Friday, April 22, 2005

Meet Shahad...

What a cute little rosy-cheeked 3-year old. I could just imagine playing with her although she does look like she’s in a bit of a sulk… now read her profile here:

Shahad, is my sponsered orphan, and I knew about her in a little pack I received this morning.

I was at a conference a few of weeks back featuring Nizam Yacubi, the Bahraini scholarly King of islamic banking, and an organisation called MuslimHands had set up a stall and u know what its like; you walk past it thinking oh its just another charity, just another collections box, wrist bands, ribbons..there is no escaping. This time though, I thought no, let me face up to my responsibility for once. Once I got chatting to the guy, he reminded me of a salesman attempting to flog off a catalogue of goods. This wasn't really the situation, but the sponsership schemes and projects that you can choose to send you're money to, leaves u with hard decisions to make. Do you go for the orphans, teachers, elderly, disabled, or student sponsership schemes?

"I think i'll go for orphans" I replied.

The guy then asked me, "what country would you like your orphan to come from?". What a question I thought to myself, but in a hurry after offering me a list, I chose "Palestine", this seemed the natural answer at the time. What makes an orphan in Palestine more worthy than an orphan in Iraq, Kashmir or even Senegal? Anyway, he then asked me for any other preferences regarding age or sex etc. In all honesty, I wasn’t really concerned with the details, I told him I prefer you just take the money and give it to whomever you deem most in need of it. I didn’t want to begin envisioning or putting a face to these people or they're dire circumstance. There are endless worthy causes and countless needy people, Im not in a position to start evaluating and judging, whether the tsunami victims need the money more than Ethiopians.

That attitude simply changed when I subsequently received the pack from MuslimHands containing all the information and background about Shahad, including a Polaroid photo and her correspondence address! The small monthly amount that I send her covers her school fees, clothing & footwear (inc. school uniform), books & stationary and travel costs, and at the price of what? At the price of a 3 course meal at an average restaurant that I would usually have, or 3 trips to the cinema (I've almost quit both by the way).

Well since it is the Birthday of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) I think this is as good a time as any to send her some sort of gift. Shahad, your pressie is in the post darling!

Posted by BB @ 4/22/2005 03:53:00 PM

Read or Post a Comment

Allah yerham waldaich.

Well done Bahrania, you have shown us the way to compassion.

Posted by Anonymous Mahmood Al-Yousif @ 4/22/2005 06:55:00 PM #

It's so touching!
I wanna sponser an orphan too. In fact, your topic encouraged me to do it right now. Once I'm done with it, I'll send you the details, thanx

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 4/23/2005 04:22:00 AM #

Can I introduce my little Iraqi sponsered orphan Noor?


Who is cuter? Noor or Shahad? :)

Well, if you send Fatima a gift, I will send something to Shahad :)

Posted by Blogger Bahraini by nature @ 4/23/2005 02:34:00 PM #

cute kids/
who's fatima?

Posted by Blogger Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) @ 4/23/2005 03:12:00 PM #

I did want to encourage others to also sponser. It really just consists of filling out one form with bank account details authorising the charity to withdraw £20/$30 once a month.

BBN what charity did u go through?
Do they have a website?

Posted by Blogger Bahrania @ 4/23/2005 06:40:00 PM #

Although I feel your good deeds, I think it's unwise to publish Shahad's full identity including her full address. Put yourself in her or her family's shoes. Would you like this to see yourself in such situation?

[bahritish] ;)

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 4/23/2005 06:43:00 PM #

I went through the Imam Ali Foundation. These guys run an orphan sponsorship program for Iraqies. It costs £18 only to sponser an orphan for a month.

Bahrania.. I agree with Anon. Maybe you should hide Shahad's address to protect her privacy.

Anon.. Shahad is an orphant!!! how can you put yourself in her family's shoes while she does not have a family!! :)

Posted by Blogger Bahraini by nature @ 4/23/2005 07:30:00 PM #

Does anyone remember the cartoon صاحب الظل الطويل (Daddy Long Legs - in english)? I used to adore this cartoon when I was kid.

