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Old 05.12.2007, 20:18   #1
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Default A message of love and tolerance

Barew!

I think that I have already published what I'm going to quote hereunder. Nevertheless, as people trend to easily forget, I wish to publish it again, as my Season's message. What you're going to see was read by me in some Internet page a few days after the 11th September:
Quote:
My name is Usman Farman and I graduated from Bentley with a Finance degree last May. I am 21 years old, turning 22 in October; I am Pakistani, and I am Muslim. Until September 10th 2001, I used to work at the World Trade Center in building #7. I had friends and acquaintances who worked in tower #1 right across from me. Some made it out, and some are still unaccounted for. I survived this horrible event.

I’d like to share with you what I went through that awful day, with the hopes that we can all stay strong together; through this tragedy of yet untold proportions. As I found out, regardless of who we are, and where we come from, we only have each other.


I commute into the city every morning on the train from New Jersey. Rather, I used to. I still can’t believe what is happening. That morning I woke up and crawled out of bed. I was thinking about flaking out on the train and catching the late one, I remember telling myself that I just had to get to work on time. I ended up catching the 7:48 train, which put me in Hoboken at 8:20 am. When I got there I thought about getting something to eat, I decided against it and took the PATH train to the World Trade Center. I arrived at the World Trade at 8:40 in the morning. I walked into the lobby of building 7 at 8:45, that’s when the first plane hit.

Had I taken the late train, or gotten a bite to eat, I would have been 5 minutes late and walking over the crosswalk. Had that happened, I would have been caught under a rain of fire and debris, I wouldn’t be here talking to you. I’d be dead.

I was in the lobby, and I heard the first explosion; it didn’t register. They were doing construction outside and I thought some scaffolding had fallen. I took the elevators up to my office on the 27th floor. When I walked in, the whole place was empty. There were no alarms, no sprinklers, nothing. Our offices are, or rather, were on the south side of building seven. We were close enough to the North and South Towers, that I could literally throw a stone from my window and hit the North tower with it.

My phone rang and I spoke with my mother and told her that I was leaving, at that moment I saw an explosion rip out of the second building. I called my friend in Boston, waking her up and told her to tell everyone I’m okay, and that I was leaving. I looked down one last time and saw the square and fountain that I eat lunch in, was covered in smoldering debris. Apparently, I was one of the last to leave my building, when I was on the way up in the elevators; my co-workers from the office were in the stairwells coming down. When I evacuated, there was no panic. People were calm and helping each other; a pregnant woman was being carried down the stairwell.

I’ll spare the more gruesome details of what I saw, those are things that no one should ever have to see, and beyond human decency to describe. Those are things which will haunt me for the rest of my life, my heart goes out to everyone who lost their lives that day, and those who survived with the painful reminders of what once was. Acquaintences of mine who made it out of the towers, only got out because 1000 people formed a human chain to find their way out of the smoke. Everyone was a hero that day.

We were evacuated to the north side of building 7. Still only 1 block from the towers. The security people told us to go north and not to look back. 5 city blocks later I stopped and turned around to watch. With a thousand people staring, we saw in shock as the first tower collapsed. No one could believe it was happening, it is still all too-surreal to imagine. The next thing I remember is that a dark cloud of glass and debris about 50 stories high came tumbling towards us. I turned around and ran as fast as possible. I didn’t realize until yesterday that the reason I’m still feeling so sore was that I fell down trying to get away. What happened next is why I came here to give this speech.

I was on my back, facing this massive cloud that was approaching, it must have been 600 feet off, everything was already dark. I normally wear a pendant around my neck, inscribed with an Arabic prayer for safety; similar to the cross. A hesidic Jewish man came up to me and held the pendant in his hand, and looked at it. He read the Arabic out loud for a second. What he said next, I will never forget. With a deep Brooklyn accent he said “Brother, if you don’t mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, lets get the hell out of here”. He helped me stand up, and we ran for what seemed like forever without looking back. He was the last person I would ever have thought, who would help me. If it weren’t for him, I probably would have been engulfed in shattered glass and debris.

I finally stopped about 20 blocks away, and looked in horror as tower #2 came crashing down. Fear came over me as I realized that some people were evacuated to the streets below the towers. Like I said before, no one could have thought those buildings could collapse. We turned around and in shock and disbelief and began the trek to midtown. It took me 3 hours to get to my sisters office at 3 avenue and 47th street. Some streets were completely deserted, completely quiet, no cars, no nothing… just the distant wail of sirens. I managed to call home and say I was okay, and get in touch with co-workers and friends whom I feared were lost.

We managed to get a ride to New Jersey. Looking back as I crossed the George Washington Bridge, I could not see the towers. It had really happened.

