Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's the little things that matter

As I mentioned the last time, I haven't been blogging in a while – I don't know why but I just haven't felt like it. I dread up waking up every morning because I wonder what will pop up on my BBC homepage. In the past few months, I just feel like everything that can go wrong in the world is going wrong & we might as well blow ourselves up. I know – it's not a very inspiring message nor does it portray my usual can-do attitude, but I can't help it.

Last week, I was working on a report on Darfur when it really hit me that yes, the international community is allowing a genocide to occur – again. For those of you who are not aware of the issue, Darfur is located in the western region of Sudan. Since 2003, the government-sponsored militia has killed about 140,000 people based on their ethnicity. Most of the victims are Muslims and what kills me is the silence on part of the Muslim & Arab world, although the number of Darfurians that have been killed surpasses those killed in Iraq and Palestine.

I don't remember the genocide in Rwanda or the Balkans in the last decade, so for me genocide has always been a chapter in my political science book – a historical fact that I had to study. Having to work on one that is actually occurring while I write is still very new to me and honestly, overwhelming. However, after working in DC for a year on Darfur, what I have realized is that genocide is stoppable. For people who want to learn more information about the issue – please visit
www.globalsolutions.org/darfur and feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Although I have been mulling about the issues mentioned above for a while now, there is one person who inspired me to write this particular entry: my 13-yr old sister. Why you ask? Well, a few weeks ago, her Qur'an teacher mentioned the drought in East Africa this year and how she and her friends could fund raise money for a well in Tanzania. Taking her advice, my sister and her two friends got together & started to sell baked goods during various events at the mosque. Their enthusiasm & commitment to the cause has allowed them to raise over $1000 in just a few weeks. Words cannot express how proud I am of these three girls.

Their courage to make a difference in this world has given me much needed hope. We are all empowered to create change – we just have to be willing to act & think beyond our comfort zones.

As we near the end of Muharram and Safar, we need to take stock of what we have learned from mourning the tragedy in Karbala. Our beloved Imams and Bibis endured severe hardship for their cause, but they didn't allow themselves to be victims. Men and women of all ages in the holy household stepped up to the plate because they realized how high the stakes were.

The stakes are high today too. Are we going to step up to the plate or are we going to sit back while another shrine blows up? The choice is yours.