oneness Family School founder, United States

Muhammad Shahid Amin Khan, peace builder, Pakistan

Aby Raju and the Indian People's Workers Congress, labor rights activists, India/USA

Miriam Makeba, singer and human rights activist, South Africa

Asha Hagi, peace builder and women's rights activist, Somalia

Deminers, Lebanon

Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO of company specializing in emergency response and disease control

Terri L. Bartlett, women's health and rights activist, United States

Justine Masika, rape victims support and advocate, Democratic Republic of Congo

To VOTE go Here And visit the various concerns and positive updates often on oneworld dot net
***********************************************
"Good Morning Afghanistan," is a book by WASEEM MAHMOOD about the radio station he helped launch after the U.S. invasion in 2002. - Published by: Eye Books

"A dodgy goat kebab in Nepal saved Wassim Mahmoud's life. On September 11, 2001, he was still recuperating at his home in Stratford-on-Avon when he turned on the TV set and like the rest of the world watched in horror as first one then two planes flew into the World Trade Centre in New York. Only then did he realise that he had been booked on American Airlines flight 77, which minutes after crashed into the Pentagon building in Washington DC. Watching the same epoch-defining pictures was Abi Brooke, precociously-talented rising star at San Francisco's KTVU television station in San Francisco. She and the rest of the world's media went into overdrive in an attempt to communicate the sheer immensity of what was the flash-point for George Bush's infamous "War on Terror". Only later did she listen to the messages left her by her Iranian boyfriend. He was desperately trying to contact his younger brother, who had just started work as a waiter in the Restaurant at the Top of the World in the Twin Towers. Half way around the world Manocher Izzatyaar and his friend Jamshed sat huddled in a dark room in a run-down part of Kabul in Afghanistan. By watching the same unfolding drama on an improvised, home-made TV set, they were breaking one of the cardinal laws of the ruthless Taliban regime and risking almost certain death. Across the border in Pakistan Farida Karim, Afghan fugitive and exile, took out again an innocuous-looking floppy disc and a half-started letter to George Bush beseeching the world's most powerful country to intervene and save Afghanistan from the ravishes of the cruel and despotic clutches of the Taliban. The events of 9/11 changed all their lives and brought them together to set up and operate Good Morning Afghanistan, the country's first free radio station. This is the account of their unique story and what was achieved in the chaos that followed the overthrow of the Taliban. Gun-toting US marines, roaming gangs of Afghan fighters and a total lack of electricity and equipment are just the most immediate hurdles facing the intrepid team. Good Morning Afghan is a fast-paced mix of humour, bathos and heartbreak that breathes life into the dry news bulletins that accompanied the fall of the Taliban regime. The reader is assaulted with the sights, sounds and above all the smells of downtown Kabul in the months that followed the US invasion. It is also a chillingly authentic call to arms against the Taliban and their extremist suppression of the Afghan people. Five years on with British troops battling a resurgent Taliban in the southern provinces of the country, it is a powerful reminder of why the West is still engaged in this barren but beautiful North-West frontier." - Andy Home - author "Siberian Dreams".

2 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

How about telling just one friend about this stellar man for peace & his book?

Anonymous said...

Connie Thank you so much for your kind words. You flatter me for something which I take as my moral responsibility to do something about. Only by working together can we eradicate these misconceptions about the "other". 62.8 million Pakistanis have proved that they deplore terrorism and terrorists as much as anybody else and want to rid their own country of this minority who are nothing more than criminals.

Waseem Mahmood

waseemmahmood@btinternet.com