Blogs

The Evil Within US 150 150 Comfort Aid International

The Evil Within US

The Evil Within US I have finally submitted the manuscript of my latest novel – Two Blue Gold And Diamond Earrings – to my publishers in India, so I have some time on my hands. I head towards Mullah Mchungu’s apartment. He has been sending me urgent messages through his caretaker Hameesi, requesting me to…

The Haunting Eyes Of Abandonment 150 150 Comfort Aid International

The Haunting Eyes Of Abandonment

The Haunting Eyes Of Abandonment I have recently returned from a heart-searing trip through Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to meet with the abandoned and forgotten Rohingya refugees. It was painful. And the trip through upper/lower Sindh, Pakistan, to inspect some of the homes Comfort Aid International (USA) donors have paid to rebuild was equally sore.…

Planes, Automobiles, And Schools 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Planes, Automobiles, And Schools

Planes, Automobiles, And Schools Our trip to inaugurate the CAI-sponsored Al – Mustafa School in remote Parachinar almost does not happen, as the wary Pakistani authorities are reluctant to issue the required special permits until the last few hours of our arrival in the country. Parachinar is an apprehensive, sometimes dangerous place, so the caution…

A Sullying Burp 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Sullying Burp

A Sullying Burp Dar es Salaam – Dubai – Dhaka – Cox’s Bazar – CAI’s Rohingya day school (by car 5 hours roundtrip) – Dhaka – Colombo – Mumbai – Kolkata – New Delhi – Sirsi (by car 6 hours) – Sikanderpur, Halwana, UP (by car 19 hours roundtrip) – New Delhi (by car 5…

A Journey To Rohingya Orphans In Cox’s Bazar 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Journey To Rohingya Orphans In Cox’s Bazar

A Journey To Rohingya Orphans In Cox’s Bazar I’m heading to meet the 120 Rohingya (from Burma) orphaned children in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. CAI donors pay for their daily upkeep, but more importantly, provide an opportunity for quality education. The kids attend a day school 6 days a week where they start with a nutritious…

A Journey For Iftaar With The Orphans Of Syria 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Journey For Iftaar With The Orphans Of Syria

A Journey For Iftaar With The Orphans Of Syria I’m heading to Syria once more. My recent visit to aid the victims of the earthquake in February 2023 exposed me to the precarious plight of orphans in the country. Sohail Abdullah, senior CAI Trustee, and I have made a determined decision to put more effort…

Ramadhan In Sanford / New Novel – Excerpts 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Ramadhan In Sanford / New Novel – Excerpts

Ramadhan In Sanford The holy month starts while I am in Sanford, which has balmy spring weather. As usual, Allah bestows His mercy and tranquility settles on my fasting; the hunger pangs and thirst are easily endured, even when I hit the gym in the afternoons; I feel very little pain or discomfort. Wonderful. Masjid…

Air Travels / New Novel – Excerpts 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Air Travels / New Novel – Excerpts

Air Travels I’m traveling from New York to Minneapolis on a raw day. While it is 45°F in New York, it is forecasted to be about 7°F in the Twin Cities. So, this weather is the core subject of discussion with almost all the passengers within earshot. A nervous-looking lady approaches my row, inspects me…

Manakara / A Cyclone Chase / Nepal / Syria 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Manakara / A Cyclone Chase / Nepal / Syria

Manakara We have a grand opening of Al Mahdi School in Manakara, Madagascar on Valentine’s day, a proud BCT / CAI undertaking. A wonderful day for about 300 girls who will have an opportunity to quality education for the first time in their lives. Manakara is a poor town south of the island, and difficult…

Mullah Mjanja / A New Novel 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Mullah Mjanja / A New Novel

Mullah Mjanja / A New Novel Mullah Mjanja I had known Mjanja (an alias, naturally) almost fifty years ago, from my time growing up in Tanga in the seventies. Mjanja means shrewd in Kiswahili. This is a title our friends gave him because he used to be cunning with his teachers, friends, and foes, getting…

Haazar. Chashm. Agreed. 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Haazar. Chashm. Agreed.

Haazar. Chashm. Agreed. The blessed month of Rajab is here. There is a deluge of Facebook posts, WhatsApp forwards, and emails extolling me to become more pious and Allah-conscious this month. Our respected and revered aalims, too, are all fired up – recite this and that dua they extoll in sermons, recite ziyaarats, pray these…

I Want To Die 150 150 Comfort Aid International

I Want To Die

Kisukaali, I want to die. These words are from Mullah Mchungu as I sit alongside his bed. I feel safe, as the menacing walking stick that he sometimes brandishes is nowhere in sight. He is ailing again. At just over eighty years old, I’d expect his human engine to have ups and downs, and aches…

Slipping And Sliding 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Slipping And Sliding

Slipping And Sliding Working and traveling for CAI takes me to numerous hot spots in this world and although most of them are dicey, uncomfortable, and sometimes outright dangerous, a recent trip to commission a completely renovated CAI donor-funded school in a remote village in Tanzania is one that I will cherish – for the…

Pakistani Dairy 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Pakistani Dairy

Pakistani Dairy I purchase an Emirates ticket to fly me to Multan, Punjab, Pakistan. Emirates gives me a seat on their partner airline, Flydubai because they do not fly to Multan. Flydubai reassigns my seat to a vague airline, Smartwings, an airline based in the Czech. Rather confusing but here I am flying in a…

A Pudgy Flight, A Dicey Ride, And Babul Ki Dua 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Pudgy Flight, A Dicey Ride, And Babul Ki Dua

A Pudgy Flight, A Dicey Ride, And Babul Ki Dua A visit to the chaotic town of Gorakhpur and a drive to the village of Hallour in UP is not for the faint of heart. But nothing that I cannot handle, except the early morning flight from Mumbai, is packed and the fellow beside me…

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