Two years ago I was visiting my relatives in Mashhad. During this period my mother suffered from a spinal injury which required urgent surgery. The surgeon was a young doctor who was going to operate on my mother's spinal column and remove some damaged intervertebral disk tissues. Due to the sensitivity of the surgery, the surgeon recommended to use operation room in the Imam Mosaa Iben Jafar hospital. Later I learned that this hospital is 100% supported by public charity. It was surprising to know that the most sophisticated operating room in Mashhad, a city of 3 million people, is supported by charity. The hospital foundation is probably at least 40 years old and has been a medical centre for all classes of society, including those who cannot afford expensive medical treatments. It added to my surprise while staying with my mother at the hospital to see the cleanliness and care in a medical centre run by charity. I met young students and people from different corners of society who worked there for free on a part time basis as cleaner and nurse.
The above flashback came into my mind last week when noticed on the Payvand.com site that Mr. Hushang Ansary a rich Iranian ex-oil finance minister and ambassador to US has given away 15 million dollars to a stem cell research centre (Weill Cornell establishes stem cell research center with $15 million gift from Iranian-Americans Shahla and Hushang Ansary). This is not the first time to see names of rich expatriate Iranians giving away to the rich societies who are not starving for funds.
Giving away to charities is always admirable, regardless of the nationality of receivers. However, as our ancestors said in the past "CHERAGHI KEH BE MANZEL RAVAST BE MASJED HARAMST" meaning: Giving away a lamp that's needed at home to a mosque is a sin.
My question to our fellow expatriate Iranians who have some extra cash and want to spend for charities is "Why not consider our motherland?" In that country there are hundreds of towns and cities with great needs for medical care. There is at least one orphan center in any city that you can give donations to and make many young hearts happy. There are many young talented but poor students whom you can make a difference in their lives. A dollar may not count much in USA but will be a great deal of help to our fellow Iranians who are not as lucky as some of us are.
About the author:
Akbar Nouruzi is an expatiate Iranian living in Australia
... Payvand News - 5/27/04 ... --