Tetsu Nakamura had been granted honorary Afghan citizenship for decades of humanitarian work in the country.

Dr. Tetsu Nakamura was truly believed to have devoted over 10 years of his life and profession to serving a poor and drought impacted region in eastern Afghanistan.  Being said that not only has he continued providing healthcare services, but he has also thrived in employing Japanese know-how and expertise to launch tens of water canal and irrigation projects to irrigate the drylands to bring life and hope back to the villages where people have been badly stricken by drought and been miserably suffering from prevalent fatal diseases. He was Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese physician, who was barbarously gunned down along with his 5 Afghan colleagues in a roadside shooting in Nangarhar, Afghanistan. 

His death surprisingly came out to be dreadfully shocking news across the country and it even brought them to tears and regrets of his loss. It literally seemed like a long-lived public figure or a beloved benevolent leader was assassinated after all years of providing protection and food for his followers. People from all over the country strongly condemned the vicious action and a wide array of civil activists from different backgrounds appeared to react to the incident and held candle lights vigil in his memory.  Likewise, social media users repeatedly circulated his pictures to present the deepest sorrow and grieving for his loss. That was not all, he was also paid special tribute by senior officials and his death was honorably treated as a huge loss to the public life. As a sign of gratitude, the government announced to shell out memorial tributes by either erecting monument or naming a public place after him in honor of his humanitarian aid.

With all this said above, it could be a matter of debate to figure out how this all values congregated to characterize a noncitizen or a non-believer man as a role model in a strictly religious country. Particularly in a territory where its nation has long been famous for driving foreigners away from their country for many reasons such as, covert espionage, malicious intervention or intrinsic religiosity of the people. The way how Dr. Nakamura integrated into the society and hunted down hearts of thousands of Muslims could be of a great significance when it comes to analyze the cultural and religious distinction in the region where he served. How a noncitizen Buddhism believer can leave thousands of mourning Muslims behind?  what made him such a great man? Was he simply a Buddhist priest who was missioned to help a Buddhist community? Was he a Christian who came to add some values to Christian community? Or likewise, was he a dedicated Muslim to serve only a Muslim community? Here we would explore some answers to the questions.  

In light of this incident,  things turned out to show up differently that can, to some degree, contradict the persistent belief that religions are barriers to social integration and we must always expect love, passion and assistance from people of the same faith, religion and race, by contrast, religions are the routs leading us to humanity intersection and we most of the time happen to receive the big sacrifices from those who have really understand the correlation between humanity and religion in lieu of being only faithful agents of the religions. Dr. Nakamura left a treasured legacy to the world to prove that humanity under any name and from any origin, unless otherwise impacted by politics and religions, can itself work to bring people together. In particular, his precious legacy could somehow be regarded as lessons learned for those nationals and religious people who have long been victims of a dominant misconception that all infidels and non-citizens are seeking hostility and espionage behind every humanitarian activity. On the other hand, that will also work for those non-citizens and infidels who by any chance encountered disrespect under religious and cultural hatred and they still anticipate the same deeds. As a matter of fact, people of all ethnic and religious background and even nothing much in common but all manner of ties-in with humanity can cherish each other as their own as well as consider humanity as a common value of human beings, irrespective of race and religion of course.

Dr. Nakamura appeared to be more of a true human than an ordinary Buddhist, a Christian or a Muslim while serving the people in need and nothing could happen but with his constant act of random kindness, unconditional loyalty and non-negotiable integrity. The first sign of greatness in him was his continued respect and unbiased understanding of indigenous local custom and culture, meaning, he adopted a homogenous way of living with local people rather than being either a privileged passive bystander or a special false figure.  With a consistent love and passion to his job and people, he always kept looking at things through the lenses of humanity as well as treating people with due respect and humility.

To wrap up, what Dr. Nakamura did was to demonstrate that humanity can itself cater for people and religions cannot be hurdles if the purposes are truly intended to reach out the human being needs. He would believe that religions are the routs leading us to humanity and we, by no means, are supposed to sacrifice humanity for the convenience of faith, race and politics. In short, we believe that he lived his life the way every single religion wanted, like the way accentuated in a translated poem from Saadi Shirazi to whom the humanity owes!

Human beings are members of a whole –

In creation of one essence and soul –

If one member is afflicted with pain –

Other members uneasy will remain –

If you’ve no sympathy for human pain –

The name of human you cannot retain –

Persian Poet Saadi Sherazi

DISCLAIMER – The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Khaama Press News Agency. We welcome opinions and submissions to Khaama Press Opinions/Exclusives – Please email them to info@khaama.com.


  • Sadeq Pasdar

    Born in 1983 in Maimana, Afghanistan, where he grew up and finished elementary and high school. He graduated from the University of Balkh then started working with private sector as civil engineer, project manager and managing director for approximately 10 years. During his tenure as a technical advisor with Ministry of Public works(Now Transport), he received a merit scholarship (PEACE) of Japan after going through a series of courses and exams. He earned his M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering in 2014 from Ritsumeikan University, Japan. Since then, he has worked as Senior adviser, technical deputy director and program director with ministry of Urban Development and Land and ministry of Transport. Currently he is working as a project manager with a U.S based company in the united states.