Sunday, October 17, 2010

Make Poverty History.

First, let me point out the obvious.

Yes, I'm one very unlikely candidate to even suggest the notion of eradicating poverty. No, I'm not doing this for publicity, or in an attempt to paint this facade of righteousness or sincerity. I'm as materialistic, indignant and devious as the next person.

But the thought of a little emaciated child begging his helpless mother for measly crumbs of bread to feed his hunger, that just pulls of my heartstrings.

Poverty is a somber matter in Egypt that threatens the very economical well being of the country. Apart from the alarming percentage of the population who are living below the poverty line, people have grown ignorant, oblivious to the turmoil around them, all due to plight of poverty that has inflicted them. Truly, poverty is the worst form of violence. Children are made to work, their childhood robbed before their eyes, decrepit senior citizens still in between menial jobs, retirement only an unattainable dream, it's a common sight. Who will save them? Where will they find their solace?

There's this photo taken by a South African photographer, Kevin Smith. It epitomizes the severity of poverty, where hunger is no longer in question, but a forgotten memory replaced by the reality of possible death.

No one knows what happened to that little girl.

If you can help, go ahead. It may be spare change, a packet of your leftovers, anything will do. The blaze of the human spirit can never be extinguished, despite however small the flame may be burning right now. But if you're content to just bear witness to a catastrophe unfolding, at least be thankful for what you have. Too often we forget to count our blessings, so immersed in our selfishness, in what we want, in what we need.

My last parting words are excerpts from chain letters. Yes, not very professional but hey, I'm just here to help :)

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep,

You are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place.

You are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness.

You are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation,

You are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

Make poverty history. Break the cycle.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dark Times.

It's 4 in the morning and I'm clad in my woolen blanket wrapped securely around me. The light ticking of my wrist watch is unusually audible, reminding me of the dawn that is approaching.

And God knows I can't sleep.

I can't say what's bothering me in the wee hours of the Egyptian morning. The plethora of things that has robbed me of lulling sleep have been nagging me for a couple of days now. I feel almost suffocated, gasping for breath. Maybe is the heat of autumn that still prevails in the air, or maybe because so many things managed to go perfectly wrong in the shortest amount of time possible.

It's enough to drive anyone mad.

Have I mentioned how much I miss home? Perhaps not. I never knew it was possible to be this homesick, but there you have it, I crippled by it. Seeing smiling faces of the summer on Facebook has brought me to tears countless times, the thought of spending the next 9 months here even saddens me more.

I feel like I've lost my footing, sprawled on the floor, with only feeble attempts to get up and start anew. How does one just restart their life once they've stumbled and fall? Or improve it on levels that surpasses expectations? How?

But one's thing for sure, I am going to get through this hour of darkness. By hook or by crook, with anyone's help or not, I am going to survive this. I might be unsure, hell, I might be utterly clueless how I'm going to do it but I will.

Cause I'm Nazeera Nasir.