Blogs

The Agony Of Winter For A Kichwa Maaji 150 150 ComfortAid International

The Agony Of Winter For A Kichwa Maaji

One sure way to experience the pain of abject poverty is to be in Sirsi, Uttar Pradesh, India in January. Sirsi is so removed from modern urban India, the ancient and overloaded power gridline works as efficiently as the national airline of India. The persistent power fluctuations make any heating appliance at the risk of…

Salamat Po – Aabid Alikhan 150 150 ComfortAid International

Salamat Po – Aabid Alikhan

Amina and Zulfiqar Alikhan from College Station, TX are some of the most strident supporters and well-wishers of Comfort Aid International. So when they requested that I take on their son Aabid with me to the next ‘safe’ CAI expedition, I had no qualms about it. I invited him to visit the Philippines with Sohail…

Unity Games – Dubai, WF Wannabees / Vivid Imagination Shipping Update 150 150 ComfortAid International

Unity Games – Dubai, WF Wannabees / Vivid Imagination Shipping Update

Unity Games – Dubai Dubai is bustling with humanity. Again. The balmy weather, spectacular New Year’s fireworks and the irresistible itch to splurge at the soopa pricey malls in this city is too much of a pull. I suppose. The hotel I usually stay near the airport costing around US$70/night has shot up to US$360/night…

Attitude Of Gratitude – Looking Death In The Eye / Vivid Imaginations Is Ready – Delivery Status 150 150 ComfortAid International

Attitude Of Gratitude – Looking Death In The Eye / Vivid Imaginations Is Ready – Delivery Status

Attitude Of Gratitude – Looking Death In The Eye I lost a close second-niece of mine, Salma, to lupus disease turned to cancer recently; she was not even 41 years old and a mother of two very young children. I had a strong bond of sorts with this particular niece – I have tons of…

It’s All About Paisa, Nai! 150 150 ComfortAid International

It’s All About Paisa, Nai!

It’s All About Paisa, Nai! The squeaky-clean Khoja musafarkhana in Najaf is empty; almost. Perhaps if the management opened it up to all zawaars it might get some traction? Especially since huquuq funds have been used to construct it? Huquuq as in everybody has a right to it? My past protests at this apparent inequity have been…

Najaf Burns – My Harrowing Two Days 150 150 ComfortAid International

Najaf Burns – My Harrowing Two Days

I am sicker than a dog and feel lousy with an annoying head cold, all the way from Orlando to JFK, Dubai and eventually Najaf, almost 24-hours later. Sitting, on the Dubai to Najaf flight, in the adjacent aisle, is an elderly Bohri guy sporting a flowing white beard; his wife and daughter in law…

WhatsApp Blues / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

WhatsApp Blues / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

WhatsApp Blues So I am holed up in Dubai for a week, in between projects because of the violence in Iraq. Both Sohail and I are supposed to travel to Nasiriyah, Iraq, to commission the drilling of a deep water well that’ll provide potable water to about 20,000 desperate people currently consuming contaminated water but…

A Flight Into Bamiyan / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

A Flight Into Bamiyan / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

A Flight Into Bamiyan After spending rough four days traversing the interiors of rugged rural Daykundi Province in Afghanistan, checking up on and auditing CAI’s five medical clinics, we are ready to travel to Bamiyan. The day in Nilli begins benign enough, but chilly, 38F. This might not be the end of the world for…

Gehraa Thoughts / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

Gehraa Thoughts / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

Gehraa Thoughts There is this teenager at Masjid al Hayy, in Sanford, that recently arouses my curiosity in him. He is striking, with clear eyes and is very fair – definitely not a typical Khoja. He is tall, with a full head of hair that is marred by a ghastly hairdo. The kind that teenagers…

A Wanting Dream From The Past / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

A Wanting Dream From The Past / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

A Wanting Dream From The Past I am a dreamer, have always been one. It is the easiest way to turn off the evil and troubles in the current day dunya and return to the carefree, innocent life of yesteryears. Usually, these trances are a sure cure for my doldrums and I feel better afterward.…

Adventures In Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

Adventures In Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

Adventures In Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone The quest to offer quality education available to the children of poor communities worldwide provides CAI Trustees with wonderful opportunities for interesting and adventure-filled global travel. Last week, I am in West African with fellow Trustee Sohail and CAI African representative, Murtaza Bhimani. Consider my itinerary – Fly from…

Will My Imam (a) Be Pleased? / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

Will My Imam (a) Be Pleased? / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

Will my Imam (a) Be Pleased? I’ve just concluded a busy day commemorating Ashura. What with the a’amaals and emotional drain from reenacting the brutal slaying of my beloved Imam (a) and the violation of his family’s rights, I am exhausted. So I return home from Masjid al Hayy, a short distance away, and fall…

Mullah Mchungu Speaks His Mind / Dorian etc. / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

Mullah Mchungu Speaks His Mind / Dorian etc. / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

Mullah Mchungu Speaks His Mind  I am, in my relationship with Mullah Mchungu, at a crossroads of sorts. I humor him when he calls, and take the time to listen to him, grin and bear it when he calls me by unpleasant tags like ghadeero (ass) and mwenda wazeemu (crazy). I know he is very…

Vivid Imaginations 150 150 ComfortAid International

Vivid Imaginations

Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir: $55,000 has already been raised from the pre-sale booking of Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir. It is a recount of a memorable life of a Khoja Muslim with Gujarati genes, born and reared in E. Africa, migrating to the Middle East and then to the US. A frank and self-critical…

A Scolding / Rohingya Orphans, Two Years On / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir 150 150 ComfortAid International

A Scolding / Rohingya Orphans, Two Years On / Vivid Imaginations – A Memoir

A Scolding I am frantically hoping, nay, praying that the Masjid al Hayy / HIC union will survive the initial, natural and expected turbulence of any new alliance and settle on an understanding to continue the marriage amicably. My prayers are that some respected and experienced elders will intervene, bring the two sides to a…

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