Pakistani Students at UC Berkeley Hold Earthquake Vigil

A Pakistan Link Report

From left: PSA Table, ‘Dil Se’ singers and vigil participants

The Pakistani Students Association at UC Berkeley held a “South Asian Earthquake Relief Memorial Candle Light Vigil” at the Upper Sproul Plaza steps at the campus on Thursday, October 26, 2006. The event was held to remember the victims of the October 8, 2005 earthquake devastation and the efforts of various individuals and organizations who worked tirelessly to get help to the suffering millions in Northern Pakistan.
PSA President Nadir Shams made the introductions as the event started off with light songs by the South Asian “Dil Se” group of singers which attracted some curiosity from passersby.

From left: ISA representative, Hidaya Foundation representative and UNICEF representatives

Addressing the gathering, Ras Siddiqui, thanked the Berkeley volunteers, Mayor Tom Bates and several area groups that helped out Pakistanis in dire need last year. A chronological presentation of some of the fundraising events that took place in the region and reported on in the Pakistan Link was presented.
Osman Ergene from the Hidaya Foundation followed with a presentation of his organization’s efforts for this cause. He asked the question “What now?” and said that the need for more help still existed. Hidaya certainly did a great job on this project and rightly deserved the recent award presented by Pakistan ’s President General Pervez Musharraf during his recent visit to the United States.
Two representatives from the UNICEF organization also addressed the gathering. They reminded everyone that the trauma was still present. India Students Association Raheel made a call for lasting peace between India and Pakistan and lamented the fact that it takes disasters for the two countries to help each other out.
The PSA at Berkeley needs to be commended for its efforts. It was too windy for candles but everyone improvised quite well.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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