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Pakistan Teleconference, 2008
MORE NEWS ON PAKISTAN
2009, PAKISTAN Background:
Afit, director of Harmony Foundation, wrote:
Since August 1, 2009, when seven people lost their lives and 119 homes were burned because of religiously motivated violence in Gojra and Koiryan, Harmony Foundation has been involved in a peace and reconciliation process.
The latest development is that Harmony Foundation has started a trauma healing program for youth in the two violence stricken areas. The focus is on practical work that youth, both Muslim and Christian, can do together for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the stricken Christian families. The program will run on a weekly basis and there will be two sessions per week. The first group will complete the program in six weeks.
The first session began on September 8 after Harmony Foundation was successful in bringing together 29 youth (boys and girls) from the Muslim and Christian communities, not an easy matter.
The first day began with difficulty as the youth discussed the incident and blamed each other for the happening of the incident. However, after two hours of complaints and allegations, all came to an agreement to work together. All understood the meaning of the main theme of this program: there is unity in diversity.
Another note from Atif:
I want to share sad news with you. Samuel, 20 years old, was badly injured in Gojra by acid thrown on him by three unknown people. His neck and eyes are affected. The government hospital gave him First Aid and then discharged him. He needs treatment, especially his eyes.
In the letters that are coming, some people have asked about donations. I donít know know the answer. It is for Barbara to decide.
Note from Barbara:
I have never asked the Global Meditations Network people for money and I have little knowledge about the process of donations.
I spoke on the phone with Atifís brother who lives in New Jersey and who is an honest and good person whom I trust.
His name is Naeem Harry and his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Naeem Harry says, if anyone wants to give a donation, please email him.
Another note from Barbara:
Naeem Harry has his hands full, and so, if you email him, please be patient. He is a chaplain whose focus is on giving loving care to hospitalized people.
Earlier Pakistani news:
Will you, as a member of the Global Meditations Network, stop a moment to send a letter of peace and encouragement to the children who lost everything, some even losing their families, when the Pakistani villages of Koriyan and Gojra were deliberately burned? My thought is that if the traumatized children of these two villages realize that the world is thinking about them, they will be comforted.
Please send these letters to:
Atif Jamil Pagaan
House #2, Street #4
Faisalabad, 38090, Pakistan.
Atif agrees that these letters will give encouragement and support. They will be translated into Urdu and read to the children.
Atif also says the children will be asked to draw or write something for the members of the Network.
When I was lecturing in Pakistan last October, I gave my camera to Atif. Little did I realize that this camera would become a means of bringing news to me of Pakistani events, such as photographs of school children whose faces were painted with the colors/flags of Pakistan and India when there was a serious incident in Mumbai. The children wanted to show that they are peaceful and they do not hold judgment.
My thought is that this same camera can be used to photograph drawings from children who are responding to letters of kindness coming from the Global Meditations Network. Although I am not a computer expert, I can learn to put these pictures on the website for all of you to see.
More news from Pakistan: At the time of the burning of the villages, donkey carts were burned and the animals were killed.. This area is known for brickmaking and people earn a living by carting bricks here and there according to the wishes of the brickmaking owners. Now this is ended and these people cannot make a living. According to Atif, twenty-nine families were dependent on donkey carts for their earnings.
Some day I will write you about Atif rescuing three orphan brothers sold into slavery. My little camera recorded the three brothers after they were rescued, their faces marked with trauma. We who live in areas of the world where slavery is not practiced are lucky!
Peace, Love, and Light,