Friday, October 30, 2009

How can we help re-build our land?

All right, Spogmai Khaaperai. Here.

We need to talk about how we can help our people. Many Pukhtuns are living/studying abroad, and at least a few of us have the means and abilities to help our people.
I'm sure we know better than to depend on the government to help us -- at least not when it has SO enthusiastically killed our people and burnt our homes.

Here's what I think needs to be done (and NOT very easily!). Much of it is about the IDPs, but now that labele can be replaced with "IDPs who have returned home"... yeah?

1. Lots of families have had their houses destroyed. Some of the IDPs are going to go back to Swat/Buner/Dir, but to what? Most likely to fallen roofs and walls, dried wells, broken roads, destroyed fields, and so on.
Question: How can we help them get back on their feet?

2. Lots of our schools have been burnt to ashes.
Questions: How can we help re-build these schools? How can we help school our children in order to avoid another hell from breaking any time soon?

3. Too many families have lost their breadwinners.
Questions: How are they going to live now? Who's going to provide for them? Who's going to look after them? How are they going to deal with their children? Do their children have hope at all?

4. Our children have lost their fathers and mothers in many cases and will most likely be ending up working for themselves and the rest of their families (I'm completely against child labor).
Questions: How can we make sure that our kids don't end up working, as that'll lead to more and more generations of extreme poverty, though keeping in mind what a challenge it'll be to prevent that from happening?

5. All of this is bound to lead to the creation of orphanages :S And we know how children are treated there. I mean, yeah, at least they have SOME place to sleep in, SOME shelter, but ... I'm sure we can do better than let so many of our kids end up in orphanages.
Questions: What can we do to help these kids? Are there more alternatives to providing shelters for these children, or are orphanages the only option? If we accept that they may stay in orphanages, are there still ways we can help them there -- perhaps visit them to read to them, teach them something (maybe even volunteer as teachers for some time?), play with them, etc.?
I know we might think we don't have time ... but really, what DO we have time for if not for the betterment of our own race?

If nothing else, can we help them financially by perhaps forming communities with local Pashtuns (or even non-Pashtuns) and then having a member or two or more of those communities go back to our land and distribute what we've collected?

This whole issue of the IDPs is a humanitarian one, one in which we are forced to depend on the government, NGOs, and donors and other voluntary organizations. BUT I have absolutely NO expectations from or even hope in the government. The government has refused to help better our schools, build or better our roads, and do other absolutely needed things for us (at least in Swat ever since our princely state joined the country), so what will it do now?
Besides, waiting for the government to make some moves is not worth it, honestly. They'll be sure to take their precious time, and, really, WHILE waiting for them to get something done, we can do much on our own without them a well.

But anyway, I think that while we're waiting for others to help us, we should start something on our own. Yeah, it’s not easy, but remember that anything will be appreciated at this point because we HAVE to do something. ANYTHING.

By the way, it's important to keep in mind that whatever we plan doesn't go against the norms of our religion and culture. This is important because we want to be practical and realistic, and we want to implement our ideas in a wise manner. To go against our own people's beliefs will only hinder us from getting everything accomplished AND will produce insecure and bitter thoughts in our people’s minds for us – even though we will mean nothing but good for them.


Now, what I'm most after is just basic education for the kids while we wait and hope for our schools to be re-built (whether by private organizations or by the government). At this moment, I honestly don’t think we should care how the condition of our schools will be. I mean, our children and their parents must have yet to recover from having personally witnessed the burning down of their schools! And these kids don’t have to *wait* for their schools to be re-built so they can start learning again. We can do something for them right now. When I say “we” in this sentence, I mean anyone who is capable of doing so. This has been inspired by all those volunteers who visited the IDP camps and taught our children how to read and write in spite of their painful conditions How honorable!

Education doesn’t have to take place in official schools, definitely not right now in our war-torn land anyway. Nothing would give me more satisfaction and pleasure than having just a few of these children-victims in my own house so that I can teach them for just a couple of hours a day. And this doesn’t require high education – just anyone who can read and write and knows basic arithmetic. It would be informal education, you see. And besides, we’re *all* teacher and we’re *all* students. It would be a perfect start, and as time passes and we are assured that our schools are being re-built, we can move to official schools and professional teachers.


