On the (Flood) Ground in Pakistan
by Shubha Bala, associate producer
“…it hurt to see men in water to their chests carrying all they could on their shoulders.”
A past guest on this program, Jacqueline Novogratz recently traveled through Pakistan to help in the relief efforts after the flood. Through her Twitter stream, she’s shared images of humanity: photos of the scenes that moved her and the stories that she’s witnessed. She shared this story in the Huffington Post about one visit to a camp for flood victims:
“Then I notice a little boy named Imran. He is dressed in a tan shalwar kameez. His eyes are piercing, hot and angry. He stands with fists on hips, lips pursed, a tiny pipsqueak who has seen too much sadness and felt too much fear in his young life. … I look at him again. Maybe this little man is the most honest man here. His anger is raw, and he doesn’t hide it. I bet he’d fight if he could, and imagine a rage rising from knowing how little control he has in a world that ignores him.”
Just after returning to the United States, she gave a short talk on her experiences at TED headquarters in New York. She also set up On the Ground, a website where you can continue to see new images, video, and stories from Pakistan.
Photos courtesy of Jacqueline Novogratz.
Reading Pakistan Reports with a Skeptical Eye
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
As I read this report by Sabrina Tavernies in The New York Times this weekend, I found myself wondering how Douglas Johnston might read this. What am I missing? What is the reporter not telling me about madrasas that leads to a greater understanding on my, the reader’s, part? What are the routines and teaching taking place in the madrasas. How do those teachings differ from Islamic school to Islamic school? If the Qur’an is the sole text, how is it used: purely for theological training? as a foundational text for reading and writing? as a tool for propaganda? as a source of philosophical discourse?
I ask because I fear I’m not literate enough about understanding the complexity of these issues and Pakistani society in general. So when I read sentences like this, “Suicide bombings were neither encouraged nor condemned,” my internal alarm bells start ringing, which makes me slightly suspicious of other interesting points made in the report.
To me, the article touches on a significant point — Pakistan’s inability to create a quality public school system. I’d like to read more than a few sentences about this. Perhaps another time.
Am I being overly analytical and parsing too much?