I am not going up North

Oh I had planned. A fully self sufficent unit. A rented van, four to five people max including one doctor and one videographer. Our own basic food items, water supply, tea – hell, I even had cigarettes in there. The idea was to go there without being a BURDEN on ANY soul. For me at least, the idea of arriving in a rescue camp and then depending on their supplies to cater for me or the people with me was not an idea at all worth considering. My/our plan was complete sustenance, the way it should be. And ‘then’ gauging the situation as to how maybe we can employ the small construction company to build houses perhaps, arrange for rotation of professionals (doctors) & related supplies.

But we are not going now… not in the coming week at least.

From what I hear, there is an abundance of people there slowly but surely growing, there is no shortage of commodities, Dr. Shahid Masood from ARYONE interviewed a make-shift army hospital in Muzafarabad where there have plenty of medical supplies as not only the donated medicines reached them finally, but the GHQ has given them sufficient supplies as well.

But for how long?

Another cousin of mine was planning to leave. With two trucks. I asked him how is he going to go there. He had no clue. I told him about the glaring logistics problem. He had no answer. He, like the rest of us, wanted to help. Again, the ’emotion commotion’ comes into play. But that is not needed now…

Edhi, the most experienced man in the world in relief efforts, conservatively puts the total death toll over 1,50,000. The int’l media is placing the TOTAL DISPLACED/HOMELESS people at more than FOUR million. People are now talking about making a tent city. The Pakistan govt has removed all import duties from import of tents as local factories can not meet the demand.

We thank the government. We thank the people. Amazing effort. Amazing donations. Unprecedented effort. It was an unprecedented earthquake after all.

I dont plan to go up North. Not with a team. But I ‘have’ to go. My cousin has mashAllah been in Balakot with his own camp for the past three days now. I need to go there and check out the situation. I ‘know’ I will be going as an observer. Maybe I will move some boxes. Maybe I will dig some graves. But FOCUS! My focus inshAllah will be to figure out a long term strategy. How can I, a 24 year old bloke from Lahore, help. I can’t just deposit money, make a sucky website and then be at peace, that YES I have done my part. I fear that I might do just that. I fear that most of us might end up losing that FOCUS.

I wonder how many of us will work for, plan for and arrange for the earthquake relief efforts THREE months from now? Will you? Will the pocket money suddenly become indespensible? Will that paycheck suddenly gain precedence over the millions displaced? Will your oh-so-important time and work keep you from spending a moment in prayer for the victims, spending a moment in help of the victims, spending a day or two over at the devestated North? I keep telling myself that I MUST. Emotions or no emotions, it is our duty to somehow contribute. Somehow make it all sustainable. Somehow please God. No rains please. Pray for courage and proper reliance please. Please. Somehow reach out and keep reaching out. As long as it is needed. Somehow.

God be with us all…

it has to start somewhere
it has to start somehow
what better place than here
what better time than now

5 Comments so far

  1. Gauher (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 12:32 am

    Momekh, while I respect your comments and the overall message of this post, I hope that you refrain from saying irreverent things about Allah, even if they are meant as a manner of speech. I do hope you realize that this is a public forum upon which you are giving vent to some private sentiments that a metblog representative of a muslim population does not ascribe to. Calling Him an Angry God is akin to rebelling against him, because you are ascribing him motives that you do not know of, which are actually your own misplaced feelings of injustice and maybe some added dramatic effect. Anyway, it’s a tough time I know, but we’re coming through the test one day at a time, and that ultimately is what counts. I hope you take this criticism in the spirit with which it was made.

  2. momekh (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 1:01 am

    Although what you say is debatable, point taken my friend.
    Thank you for eloquently presenting something that some may blow out of proportions.

    No matter how old-fashioned it sounds, this is God’s punishment. In my limited knowledge, I can not see anyother way of looking at it.

    Thank Gauher.

  3. Gauher (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 1:08 am

    It may very well be Allah’s punishment, and if our country didn’t deserve something like this for turning a blind eye to lawlessness and corruption and injustice, then I don’t know who did. But it is Allah’s punishment on all of us, as a nation, because innocents have died, good people were buried alive, and our people have been hurt immeasurably. In saying that, it also becomes God’s Test for us, of whether we continue to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others, or if we, for once, do something about it. God helps those who help themselves and do good deeds, isn’t that how it goes. Inshallah, lets pray that this effort continues far into the forseeable future and takes on more monsters than just the earth and the elements. And thank you for amending your post, I appreciate it greatly.

  4. momekh (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 1:12 am

    Yes… sustainable. proper.
    What you say about a test for us is dead-center right. And with any test, it is how we react, how we respond, our intentions and our actions. Let’s pray and hope that we perform well, well above average. A+ anyone? Hmmm, Amen to that…

  5. Irfan (unregistered) on October 17th, 2005 @ 4:37 pm

    Allah’s punishment-probably not
    Allah’s warning-very likely

    no one would survive Allah (SWT) punishment.
    1. Dishonesty, injustice-read the history of Prophet Shoiab’s nation
    2. Shirk??? Is there any in Pakistan
    3. Riba (Interest)-Declaration of war with Allah and His Prophet (Surah Baqara)

    Do we have any of these in our country????
    Yes we will perish with Allah (SWT) punishment if we don’t correct ourselves as promised in Quran.

    As to the original message, I feel this is the greatest danger-everyone may get tired, develop different priorities, develop donor fatigue. So it is important for people like you to keep reminding people like us, lest we forget.

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