Someone suggested orphanages. I’m all for it since, though the kids will not have as good a life in the orphanage as they will if inside a home and a regular family, they have at least SOME shelter, SOME food, SOME clothing, SOME love, SOME care … SOME home. But I sometimes wonder … if those of us who believe in adoption and are perfectly okay with it and have a longing to raise kids and educate them our way, why don’t we do it? I have absolutely no right to tell people to adopt these kids who have been orphanned by a brutal war due to which they not only lost important family members but perhaps the faculty of hearing/vision – if not some limbs as well. BUT I think that it’s not considered something...I don’t know, “good” to adopt a child?

What is it that we have against adoption? Or am I wrong, because I’m saying this just ‘cause I know of no one from our culture who has adopted a child or two (other than their own relatives)? Perhaps I’m wrong, yes, but ... I would rather those who are okay with adoption and can afford to feed an extra mouth and educate an extra mind in their family, do so … instead of leaving the kid to an orphanage. See, if we were in these kids’ parents’ shoes, what would we think once we find out that our kids have been abandoned? Or even left in an orphanage with scores of other children and not given enough attention that a child should be given?

But I understand that perhaps I am making a silly demand, or even a silly suggestion, by saying that. So I’ll let it go.
At least with orphanages, we can serve more children at one time than we can by adoption.

Importance of helping the IDPs.

We have explain to our people WHY it's important to help these IDPs get back on their feet. Searching for sympathetic and passionate (and, more than anything, sincere and honest) people who can help will be a problem as well. How many such people do we know? :S But we mustn’t lose faith in humanity; they exist, of course, and we’ll find them, one way or another.
At the moment, I think we need people who have worked with/in orphanages or who know people who have connection with orphanages themselves, and I think this should be our main goal for the moment -- getting in touch with folks like these.

Types of people we need.

We also need (honest) people who have the leadership skills to form a group and initiate fund raising activities and collect enough donations (of anything – clothing articles, food, water, money... doesn't matter; we can never have too much of these). Then we need people who have the gut, confidence, and passion to temporarily go back there and distribute these collected items there. This way, we can know for certain that our hard work paid off and that the items were bestowed upon our target.

Then, of course, we will be needing those strong people who can go back and help with the schools and education. Not necessarily “real” (official) schools yet, but just volunteers who can go to the orphanages and teach the kids there. OR even someone who can have enough passion to gather a group of kids at least every now and then, if not daily, and teach them reading and writing and arithmetic and whatever else is necessary for living in today’s world.

Also, people, let's forget what *others* can do for us and/or these IDPs. Let's ask ourselves what *we* can do for them/ourselves first If WE ourselves are incapable, then it makes sense to turn to others or expect something from others, but unless and until we help ourselves, we must not fool ourselves into thinking that others will care for us at all or feel our pain and loss.

Why "discussions" about this are important.
(It's a response to someone who said, "Facebook/etc. are NO means of getting constructive things done. If you wanna do something for Pukhtuns, go to their land and do it."
Well, I strongly disagree.

Of course, just sitting here and having discussions is not as useful as we might want it to be, but the whole point of my bringing this discussion up was to *gather* ideas in the first place. I don't necessarily call for Pukhtuns who are living abroad to go back to Pukhtunkhwa or Afghanistan and save our people. I wnat us to come together here and figure out ways to help our distraught people back home even without having to go back to our land. We don't have to be physically there to help, you know; we can still manage to do a lot even while away from there.

You can be where you are and gather a group of Pukhtuns (or even non-Pukhtuns who believe in serving humanity) to collect donations for us, and then find out some organizations that can help you send it back to our land and distribute it in an honest way to those who need it. Perhaps there's one person who can go there him/herself to watch it being distributed so that he/she can be assured that their hard work paid off and that the donations reached the right people.

Or then, perhaps you are a businessman/woman or know someone who is, or then know someone who has connections with people who own orphanages. Or perhaps, in a near future, you can viist an orphanage yourself, one with tons of Pukhtun children-victims of this brutal war we just witnessed and suffered, and see what you have that you can offer to these potential future leaders of ours.

