Pakistani-American Students Rise to the Occasion
Cal Poly Pomona PSA Sponsors an Orphan Flood Victim
By Pakiza Hira Chatha
“ Pakistan’s children don’t understand donor fatigue; they just want water, food and shelter.”
As Muslims around the world continued observing the daylong Ramadan fasts, many of Pakistan’s flood victims were starving long into the night. But the victims weren’t just hungry, they were thirsty, cold, sick, and scared.
The scale of Pakistan’s floods is worse than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined. There is an extreme shortage of food, water, clothing, shelter, and supplies. 35 % of the Pakistan is still submerged in floodwaters and an estimated one million homes have been destroyed or damaged with more than 20 million people being affected.
The students and board members of the Pakistani Students Association (PSA) of Cal Poly Pomona decided to take an initiative to promote awareness as well as support the flood victims. Wrapping up the academic year, in May 2010, PSA of Cal Poly Pomona held an End of the Year banquet whose proceeds were to benefit Islamic Relief USA. The guest speaker of the event, Mrs. Shaista Khan from Islamic Relief presented the relief programs on behalf of Islamic Relief to sponsor an orphan in Pakistan. With the help of organizations like COPAA, Pakistan Link, Aashiana Restaurant in Diamond Bar, the end of the year banquet was successful in awarding students and raising funds for the donation that was to come.
In times of crisis that Pakistan faces today from the recent catastrophe, it is important to take an initiative and stand with our brothers and sisters in Pakistan. By the grace of Allah and the support of all PSA students at CPP, we were able to sponsor an orphan, one without parents or without a father, from the recent Pakistan floods for one whole year. The outgoing President of PSA, Pakiza Chatha along with elected President Alicia Vajid presented the donation to Islamic Relief at the Emergency Fundraiser held on August 21st at the Knotts Berry Farm Hotel held in conjunction with COPAA.
Apart from this donation, we encourage you all to research and to donate generously to the flood victims not because they are Pakistanis, but because this is a humanitarian effort. Imagine if each one of us put even $1 to this cause how big of a difference it would make. With one US dollar approximating 85 Pakistani rupees.
To find out how you can help please visit: http://www.helppakistannow.com
CSUF PSA Raises $2500 for Flood Victims
By Muzzamil Ayaz
On Thursday, September 2nd CSUF Pakistani Student Association and the Muslim Student Association held a fundraising iftar for the victims of the recent flood in Pakistan.
“I feel pretty proud that we were able to raise all this money with just the youth. We had a presentation with facts about the flood that may not have been known along with a video about the devastation,” said Umair Ashraf , CSUF PSA President.
The event raised $2500 with over 150 people attending. There was a suggested donation of $5 per person. However several people gave more.
One of the attendees, Warda Khattak, said, “The event was small and held at short notice. I was extremely pleased with the turnout. It’s heartwarming to see Muslims unite for such a good cause and help fellow Muslims in need.”
CSUF PSA worked diligently to elicit the support of several sponsors necessary for the event. One sponsor, the Muslim owner of Juice it up, donated 150 drinks for the cause. According to Asrhaf most of the donations came from the youth.
“Charity doesn’t mean donating and donating doesn’t mean money. Investing your time in creating awareness about the flood, volunteering to collect donations, volunteering with masjid, charity organizations to collect clothes, over-the-counter medicine, blankets and other aid items, are just a few other options for someone who can’t donate but help with the cause,” said Khattak.
The event had a short video and slide show that gave key points about the magnitude of the disaster. Ashraf believes that this event informed some people of the scope and gravity of the flood catastrophe for the first time while updating others on the current status of the flooda.
The devastation of the flood is enormous, but has gained little coverage in the news media. Some of the attendees felt that Facebook had more coverage than the news media. Ashraf believes that if there was a bomb blast in Pakistan; it would have received more coverage than the flood.
Despite the low media coverage, there are still student leaders, like CSUF PSA, who are taking the initiative in organizing events to raise awareness about the devastation of the floods in Pakistan as well as to raise funds for the victims.
Youth Strives to Help Flood Victims
By Hassan Ahmed
With the flood situation in Pakistan progressively getting worse, people complained that enough was not being done to collect aid for the helpless victims. With over 1600 people dead and about 20 million badly affected, it was clear that people needed to step up relief and fundraising efforts. This stark reality caused friends Ibrahim Hafeez, Anum Lakhia, and Maliha Makki to take a stand and organize a fundraising Iftar for the flood victims. They were joined by Amina Moheyuddin, Shumaila Panhwar and Ahsan Ahmad in the planning of this event.
Hafeez, a member of the UC Irvine PSA, was joined by Lakhia, Moheyuddin, Panhwar, and Ahmad, all former members of the UCI PSA, with Makki being a former member of the UC Riverside PSA.
The Iftar took place on the UC Irvine campus and included delicious Pakistani food from Noorani Restaurant. With the help of Facebook and the general word of mouth, the group was able to get over a 100 people to attend and was able to raise about $1500 to be donated directly to the flood victims through Islamic Relief. “It is great to see that the youth can come together in a time of crisis for our country to organize and execute a successful event towards a noble cause,” Hafeez said about his feelings on the outcome of the Iftar.
It is important for the rest of us to follow what these five individuals have done and be as generous as we can to provide aid for the poor and helpless victims of the floods. Stay tuned for more fundraising events to be sponsored by the UCI PSA.
Facebook Group: UC Irvine Pakistani Students Association 10-11 (PSA).