Let me take a break from my self-imposed silence and speak seriously for a minute. For those of you who live under rocks, today is the one week anniversary of what may have been the worst natural disaster to ever strike Pakistan in it’s short history. The Earthquake which struck most of the country, but most especially the Northern areas was felt first on Saturday, October 8th, 2005 at approximately 9:00 AM. It was a massive (for Pakistan) 7.6 on the richter scale at the epicenter which was very near to Azad Kashmir, and was still at 6.2 in Lahore when it reached here, which is a distance of over 450km. I can’t comment on everyone’s experience although let me assure you…there has been nothing else on the minds of the people of Pakistan since this tragedy occured. All we’ve been able to talk about is the Earthquake, and like it or not, it has forever become our JFK Assassination or 9/11(as in, ‘Where were you when the Earthquake hit?’)
Fortunately for me, I live in Lahore and we barely felt the quake as it tore it’s way through Pakistan. Sure some old buildings did collapse, but they were barely noteworthy. The real tragedy occurred in the small town of Muzaffarabad. There is now nothing remaining of this town. A classmate of mine is from here, and I’m sorry to say that most of his family is now no longer with us. The only survivors of an extended family of over 10 people are now down to 3; the classmate, and his parents. When the whole world was filled with tragedy; be it the tsunami, or the katrina fiasco, it never really hit that close to home. Having something like this happen to someone I know, however, has really struck a chord. It’s made me question my own mortality, as trite as that may sound, and more than anything, it’s really made me think about my life. I feel blessed to not have lost anyone close to me in this Earthquake, and while I can’t even imagine what these people who have lost everything must be going through, I wish them the best, and hope that they can somehow find the courage to go on and continue with their lives.
If you want to help the earthquake victims…be it money, clothing, anything really, please contact the people at this site: http://www.earthquakepakistan.com/
A lot of people need your help, and anything, no matter how small in your eyes, can help. Please try to devote some of your hard-earned money this way.