Youth Academic Seminar for Enlightenment – Central Zone

The Youth Academic Seminar for Enlightenment was organized by the Afghanistan Economic & Legal Studies Organization (AELSO) in cooperation with the Youth Affairs Deputy Minister of Ministry of Information and Culture, The White Assembly, and other leading national and international organizations on the values of Democracy, Pluralism, Moderation, and liberty in the light of Islam with participation of elite students and youth from five provinces of central zone (Kabul, Parwan, Panjshir, Kapisa, & Maidan Wardak) in Kabul for two consecutive days.

In this seminar; a large number of youth, students, University lecturers, religious scholars, civil and human rights activists, social and cultural activists have come together and discussed on the main topics of the program, the needs and challenges of human rights values, democracy, pluralism, moderation, liberty, and the factors and strategies to stand and fight against increasing trends of extremism among the people and youth around the country.

Mr. Mohammad Khalid Ramizy, CEO of the Afghanistan Economic & Legal Studies Organization

At the beginning of the program, Mr. Mohammad Khalid Ramizy, CEO of the Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization, as a first speaker of the seminar, spoke about activities and achievements of AELSO, its vision for a prosperous Afghanistan and organization’s main objectives for organizing this seminar to the respected participants.

He highlighted the role of youth in promoting human values in Afghan society and acknowledged that in recent years the Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization has focused on three major goals (educating, empowering, & connecting the youth) in all Afghanistan. It has taken action and organized different academic programs and sessions in a large-scale to educate, empower, and connect all youth across the country.

In his view, instruction of enlightenment values among the youth is one of the most effective ways to create a mature society in Afghanistan, which we have earned great achievements in this regard and through this way we have been able to bring a countless groups of youth together in an atmosphere of peace and empathy to empower and connect them for a better Afghanistan.

Dr. Idris Alokozai, Youth Affairs Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture

Following him, Dr. Idris Alokozai, Youth Affairs Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture, spoke about the role of youth in promoting the values of peace, tolerance, democracy, fight against extremism, and the government’s plans in this regard and added: “Extremism is growing rapidly and indiscriminately in Afghanistan and unfortunately the youth are the first goal of this destructive flood.”

He emphasized the reform and popularization of the education system, providing job opportunities for youth, and the formation of a purposeful and moderate movement across Afghanistan as effective strategies to combat extremism and acknowledged that this is the way that lead youth to national discourses and promote the values of peace, tolerance, and the fight against extremism in Afghan society.

Dr. Faramarz Tamanna, a professor of university and former presidential candidate of Afghanistan

Then, Dr. Faramarz Tamanna, a professor of university and former presidential candidate of Afghanistan, spoke about the enlightenment and role of intellectuals in the current situation and added: “The basic criterion of intellectuals among the masses is common sense and wisdom and this was the intellectuals that has guided the society toward knowledge and prosperity and informed the people from their essential human rights throughout the history. “

In his view, an intellectual is one who has evolved internally by entering to the realms of knowledge and wisdom and has reached to great traits such as rationality, tolerance, respect, morality, humanity, peace and love and trying to transmit all these features to human societies, according to him, an intellectual views all human equally and interacts with them by a heart free from any kind of prejudices and steps toward cosmopolitanism.

Pro. Khalil-ur-Rahman Sarwari, Head of the AELSO Academy and lecturer of Kabul University

In Continuation of the seminar, Mr. Khalil-ur-Rahman Sarwari, Head of the AELSO Academy and lecturer of Kabul University, spoke about the role of academic figures in promoting and educating the values of free society and combating extremism in the society and added: “Injustice is a major factor in growing of extremism in human societies which has no relation with religion, opinion, and geography and in any society where the body of justice is damaged, the main element that is created to disrupt order is extremism.”

In his view, another elements of extremism growing in Afghanistan are misunderstanding, ignorance, and illiteracy, which requires to increase the academic institutions and reform the educational system, the weakness of educational institutions is that they have not been able to fill the gaps that lead to the spread of extremism in the society, especially among youth.

Mrs. Zainab Movahed, a University lecturer and Islamic scholar

Following him, Mrs. Zainab Movahed, a University lecturer and Islamic scholar spoke about democracy, liberty, tolerance, and fight against extremism based on Islam and added: “Every human being who is a Muslim and believe to god does not resort to violence, war, threats, destruction, and rather than go for a peaceful society by promoting love and peace in all the word.”

In her view, Islam believes in religious and belief freedom and introduced it by various divine verses among Muslims. The prophet of Islam has allowed the religious freedom centuries ago by cooperating and interacting with other religions, he offered this freedom to the world within the framework of Islam by cooperating and peaceful dealing with other religions, Therefore, it can be said that one of the greatest goals of Islam, even in the path of war and struggle, is the protection of the places of worship and holy places of other religions and providing tolerance among human beings.

Mr. Sayed Mustafa Saiedy Chairman of AELSO and Voice Chancellor of RANA University

Sayed Mustafa Saiedy Chairman of AELSO and Voice Chancellor of RANA University, spoke about the role of moderation among youth and democracy in national unity and added: “Moderation means to avoidance of extremism which is the essential need of our society, Afghan society is in the lowest level of familiarity with this social concept.”

