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Thank you God
All I could say as I watched what is going on in the Sudan

September 17, 2004

Today on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, I saw a sight that had a profound impact on me. A one year-old little girl was barely clinging to life in a Sudanese refugee camp, her skin was hanging from her body, her face expressionless, as if she had already gone to another world. I thought to myself, what if that was my niece? What if that was my child?

I truly wept from the bottom of my heart, struggling to make sense of it all. I sit here in my house, never a concern about what I will eat tomorrow, or how I will have water to drink, or where I will sleep at night. We live our lives so unconsciously, thinking that these privileged worries we are blessed to have are so unbearable at times.

We worry about bills, deadlines, relationships, rarely giving a second thought to the fact that we are truly blessed to have these kinds of "problems." Yet, imagine having absolutely nothing. A tent provided by the United Nations for a home, scraps of food, loved ones dead and dying all around you, and no hope for a better tomorrow.

I am guilty. I worry endlessly about materialistic, mundane concerns, arrogant enough to question God when things aren't going my way. As I watched what is going on in the Sudan, and no doubt in other places around the world, all I could say was Thank you God. Thank you for giving me this honored life, for the wonderful opportunities and comforts that I have each day, and help me to be conscious of it in every moment.

Regardless of religious persuasion, or even none at all, every individual decides for themselves what the meaning and purpose of their life is. Whatever the purpose of life may be, it is indisputable that life has value, intrinsic or not. If it had no value, no one would care about dying, or someone that they love dying. And this value of life makes me personally, feel responsible to do something during my lifetime that will leave this world a better place that will help people who are suffering from genocide, starvation, and poverty.

Despite the horrors that the Sudanese are facing at this moment, a poignant story demonstrates the beauty of the human soul. The news report mentioned a family sitting on the dirt in their tent, a piece of cardboard for a roof. The mother nursed a baby while the father taught their young son from the Quran. They were holding on to hope.

I have noticed that the situations in my life, whether personal or not, always leave me with, how ever small, a glimmer of hope. Maybe it's because of my name. Yes, I am an idealist and my hope is that you will read this article, and if only for just a moment, you will set aside your concerns, and be grateful for whatever supernatural or natural force that is allowing you to be alive and fortunate enough to have so many of the things that so many people in this world do not.

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Arezou Raeisghasem



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