I awoke one Saturday morning (August 30, 2008) at the Asheville Friends Meeting House, and then went upstairs to wake up the dozen or so college students who had spent the night there. They were in town for a regional meeting of the Students for a Democratic Society, and were busy planning their trip up to
Rusul, which I have written about in the past, here, and here, was in
The day started out well, but about half way down to
On the drive up, Abu Ali communicated “nice” at all the beautiful vistas we saw. We did manage to communicate that Kurdish areas of
Anyway, I dropped them at the Islamic Education Center, drove Adrianne to her home and came back. Abu Ali took to this Center like a fish to water, but Rusul seemed bored in the children’s education class. There were 15 children in the class. They told a long story in English, which she did not understand. They also covered a few words in Arabic and did the Arabic alphabet, which I think Rusul found too easy to be interesting. Willa, however, really likes this class – so this child of a Quaker may take up Islamic studies. Rusul, however, does not complain. Abu Ali was in worship, which was part in English and part in Arabic. Someone there made a point of thanking me for bringing him.
We were due to meet a local man who would be an interpreter for our trip to the
Anyway, we went ahead into the
This was when Rusul started getting worn out. It is hard work to hop everywhere you go, using a walker. So we went into the log cabin and waited for the interpreter and his daughter to show up. As we were sitting there, it is easy to see the shrapnel wounds that Rusul has in her arms and legs. At this point, we pretty much decided that we all were starving, and we needed to eat! Abu Ali wanted ‘hamburger’ and Rusul likes potatoes. Neither one seems to like sweets.
As we were leaving the area, Abu Ali kept saying “nice” which was his way of saying the scenery was beautiful. Both the Islamic Center and the
And it ain’t over……
As I drove them back to
“Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. There may have been a time when war served as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force, but the destructive power of modern weapons eliminates even the possibility that war may serve as a negative good. If we assume that life is worth living and that man has a right to survivial, then we must find an alternative to war. …..Our world is threatened by the grim prospect of atomic annihilation because there are still too many who know not what they do.” (Martin Luther King, Jr in “Strength to Love”)
Yes, there are many who “know not what they do”. And little children playing hopscotch outside their homes end up paying the price – with their lives, their body parts, their health, and their future. It is the vastly ignorant ones, sitting in the middle of this land of plenty and astounding beauty, who do not see what they have done and make no effort to even become aware of the cost that innocent children have paid.
And in the middle of this land of plenty and astounding beauty, we spend our time making weapons to visit horror on other people (and in the anthrax attacks, we visited it upon ourselves) and making plans to obtain what is not ours to feed an addition to oil. We seem to know no bounds on our not knowing what we are doing, and no ability to see what we are headed towards.
And this ain’t over……
If you would like to help a war-injured child and their families, please go to No More Victims website. I have a video of how things are in