If you did not enjoy your childhood with watching that cartoon you might be interested to read abit about its story

Daddy-Long-Legs is an epistolary novel, written as a series of letters from Jerusha "Judy" Abbot to her anonymous benefactor, whom she calls Daddy-Long-Legs. A sixteen-year-old orphan earning her keep in the John Grier Foundling home, Jerusha has an active mind and pen. An anonymous benefactor sends her to college to become a writer, paying all her bills and providing a wardrobe and allowance, in exchange for monthly letters on her progress. Jerusha, having caught a glimpse of her extremely tall benefactor, begins addressing her letters to Daddy-Long-Legs. She tells him more than her academic progress in her chatty letters. She shares her insecurities about her social status, her crush on Jervis Pendleton, a floor mate's young uncle. She is outspoken and opinionated, never afraid to tell her "Daddy" about her political or moral views. She is a socialist, a suffragette, and a satirist. She lets him know when she is angry with him, and does not take his orders submissively. She questions everything.
The plot is very much based on a Cinderella tale-poor Judy Abbott, orphan, falls in love with the rich Jervis Pendleton. The set-up of the story is not entirely realistic, and the resolution of the love story plot is rushed at the end of the novel. Daddy-Long-Legs, who heretofore has only financed boys' education, decides to send Jerusha to college based on a funny essay criticizing the very orphanage of which he is trustee. Mrs. Lippet, head of the orphanage, tells Jerusha, "On the strength of that impertinent paper, he has offered to send you to college" (12). Based on Jerusha's observations of the dignity bordering on oppressiveness of the trustees, this decision seems to go against her characterization. The communication between Jerusha and her benefactor is strange-he does not want his identity to be revealed, and she cannot address him as "Mr. Smith." She immediately starts addressing her letters to Daddy-Long-Legs and often refers to him as simply "Daddy." He is obviously a father figure to Judy, which is disturbing when it is revealed that Daddy-Long-Legs is also her love-interest, Jervis Pendleton.

Now I am waiting to get some letters from Noor in the future :)

Posted by Blogger Bahraini by nature @ 4/23/2005 07:58:00 PM #

Bahraini by nature, Shahad is an orphan, not a Martial alien who has no connections on Earth. Loosing Dad or Mum, not the whole family, makes her an orphan. Loosing the breadwinner makes her eligible to receive the society’s sponsorship.


Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 4/23/2005 09:43:00 PM #

She's gorgeous! Too cute.

May she lead a happy and successful life.

Posted by Blogger Chanad @ 4/24/2005 12:41:00 AM #

just wanted to clarify that her address is not on there... its the address of the local charity.

Posted by Blogger Bahrania @ 4/24/2005 03:09:00 AM #

I was talking about sponsoring a child with a few friends a couple of weeks ago, and we were all a bit skeptical about the whole process.

I do agree that sponsoring a child is a good deed and may whoever sponsors one be blessed by whoever blesses things in this world. But is it fair that they display photos of these kids at stalls and get people to sponsor them, perhaps based on their looks?

"Aw, this one looks cute - I'll sponsor her!" - I don't think everyone does this, but I assume a good chunk of people do.

Another point is, what about the other kids who go to school with this child? Do they get to stare at how this child is sponsored and they're not? If the funds that people donate get sent to a specific child rather than a whole orphanage or school, then won't that create discrepencies between sponsored children and non-sponsored children?

Forward 10 years - "Sorry, he gets to go to university because he was sponsored, you were less fortunate - you get to sell peanuts in the streets"

Finally, it seems to me that it was organisations like WorldVision who were responsible for starting schemes like this one, and I do believe that following their footsteps blindly might lead to serious social issues in the future.

Posted by Blogger Evil Odd @ 4/24/2005 09:21:00 AM #

ODD A...they don't diplay photos of these kids at stalls..What happens is that you tell them you want to sponser an orphant and give them money. They choose an orphant and send you his/her details later on. The only option you have is the country of the orphant.

Posted by Blogger Bahraini by nature @ 4/24/2005 12:57:00 PM #

I was just waiting for the skeptics and the cynics to kick into this post and start raising suspicions about the charities, about the fairness of the whole thing, about displaying fotos blah blah... sometimes I wonder if all these criticisms are to appease their own conscience, to try and justify not giving to charity, by putting a moral twist to the simple act of giving.

No we probably can't give equally and fairly to those who need, no we're not sure whether these charities do a good job or not, no we're not sure if these charities have hidden agendas, we can argue till tomorrow whether using fotos or not is justified...

all I say is... u don't want to give..don't try stopping others from doing so... quite frankly I don't really see any of us getting on the next plane to Gaza and taking all the money ourselves and doing the job that charities are supposed to do...

Posted by Blogger Bahrania @ 4/24/2005 03:28:00 PM #

I am presently sponsoring several orphans and it really makes me feel like I can help someone even if I cannot change the world. I encourage anyone interested to do the same.
Looks didn't matter,but circumstances,GDP,literacy,and life expectancy in the country they live were the criterion I chose to consider.Also some children have siblings.HELP THEM

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