Sunday, June 8, 2008


Same-sex marriage should not be legal -
Main points AGAINST the moot
Not legalizing same-sex marriage:
  • causes damage to homosexual individuals:
    - it does not assure the respect of fundamental rights, particularly the right to equality, against discrimination
    - it does not grant homosexuals the right to happiness: they can not marry the person they love.
    - it does not respect people's freedom of choice

while same-sex marriage would benefit homesexual individuals:
- would assure stability, as well as legal and financial benefits.

  • causes damage to societies:
    - it encourages discrimination, labelling homosexuals as second class citizens that does not have the same rights of the others.

while same-sex marriage would benefit societies:
- it would encourage stable relationships, that create stable societies
- it would provide the environment for families, that are the basis of societies
- it would promote happiness
- it would reduce the need for society to provide support for citizens, because partners care for each other

  • is not harmful to the institution of marriage:
    - same sex marriage would strenghten this institution, making it available to a higher number of people
    - it just represents an evolution of the institution of marriage, according to the evolution of customs in societies.

These are the points I found to support our thesis.
I prepared a scheme to help me during my speach -the conclusion- including these main points. My summary of course has to be based on the debate, so I will try to add any other theme we will discuss during the debate...

Debate on the same-sex marriage

Hi! Here the first speaker :)
The scheme of my initial harangue will be:

· Quotation to the European Human Rights Report (2003) recomending european states to abolish all forms of discrimination against homosexuals (including the meaning of the word discrimination);

· Some very few dates about conuntries in which same-sex marriage is allowed and other forms of recognition such as civil unions and registered partnerships;

· Right to be happy;

· Changes in society and consequently in our mind;

· The fact that mostly of european states are secular (meaning of the word secular that does not stand for atheism) and that the church should not be intrusive in such matter.

Maybe I’m going to change a little bit the scheme( I’m thinking on the end of it) but our against-reasons are well-known :) and I think we only have to say what goes through our mind.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan

Numbering between 13 million and 15 million, in southeastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. Pashtuns are also known as Pushtuns or Pakhtuns. Until the term Afghan came to mean any native of Afghanistan, Pashtuns were called Afghans. Pashtuns are the majority of the population in Afghanistan and the largest ethnic minority in Pakistan .Pashtuns are organized into more than 50 tribes, each divided into sub tribes, clans, and subclans.
Tajiks comprise between 27-34% of the population of Afghanistan. They predominate three of the largest cities in Afghanistan (Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Ghazni) and the northern and western provinces of Balkh, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan, and Ghor, large parts of Konduz Province, and they predominate in the city of Herat and large parts of Farah Province. In addition, Tajiks live in all other cities and provinces in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the Tajiks do not organize themselves by tribes and refer to themselves by their region, province, city, town, or village they are from; such as Badakhshani, Baghlani, Mazari, Panjsheri, Kabuli, Herati, etc.Physically, most Tajiks resemble the Mediterranean stock. The average Tajik has dark hair and eyes with medium to fair skin. Light hair and eyes are relatively common, particularly in northern regions such as Badakhshan
The Hazaras are a Persianized Eurasian people who reside mainly in the Hazarajat region. The Hazara seem to have Mongolian origins with some admixture from surrounding indigenous groups. Linguistically the Hazara speak a dialect of Persian and sometimes their variant is interspersed with more Mongolian words. It is commonly believed by many Afghans that the Hazara are descendants of Genghis Khan's army, which marched into the area during the 12th century.
Most likely the Uzbeks migrated with a wave of Turkic invaders and intermingled with local Iranian tribes over time to become the ethnic group they are today. By the 1500s the Uzbeks had settled throughout Central Asia and reached Afghanistan following the conquests of Muhammad Shaybani. Most Uzbeks are Sunni Muslim and are closely related to the Turkmen who can also be found in Afghanistan. The Uzbeks of Afghanistan are usually bilingual, fluent in both Persian and Uzbek.
The Turkmen are the smaller Turkic group who can also be found in neighboring Turkmenistan, Iran particularly around Mashad and Pakistan. Largely Sunni Muslim, their origins are very similar to that of the Uzbeks. Unlike, the Uzbeks, however, the Turkmen are traditionally a nomadic people (though they were forced to abandon this way of life in Turkmenistan itself under Soviet rule).
The Bloch ate another Iranian ethnic group that numbers around 200,000 in Afghanistan. They are most likely an offshoot of the Kurds and reached Afghanistan sometime between 1000 and 1300 BCE. Mainly pastoral and desert dwellers, the Baloch are also Sunni Muslim.
The Nuristani are an Indo-Iranian people, representing a fourth independent branch of the Aryan peoples (Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Nuristani, and Dardic), who live in isolated regions of northeastern Afghanistan as well as across the border in the district of Chitral in Pakistan. They speak a variety of Nuristani languages. Better known historically as the Kafirs of what was once known as Kafiristan (land of pagans), they were forcibly converted to Islam during the rule of Amir Abdur Rahman and their country was renamed "Nuristan", meaning "Land of Light" (as in the light of Islam). Many Nuristanis believe that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great's ancient Greeks, but there is a lack of genetic evidence for this and they are more than likely an isolated pocket of early Aryan invaders.They are largely Sunni Muslims.

