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humanitarian aid


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Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul

A beautifully shot film that follows the lives of a group of young skateboarders in Afghanistan. Operating against the backdrop of war and bleak prospects, the Skateistan charity project is the world’s first co-educational skateboarding school, where a team of international volunteers work with girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17, an age group largely untouched by other aid programmes.

12:08 am: uzairm6 notes
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Gwynne Dyer: Road to riches could be ruination of all >>

An excellent article in which Dyer talks about UN Millennium Goals, what they have achieved (which surprisingly, is a lot), and the outlook for the future. His analysis is wide-ranging and he gives credit where it is due while pointing out the fallacy in the tale that everyone is trying really hard to ignore.

03:46 am: uzairm1 note
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Until It Hurts: A Love Letter to Pakistan

— This post was penned by Rabia Ahmed and was originally posted at Acumen Fund Blog. (via Running with Scissors)

A few hours ago, I found my father sitting at the dinner table, counting. When I asked, what he was counting, he mutedly replied “Bete, during this week, 63 years ago, my family crossed the border to Pakistan.” I had heard this story hundreds of times before, from my grandmother, my uncle, but usually from my dad. It was a journey etched into his mind, into his bones. It was the story of eating neem plants and walking – lots of walking- along a path to the new world, leaving everything behind for hopes of a peaceful tomorrow.

Years later, my siblings and I enjoyed the humid, sunny, summers in Pakistan. We’d run through the mango groves on a family farm and sip sugar cane juice in the market. We’d play hide and seek in my grandfather’s roof garden and host pretend doll weddings with my cousins. It was a fairy-tale land, a land which welcomed us with open arms whenever we visited. It was truly blissful.

Nevertheless, each year things changed in Pakistan. The cars looked a little different, the music became more rock and roll and the air became more polluted. The only constant which remained was the home of my grandfather on the outskirts of  Lahore. With its white washed walls, and lattice door frames, it remained mostly how we left it the year before. The home was five stories high, grand in a modest town, and built around a central open veranda with multiple bedrooms on each floor. My grandfather had a modern above-ground latrine and air conditioner installed so that his grandchildren were not deprived of their essentials. And every summer, without fail, we’d anticipate the monsoons. They’d come in, hastily from no one direction and with quick winds, gusts of water rushed down on us with a certain sense of urgency, and we – well, we’d dance. You’d hear us shrieking and giggling in the same breath because there was no warning, no sign of the hammering waters; just the sudden opening of the skies. It was an idyllic time and we were constantly told to appreciate the rain because it was such a blessing.

But this year, the blessing has turned into a curse, a real test of spirit.

As I sit here some 7,000 miles away from my old summer home, I can’t help but weep for a nation under water. Just the thought of one in five Pakistanis without a home, without a livelihood and without any imminent hope, is simply unbearable.

We’ve read the stories: the tale of a father who tied his son to a tree; of the mother who gave birth to twins in the middle of the storm; of the family who sat by and watched their cow- their livelihood- weaken and eventually pass on. And we’ve seen the staggering statistics – 20 million Pakistanis affected, that’s more than New York State. That’s more than Haiti and Katrina combined. More than Haiti and Katrina combined. Even as I write these words, I’m speechless.

After all, Pakistan is a country divided. It attempts to be modern but is shot at by those clinging to the past. It’s a place where history repeats itself without enough time passing to learn from it. A place where culture and religion constantly fight each other. It’s a place which terrorists now call home and is also a nuclear state. It’s a country that’s lost itself, to itself, by itself.

But it is a country that is loved by so many that summered there; whose parents and grandparents fought to set up homes there, by those who decided to dedicate their lives to helping it reach its potential. Through this catastrophe, Pakistani-Americans are crying for their fellow Pakistanis back home. They’re taking action by running fundraising drives, and putting together media packs and collecting necessary items. They’re keeping one another abreast of activities from the field and are urging all, each and every person they know, to take action, NOW. It’s not just the feeding and immunizing which needs to be done now, but the rebuilding and revitalizing which needs to happen for years to come. It’s in a state of despair, of helplessness, for a people so resilient, so open-hearted, kind and gentle who have never asked for anything, but dignity,

There are people to thank, like Fiza Shah, CEO of Developments in Literacy, who builds schools in remote and hard to reach areas of Pakistan and  Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund who still sees the potential, the hope in Pakistan’s people, a single person who leads an organization that invests in the future of a nation. These two women continue to believe in Pakistan, through the heartfelt moments and harrowing sorrows.