Or perhaps you might marry one day and decide that you want to help a child or two and adopt one or two and/or properly educate and feed as many as you can afford so that you can rightfully claim that you are giving back to your own race, that you have done something good for humanity, that you have done something the effects of which are going to last till eternity.

These are simple ideas, and my hope and expectation is that others will also contribute their own thoughts and suggestions of what we can do. What we suggest doesn't necessarily have to take place right now or in the present; it's all right if they plan to do something in the future. BUT I'm not very supportive of that idea because I strongly believe (and this has been proven to me) that we can do a LOT even while growing up ourselves and while planning and building our own personal future. Meaning, we don't have to wait till we are teachers, engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc. to do something constructive for those who need us most right now. And what we do doesn't have to be something big; every single effort counts, even if it is buying small games for kids that will encourage them to go to school or help them learn their ABCs and 1, 2, 3s.


  1. 1) IDPs with destroyed houses: How can we help them get back on their feet?
    Over ambitious goal…The devastation is so overwhelmingly great that we can’t just do anything about it right now.

    2) Lots of our schools have been burnt to ashes: How can we help re-build these schools? How can we help school our children?

    ~ We are talking about over 200 schools! Again, it is beyond our capacity to help rebuild these schools.
    ~ Concerning how can we help school our children, in this context, about two months ago I initiated communication with the former editor of the local daily whose role during the tenure was quite remarkable. The gentleman was kind enough to form “Thinkers’ Forum” the details of which appeared in the local papers and had so far conducted two meetings. The Thinker Forum entails roughly about twelve members and is now planning to conduct a big seminar/conference on the subject before too long. Date of the seminar not yet known.
    ~ To the best of my knowledge, most schools manage somehow. Most private schools were not affected and a large number of affected students joined the private schools. Those students who are financially less privileged and can’t afford to join private schools, we need to launch heavy campaign by writing in the local papers and to the private sector schools to help accommodate the students in their schools on compassionate basis.

    3) Too many families have lost their breadwinners. How are they going to live now?
    This is by no means a new problem and at this stage I think it should not concern us.

    4) Our children have lost their fathers and mothers… How can we make sure that our kids don't end up working…?
    ~ In Mingawara, there already exists “Khpal Kor Model School,” with boarding facility and huge donations from the affluent—both local and abroad. Academic record of the school is also remarkable. Presently accommodates circa six hundred deserved students.
    ~ We should be working hard to establish OUR OWN SCHOOL with meal and lodging facilities.

    5) All of this is bound to lead to the creation of orphanages :S And we know how children are treated there.
    ~ Until we have the means to build betters places ka khairee…we have to live with it!

    6) Adoption is not an ideal alternative.

    7)~ I agree we should continue searching for honest, passionate and sympathetic people. The number of such sincere and honest people is indeed large but lacks the courage to take the initiative on their own. As we have become like real sisters through our common belief and commitment, the many ways of thinking and feeling we share, and the deep love we feel for one another, there are hundreds of people out there (the good example is Khugman wror) who will join us and support us in our endeavor.

    It will be a modest start for us but if we work hard, with honesty, integrity and perseverance, there will be many precious gifts.

  2. Spogmai, have you heard about Zindagi Trust? It's an organization founded by Singer Shehzad Roy.

    During the last year, the Pakistani Students Association and the Muslim Students Association at our uni have been collecting funds for this organization. Last week, we counted it at all and held an event called "Fast-a-thon," a day during which non-Muslims are asked to fast the whole day the same way that Muslims do (Muslims fast, too, then) and then we all break it together. Last Monday, we did that ... near the end, we got to see a video that Shehzad Roy made for us to thank us (the video is still available on Youtube; will show it to you, ka khairee.)

    And then we got to talk to 2 of the children who have been enrolled in the schools that Zindagi Trust has worked on, and it was such an emotional moment for us all!

    Now ... I'm saying all this to say just this: we should contact Shehzad Roy and tell him about our dilemma. Know doubt he knows about it already, and no doubt he's a sincere guy who wants to give children the opportunity to succeed. I *know* he'll agree to help us.
    Leave this part to me. I'll handle this.