As the world continues to reel from this tragedy, people in the streets are lashing out. Not far from my home, a Pakistani woman was run over on purpose as she was crossing the parking lot to put groceries in her car. Her only fault? That she had her head covered and was wearing the traditional clothing of my homeland. I am afraid for my family’s well being within our community. My older sister is too scared to take the subway into work now. My 8-year-old sister’s school is under lockdown and armed watch by police.

Violence only begets violence, and by lashing out at each other in fear and hatred, we will become no better than the faceless cowards who committed this atrocity. If it weren’t for that man who helped me get up, I would most likely be in the hospital right now, if not dead. Help came from the least expected place, and goes only to show, that we are all in this together … regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. Those are principles that this country was founded on.

Please take a moment to look at the people sitting around you. Friends or strangers, in a time of crisis, you would want the nearest person to help you if you needed it. My help came from a man who I would never have thought would normally even speak to me. Ask yourselves now how you can help those people in New York and Washington. You can donate blood, you can send clothing, food, and money. Funds have been setup in the New York area to help the families of fallen firefighters, policemen, and emergency personnel. The one thing that won’t help, is if we fight amongst ourselves, because it is then that we are doing exactly what they want us to do, and I know that nobody here wants to do that.

My name is Usman Farman and I graduated from Bentley with a Finance degree last May. I am 21 years old, turning 22 in October; I am Pakistani, and I am Muslim, and I too have been victimized by this awful tragedy. The next time you feel angry about this, and perhaps want to retaliate in your own way, please remember these words:
“Brother, if you don’t mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, lets get the hell out of here.”
Peace!
Salam!
Shalom!
Namast!
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J'ai besoin de toi,
De tes mains sur moi,
De ton corps doux et chaud,
J'ai envie d'être aimé Domino

From a beautiful love song of the 50s called Domino, music by Louis Ferrari, lyrics by Jacques Plante
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Old 06.12.2007, 06:54   #2
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this kinda reminded me our last day in Artsakh and our forced-leave...
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Old 06.12.2007, 22:34   #3
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Peace can only exist if both parties want it, with a community equipped with Narrowest of thinking, it sets even tougher. I think we in India are best example of "One way" peace keeping force and that is why we got diminished day by day. And this man who's chanting a lot about peace and co existence in a foreign land just to make sure his people's safety, should first see what their community people do with others in his own land (stolen from India). I do believe there must not be any violence of any kind what so ever and hatred must be driven away, but do believe simultaneously "One can't clap louder with a single hand." May be for many people who have not seen and bear the brunt of certain community, can think many ways otherwise than me, I pray they don't see it in their future too. Best Wishes! Allah Hafiz!!
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Old 07.12.2007, 04:47   #4
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I am for tolerance all the way , how ever today my little girl came home upset and wanted to know why her school can no longer decorate a Christmas tree in her school . I looked into it and was told that some people of none Christian faith were offended by the Christmas celebration , since they do not celebrate Christmas , keep in mind those people are a small minority ,yet were able to impose that this great tradition be stopped , now our shools do no observe Christmas I was told , just the holiday season instead .
What do you think this is teaching my child ? in return she does not want to tolerate those people , as she referes to them now .
I have a huge responsibility now to teach her other wise .
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Old 07.12.2007, 16:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevana View Post
I am for tolerance all the way , how ever today my little girl came home upset and wanted to know why her school can no longer decorate a Christmas tree in her school . I looked into it and was told that some people of none Christian faith were offended by the Christmas celebration , since they do not celebrate Christmas , keep in mind those people are a small minority ,yet were able to impose that this great tradition be stopped , now our shools do no observe Christmas I was told , just the holiday season instead .
What do you think this is teaching my child ? in return she does not want to tolerate those people , as she referes to them now .
I have a huge responsibility now to teach her other wise .
I fully understand that non-christian children have the holy right of not participating in any way in Xmas celebrations, not even being induced to do it. But if decorating the Xmas tree was a tradition in that school I fail to understand the stupid decision of discontinuing it. The fault is 100% on the school management who chose the easiest way!

I see your problem, mainly because you can't tell your daughter that the bosses at school are just a bunch of beasts!

Just for those who don't know, I'm not an atheist, but refuse to follow any religion!

Peace!
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Old 08.12.2007, 00:08   #6
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Every one has the right to practice the religion they are brought up with or they choose to practice , those school children are not ever forced to participate , our problem here in canada is that long stablished traditions are being challenged , and they do not want the rest of us to enjoy our freedom , I am not saying that they are succeeding every time , but cousing frictions .
Red Stone as you know I travel all over the world to countries with deep rooted tradition , I stricktly follow the rules and I even dress in Bedauin cloths and cover my head according to country that I am in , I tolerate other peoples traditions , I want mine to be tolerated in my country .

