Monday, July 23, 2007

Flood 2007: Help the victims, volunteer!

I just received this email from

Dear All:

Thank you for your support and commitment to the cause. Karachi Relief is continuing its effort to provide relief goods to the flood victims in Jhal and Shahdad Kot and we need volunteers to help us pack these goods.

The Indus Valley School was gracious enough to provide us its premises to store and pack these goods, for which we are truly grateful to them. Since they begin classes this week, we have relocated to a new venue. A map of the new location is attached with this email.

This week, we plan to pack goods from Tuesday, July 24 to Thursday, July 26 at the new location, from 6pm onwards. We hope to see you all there with the same enthusiasm and spirit as we've in the past two weeks.

If you have any questions or problems reaching the venue you may contact the following:

  • Fateeha Beg – 0300 820 2679

  • Salman Aftab – 0345 327 4777

Please forward this message to your friends and family who are willing to help us.

Thank You

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Flood 2007: The disappearing act of Patriotism

Pakistan witnessed a turning point in its history in the summer of 2007. The two major coinciding events of the year were the rain which caused a flood in areas of Baluchistan and Sindh, and the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) issue.

In Karachi, this heavy rainfall during the month of June triggered severe traffic jams, flooded roads and caused prolonged electricity failures. But that was not enough! more misery was added when gushy winds caused billboards, trees and walls of houses to collapse causing more difficulties for its citizens. Although many routines were disrupted, there were a large number of the citizens who were witnessed throughly enjoying themselves on the beach (even though it had been declared a danger zone by the authorities due to an expected cyclone), dancing on the roads or out on a long drive.

A cyclone warning had been issued and the cyclone which was expected to touch the coastal area of Sindh caused no major harm in Karachi, BUT it does not end here! The rainfall and the tropical storms affected many locations around Jhal Magsi in Baluchistan and Shahdadkot in Sindh which were flooded.

An estimated 800,000 people are said to be affected, out of which 100,000 families were left homeless. And sadly it still does not end here, livelihood of the locals depended on farming and cattle rearing, an estimated 150,000 acres of cropland was also lost.

What could be worse than losing one's loved ones, home, means of income and then being made to live under the open sky without food and shelter?

It is just sad how even though most of us knew about the flood and how it adversely affected our fellow Pakistani's, we turned a deaf ear to the situation and were instead busy concentrating on the issue of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), we completely neglected an equally (rather more) important issue being faced by the country. Not only did we neglect the flood victims, we also neglected our responsibility of lending a helping hand to serve humanity!

It is even more sad how the media that processes the power to manipulate a major part of the society was busy concentrating and hyping the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) issue. After all, this is the same media which at the time of the earthquake played a key role in uniting the nation, pumping adrenaline into the youth and helping millions affected by the earthquake. But this time the media did not play its role wisely, it opted to give much attention to the 'Hot Issue', rather than emphasizing equally on both the important issues. The nation of tremendous unity disappointed this time. Our response was bad, terrible!

As a result our Pakistani brothers and sisters were dying of hunger and cold, waiting helplessly for relief and aid. Why was our response so bad this time? Is it because we are dependent on the media to such an extend that we require issues to be publicized to get our minds started and enable us to act? Where did all the patriotism disappear this time? Or have we become too engrossed in our own life? Have we changed this dramatically in just a matter of 2 to 3 years? Is our condition this deplorable? These are some of the questions which linger in my mind!
(Picture: , Karachi Relief )

To conclude, Leaving aside the boundaries of caste, creed and religion it is our job as humans to help the flood victims on the basis of humanity.

Below are two ways to help the flood victims:
1) Karachi Relief ( the website, they require funding and volunteers.
2) Contact me, if you are interested in providing direct relief in Baluchistan, i have a friend whose village is in dire need of help and aid.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is life full of problems beyond our control?

This entry was originally a reply to a comment on one of my notes on Facebook. The note is also published on this blog under the title: Too much to handle?

I personally disagree with the topic. Everyone is faced with their due share of problems, it all just depends on how one deals with them. I'm sure all of us have our share of problems and i am also certain that at times we also tend to think we can't handle them? There might be a few which seem beyond our control but most of them we are able to handle with the passage of time. Problem solving is severely a time utilizing process and the result is completely dependent on one's approach. The general trend is to fret and complain instead of searching for the solution or facing the problem head on. One has to learn to look outside the box, appreciate the small things, and when i say appreciate the small things i surely do not mean by verbal approval or prolonged appreciation, a smile that a funny joke brings to the face or a feeling of freshness that a nice scenic location brings to the soul is all that is required for one to rejuvenate and brighten up. The mind subconsciously does react positively to all goods in life.

I'm sure u agree with me when i say "All good things are difficult to obtain ", apply the same here, the good thing here is not something material rather it is the solution to the problem, solution to the problem = peace of mind. Being a staunch believer that one is not tested more than one can withstand reinforces my belief that no one is capable of reaching the breakdown point after which a nervous breakdown occurs if one stands committed and strong.

Consider the simplest of problems or the most confusing ones, all of them have two approaches, the pessimistic approach and the optimistic approach. Following the pessimistic approach strictly is when all the trouble begins. After all, we all are human and cannot be expected to be optimistic all the time but one has to realize that pessimism breads pessimism and pessimism never gives a fruitful result.

The irony is that optimism can also be judged in two ways, optimistically and pessimistically, the pessimistic approach would be to consider a optimistic person a partial hypocrite, a person who is afraid to face the bitter truth, a coward from inside and/or a person who is not ready to accept any wrong or bad. But one has to realize this approach of deception when considered optimistically leads to solutions and peace of mind. How ironic this may sound the truth is that in order to accept reality optimistically we are forced to live in an oblivion. We are compelled to look at the glass half full instead of half empty, patiently waiting for the so-called light at the end of the tunnel and think rather than act impulsively.

To conclude, its not that life is full of problems that people can't handle, its us which have tuned ourselves into believing the false and thus the nervous breakdown, unnecessary stress and other related problems. After all, it is easier to say than to follow.

Comments on this entry can be seen on Facebook

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Too much to handle!!?

I was going through my facebook inbox and i came across a message from this one group i;ve joined.. One Ayah a day keeps ignorance away ...

It is a contribution by Maryam Ahmad. messaged to the group members by Ali Alhadithi.

While reading this message i came across this ayah from the Quran which i was aware of but couldn't cite it as i lacked the knowledge of the source..

Surah 23 Al Muminun, ayah 62:
'On no soul do we place a burden greater than it can bear: before us is a record which clearly speaks the truth. They will never be wronged.'

After pondering on this one tends to notice that the reality of this ayah and the part it plays in our everyday life, we tend to get depressed, feel sad but its never more than we can handle. If we start thinking out of the box we realize there is a reason for everything, and anything done with good intention ends up good.

Often when we are experiencing pain or distress we get depressed and start losing hope and the feeling of helplessness starts to settle in.

A quote from the message:

This ayah provides great reassurance in that Allah SWT in His wisdom knows that whoever the person is who is suffering, they can cope, because after all Allah is the one who created us, He knows what we can bear and what will break us. An example of this is the sheer number of people who have suffered in this world from mental and physical torture and abuse to the extent that many of us feel that personally we would not have been able to live if we ourselves experienced the trauma that these people have lived through. Miraculously so many of these people bounce back, despite being heavily affected by their difficult pasts they are able to progress and learn from their experiences.

May Allah give us the strength, patience and knowledge to conduct ourselves in the best possible way when we experience any hardship, and the wisdom to keep turning to Him for His forgiveness and guidance. Ameen.

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