Assalam-Alaikum! (May peace be upon you)
The cry of Appeal is in the air. The streets of Karachi, usually bustling with enthusiastic people, ready to shop at the famous Clifton shopping center “Gulf Centre” or 'ZamZama' are empty today. No one is in the mood to shop for Eid clothes or spend their money on “All you can eat” fancy restaurants. The weekly “Sunday Bazzaar”, an open field where the Pathaans sell cheap bags, jewelry, household items and other accessories, was not set up.
My building, usually noisy after Iftaar, is quiet –Not even children have come out to play… Notices, asking for donations, have been put up near the elevators and the building workers-with their relations in Kashmir- have immediately set out to know of their whereabouts.
In school, during the assembly we came to know, that a peon named “Sajjad” had left for Northern Pakistan, for his family was probably trapped under the debris or worse dead. The principal declared for a one-minute silence, after which, our Islamite teacher read some portion of the Holy Quran and we all prayed for the safety of the victims.
On Television, all channels are showing the same, distressing pictures illustrating a grief, a horror that will not easily be forgotten, especiallyby those who were a part of it. I just saw a very distressing and tragic documentary on “GEO” TV. It showed the area of Bagh, which along with Muzaffarabad, took the brunt of the quake. As me mother, sister and I watched the report, we were overwhelmed with grief. Life had been completely crushed under the houses. Policemen, doctors, teachers, shoppers, students had all been wiped of. A few lucky ones, who had survived, dug in the rubble determinedly using their hands as tools. In a school there were still 500 children trapped, dead or alive –Allah knows best!
Books,shoes,bags were lying about here and there... One book with with the human heart drawn on it, drew my attention and I began to wonder as to how many of the dead children would have wanted to become doctors…
The same was the case in Muzzafarabad, Balakot and other parts of Kashmir. Someone cring for a dead brother, someone for a child...It was a tearful sight.
The initial apprehension and shock left by the Quake may probably die in a few months, but the physiological affect may last for years to come. With saddening pictures continuing to pour in, and the death toll rising by the second, the only sight of hope and encouragement is of the disheveled, dirt-covered man waving and smiling weakly as his rescuers pull him out of the debris of the 10-storey apartment building, while his rescuer too, cheers and waves beside him. That, and to know that the Pharmacies near you are now empty of Painkillers and the blood banks are crammed with people eager to give blood.
InshAllah (If Allah wishes) we will be able to overcome this catastrophe and, InshAllah, be ready if another strikes. All I hope, is that people remember this disaster and continue to help the affecties even long after the News channels have stopped showing this news.
----Pray for the safety and donate as much as you can----
Muslims, be less extravagant this Eid and stay united.