Last edited by Sevana; 08.12.2007 at 05:54.
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Old 08.12.2007, 00:23   #7
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To Sevana:-
It's really very bad that any tradition with no HARM and only spreading JOY irrespective of its relation with any religion should be taken off, I show my deep concerns over this plight and hereby sustain my strongest argument that now this is the time when we all should gather up and "Scientificized" all religions while keeping their faith intact. In hindu temples in my region you can find Jesus-pictures too, once they tried to post "Prophet's" one, you can understand what was the result, it caused a few people's life who were saying Allah is our God also, why should we have no right to worship him as we want, do they (on purpose not writing) have any copyright of that? But no one heard them, two were burnt alive and other was cut in pieces by a mob. So as I suggested this is the time when we should be integrated and shed all barriers of discrimination as we are minded social people and not the beasts in the Jungle, we study History, science etc etc, if we even can't understand the realities then shame on us all. I had many other things also to be written, this time in hurry, will tell you later.
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non-christian children have the holy right of not participating in any way in Xmas celebrations
Jesus Christ was a great personality then why should one want to be away from celebrations pertaining Him? At least I'd love to Merry Christmas!!
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Old 08.12.2007, 00:43   #8
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Originally Posted by nucleusfermi View Post
Jesus Christ was a great personality then why should one want to be away from celebrations pertaining Him?
In my opinion, Christ preached the most perfect moral ever! But this doesn't mean that someone should be forced to participate in any celebration in honour of Jesus or anybody else! It would be a crime against the individual's freedom! Who wants to attend, attends, who doesn't want doesn't attend!

And please note that, in spite of not following any religion, I celebrate Christmas!

Peace!
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Old 08.12.2007, 03:51   #9
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Who wants to attend, attends, who doesn't want doesn't attend!
It's really true my friend but my strong opposition was with the word holy, I feel strange why hatred or disbelief or even a sheer apathy towards anyone can be declared holy, Yes this is a "right" for sure but whether it's holy or not, this is a matter of debate and sorry for not conveying it clearly as I was in a bit hurry.
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Old 08.12.2007, 15:22   #10
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Originally Posted by nucleusfermi View Post
It's really true my friend but my strong opposition was with the word holy.
My dear, the word holy with all its strength is not an exclusive of religions! Human's freedom is a holy right!

Besides there are many people out there who don't share your and my opinion about Jesus. And - while not agreeing with them - they have the holy right of thinking differently!

Peace!
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Old 09.12.2007, 01:07   #11
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I dont't want to get things confusing here , but my friend Red Stone is helping us all down load Christmas songs and hymns calling it A Christmas Gift in another post , now you must have some feelings for the Christmas celebrations and the meaning of it .
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Old 09.12.2007, 01:52   #12
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Originally Posted by Sevana View Post
now you must have some feelings for the Christmas celebrations and the meaning of it .
Let me try to explain what the meaning of Christmas is for me.

Resuming my idea in a few words, Christmas means time for sharing, in a sense very similar to what catholics call "communion". If you have a sandwich for your lunch, no money for buying another one, and you see someone who is hungry and with no money you split your sandwich invite him(her) to your table and offer a half to the hungry person. That's the way I see the bread multiplication "miracle". Not more than sharing! And it is a lot!

But then Christmas can and must happen every day of our lives! Not just in a short period of time! Unfortunately too many people who claim to be religious despise this even during these few days! As Jesus would say, white painted graves!

What do we see in almost all temples of almost all religions: the ostentation of an insulting richness! The example comes from the top! I can't bear with this!

As I said before I follow the tradition in my own way without any links with any religion (even the one I was raised on) because religions were invented by men who wanted desperately the power over their brothers!

Love you!
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Old 09.12.2007, 03:08   #13
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Love you too Red Stone
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Old 09.12.2007, 04:04   #14
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Quote:
Human's freedom is a holy right!
No rights without duties, now whether to respect other people's faith is a "duty" of "mankind" or not, God knows! Being in Apathy and not taking part is reasonably a right and if you say then holy too besides it's only based upon narrow mindedness, a sheer chiding by those BLIND FAITH people, those "Minority" hates Jesus only because His persona was different than their "Messenger", and after all He is not a Controversial figure, let us bear that they don't support our views about Him but at least they can Respect other people's Faith, whatever, thanks for enlightening christmas, may I suggest you a new "Messenger" friends? It's Yahoo Messenger though it does spread everything including viruses to the Human society, but as we all are Free to spread it LOVE you 2ooooooo.
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