Do disasters vary? [Archives:2008/1219/Community]

December 25 2008

By: Salim Aqeel Al-Kelali
Faculty of Arts&Humanities
Al-Ahgaff University
[email protected]

A few days of rain were enough to change a mere blip in the weather into a full-on disaster. Whenever anyone hears that a disaster has taken place somewhere, he immediately imagines the damage and the victims.

At first it began to rain as usual but suddenly it started to pour, accompanied by storm winds, thunder and lightning – a precursor to the coming disaster. As these events began to unfold, people became frightened in their own homes, which may well have become the only safe places for them. However, they left their houses for fear that they might collapse while they were still inside, for indeed some of these houses were old and weak, instead heading to the schools to take refuge. The situation continued like this until the rain abated, and it was time for the citizens to assess the damage, look for survivors, and recover the corpses of those who died.

It was a disaster such as you cannot comprehend, beyond simply assessing the material impact. Most people believe in, and are satisfied with, their fate as deemed by God, especially when they find what aid they can for overcoming even a little part of this crisis. But unfortunately they were disappointed and shocked to discover the negligence and laziness of those whose primary responsibility was rescuing them and offering assistance. What little support was offered by the institutions concerned failed to stop the people feeling letdown. Was this not a humanitarian matter?! Isn't this a shame?! Questions must be asked by all who have a good conscience.

You will be amazed to hear that animals have rights that are protected by law, yet in this situation human rights were ignored. Isn't this a second disaster in itself?!

A third disaster, but with a delicious and official flavor, especially for those who are accustomed to tasting meals without knowing who had even cooked them. The majority of people observed a lot of media channels, talking about what had happened and about the amount of various support the people received, and they recognized the statistics presented. But the issue isn't one of how many supplies were received, but rather a matter of how they were distributed, if indeed they were distributed at all. At this time a lot of people were in real need of these supplies, more so than the stores which were filled instead!

The nature of the disaster may be approached from a different angle: Is something like this made worse by people themselves?! Do some people try to profit from other people's crises?! Do we live in the wild, while behaving like this?! Did we forget our humanity?!

No wonder Yemen is at the bottom of the international classification of countries. Perhaps this is because we don't yet do things simply for the sake of God and humanity, or because we haven't yet truly understood the wisdom that states, “a friend in need is a friend indeed