Sunday, October 09, 2005

Earthquake and Ramadan

For the past 24 hour, or so, I have come to the computer to write about my feelings about the earthquake, Ramadan, and being both a Muslim and an American. Everytime I write something I delete it, it's too heavy, or too sweet and it is never just right. Last night I called my family in Pakistan. Rawalpindi to be exact, near Islamabad. I heard my friends voice, she was stressed, tired and worried. I spoke to her husband and he was the same. They, their house, their family, and the school they run are all fine. Their school was not one that collapsed. Because they are private, their schedule had the children home. But things around them are a shambles. He is a Rotarian, and I asked him if they organized anything yet for relief. The weariness and tension in his voice spoke volumes. No, they hadn't, everything was too confused at that point. Besides it was raining very hard when I called, and it was creating additional problems.

As we have learned from Katrina is it often harder to deal with the distaster when you are on the inside, dealing with all your stress and trauma, then it is when you are fresh from the outside.Today during my fast (it is Ramadan) I spent most of the day thinking about them, about those in Pakistan, and those in NOLA and the gulf coast. It is hard to describe what perspectives the fast brings to you and how you live during the year. How much you look inward to what is important, how much you learn empathy for others, and restraint for your own selfishness. But I can't bring that to this posting, because it's all something one must experience for themselves. All I can do is ask you to give more.

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