Volunteer Spotlight: Nazir Ahmad Yosufi

Each month, we share the stories of World BEYOND War volunteers around the world. Want to volunteer with World BEYOND War? Email greta@worldbeyondwar.org.

Nazir Ahmad Yosufi, World BEYOND War's Afghanistan chapter coordinator, sits on a hillside of dried, yellowed grass with rocky cliffs in the background.


Kabul, Afghanistan

How did you get involved with anti-war activism and World BEYOND War (WBW)?

I was born amidst the invasion of Afghanistan by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on December 25, 1985. I understand the destruction and suffering of war. Since childhood, I have disliked war and do not understand why humans, being the smartest animal, prefer war, invasion, and destruction over peace, love, and harmony. We, humans, have the potential to turn the world into a better place for us and other species. Since school time, I got inspired by enlightened humans such as Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Sa’adi Shirazi, and Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi through their philosophies and poetries. At an early age, I was a mediator in resolving conflicts among family members, friends, and colleagues. I began my anti-war activism after college, focusing on the education and environment sectors which I thought was the only instrument to instill peace in the minds of the young generation.

Further, I had the opportunity to join World BEYOND War (WBW). WBW’s Organizing Director Greta Zarro was very kind to inaugurate the Afghanistan Chapter in 2021. Since then, I have had a better platform to promote peace and conduct many online and offline activities.

What kinds of WBW activities do you work on?

I am working with WBW as the Coordinator of the Afghanistan Chapter since 2021. I, along with my team, conduct activities related to peace, harmony, inclusiveness, co-existence, mutual respect, interfaith communication, and understanding. Additionally, we are working on quality education, health, and environmental awareness.

What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with anti-war activism and WBW?

I request fellow human beings from different corners of this small globe to join hands toward peace. Peace is not as costly as war. Charlie Chaplin once said, “You need power only when you want to do something harmful. Otherwise, love is enough to get everything done.”

Those who care about this home ‘Planet Earth’ should try to work towards peace. Certainly, World BEYOND War is a great platform to join and Say No to War and promote peace and harmony in the world. Anyone from anywhere can join this great platform and contribute or share their thoughts on promoting peace and harmony in a different part of this village.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?

We, humans, have a great capacity for creativity and innovation; the potential to destroy the whole world in the blink of an eye or turn this small village ‘world’ into a place better than the heaven we have ever imagined.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Since school time, this quote has been inspiring me. We can count on our fingers those who contributed to peace in different parts of the globe. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi Ji, Badshah Khan, Martin Luther King, and others through their firm belief in the philosophy of nonviolence, provided the freedom to millions of people in different parts of the world.

Rumi once said, “You are not a drop in the ocean; you are the entire ocean in a drop.” Therefore, I believe that one person has the potential to change or shake the whole world through his/her ideas, philosophy, or inventions. It depends on an individual to change the world for better or worse. Making a small positive change in the lives of other species around us can have a huge impact in the long run. After two destructive world wars, a few intelligent European leaders decided to put their egos aside and advocate for peace. Thereafter, we saw peace, harmony, prosperity, and development in the whole European continent for the last 70 years.

Thus, I am inspired to continue working towards peace, and I hope to see people realize that we only have one inhabitable planet and must work to make it a better place for us and other species living on this planet.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your activism?

As I mentioned earlier, we are smart creatures. There is nothing we cannot do under any circumstance. Certainly, COVID-19 impacted our lives in many ways and halted our activities. I got the COVID-19 virus after my first book launch in March 2021, and by the end of April 2021, I lost 12 kg. During my recovery from April to June 2021, I completed and published my second book, ‘Search the Light within you.’ I dedicated the book to Afghan youth to inspire them and let them know how much potential every one of us has to bring change in our lives and the people around us.

COVID-19 gave us a new perspective and opened a new window to see the world. The pandemic taught us a great lesson that we, humans, are inseparable and should collectively act on the pandemic. As humanity collectively worked to overcome COVID-19, we also have the potential to stop invasion, war, terrorism, and barbarism.

Posted March 16, 2023.

3 Responses

  1. Lovely. Thank you so much for mirroring what is in my heart. All the very best for the future. Kate Taylor. England.

  2. I would like to read your books. I love the title “Search the Light Within You”. I am a Quaker, and we believe that the Light resides in all people. Thank you for your efforts for peace and love. Susan Oehler, USA

  3. Your conviction that humankind can be taught to see that there are other paths than those which lead to war is admirable, heartwarming and gives cause to dare to hope. Thank you.

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