Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ismailis in the News - Bilal Rajan

Zee's Notes: As we draw near to the World Partnership Walk to be held in many North American cities at the end of this month it seems there are many Ismailis who have made the decision to make a difference and certainly a young man we have met before is Bilal Rajan - author, fundraiser and UNICEF ambassador - who at a very early age made the world aware that he was making that difference with his Barefoot Challenge project. By the way did I mention he has single handedly raised $5 million for charity and that's before his 13th birthday.

Here's a couple of recent articles...

Ismailis in the News - Dr. Vali Jamal

Zee's Notes: I came in contact with Dr. Vali Jamal entirely via the internet. His is an amazing story of a man who, though booted out of his home by Idi Amin, came back and loves to tell about the country he loves. His compelling story includes living in Canada as well as obtaining a doctorate degree from one of the most prestigous Universities in the world - Stanford and to boot, working for the UN as an economist for 25 years. He is writing a book about the Ugandan Asians and also writes articles about life in Uganda from his busy cafe in Kampala. Recently he has started a blog (see below) which I am definitely subscribing to and inshallah one day look forward to meeting him in person...

First his story as articled in New Vision in December 2007

His Blog: For those of you from Kampala you will be absolutely floored by Dr. Jamal's look at life back in the old days and his recollection of events and people is simply mind boggling - you'll think you're back in your youthful days...

His forthcoming book:

The JAN Project - May 24th, 2009

Zee's Notes: Over the last few weeks you will notice a number of articles and videos on Morning Chai relating to Uganda - a country where many readers were born and grew up during their formative years. Today Uganda is desperately trying to grow out of the perils facing many African countries. It is a struggle and one of the issues it faces is the lack of medical facilities and knowhow. A few years ago a Canadian doctor visited Uganda and came back with a resolve to do something about the issue of children and mothers who die tragically at childbirth. I learnt last weekend a group of former Ugandan women who are all in the medical field in Vancouver are also involved in the cause. My kudos to them and I offered to pass on the message in the hopes that Morning Chai readers will wholeheartedly support them. Here is info on an event being held next week to raise funds

Click on the photo...

When clinical professor Jan Christilaw first arrived in Uganda, she found a country “so vibrant and full of life it’s like a heartbeat. You land there and you see mangoes hanging from the trees and you think, how can this place be poor? It’s just dripping with lush vegetation and the weather is perfect and there are fruits and vegetables everywhere.”

“A woman was admitted, [who] had been in obstructed labour for days and was in septic shock and HIV positive. She died that afternoon.You hear these statistics, but when it happens when you’re there, it’s unbelievable. Suddenly, it’s a real person with a real family. It changes everything in terms of how you think about it.”

The Makerere University hospital delivers 27,000 babies a year—nearly 20,000 more than BC Women’s Hospital—and faces a number of pressing problems, including a lack of resources to deal with this huge demand for maternal health care.

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