    You mentioned Khpal Kor Model School. I've seen pics of the kids and the place there, posted on FB by someone who has visited and helped with it. What I need you to do is ... encourage some people there (it'd have to be males only, right?) to visit the place as often as they can and, if they can afford it, even take food there.

    Also find out how many other orphanages there are in our region at the moment. Right now, the main thing concerning me are the orphanages ...

  3. By the way, do let us know when the date for the Thinkers' Forum conference/seminar will be. I'm much relieved to hear this!

    Do you know Khadim Hussain? He's worked and supervised some school (or schools?) in Swat and done a LOT for those schools, especially when it comes to appreciating intellect. I know someone who went to a school in which Khadim Hussain was a principle and a teacher (in Swat), and he tells me that the Gentleman created a magazine for the school and a Debate Team in which students would get to have intellectual discussions and debates! Ahhh ...

    But right now, he's not in Swat, I think. Probably he was in danger in Swat.

    He writes for Sahar Magazine too. A great writer, tf, tf, mashAllah. I can contact him regarding the Thinkers' Forum, if that's okay with you. What you say?

  4. Taso kho masha-Allah the comments section pranista pa dasey andaz okrra JO herana yo wertha elobrately every point has been explained....... I can simply say...........Wonderfulllll!!

    @Qrratugai, Spogmai derna yao khwar gharib ghunda pairey ghukhtey wo JO ta werla tole warkawal no dasey kha khaista oogad comment kho ba ye kha makha liko.......:)......OK just give me sometime to dijust it gradually and gather my thoughts on it but so far we are thinking on the same lines I ao cherta na thakhtam delta yum lagya yum khey ghunda sandrey auram ao staso da tasorat waem and will let you know about my take on your thoughts :)

  5. @Qrratugai: We can't fix the 'typos' in these comments once we post them, right??.......Ao kana kala kala baz words sarree na pa tadai ke walikaley shee ao we the 'typo' if you can correct them that would be great. Thanks.

  6. LOL! Perey ye staso na hum ghukhto, zama na ye hum, jo maa wey zama hagha tol wakhla, da Khugmand gharib na waley ghwaare :P

    And, no, non-members of can't edit or delete their posts, lol. Another reason why you should open a page here, if you wanna delete your own comments :D

    But I can delete (not edit) them. Just lemme know if/when you ever want me to :)
    Kho typos hess khabara na da. As long as I can understand what you're saying, it's all good.

    Do share your views che kala good time for you.

  7. @Qrratugai: "........ non-members of can't edit or delete their posts, lol. Another reason why you should open a page here, if you wanna delete your own comments :D" ta kho monga rakaga dagha Blogoono likalo ta, mung dasey staso pa dey pages ke patt kha yoo....Taso la pakaar da che khpala Spogmai khore razi krre che khpal Blog jorr krree ao hagha khpala qeemati shairee pakey mahfooza kee :).....OK lets get to the serious discussion.
    One thing that is very important to be kept in mind is over-ambitionism (ma hum laka che da Bush pa shaan nawee alfaz ijaad krral:)). The reason is that over-ambitious planning usually kills the plan itself and at the end its very hard to accomplish anything planned. So the focus, as filtered/figured out by Spogmai, should be the most important among the list such as an Orphanage or a School.
    About the "Khpal Kore" I know that guy who runs it, through one of my friends, and no doubt he is a very devoted person. Such model Orphanage could only be established by a person with devotion and absolute conviction like him. It also shows that there is no shortage of honest and devoted persons especially after this 'afatt'. I think the younger/educated there would accept such challenges/responsibilities with full devotion if provided proper resources.
    Now getting to the point of having honest and sympathetic people (thanks Spogmai for your nice thoughts as I may not have all the attributes of an honest or sympathetic person). Personally, as mentioned earlier I maybe shy or reluctant to get involve in any political sort of activities but won't shy of any such endeavor that involves the well-being of my poor and helpless brethren back home. But I just don't want to get involve with any politically lineant people who have there own ideologies and one never knows when one will be exploited by such people for their won che yao kaar banda pa khpala kawaley shee no waley da noro lakai de nisee ao hagha hum da dasey khalqo che sa shak pakey wee.....thats how I think. Another reason is that I've heard that there are so many NGOs popped up and they just want to join this bandwagon of getting financial benefits thats why thes "Thinkers Forum" kind of initiatives are worthy of praise but one has to see the end result of such initiative because sometimes such forums are get occupied by people who are just too much 'professional' and less actual thinkers or well wishers of the poor people.
    Personally, I do have some honest and quite resourceful friends (but a-political like myself:)) back there who might be very helpful in any such endeavor, especially in that male dominant akheer Spogmai ba kala pakaar razi :) kana sanga?
    Rest, organizing fundraisings, requesting our own as well as other communities and approaching other organizations for financial contributions, I think these are not difficult tasks as I'm sure we know how those things work but everything needs to be properly planned and most importantly abiding by the laws as these days such initiatives are badly exploited by people who have vested interests and their own ideologies.

