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Our hearts are aching for Bam's quake victims

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Yesterday was a strange day all over Tehran as people kept coming and going in the streets trying to buy or find things to send to our countrymen whom the god had taken no mercy on. Everyone felt somehow sad and at the same time a little responsible. They wanted to do something to share this terrible pain and misfortune on this lovely place and its people. This they did by getting a great deal of supplies and trying to send it off to Bam, Kerman.

photo: ISNA

Everywhere I went, people from all walks of life were trying to find ways to help the victims of this terrible tragedy. I have boycotted TV as the pictures make me so mad not only at god but also at his children on this earth.

The lack of Home Crisis Task Force, despite the many studies that have been conducted, is maddening. Otherwise, before the foreign rescue teams could get here, so many more people would have lived, only if we ourselves had trained teams that could be mobilized immediately. Everywhere you goes in Tehran, there are tents that are receiving aid for the victims. Many people are hiring private lorry to send their collected stuff. People have bought water, gasoline, blanket and even aspirin to send to Bam.

Government as well as a few organized NGOs has set up accounts to receive donation for help. I learned tonight that Iran Pen has also set up such an account, which will partially be used for building schools later.

The pain is fresh and there are many thousands who are devoting time and money to help, but the main task will be after all this. Once the dead are buried, then we must think and start the hard work of helping those who survived this deadliest of quakes. I do hope that groups get together and organize plans for rebuilding homes, schools and hospitals. These long-term projects are vital for the survival of the unfortunate victims. Caring people must devote time and money seriously and start looking for and training teachers, nurses, or even doctors that these places will need in order to be operational, along with building homes and setting up shops and factories in order to help those who did not lose their life, not who have lost their souls.

For now, I can only pray that the rescue workers are successful in finding those who are caught under the rubbles and hope that such terrible events, even if they happen in the future, do not result in such unbearable and dreadful result

With heavy hearts,
Syma Sayyah, Tehran

... Payvand News - 12/29/03 ... --

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