Blogs

Reshma’s Story / Remembering Raza Mama 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Reshma’s Story / Remembering Raza Mama

Reshma’s Story After trying for three years, the Pakistani government finally decides I am not a threat to their country and grants me a visit visa. They have reason to fret and delay as they are (naturally) apprehensive with anybody with numerous in and out passport stamps visiting India and Afghanistan. I want to go…

Bollywood In Najaf? 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Bollywood In Najaf?

Bollywood In Najaf? It is incredible how the Coronaviruses have upturned all our lives, but especially for frequent travelers. Like me. Consider this. Emirates Airlines has me on a confirmed flight to Najaf from Dar via Dubai. I have made all the arrangements (a pain of sorts), taken the accursed doodoo tests, made appointments, booked…

A Slap – A Sting – An Education? 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Slap – A Sting – An Education?

A slap There is a war of words of larger-than-life proportions next door at the Leela Hotel here in Mumbai, India. I can hear the feuding couple hurl filthy abuses at each other as clearly as if they are right here in my room. The fight is about the man supposedly paying too much attention…

My Bloody Gallbladder Stones 150 150 Comfort Aid International

My Bloody Gallbladder Stones

My Bloody Gallbladder Stones For uninteresting reasons, I end up in the emergency room of Fatimiyah Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. I must have a very large stone in my gallbladder removed. Kind of chap-chap. The hospital is in Soldier Bazaar, located in a lower-middle-class neighborhood of this sprawling city. The emergency room is busy, with…

Aal Is Vel 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Aal Is Vel

Aal Is Vel It is in an aircraft 28,000 feet in the air that I find out a COVID-19 test is required to be allowed back to Mumbai from Kolkata tomorrow. The enlightened medical experts in the state of Maharashtra deem it necessary for ‘outsiders’ within India to have a piece of paper stating I…

Daughters For Sale 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Daughters For Sale

When the first reports of Afghan families selling or marrying their adolescent daughters for food or debt settlement flashed up on my TV, I was somewhat skeptical. Widely followed mainstream media outlets Inc., especially western, have in the past covered such headlines for sensationalism, exaggeration, and profit, especially when it is out of poor and…

Who Cares / A Nightmare 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Who Cares / A Nightmare

Who Cares It’s Deepawali, or Diwali, the festival of lights for almost 1.5 billion people of the world population, almost 15% of us. I remember it as a festive period growing up in Tanzania where we joined our Hindu friends in lighting up firecrackers and eating delicious sweetmeats full of ghee and sugar. Our neighbors…

Orphans Stories 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Orphans Stories

Ulfat – Zanzibar I meet Ulfat some three years ago, in her grandmother’s pitiful house somewhere in Zanzibar. It has taken me a ten-minute walk in waterlogged muddy lanes to reach her house. My shoes are soggy with muddy water, and they make a rude sound as I walk. Good thing I am wearing shorts,…

Have Sheesha, Will Smoke 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Have Sheesha, Will Smoke

Have Sheesha, Will Smoke Emirates flight EK 726 from Dar es Salaam to Dubai is almost full. The crew (most of them) look like human beings now, unlike recently, when they donned the awful-looking COVID protective gear as if some unconvincing aliens from another world. The flight takes off and lands on time with Emirates…

Yes, I Am Mad / I Give Up 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Yes, I Am Mad / I Give Up

Yes, I Am Mad The die is cast. The impossible has happened. My nightmare is real. I have navigated through some pretty turbulent airs in my life and been through some tough situations. Some life-threatening as well. This event is unique, however, and no matter where I turn and what rationale I try to use…

Am I A Mshenzi? Or A Mjeenga? 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Am I A Mshenzi? Or A Mjeenga?

Mshenzi – Uncivilized Mjeenga – Illiterate I’ve just finished my early morning exercise routine and am looking forward to a robust cup of Tanzanian coffee and skin-still-on roasted cashews – khorosho (closest taste to this probably after death. In janna?) when my cellphone rudely farts. It’s one more maddening WhatsApp video forwards of the rites…

Kabul Trails 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Kabul Trails

This Blog was published in 2018 – I rerun it now due to the current events in Afghanistan. It’ll give you an insight into the challenges that CAI personnel went through in intricately building up the current compliant infrastructure that is now teetering. I have visited Afghanistan 41 times since 2007. The number of CAI…

Sabah Wants A Divorce – An Update 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Sabah Wants A Divorce – An Update

I and fellow Trustees Shaida Hussain and Sohail are traveling to Sierra Leone, all the way to the west coast of Africa, to hand over a CAI donor-sponsored school to a poor community. Since I’m time-constrained with travel, I thought I’d repost this entertaining – to me – Blog, initially published in January 2017 again,…

Our Twisted World… 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Our Twisted World…

There was a time in my adult life when I had to fret about keeping my travel itinerary straight. Where am I going next? Have I have met all the visa requirements? Will I make the connecting flights without bursting my hernia? Is the fare within my increasingly stretched budget? Now, I worry about all…

An Eventful Morning Walk / Meeting With The President 150 150 Comfort Aid International

An Eventful Morning Walk / Meeting With The President

An Eventful Morning Walk I do a brisk seventy-five minutes (approximately four miles) walk after morning salaat four times a week here in Dar es Salaam. It is quite a pleasant walk, especially now, the non-summer days of East Africa, when the mornings and late evenings are super pleasant. Two refreshing cups of Swahili kahwa…

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