Monday, May 25, 2009

A Step In the Right Direction for Kuwait

First off, apologies for the lack of posting here the past three weeks. I just couldn't seem to find the time to plant my ass in front of my computer and crank out some posts. I hope to get back in the saddle again soon.

Anyway, I meant to do a post about this several days ago when I first read about it, but thought I would give it a belated mention. In a positive turn in Kuwait, women (four of them, in fact) were elected to this Arab Gulf state's parliament for the first time in its history. Since I devote not a few posts on this blog decrying the unequal status of women in many Muslim states, including this post last year when I decried that not a single woman candidate for parliament in Kuwait was elected last year, it is only right that I highlight the good news as well.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Fit Has Hit The Shan in Pakistan

Read all about it here at the BBC Online, or a host of other places.

From the International Red Cross Committee:

The ICRC said that although figures remain unverifiable at this stage, reports indicated that up to 500,000 Pakistanis have been recently displaced by conflict in Dir, Buner and Swat.

The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society are currently marshaling their resources to be able to provide 120,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) affected by the fighting with food and essential relief items. The ICRC also hopes to be able to provide basic heath care for about 30,000 displaced people. Its recently inaugurated 60-bed surgical hospital in Peshawar is scaling up its capacity to be able to receive up to 100 weapon-wounded patients at a time. The organization has also been in daily contact with hospitals in Timmergarah, Mardan and Swat to find out about their needs and discuss possible ways of providing support.

It looks like the Pakistani government has finally realized you can't make deals with the Taliban fundamentalists. They have to be eradicated before they metastasize like a cancer throughout the country. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent Pakistani civilians are being displaced as a result of the crackdown by the Pakistani army in the Swat Valley region.

Now, there is no shortage of worthy causes in the world that need your help. But I would urge you to make a donation, if you are financially able, to the International Red Cross so that they can help the people of Pakistan who are being turned into refugees in their own country. You can make an online donation here. There is a drop-down screen where you can select Pakistan as your donation choice. I just made a donation a moment ago, as I wouldn't ask anyone to do so unless I had done so myself. Thank you for your consideration.