This is another letter by Ejaz from Relief Front to his uncle however he 'CC'd to me as well to give a broader picture. Emphasis in brackets and bold is all mine.
Tue, 8 Nov 2005 17:10:53 +0500
From: "Ejaz Asi" ejaz asi@...com
To:"Iftikhar Ajmal Bhopal"
Subject:Re: Trauma Patients in RWP/ISL
Walikum assalam, Iftikhar uncle,
I wish i cd go back and be with these patients. I don't have working knowledge of clinical psychology but I am quite a sensitive person by inheritance and have studied human behavioral psychology privately. One of my team members, Arfeen, a son of Peshawar family who was born and bred in London, is a renowned speaker and psychiatrist. I was with him for three such
trauma patients. It was because of him, we also survived, I think. I have been having disturbing dreams of helpless children and women who don't want to tell their secret sorrows. But as I survived long uphill and downhill walks of day long and the sights of amputated legs and arms and dead bodies, I believe I would survive my nightmares too. I am not scared of them anymore. I have transformed them to keep myself on my toes and do whatever I can in any respect. My knee n ankle's been recovering pretty quickly and amazingly. I am fascinated by how God gives us courage to overlook and not let our small sorrows, pains and issues to come in between such causes. Atleast three or four of us had walking problems on uphill as well as downhill but still we not only managed to keep walking but also kept our fasts while we walked whole day long.
The lady, to whom we could not offer any tents as we didn't bring any such stuff otherwise, brought Akhrot (Walnuts) somehow and presented to us. Nature wouldn't have been more proud of its daughters than that hour, I believe. I wish I could meet and work with your family. I certainly learnt a great deal of different things with the doctors team I have been with. As everyone of us is back in Karachi and back to our usual businesses, I find it very difficult to concentrate on these frivolties. Arfeen's still there with an old member of our team, Waqar. However, the rest of us have planned to visit JPMC, Al-Akhtar and Al-Rasheed trust's hospitals and meet earthquake patients and survivors. I deeply wish to work for their rehabilitation but lack adequate sources and directions like many others. However, the need of the hour is to stay awake and remain hopeful and keep working. I talked to Dr. Faisal (DHQ, Rawalpindi) this afternoon and asked if his hospitals need volunteers, food or clothing and/or toys for children. I gathered that its pretty good there now however these survivors need to settle down somewhere safe and restructure their lives. Again, I was clueless how was that going to happen, when government and NGOs want to control everything now. However, one thought keep swirling my mind after I left AJK. I met Mr. Zaman Awan, Asst. Director Schools, Muzaffarabad there who said, "don't think these people have 'settled-down'. They smile and feel alive to see you guys and girls who have come this far and their belief in humanity and love rekindles." I think at least that thought needs to survive. I urge you to keep me updated about RWP/ISL camps and hospitals so I could see what I can do in my capacity. I can at least spend my evening hours at local hospitals or camps or if your daughter (in Karachi) could guide better, that would be great too. I have postponed the idea of narrating a lot of junk-scenes of bad-media coverage, so-called TV-stars behavior and such stuff in public because this relief operation is going to last longer than our fondest imagination. And a lot more public is reading our blogs than we could think of and it only discourages the innocent public to cooperate and keep their prayers at least coming for the affectees. It would also leave bad marks on the minds of a lot of our foreign readers and volunteers who still haven't been able to deliver more than what they already did for Tsunami. I have one more request to make. I tried to trace and talk to Dr. Kamran (Psychiatry ward, RGH) but couldn't. There were two patients I saw and want to inquire about their well-being. One 21 yr old Saiqa, blind and 22 members of her family dead. Second was 4 yr old Asim who wouldn't sleep whole night and as you said keeps staring at the ceiling whole night long. While the young kids are easier to counsel and recover, the older girls and adults are even more nightmarish. You can put up 2-3 sample patients with their histories on your blog which I would happily link and let others know of the severity of the problem. I would inshallah put up my last expedition of Panjgran with possible map-location and other related information by the end of the week. Take good care of yourself and also your back. Many prayers and wishes for your family. dua go (remembering you in my prayers as well)