November 21st, 2011

November 21st, 2011

November 21st, 2011 150 150 Comfort Aid International
CAI Opens 9th School in Afghanistan, Mobilizes For 10th
I am ecstatic to report CAI opened her 9th school in Belkhaab, Afghanistan this November 2, chilly rain and snowflakes for background.  I profoundly am grateful to Allah (S) for this opportunity and overwhelmed by the support of you, CAI donors for making this possible.  CAI has now begun mobilizing for the 10th school (girls) in Dykoondi, where, like Belkhaab, children study under the open sky.  Please click here to see a photo gallery and trip reportby Zuher Somji of Sanford, Orlando who accompanied me on our recent trip to Afghanistan.
On A Personal Note:
Until recently, I was of the firm conviction I have, in life, seen and done it all; there is nothing that Allah (S) has not blessed me with. I was ready to go if He called me.  Alas, I have changed my mind.  With the success of CAI educational projects all over the world and especially Afghanistan, I pray He gives me enough time to build (at least) 25 schools there.  Even if one child testifies that her / his life was redeemed as a result of our efforts, why, it is my opinion that I (and CAI donors of course) will have a fighting chance of redemption on Judgment Day.  Education is the only salvation that will emancipate the people of Afghanistan, especially the Shias, from their existing despairing predicament.  

Somalia / Kenya Drought Update
Devastating news awaited me on arrival to Kenya; the government had cancelled all flights to Wajir due to security issues related to Al Shabab threats.  I could not therefore, inspect the 200 water wells supported by CAI donors that have been completed.  The situation with refugees we are trying to assist is getting better however, they are growing their own food with seeds provided and there has been very good recent rains.  The water wells are full so these will help during the dry periods.  The entire 500 well project will be completed by end of January 2012 insha’Allah. Here are some photos of 200 wells completed and here is the list of all families and villages assisted.
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Some five years ago, Nazim Mirza, a destitute peasant farmer from Mursheedabad, WB India, moves to congested and grimy, smelly community of Matia Bruj, Kolkota in the hope of work and a better life for his family.  He staggers around Matia Burj, followed by his frail wife and two very young daughters for a few days, surviving on handouts and sleeping on pavements.  He is in luck, for he gets employed as a grocery store worker, albeit for a measly pay.  Finally, after much struggle, Mirza has some money; the family can eat one hot meal a day.
Mirza is illiterate, has no idea about contraceptives, and couldn’t afford any even if he knew about birth control.  So Mrs. Mirza gets pregnant, yet again, and gives birth to an underweight but relatively healthy baby boy.  Days later, Mrs. Mirza dies due to complications of the child’s birth and severe lack of blood; the poor lady just did not have any resistance on her and gave up the will to survive.
Blinded with grief and over his head with the care of three children, Mirza struggles, leaving them with an uncompromising but accommodating Wahabi neighbor while at work.  The Wahabi couple offers to buy the boy, Mirza refuses at first, struggling within his community for help.  Desperate, he relents in the end, selling the infant for approximately US$200.
When I get wind of the situation, I am livid and immediately offer to ‘buy’ back the infant; a donor agrees funding, I intend to send him to one of CAI orphanages in India.  The Wahabi couple refuses.  We offer to double, triple and even up the offer ten times; they will not budge.  The transaction is legal; all ‘adoption’ documents airtight, the courts will not intervene.  Fearing Mirza will sell his daughters as well, CAI steps in and moves the two girls to Sakina Girls Home in Andheri, Mumbai.
I had the good fortune of meeting the two girls during my recent visit there on Eid day;click here to see their photograph in their Eid attire.  Both Sabah, 13 and Roshni, 11 are doing very well, alhamd’Allah.  They have a secure home, have three square meals a day but most importantly, they get a quality education, an opportunity for a brighter future insha’Allah.  The girls have no contact with Mirza.
One more service for the pleasure of Allah (S).  Thank you donors, for it is your sacrifices that make these orphanage services possible.

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