According to him, war, illiteracy, fanatism, corruption, injustice, and influence of radical ideas and readings have been the reasons that have damaged and isolated moderation in the society, this satiation needs to changes and reforms and continuous efforts of youth, otherwise, if the youth do not participate actively in this way, there will be no hope toward a prosperous Afghanistan in the future.

After the end of first part of the seminar, Mr. Khalid Ramizy, in the part of networking and introducing, create communication and networking among the participants and as a result, all the participants of this seminar introduced with each other and created a large network of youths.

Than he presents four fundamental topics (classical liberalism, advocacy, features of a human rights activist, how to make an organization for promotion of free society values) to the participants and thereby provided the useful and constructive information to the participants. In this part of the program all participants were joined by their questions.

Dr. Sarw Rasa, a University lecturer

In continuation of the seminar, Dr. Sarw Rasa, a University lecturer, spoke about war and peace literature and added:” One of the current needs of Afghanistan is research and processing on issues such as the literature of war and peace which requires to fill the gaps in our society such as low levels of awareness, knowledge, study and absence of writing and research trends, or at least continued efforts to be made for declining and reformation of these gaps.”

She added that one of the ways to change the conditions of war and establish peace in the country is to promote human values, tolerance, democracy, and human rights among the society. The future of our country is dependent to train and educate the youths with these human values.

Dr. Abasin Stanekzai, Head of Toloe Aftab University

Then, Dr. Abasin Stanekzai, Head of Toloe Aftab University, spoke about the compatibility of national laws of Afghanistan with the values of free society and added: “The Constitution of Afghanistan obliges the government to create a society based on human rights, social justice and democracy, which no one could violate the others rights in the society.”

According to him existence of these cases in national laws of Afghanistan are the clear signs of compliance with free society values which invite all people to tolerate and observe the liberty of others in the society.

Mr. Abdul Hai Movahed, the research associate of AELSO

Following him, Mr. Abdul Hai Movahed, the research associate of AELSO, gave a presentation on how to write an essay and explained the important and basic issues of writing an essay, in this part of the program, based on the essay writing competition plan, the participants selected their topics to start writing and they were obliged to write their researched essays and submit them to the organization which the best ones would be published in a research book.

In this seminar there were some another cadre and academic personalities including Najibullah Sulaimankhil, an economics expert and AELSO’s Program Manager, Khushal Asefi, director of Ariana TV, Hanif Farzan, deputy spokesperson of the Ministry of Higher Education, and Ms. Sara Farjam, an intelligent student of Kabul University, by giving their academic speeches added to the richness of this seminar and raised the level of awareness and understanding of the participants.

During group works

The third part of the seminar was a group work. In this part, the participants were divided into three groups to discuss the causes of extremism, its implications, ways to combat it and how to promote the values of human rights, tolerance, and compatibility of democracy with Islam in Afghanistan. Then the representatives of each groups shared the result of their discussion to all participants which will be included in the research book of the organization.

Mr. Mohammad Kamal, one of the participants in this academic seminar, said: “Creating common discourses and participation of all ethnic groups in these discourses, prioritizing national interests instead of personal interests, preventing extremist activities are some of the ways that can be saved our society from extremism trends.”

Ms. Bahija Aman, one of the participants of this seminar

Ms. Bahija Aman, another participant of this seminar, said: “Democracy is the creation of governments by the people. Under this definition, Islamic values and democracy have innumerable adaptations and operate within a similar framework for the creation of popular governments.”

According to her, Islam gives equal rights and privileges to all its followers and makes everyone responsible for tolerance and compromise in order to maintain human order and values in the societies.”

In this seminar, countless educational programs such as performing informative academic games, introducing and networking, questions and answers during the presentation of the mentors were held and helped to increase of the participant’s information and awareness.

The general conclusion of the Youth Academic Seminar for Enlightenment was made by Mr. Khalid Ramizy, CEO of AELSO, he gave a brief overview of this seminar and provided the necessary explanations to the participants regarding to the main objectives of the program, and by his unique method joined all the participants in this part and recount the items which were trained to the participants in these two consecutive days of the seminar and reminded the next programs to the participants and encouraged them to participate in these academic and educational programs to show their talents and improve the level of their knowledge and awareness.

Also in this seminar, the book “Islamic Foundations of a Free Society”, “Peace, Love, & Liberty” and other valuable books written in the field of Market economy, Democracy and Liberty, have been introduced to the participants as the main references for better understanding of the compatibility of free society values with the teachings of the holy religion of Islam.

This academic seminar ended successfully by awarding certificates of participation to all participants and taking group photo.

The Afghanistan economic and legal studies organization is determined to organize such academic seminars in five zones of Afghanistan by participation of youths from more than 25 provinces of Afghanistan in order to promote the values of democracy, tolerance, pluralism, moderation and liberty in the light of Islamic teachings around the country.

Those interested in promoting peace, human rights, liberty, prosperity, and fight against radicalism, can join the Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization (AELSO) and proudly contribute for creating a democratic & peaceful Afghanistan through our different initiative such as Liberty Club & AELSO Academy.