October 15, 2005

The Earthquake

I had been to Northern Pakistan a few years ago, and it really is the most beautiful place I have seen in my life. It was not uncommon to see mountains rooted in flowing streams of sparkling, cold spring water that you could drink right from the ground. Looking out any window was like looking at a beautiful painting.

Many of the people I met there were even more beautiful. They were some of the most humble, hospitable gentlemen I have ever met, and they treated us with so much respect and kindness. I imagine most of the areas I visited were heavily affected by the earthquake; I expect that those same people are now mourning and trying to salvage whatever they can of their possessions and food. On my way to that city, I recall driving alongside mountains for several hours on narrow, curvy roads - our driver kept freaking us out by taking the sharp turns at high speeds, with no barrier between the road and the cliff. I imagine that it must be incredibly difficult to bring food and supplies to those areas via those roads; hopefully there are enough helicopters to cover all the remote areas.

Human Concern International has begun their campaign, and so have a number of other organizations. It is Ramadhan, so let us all try to be charitable insha-Allah!

A few relevant links:


  1. Salam Alaikum!

    Thanks for making the effort to link to my post. Jazak-Allah!

    The roads in the N. Areas are indeed terrifying. We visited the Swat Valley in 2000 and the jeep-drivers there do really give you heart-attacks. The raging river below and the narrow roads... *shiver*.

    It's sad that with everyone working to their limit, about 20% villages have still not been visited even once since the disaster.

    But I wouldn't blame anyone! The Pakistanis have all ben working tirelessly around the clock. Even now, I can hear a mobile platform belonging to the TV One network parked across the road, near the shopping area. TV Celebrities are collecting donations... and not the less-famous ones! I can hear the bigger names appealing out there. And the time right now is 1:14 am.

    I could go on and on. Wonderful post!

    Salam alaikum!

  2. Wa'alaykum assalam,

    I went to Dir in 2001, passing through a few cities along the way including Mardan and Chitral. For some reason, our driver tended to speed up at corners, and often there would be oncoming traffic that we could not quite see due to the curviness of the mountain. We would pass these trucks at high speeds, and each time my heart would skip a few beats. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sight, and remains to this day as the most beautiful natural scenery I have come across.

    Relief efforts have picked up in North America, where originally Canada was offering 300,000$ US in aid, while America was planning on giving 100,000$. Both those numbers have dramatically increased, with USA committing to 50,000,000$ and Canada committing to at least 20,000,000$, with the intention of matching the private donations of Canadian citizens for registered charities such as Red Cross.

    I remember a few months ago, I heard one Red Cross volunteer saying that the exceeding generousity of the world community during the Tsunami crisis might hold back future relief efforts, since foreign governments tend to allocate only a certain amount of funds for disaster relief. They worried that the Tsunami crisis would have exhausted the allocated funds, and future disasters would feel the pinch. I worried about that when I heard about the initial 300,000$ Canada had committed to, but it's nice to see that number go up.