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by Abdulhadi Hairan
2008-07-31 09:23:09
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We were living in a refugee camp in Pakistan's most backward tribal area Bajaur Agency. My grandmother was ill, needed some medical tests and due to the lack of good facilities at the sole hospital of the Agency, she wanted to go to a hospital in Peshawar. She took me as her companion. My father gave us the address of a relative who was living in a refugee camp near Peshawar called Jalozai where we were supposed to go in case of any problem.

We visited the hospital, completed all the tests, consulted the doctor, and late afternoon went to Jalozai.

We tried our best but, unfortunately, could not find our relative. I asked nearly 40 shopkeepers and all answered with "don"t know." The night fell, the shops began to close one by one, my elderly and ill grandmother in agony, impossible to go back to the city and my little mind (I was only 12 years old) had no idea what to do. Then she said, "Look, if there is any shopkeeper from Kunar (Our province in Afghanistan), go to him and request to give us stay for a night."

Many shopkeepers were from Kunar, I went to them one by one and requested but all of them refused with a suspicious stare at me. Now it was very embarrassing for both of us. And then, before we fell to the ground from tiredness and disappointment, a young boy came to me and asked politely, "It seems you have some problem. Can I help you?"

I told him the whole story and he offered his home for the night's stay. We accepted it happily. His home was about few yards. We will never forget his and his family's kind hospitality.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 10:13:41
Poignant story. If confirms that the poor and the humble of this earth are always more generous than the rich and powerful who have made their fortune on oil and then become philantropists in their old age so that they can be admired as wise sages.

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