Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Two Cents

Calling All Pakistanis
In this article, Thomas L. Friedman suggests, Pakistanis should take to the streets to peacefully protest the Mumbai attacks. He points out, the Pakistani government and media have strongly condemned the attacks. But, India needs to be reminded that their Pakistani neighbours are with them in the mourning of at least 173 innocent lives. If Pakistanis don't explicitly show their disdain for the attacks, the relations between their neighbours and them would deteriorate, immensely.

At the same time, India should realize the enemy is not Pakistan per se, but it is these heartless individuals, who think they can achieve whatever distorted goals they have in their minds, by taking innocent lives. The world and Indians need to be reminded that Pakistanis really do care for their Indian brothers and sisters. The world also needs to be reminded that you can only curb terrorism in Pakistan with education.

Terrorism That's Personal
Every time I look at this picture, I get shivers down my spine, and my heart sinks in. But then I realize, I only have to see this picture for what a few seconds. This woman, on the other hand, has to live with this face for the rest of her life, unless someone pays for her surgery. Like many other women from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and India, Naeema Azar was attacked by her former husband, who threw acid in her face. Why, you ask? Ms. Azar used to earn a decent living, but decided to divorce her husband, when he became interested in another woman. After their divorce was finalized, the husband requested to come by the house to bid farewell to their children. Naeema was sleeping, and he attacked her with acid, which not only burned her face, but caused her to lose her eyesight, and her ability to support herself and her three children.

Nicholas Kristof, who is reporting from Pakistan these days, said he had the first draft ready for an article about the Mumbai attacks, but instead decided to write about this grotesque form of terrorism, which we really don't hear about in the news. In November, a group of Afghani men attacked school going girls with acid. In this part of the world, women really don't matter. In Nepal, they are sold like commodities to the brothels in Mumbai, India.

Terrorism is, sadly, not just about people blowing up hotels, and killing foreigners. But it exists silently in the streets of Pakistan, where these nameless women are subjugated and pushed to the curb, when all they have done is dared to speak their minds.

I really hope to travel to these places one day, and do my small bit to help these women, and young children.

Until then...


Maria Sondule said...

This is a very heartfelt post. I really like your writing- it's deep and not superficial like mine.
That's horrible about the acid, and it makes it worse to hear that someone who used to love her did it. I pray that one day things will not be like this, that we can all "hold hands and sing kumbaya", like my teacher says. He also says that's a fools hope. But a hope nonetheless.

Zany said...

Thanks, Maria; you are too kind. And, your writing is not superficial at all. I love your poems :).

I agree with your teacher, can't give up on hope :).