So today, I beg, and urge you all to do the same, or at least to take a step. It’s impossible to imagine the devastation from this far away. Soon enough some other news sensation will take over and most of us will forget the little teary-eyed girl or a mother without milk for her twins. We’ll forget that although they didn’t have much to begin with, whatever they once could call their own has been washed away. Their lives are once again a blank slate. What reality once was is now but a dream wrapped in a nightmare. So please, pick up your check book, or log into your paypal account. Buy some medicines or donate some food.

In this time of pain, hurt and suffering, I remember a quote I once read by  Mother Teresa: “The paradox of life is if you love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, only love.” And Pakistan, we love you and we’re hurting for you and that is what I wish for my fellow Pakistanis, only love.

Rabia Ahmed is the Co-Chair of  New York for Acumen and the Associate Director of MBA Admissions at the  NYU Stern School of Business. To find out how you can help, please read this recent post which names a few organizations working in Pakistan that we trust and who need your support. Please also show your support and stand with Pakistan by adding your name in solidarity to http://www.ontheground.pk.

06:33 am: uzairm5 notes
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Billionare pledges his fortune for aid >>

Malik Riaz Hussain, a billionaire Pakistani developer, has responded to the misery of millions of his flood-stricken compatriots by pledging to spend 75 per cent of his fortune on rebuilding their lives.

The extraordinary offer was made in a television interview in which he told how he had sent a letter before the floods to 100 of Pakistan’s most wealthy and powerful people asking them to pool money into a fund to repair homes, provide vocational training and extend microfinance loans to impoverished Pakistanis.

Mr Hussain is the chairman of Bahria Town, a US$6 billion (Dh22bn) urban development enterprise that has built gated communities for a million people in the central cities of Lahore and Rawalpindi.

Bahria Town has already responded to the current floods by vastly expanding a corporate social responsibility programme called dastarkhwan, or dining spread, to provide two meals a day to more than 150,000 flood refugees in inundated areas and free medical care at mobile hospitals.

Read more at The National | UAE

—-

I am posting this news story because it is a remarkable offer and could be a huge respite for a nation that is close to tatters. But not everything is as it seems in Pakistan and there are a lot of people who cheat, lie and deceive the media for publicity. This could be one of those cases, or it could be a genuine offer of support and help, in which case, I applaud this man and his generosity.

12:38 am: uzairm6 notes
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video

In this edition of RSAnimate, the Royal Society of Arts visualizes renowned philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s investigation of the surprising ethical implications of charitable giving. Excellent piece.

09:49 pm: uzairm3 notes
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So much has been said about the floods in Pakistan- but comprehending that one fifth of the country is under water is almost impossible. But they say that a picture speaks a thousand words. In this case, its two pictures taken three days apart after the start of the floods. (Image: NASA Earth Observatory)
**Please think about donating aid to Pakistan.

So much has been said about the floods in Pakistan- but comprehending that one fifth of the country is under water is almost impossible. But they say that a picture speaks a thousand words. In this case, its two pictures taken three days apart after the start of the floods. (Image: NASA Earth Observatory)

**Please think about donating aid to Pakistan.

04:20 am: uzairm444 notes
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U.S. Offers Aid to Rescue Pakistanis and Reclaim Image >>

I wrote yesterday that the US aid package to Pakistan in response to the floods comes with the hopes that for the first time in decades the US can positively impact public perception of the United States in Pakistan.

This article argues along the same lines. It states that almost 67% of Pakistanis have a negative perception of the United States; this aid package and specifically the inclusion of US army personnel in rescue efforts is part of a long term plan to reverse his negative perception.

