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Afghanistan's Ice Bucket Challengers Ask Presidential Rivals to ‘Be Cool!’

Screenshot from video uploaded onto.

Screenshot from video uploaded on the Be Cool Facebook Group.

A public Facebook group called ‘Be Cool’ posted a video August 30 in which a pair of Afghans completed the phenomenal Ice Bucket Challenge in the name of political peace.

Presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have been at the heart of political deadlock in the country since July 7, when Ghani won a presidential runoff amid allegations of massive voter fraud. With a vote audit under a political cloud the ice dunkers requested both politicians to accept the outcome of the audit — whatever it may be — in the name of stability and ensuring the first democratic transition of power in the republic's history.

The video has been shared over a hundred times.

Another screenshot taken from the video. The script reads “Honorable Afghans, Be Cool!!!” 

The clip on the group's page is prefaced by the following missive written by Wahid Rahimdil:

We are fed up with the current political uncertainty of our country. We ask our leaders to accept the results of the second round while keeping it cool. We give this challenge to all Afghans and encourage them to make the same demand! We hope you like our take on the Ice Bucket Challenge! Wa hamesha Khoonsard bashed! Enjoy!

Wahid Rahimdil's video post attracted supportive responses from other Afghans:

Be cool Wahid Jan. John Kerry does not have to come again. I hope they [Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani] listen to you.

Masood Babak commented:

Great idea Rahimdil saib. Teaching the basics of leadership in a short phrase “khoonsard bashid” [Be cool].

Negative replies were put on ice by supporters of the event. Said Osmani wrote:

اين كارها ديوانه كي است اين چي كار است كه شما انجام ميديد

These acts are nothing, but stupidity.

To which Mir Hasibullah replied:

!!خونسرد باش برادر عزیز

Be cool, my brother!!

Tareq Osmani criticized the initiative, posting:  

Wow, Its THE ALS Ice Bucket challenge. The main purpose is to simulate how you feel when you have ALS. Its not the Cold-Blooded challenge. get it right

Amanullah Nuristani's rebuttal:

Mr. Tareq Osmani, This is not the ALS Bucket challenge. This is a localized version relevant to your own issues. We don't want people to be “cold-blooded” we want them to be cool which is a totally different thing. I salute your support for the ALS foundation but we have far greater issues that need urgent interventions. Khoonsard Bashed! [Be cool!]

Currently the political heat is emanating from Abdullah Abdullah's camp. The former doctor and Northern Alliance resistance fighter almost won the presidential elections in the first round, only to have his lead turned upside down in the second. On June 27 his team released a recording they say proves fraud took place on behalf of Ghani when votes were cast again. Abdullah has now walked out of an ongoing UN audit of the vote, his team alleging the audit “lacks teeth”. It was this new moment of heightened tension in the standoff that triggered the Be Cool challenge

While Karzai has already packed and is ready to leave the Presidential Arg, there is no successor yet to take over his responsibilites. According to John Kubis, the UN special representative to Afghanistan, the winner of the elections will be announced by September 10.

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