This article by Deepak Chopra sums up my sentiments about the recent earthquake in Pakistan / Kashmir / Afghanistan.
Can citizens of the world respond as they should to yet another vastly devastating disaster?
Jehangir (the 5th Mughal Emperor) on Kashmir:
Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and my sorrow over it
has lasted most of my life. Pakistan and India contend over this mountain
paradise strictly to keep religious bigotry alive. Now that the region has
suffered a calamitous earthquake which has caused up to 30 times more deaths
than Katrina, the world should draw together.
Not just to bring relief but to recognize that members of our own family have
For decades we've heard about major earthquakes affecting the
region from eastern Turkey through Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. These are
among the most troubled spots on earth, and yet as much attention as we pay to
them politically, they are entirely ignored in other regards. Why is a
corruption scandal inside the Washington beltway more significant than massive
loss of life around the world?
It shouldn't be. World events are moving
quickly. Arab countries are no longer economically backward, yet as we see from
the pictures coming out of the disaster site, these overwhelmingly Muslim
victims live in primitive conditions as far from the wealth of Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia as the wealth of America. If the Muslim world hates colonialism and its
legacy, it's time for them to step up and provide an alternative. Arab relief
should be supplying hundreds of millions of dollars, not just to help out here,
but to build up the catastrophically backward towns and villages that fill this
At the same time the Western powers should be standing beside
Arab nations as brothers in humanity. That we don't is due to religious and
post-colonial prejudices that are shameful. The time is coming soon when global
cooperation won't be a luxury but a necessity for our entire survival. We could
use this horrendous tragedy as the first step into a global future that crosses
the lines of nationalism, colonialism, and religion. What more fitting memorial
to our dead brothers and sisters?
" If there is paradise anywhere on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here."