Your sister is helpless! Eid festivities and the Shia community – by S.Batool

Gone are the days when Quetta’s air was fresh and pure, when everyone could breathe in freely. The times back when for the month of Ramadan everyone was waiting desperately .Windows left open for butterflies to fly in, kids jumping up and down in the streets expressing their joy, when nobody cared even if they played outside at night singing in streets to welcome the Eid festivities.
As long as I remember, always thought life was so beautiful, dreamed of flying, my plans were ones that described the land from a bird’s eye view.

I am being wasted now!

Times flip and things change. You will be crumpled, had never thought. A Ramadan came and a Ramadan went, Eid was like when a teenager is gifted his favorite chocolate. It’s been two years consistently that the Shia Hazaras haven’t celebrated Eid. It was 2010 when the last Friday of the month of Ramadan reddened the sky. Blood poured down, cries could be heard aloud, sirens of ambulances was deafening. Yes! We lost 80 precious lives at once. Can anything be more dreadful than this, when a young boy in his 20s goes out of his home and his body is wrapped brought back in a box. Time heals the wounds, it’s true but somewhere deep down these bloods always stained my heart.

A year was passed, another month of Ramadan came. Unlike the previous one; trembling bodies, shivering voices, frightening blows and the scorching heat of the sun brought along another fear of the same day when our loved ones departed away from us. This time, the day passed peacefully (the last Friday of Ramadan).  The pale yellowish faces then smiled and sighed.

Celebrations and preparations for Eid went on. With the announcement for the Eid moon to be sighted, everyone rejoiced. The streets had no place to walk through. Shia Hazaras were then busy in recollecting their joy in celebrating Eid.

The Sun arose, everything seemed calm and soothing. Eid prayers were arranged in congregation. It was around 10:00 am Shia Muslims (with a greater proportion of Hazara populace) were offering their Eid prayers when a loud explosion was heard. The explosion rocked the nearby building, 5 minutes away from EidGah (where the prayer was held). Thanks to the Hazara Jawans who had made security measures tight enough that the loaded car could not reach the target place (EidGah). Albeit it exploded away yet still it was the area where the Shia Muslims parked their cars and almost 20 lives were then gone.

Suddenly, the laughter turned to screams. The area was washed off red. A young girl was catapulted out of the window of a car with a torrent of blood gushing from her head. My whole body seemed to be turning inside down. I heard myself scream.  Saturated with blood, the saddest eyes to witness, everyone was sobbed and could barely walk. No one could believe what happened.

It was the second Eid that the Shia Hazaras took coffins and headed towards the graveyard while everyone else was celebrating and congratulating Eid to each other.

Among the martyrs was a 12 years old young kid. When I saw his body, it seems as if he was shouting, please don’t bury me! I am not dead! I have a lot of living to do! I want to laugh and run again. Please don’t put me in the ground! With overflowing tears, I could only say, ‘Your sister is helpless.’

In changing the fortunes of time, I beg my people (Hazara community) and the Shias around who are also giving their blood for being a Shia to go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember that the oppressors live temporarily anywhere. As far as possible, deal your sufferings humanly by making good terms with all.  Shout your oppression aloud, but by being careful to whom you are shouting at. Avoid aggressiveness; it is vexations to the spirit. Exercise caution in your moves, segregate this specific group (banned millitanats LeJ) from your other brothers in faith.  Let this not blind you to understand that this mindset does not represent all Ahl-e-sunnah collectively.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, do not distress yourself, be more than alert to pick your enemies, their goals and learn to smash their goals which is a divided Muslim front.

Each of you is a child of the universe, no less than the stars and the moon; you have a right to be here and exist. Strive to resist and exist.



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