    Baqee za ba pakey nore sa oowayem Spogmai kha tapsilee:) khabarey prey karree.........kho landa da che taso sa qisma help pakaar wee, I'll be there to provide my part of contribution :)

    (Da Halloween shpa da yaregam zam oodakegum:))

    Allah mo kha sata!

  8. Alaaaaaa ... dumra ugda comment ba Spogmai oss sanga lawalee, Khugmanda? lol.

  9. Buss da haghey sera kho sta peryaan mamagaan shta kana hagho ba ye werla
    Za kho pa makha pa page keta za ao porta za che da haghey hagha comment poora olwalome...:) do doomra tame kho ye zaka rana wagheest.

  10. Khugmanda, that's very true. Over-ambition kills it all. It'll be more useful to start off with just a small thing, especially for those who don't have means to do anything bigger. For instance, one could just teach a group of kids every now and then how to read and write. Or go to the orphanage and visit the kids and make sure their most basic needs (food, water, clothing) are well-met.

    Wass za ao Spogmai kala da politics manasib yu? Mung la da politics chal kala razi? Ao Spogmai kho dey khudey khushala ao pa aman ke laree, haghe raapse net ta raatlal bass kral . . .
    Oss ba zaan la da Swat bala Khaaperai Nenzaka katal ghwaari (although Spogmai can never be replaced, never!)
    ~cries too desperately~

    Khugmana, kaar oss graan sho, you see :)

  11. @Qrratugai: "Ao Spogmai kho dey khudey khushala ao pa aman ke laree, haghe raapse net ta raatlal bass kral . . ."

    Hey sorry for my late response kho I really didn't get it.....kher kheryat kho dey kana ke cherta flu ye ziata shawaey?......I hope everything is OK and she is back soon.
    Baqee Allah dey kher krree ao Khudai dey karoona cherta humm na granai zaka che mung da Hagha na her wakht da asano pa tama yoo....:)

    Ao staso pa dey Blog key mein da hagha bala wraz na pora changes mahsson krral.......da kho dhera kha khabara che lag dher laas pakey wahai :)

  12. Na... rogha da, da khaira (khudey de kee che hagha flu ye wass khatma shawe hum ye).
    Khudey dee wapas zar tar zara rawalee no.

    Aao, pa blog ke me changes dagha karri dee. See, THAT, too, explains why you should get a blog! Kho zama sok manee ~rolling eyes~

  13. LOL! Swarlasama ba wee zaka :P

    You've seen my discussions on KW and CK? What the bloody hell ... that's not good :O Pat pat ba garzey, ao chaa ta ba sa na wey!