Conflicts between the Hazaras and the Pashtun Kuchis

In recent Afghan news, villagers have been forced out of their villiages by "gunmen said to be allied with the talibans." In the province of Wardak, Behsood there are dozens of deserted villages due to the Kuchis-Pashtuns wanting to claim the Shi´a Muslim Hazaras´ land as their own. In this article, the Hazaras are convinced that the attacks are because of the revenge the Taliban seek for the Hazaras. However, representatives of the Kuchi Noman say that the attacks have nothing to do with Taliban sympathies, and claim that it is "entirely to do with long-standing competition between Hazaras and Kuchis. Around a dozen Hazaras have been reported killed or injured in fighting and hundreds of livestock stolen in Kuchi raids. Another eight Hazaras were reported missing yesterday(08/07/2007)". Another problem is that the Hazaras have already informed their government, after not sending any troops to Wardak even one month after the attacks began, but until now they have had no success. Obaidullah Sabawoon stated, "There is a lot of fear in Wardak but the fighting has not been heavy, there have been reports by the Hazaras of schools being burned and the Taliban flag being raised but we have not found evidence of this." Also, Haji Naim Kuchi, a representative of the Kuchi Nomads in Kabul affirms that "The Hazaras are using these lies about the Taliban to try to get the international community on their side. These areas are Kuchi lands and we have the documents to prove it." He also claimed that it was the Hazaras that were brutally attacking the Kuchis causing the death of a young man.

Unfortunately, the ethnic fight between Hazaras and Kuchi (who in the most part are Pashtuns) is no where near an end. Not only is there a international war going on but also a civil war between two groups of people who live in the same country. And possibly the gravest of all problems is that people are being killed and the government is not assisting those in need because of the lack of evidence.

Presentation- Pashtuns in Afghanistan

Pashtuns are an ethno-linguistic group that consists of several populations that mainly live in the area of southeastern Afghanistan, northwestern Pakistan and eastern Iran. There are also important Pashtun communities in India, composed of Afghan refugees, and in Europe and North America, as well. The main metropolitan centers of Pashtun culture are Peshawar and Kandahar. It is estimated that Pashtun in Afghanistan represent 42% of the national population, with 13 million people, and about 15%of Pakistan population.


Pashtun group is the largest and most politically powerful ethnic group in Afghanistan. The origins of the Pashtuns are eastern Iranian. It is believed that they moved to the area around Kandahar, where they were in close contact with other Iranian tribes such as Persians, and with Indian, Zoroastrians, Shamanists, and later Buddhists communities, until the invasion of Muslim Arabs who brought Islam, in the seventh century.
'Pashtun' has always been considered a synonym of 'Afghan', until the rise of the modern Afghanistan and the arrival of the British, who divided the Pashtun territory. Pushtuns have provided the central leadership for Afghanistan since the eighteenth century. They played an important role in defending the independence of the country in the nineteenth century, during the so-called Great Game between British Empire and Russia- the rivalry for the supremacy in Central Asia. The second largest Pushtun tribe, the Ghilzai, dominated the leadership of the secular Democratic Republic of Afghanistan after 1978. Pashtuns gained world-wide attention with the rise and fall of the Taliban regime, because they were the main ethnic group in the movement. In fact, Taliban movement was a Pashtun nationalist movement that established a scrict interpretation of Sharia Law and Pashtun tribal code.


Pashtun society is composed of tribes and clans which were rarely politically united. The most important tribal groups are seven: the Durrani, Ghilzai, Jaji, Mangal, Safi, Mamund, and Mohmand. There are an estimated 60 major Pashtun tribes and more than 400 clans. The Pashtuns still identify themselves with various clans, but the worldwide trend of urbanization has begun to alter their society. The tribal system has several levels of organization: the tribe, is divided into kinship groups called, each consisting of extended families. An important Pashtun institution is the Jirga or 'Senate' of elected elder men, that make decisions in many aspects of tribal life.


Pashtuns speak Pashto, an Indo-European language, which belongs to the Iranian sub group of the Indo-Iranian branch. Pashto is written in the Perso-Arabic script and is divided into two main dialects, the northern ‘Pukhtu’ and the southern ‘Pashto’.


Pashtun society is not homogenous by religion: they are Muslim, but most Pashtuns are Sunni Muslims, while some follow Shia Islam or other sects.

Cultural aspects

Pashtun culture is based on Pushtunwali, a code of behavior that determines social order and responsibilities. It regulates all aspect of Pashtun life, including tribal affairs and individual behavior. It establishes a set of rules that focus on some fundamental values, such as honor, solidarity, hospitality, mutual support, shame and revenge. The central element is honor, and every Pashtun has to defend it. According to this code, men has to protect women and land. Pashtuns usually practice a form of hypergamy which for a man consists in marrying a person within his ethnic group or below it. Women marry only other Pashtuns who belong to their group or to groups that have a higher status in the society.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Presentation - Hazaras

"The Hazara's Mongolian features stand out among the many people groups of Afghanistan. The term “Hazara” is believed to have come from the Persian word “Hazar,” meaning one thousand. Some say after the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan conquered this region, he left part of his army here to protect his new holdings. The “Thousand” refer to the those warriors who were left behind."

Presentation - Hazaras, Afghanistan's Outsiders

"Born to Hazara parents who escaped to Iran, 12-year-old Fiza and her family have returned to Afghanistan “to be in our own country,” says Amin, her father."