Friday, October 21, 2005

Calamity's Children

I have been waiting for the American media to cover the devastating earthquake in Pakistan and India with the same passion with which they covered Hurricane Katrina. Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times succeeds in giving the earthquake's tens of thousands of victims the attention they deserve with his heart-breaking story, "With a Quick Blow, Her Future Dimmed." Watson tells us about Gulnaz, a 9-year-old girl who was just starting school when the earthquake badly injured her and left her without family. Here is a short passage from Watson's powerful story:

Not for the first time, Sadiq asked Gulnaz her family name. The yellow medical chart lying next to her head bore only her first name and a brief note on her surgery: amputation, right leg, below the knee. Gulnaz replied in a faint, trembling voice.
"It hurts," she said, crying. "I want to go to my mom."
"We will take you to your parents," he told the girl softly, knowing that was probably a lie. She had just lost her leg. He couldn't tell her that she was also alone.,0,5282276.story?track=tottext


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