Thursday, August 26, 2010

injaynesworld a "Guest Post From Pakistan..."

As we all know, the blogosphere connects us with people from all over the world like no other medium.  Some we're fortunate enough to meet in person, some we may never meet, but call friend nonetheless.  Ayesha, a young mother living in Pakistan, is just such a friend to me.   She has been a reader of IJW since the beginning.  I would always smile when I saw the red dot in Islamabad show up on my Visitors Map and then worry about her when it would vanish for a while.

The devastating flooding in Pakistan has received little media coverage.   We are too busy, it would seem, focusing on Dr. Laura, the mosque haters and other such distractions.  One-fifth of Pakistan is now under water.   I've invited my friend Ayesha to tell you about it.   Please make her feel welcome.

 “Born and bred in the US and currently surviving Pakistan.”  That was my response whenever asked where I was from – in the US because I was brown and in Pakistan because I spoke English with an “American accent.”  The "currently surviving Pakistan” part has now turned into 15 years – or half of my life (I think I just dated myself in front of the whole internet!).   Fifteen years of learning to live with chaos, power outages, beggars, corruption, bombings…15 years of learning to live with humility as I see people around me with so little live so ‘large’ or see the generosity of the human spirit unfold in front of me as again these same people manage to give so much back to their brethren. This beautiful but full of contradictions land that I now call home – this land with its beautiful mountains (six of the top fourteen peaks are found here), valleys and lakes (highest lake in the world is also here), pristine white beaches – the Pakistan no one gets to see in the media or the world at large. The Pakistan which lives, breathes, goes to work, worries about the economy, their children’s education, the next mortgage payment – much like people all over the world.

That Pakistan now that is drowning. Literally. The superlatives are surpassing in their direness: “the worst disaster I’ve seen” says UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon. With 20 million (yes, that’s 20,000,000) people now being affected,  the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the flood disaster had eclipsed the scale of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti combined. Yes, combined.  As you and I try to wrap our heads around that, more villages are wiped out and more people are being displaced. People have fled with just the clothes on their back.  Their dreams are on hold until the flood water recedes, which is already churning out a spate of water-borne diseases that are bound to spread as fast as the flooding, if not faster. The darkest hour is before dawn they say…and dawn seems very far away right now.

My appeal to you is is to please, please, PLEASE donate however much you can, whatever you can. Whether it’s sending an SMS:    


Or donating to the various charitable institutions working for the victims:    

The Acumen Fund:

Human Development Fund:


United Nation’s World Food Programme: Donations are tax deductible for number of countries:

Please donate. Do it for these people:   

An army officer helps rescue a two month old baby. 

A man marooned by flood waters, alongside his livestock, waves towards an Army helicopter for relief handouts in the Rajanpur district of Pakistan's Punjab province on August 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer)

A girl floats her brother across flood waters whilst salvaging valuables from their flood ravaged home on August 7, 2010 in the village of Bux Seelro near to Sukkur, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

A man wades through flood waters towards a naval boat while evacuating his children in Sukkur, located in Pakistan's Sindh province August 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

Villagers wade through flood waters with their livestock while looking for higher grounds in Sukkur, Pakistan on August 8, 2010. Pakistani navy boats sped across miles of flood waters on Sunday as the military took a lead role in rescuing survivors from a devastating disaster that has killed 1,600 people and left two million homeless. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

Residents stand near the path of flowing flood waters the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province on August 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

A boy waits for food handouts with other flood victims as they take refuge at a makeshift camp in Sukkur, in Pakistan's Sindh province August 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

A Pakistani crosses a canal with the help of cable wire on a damaged bridge, which was washed away by heave flood in Ghazi Gat in central Pakistan on Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Pakistani villagers chase after relief supplies dropped from an army helicopter in a heavy flood-hit area of Mithan Kot, in central Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

Pakistani flood survivors walk in the flooded area of Bssera village, 60 km south west of Multan, on August 10, 2010. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

Flood victims are rescued by boat in Baseera, a village located in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province on August 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Picture Source: Boston Globe

Thank you for taking the time to read this post from my friend, Ayesha.  She is one of the fortunate ones living in the northern part of Pakistan and is safe -- for now.  

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