As many of you already know I have recently returned from a successful mission out in Afghanistan to complete the promise I gave when I released “The 3rd World” album. In 2008 I launched The Green Light Project where I promised I would lend my undying and relentless support to a particular human rights organization. I am a man of my word, and on this occasion the people who captured my imagination and inspired this chapter of my struggle in life was Omeid International www.Omeid.org
The job was not easy, the planning ahead of time was meticulous and the objective was not completed without hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Without going into too much detail, I wanted to comment quickly on what a Revolutionary experience it was for me. Some would look at the simple action of building an orphanage, school and the beginnings of a medical center and consider what is so new, innovative and radical about that.
Well for starters this wasn’t done with any corporate funding, everything down to the plane tickets and other travel expenses came from me personally not any donations. The funds we raised through the shows and the people's donations (including my own) were all reserved for the acquiring of the property, food, clothes appliances, beds for the children, medical supplies, and the infrastructure of the school. This was done with your help, those of you who took part in the support of “The 3rd World” and came to the benefit shows. Secondly I didn’t throw money at a problem, I traveled to Afghanistan myself along with members of Omeid to help build this. We found an empty cold shell of a building, and furnished it into a home for those that “freedom” had forsaken. I could go on but I will save some for the in depth breakdown.
Our hard work combined with your belief and support of the cause, has given it life. My loyal soldiers, we have been successful in a part of the world where many people do not survive or come back alive from. And I was not accompanied around the country by US troops, armed guards or mercenaries although I did come across a few here and there. I was welcomed as a brother by the people of the country. You know, there are always cynics who cannot see anything but their own inability to succeed in anything besides a ‘cleverly written’ denigration of anyone else’s hard work while being unable to produce any example of their own. But if you forget your own ego for a minute, this is the proof that ordinary people like us, who work through problems and fight through set backs can succeed. And not only that, we can succeed anywhere. I say again, WE can succeed.
You see this triumph could not have been possible without the people of Afghanistan and the organization that helped me by pulling the strings to obtain my visa and being so committed to rebuilding their nation. I did not come into this to do anything except offer my assistance in whatever way I could. And I found in Omeid International to be a group of innovative Revolutionary sisters and a couple of serious brothers who were dedicated, resourceful and unafraid to risk their lives for this cause. I had to postpone a show before I left to ensure that I would make my journey on time, and I didn't tell anyone but my closest friends when exactly I would leave. And as I return here, those memories of mine will be with me forever, to be so well treated, humbly guided, inspired, and educated to the struggle of Afghanistan.
All over the country the evidence of Martyrdom and War remains and yet I saw a Revolutionary spirit there and perseverance in the eyes of the people and the unconquerable defense that had taken refuge in the spirit when the physical world became an inferno of betrayal, invasion and subsequent occupation time and time again.
While in Kabul I read an inscription on the tomb of a Mujahideen Leader, Abdul Haq. It read, “War is easy. You just shoot the enemy. Politics is difficult you have convince people to do the right thing.”
He was right. Building this small testament to humanity brought me insight into the depth of what it means to Rebel. The war is not won by just the warrior, but rather also very much depends on what the people (mostly women and children) can stomach to suffer gruesomely through. The country I came to wore that scar on its face like a badge of honor, the fight has never left, and the fight will never leave this place. If the world ends anytime soon, these people might just survive it, because they were built to.
As a young revolutionary I observed, I worked hard and I took notes. I learned another dimension to Revolutionary struggle, another chamber, and another discipline. I also brought along an old friend of mine C.Stuart who is working with me to make a movie about my life’s work.
In the meantime I will return to my work on “The Middle Passage” working with Southpaw on some more tracks, and dropping a few guest spots. I also have a benefit show coming up on April 14th at BB Kings in NYC in conjunction with Rock to Save Darfur, and a short tour including an appearance at the Gathering of Nations with some of my Native American brothers and sisters on April 24th in New Mexico.
There is no end to this in sight. It is only the beginning. I am in the process of writing an article for The Source magazine and about my experiences in detail there. I hope that this small break down can hold you off until I finish it. I have so many people to mention and several places to speak on. I thank you for listening and for being g part of a movement that actually has accomplished what it promised and set out to do. Like I said, it is only the beginning.