Reach more at The New York Times

11:09 pm: uzairm
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Compare and contrast: within days of the 2004 tsunami, £100m had poured into Oxfam, the Red Cross and other charities, and by February 2005 when the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) closed its appeal, the total stood at £300m. The Haiti earthquake appeal closed with donations of £101m. The DEC total for the Pakistan floods appeal has just reached £10m.
08:37 pm: uzairm3 notes
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Pakistani  villagers raise hands to get food dropped from an army helicopter at a  flood-hit area of Kot Addu, in central Pakistan on Saturday, Aug. 7,  2010. - Image courtesy of: Big Picture
Pakistan could use your help right now. Please give what you can.
You can donate online by visiting any of the following internationally recognized aid organizations:
UNHCR
UNICEF
World Food Programme
International Committee for the Red Cross
CARE
Médecins Sans Frontières (USA, UK, Canada)
Oxfam America
Oxfam Great Britain
British Red Cross
ActionAid in Australia
The Humanitarian Coalition in Canada (a partnership between CARE, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Quebec and Save The Children)
Your donations, help, wishes and prayers are much appreciated not only by Pakistanis everywhere but also by every person who cares for the well-being of others.
Please reblog. Please share. Please show you care.

Pakistani villagers raise hands to get food dropped from an army helicopter at a flood-hit area of Kot Addu, in central Pakistan on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. - Image courtesy of: Big Picture

Pakistan could use your help right now. Please give what you can.

You can donate online by visiting any of the following internationally recognized aid organizations:

Your donations, help, wishes and prayers are much appreciated not only by Pakistanis everywhere but also by every person who cares for the well-being of others.

Please reblog. Please share. Please show you care.

06:04 am: uzairm176 notes
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picture HD
The humanitarian crisis caused by massive flooding across Pakistan has taken the shape of millions of refugees, thousands of dead, millions of acres of destroyed farmland, food shortages across the country and tremendous failures in state rescue operations. All these factors combined with unrelenting rains have led to a human crisis paralleled only by the most tragic natural disasters of the 21st century.
The United Nations pointed out today that the number of people suffering  from the massive floods in Pakistan currently exceeds 13 million— more than the  combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

The humanitarian crisis caused by massive flooding across Pakistan has taken the shape of millions of refugees, thousands of dead, millions of acres of destroyed farmland, food shortages across the country and tremendous failures in state rescue operations. All these factors combined with unrelenting rains have led to a human crisis paralleled only by the most tragic natural disasters of the 21st century.

The United Nations pointed out today that the number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan currently exceeds 13 million— more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

01:20 am: uzairm14 notes
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Let’s Make War An Old Thing
This ad is part of an ad campaign for the humanitarian organization Soleterre by creative agency h-57.
Hat tip: Design You Trust

Let’s Make War An Old Thing

This ad is part of an ad campaign for the humanitarian organization Soleterre by creative agency h-57.

Hat tip: Design You Trust

10:50 pm: uzairm
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video

The ‘infoladies’ of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is home to more than 20,000 non-governmental organisations. Most of them focus on fighting poverty through microfinance.

But one new organisation has a fresh approach to social change: A group of women on bikes - “infoladies” - are cycling information to villagers’ doorsteps.

Hat tip: Al Jazeera

04:58 am: uzairm4 notes
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The only weapons taken onto that ship were taken by the Israeli military, who boarded them between 3.30 and 4.30am, when unarmed people were asleep. Booth said the flotilla was populated by “normal people from around the world”. “We had some parliamentarians, there are doctors there are nurses, there are teachers. “These are people who’ve chosen to leave their everyday lives to do something good for humanity and this is what they’ve been met with.

Israel attacks Gaza flotilla - live coverage | World news | guardian.co.uk (via anjum)

Just absolutely horrifying. What is even scarier is the prospect that this aggression may also go unpunished.

05:06 pm: uzairm1 note
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10 people are now reported killed in Israel’s attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla

Just moments ago, live on Al Jazeera English news channel, organizers of the flotilla confirmed that 10 people have been killed.

No web link yet. More updates to come.

07:26 am: uzairm3 notes
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Al Jazeera: Israel 'attacks' Gaza aid fleet

At least 2 people are reported dead and about 30 injured as per Al Jazeera English.

07:03 am: uzairm
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