It was the summer of our junior year in high school. Khayyam, Sohail, Reza and I went to Mansera and beyond for a hiking trip. Our host in Mansera was Bilawal. His house was one of the many in lanes [galli] that dotted the mountain side. Thin strips of mountain rock led from the main road up to his house. Beneath the wide chasm. The jokes were that us fools will come out in the night and take a wrong step into the darkness below. We went fishing in the coolest, clearest river I had ever seen. And by fishing, I mean, we packed some gunpowder in a small bread ball with a long fuse and dropped it in the river. It was my first time alone in the mountains. I went many times after. Much further into the ranges with many, many fond memories. I keep remembering Bilawal's face. Not his face in person but his face in a picture that was taken and that I haven't seen since. Isn't that funny? This trick of memory. In the picture, all four of us are "striking a pose" with our jeans rolled tight at the cuff and our high-top Reeboks puffed high. I think my tshirt collar was up. I have no idea if Bilawal or his family are alive.
I have been looking at the earthquake pictures at Getty Images. I keep wanting to cry but I keep reminding myself that crying is so not going to help - and, besides, it will severely wreck my cool, calm exterior. So, must do something.
In case you are having some fundraising at your place of business or school, I have made a high-res poster that you can get printed at whatever size you desire at your local kinko's etc. [pdf and jpg]. Beware this is a big image. If you want a web-sized one, click here. If you want a flyer size, click here. For an even smaller version, click here. Feel free to download them, distribute them, print them, use them. I will make some banners and buttons too, if anyone says the word.
Now, there are three venues for online donation:
1. There is now a direct link to American Red Cross for Earthquake relief [hat tip Rajiv Vrudhula!]
2. ADP who have raised over $50,000 for Edhi Foundation.
3. There is a Chicago-based physician collective named Human Development Foundation. They are on the ground in the area right now. Donate to their efforts. I know these people and I highly recommend them.
4. C. Eqbal Ahmad Foundation: Tax deductible contributions support the work of Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy, his wife Hajra and their students who are directly working in Balakot, Mansehra and Abbotabad, and have requested donations through this foundation.
Instructions for Contributors to Eqbal Ahmad Foundation
a. Please make CHECKS payable to " EAF - EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND "
b. Please PRINT OUT, SIGN and MAIL the following form, along
with your check :
Enclosed is a donation of ________ to the EAF - Earthquake Relief Fund. I understand that this money will be used solely for the purpose of purchasing and distributing earthquake relief and rehabilitation supplies in Pakistan.
Name (please print): _________________________________________
Address : _______________________________________
c. Please mail your check and this form to:
Eqbal Ahmad Foundation
P.O. Box 222
Princeton, NJ 08542
The Eqbal Ahmad Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. Therefore, your donation is tax deductible. If you wish to receive a letter acknowledging your donation for tax purposes, please include your mailing address.
For tax purposes, all donation over $250 must include your name and mailing address.
Should you have any questions about how to make or send a donation, please contact the Foundation's Vice President, Zia Mian, at firstname.lastname@example.org
update: Emullah is on the Edhi Foundation case and has updated the information I posted earlier. He is also coordinating with Red Cross on his campus. He writes , "Red Cross will give us boxes and we will give vlounteers and posters that will be placed on campus and at different locations in the city. We may take that campaign state wide." If you can do the same in your city/university. PLEASE DO.
update 3: Emullah sends in another poster: here. I am going to make a couple more and make a new post about them.
Sepoy! Thanks for all the help and posters. We have teamed up with red cross to run a campaign on campus and in our city.
The New York Times has a long of charities. I am personally going to UNICEF. I have always used them for international disasters. I was a few minutes before you at the BBC Radio Five/ Live. Let's hope for the best and do what we can.
We're looking for banners to put on collection booths. Thanks a LOT for your posters. They really helped. Please write about your efforts in your area / institution at the wiki (it's temporarily having problems because of a surge in web accesses because of an article on the server about increasing ipod nano storage capacity to 200gb): http://pakistan.wikicities.com/wiki/Grassroots_relief_fund_raising_in_North_America
I will create some banners and put them up asap.
We should be praying for earthquake victims.
sepoy-- glad to hear that your family is safe. i dearly hope that the people you write about here are, as well. i'm remembering the photos a lahori friend once showed me of family vacations to the NWFP, and am terribly saddened. in addition to raising money for relief efforts, once the urgent need has passed, it would be a very good thing if more attention could be focused on the need for prevention efforts-- the work of groups like this one: http://www.geohaz.org/