    No, seriously, za alta ke yawazi yam, you see!! KW kha dey. Alta me taqriban yao kaal shawey dey, no khushala yam. Kho chaa rata wey wey CK hum join ka, jo maa wey kha. Ao hagha pake pakhpala na join keegi :S

    Khair dey. Che hado raanashe :@ I'll survive by myself! :@

  14. What happen to my comment? kana zama hagha comment da komey pa jawab key che ta dagha likaley hagha cherta ghaib sho?........ta hum khudai de kher kai Jo da Blog sera dey sa tajroobey shoro never mind I'm just joking gwaray :)

    Na pat pat kho na garzam kho registration ba soke kai ao bia ba dagha bahsoono ke bal qaila kawal ao che derta pata yee che pa ghalata dey kho...ok whatever.....da khalqo da arguments mong sara domra mazgha kam dee :)
    Da na ratlo na ma kho makhkey welee woo che za aksar dalta 'ta' kome che kedai shee sa nawee sa pakey wee kho......zamung hagha discussions lag garam shawee wo bya larro sarra shoo :(.....taso la pakaar da che yao bal kha ghundey 'nazam' oolikai no che kam az kam da comments dapara kho sa wee kana :)
    Ao haan yao khabara rata rayada shwa.......khabara sa da kho tanqeed dey/critic sta pa na not in a bad sense just constructive criticism....da feature mein nasho khwakh 'recent comment/entires' ye dher ziat oogad karrey....ka sanga?

  15. No one said you HAVE to join the discussions ~cries harder~ Asey just be there! Is that too much to ask? ~hiccupping now~

    Maa hagha dwa comments delete krral ... ka chaa ledaley wey no khapa shawe ba wu, kana, zaka ...

    lol @ the page ye der zyat ugad karey dey. Daa page ase long wo, jo maa wey ache sa .... okay, I won't explain. You have to get a blog to see it for yourself!!

    ~still crying~

  16. @Qrratugai: "No one said you HAVE to join the discussions ~cries harder~
    Asey just be there! Is that too much to ask? ~hiccupping now~"

    Dhera wrana ye banda kha ookhandae...:)

  17. Eba khair dey. Che hado join na ke! I'll get someone else to join!!
    And how do you read the discussions but not be tempted to reply? LOL. I can't control myself. That's how I joined them :S I felt like I absolutely *had* to reply to them or I'll burst.

  18. @Qrratugai: "I can't control myself. That's how I joined them :S I felt like I absolutely *had* to reply to them or I'll burst."

    LOL.....thats just so very true....kho hagha da cha khabara che 'self-control' rakey lag dher shat kana on several occassions I also wanted to just burst and join but then......:)

    By the way.....Gora qaaregay ba rata naa kha? I'm going to be sorry again :).....yes no joking I'm really sorry for my yesterday's comment because I didn't want to be 'mean' to anyone or degrade anyone, it was just an off the cuff remark in kana ta ba waye che za dasey Qulqulla Khan raghaley yum ao nore tole hasey kadwaan I'm serious because it was just inadvertently typed and thanks for deleting that.....okhyara kho ye kana :)

  19. No, no, no! I had to delete *my* comment because there was something in it against the forum I'm a part of, kana :) And I had to delete yours too because you'd copied my message into yours when replying to it, lol.

    What could I do, mara?

    And, no, it's too late. Za already khafa yam. Nai join key, kana? Final decision?
    ~gets her rifle ready~

  20. By the way ... get this, LOL. So since I'm a total addict to these Pukhtuns/Afghan forums, I joined this other one :S Threads me latawaley, and came across this one page called "Ladies' Lounge." Dera khushala shum ao wey me ache danna sham warta. Kho lat wo; weye wey you have to have a password to enter!
    Jo maa haghe khalko ta wey zama password pakaar dey zaka che za ghwaaram che danna sham warta. Kho they said "Prove to us that you're female" :O Maa wey ita khudey yo.

    Daa hum laa sa insaapi da! :@

  21. LOLL@ "Kho they said "Prove to us that you're female" :O Maa wey ita khudey yo."........da kho pa rishtya, dhera be insaapi yee dersara karrey banda kh ookhandae :), malgarae kho de hasey dooomra tareefona na kai

    Hasey wakhtee kho de Blog za hum wayarawalum......rang ye gulabee sho na ma wel kaso da uss zama na zaan pa dey khlasai ao Blog ye colour coded krro che da sirf da zananao da para rang ye wroosta badal sho.......ta tey hum karborrae jorr karrey de :)

  22. You see, you should get a blog so you can experience with different colors and then we can decide which fonts/templates are better and which ones are crazy!!!
    Kho, again, zama sok manee :@


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