Jan 17, 2010

Haiti and Afghanistan With Cataclysmic Events

In Farsi there is a phrase “har ja sang ast ba payee lang ast,” literally it means helpless is always left in the storm. For years and years people of Haiti were grappling with difficulties. This time the biggest earthquake, since 200 years, brought a human disaster for this country that awakened the world. For the last days, I was watching the news, I felt sick to my stomach. Last year, in the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York City, I met a journalist from Haiti. He told me that he was going to run for presidential election in 2011. He was telling me that if he becomes a president of Haiti I should be proud that I have met him. Since earthquake happened, I immediately sent him an e-mail but unfortunately I have no news of my Haitian friend “George.”

At the Clinton conference we talked about politics. He liked Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who has written a book about fixing failed states and he was saying me, Afghanistan shouldn’t have problem with having such considerable expertise.

Haitians were suffering from unrest, turmoil and political tragedy just like Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the issue of tribalism and racism sparked a long political tragedy and in Haiti there are community problems. The populations of both countries live below poverty line. Both were forgotten by world for a while.

According to the United Nations’ estimation, the earthquake may affect some 3 million people in the country. Haiti’s problems never have solved but I hope that this unforgettable disaster that now attracted the world’s attention may end to years of human suffering. It is regrettable that the world was not aware of grinding constant poverty, it is regrettable that no one pays attention that people in Afghanistan and Haiti suffer from lack of education, food and suffer unless there is a cataclysmic event. A question pops up in my mind that why should we always wait until something happen like earthquake in Haiti and Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?

In 1990s, Afghanistan has the same situation. Millions of people were facing death because of poverty and tens of thousands led to deaths by Taliban. In a span of 30 days, around 6,000 Hazaras have been killed by Taliban in ethnic cleansing drive in Mazar-e Sharif but the world never heard of it until the September 11 happened and millions of people survived of a potential genocide. It was the first time that people around the world heard of Afghanistan and were looking to find it on the map.

Anyway, it is not late if you want to donate, please go to Larry King’s page and select different NGO. May the souls those departed rest in peace.


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