To My Dear Friends – Justice Lovers, Peace Seekers and Truth Tellers:


Happy Holy Days and Happy New Year to all of you.  You are all in my heart. 


Another year has passed into history, and for some it was full of enjoyment while for others it was very difficult and for others it was a mix.  When you try to remember how it went by, it seems like a dream.  We look forward to the coming year but soon it will be over too.  This is the nature of life.  The earth is spinning fast through the sky, bringing night and day in cycles.  Every year, every day, every minute, every second that passes takes a part of us away.  Time is spending us, and it will never bring us back. 


How many more years will we have?  What will they be like?  What do they carry for us?  It is hard to know except that everything will eventually change with time.  The poor will get rich, the sick will get well, the child will grow, the weak will obtain power, and the opposite is true also.  As individuals, each of us will get older and we can expect to get weak or sick.  We will not get our youth back.  Last year we saw many people lose their power.  Some of them died, some declared bankruptcy, some went to jail.  A Kurdish poet once said, “Life will not raise anyone too high, except to put him down harder”.  This is the reality but humans still have a tendency to become proud and arrogant when they get a little power.


The new year should remind us that we are travelers going toward our end and every day we get one step closer to it.  None of us know how long our journey will be but we have to continue walking step by step because if we stop, time will not stop for us.  Now last year is over.  Many people lost what they valued most.  There is no way for them to get it back.  The only way to regain what we lost in our lives is to not waste a minute of what remains.  If we do each day and each hour what we should do - what we need to do - we will take advantage of every minute and we will be successful.  If we don’t, no excuse is going to help us.  The one who loses time is the loser.


God created us for some reason.  He gave us minds to think, hearts to feel, eyes to see, hearing to listen, a tongue to speak, and made us the best of his creations on earth.  We have the duty and responsibility to build this universe.  God sent messengers with a catalogue for how to do it – and he warned us that if we don’t follow the directions we are going to pay for it.  It is our planet that we will be destroying.  To save our planet we not only must act responsibly ourselves, but we must stop others from destroying it.  Most African countries contribute only a small percentage of the world’s pollution, but today, global warming will cost them more than the countries that created the pollution problem in the first place.  A majority of people in the Middle East are not supporting their governments and leaders and reject their policies – but they are the real victims for it.


We need to look at all people as though they were our family.  As the Prophet Mohammad said, people in this life can be compared with travelers on a ship in which some of the travelers took their places in the upper parts, and some on the bottom.  When those on the bottom need water they will say to the people on the top, do you mind if we make a hole down here so we can get some water to drink.  If the people on the top don’t stop them from acting foolishly, the ship will fill up with water and all will drown. Those on top need to draw water and pass it down to the people on the bottom so that all may be refreshed and saved.


We must take responsibility as human beings to feel for those who are suffering, and to work for justice and peace in order to build our universe.


We should feel compassion for anyone who dies from AIDS or HIV in Africa and work to see that medicine is made available in order to build our universe.


We should feel concern for those who lost their houses and are refugees because of war or earthquakes or floods, and we should work to see that relief is provided in order to build our universe.


We should help children who don’t have a chance to study and educate themselves and we should work to improve their future in order to build our universe


All of this is exactly what Moses and Jesus and Mohammad were teaching about.  If we do not care about this, and we do nothing about it, we must ask ourselves, “Who are we”?  Why do we live”?  What does it mean to be a human being”?


We all live on one planet.  Corruption anywhere will affect other parts of the world as well.  Global warming and bird flu are just waiting to wake us up!  Waiting for other people to provide leadership is useless.  Each of us must say, “I will start.  I will set an example.  Let me remind people – let me warn them – so that if they will not do their duty at least I did mine.  I will do it for myself, my children, my country, and my planet.


We all know that it is more fun to give than to receive.  So we must be happy when we work for the benefit of others.  We must be ready to sacrifice our time, be willing to stand for peace and justice, and have the courage to speak out.  I believe that all of you are doing this.  That is why I am really so thankful for all of you.  I am thankful not because you are defending me and supporting my family, but because you are standing for justice and defending your nation’s values.  You are standing for a better future and a peaceful planet.


I am just one person – not better than any of the 600,000 innocent Iraqis like me who have died for no reason.  If they put me in jail or they give me the death penalty, and that makes them proud and happy for destroying my family and making my wife and children to suffer – let them do it.  But still I would ask, Why?  What did I do?  What is my crime?

Where is the justice?  Where are our rights?


Thank you very much for your support

Thank you very much for your time

Thank you very much for your feeling.




From the bottom of my heart I wish every single one of you and all peace seeking, justice loving, and truth supporting people:




I wish you all long healthy and joyful lives




                                                                                                Yassin Aref