Cyclone in Bangladesh

The disaster bureaucracy is in full flow in Bangladesh, as a Cyclone called Sidr was launched from the Andaman (excolonial prison) Islands. Hitting the coastal areas it is presentin some testing times for the people of the land that Khan Jahan opened for Islam. For your historical education you can have a looksie at his splendid city of Khalifiatabad.

Allah grant the dead Jannah, ease the sufferings of the affected communities and make it easy for the workers to perform most ably. Forgive us our wrong doings and help us mend our ways and not repeat them. Thwart the plots of those who would have us forget you, who exploit these openings and guide those who seek you to what is best. Grant us guides like Khan Jahan. Shower the local economies of the people with ingenuity, opportunity and justice. Help us into a position where we do not accept those who reject you as our guardians and protectors. Please remove the people who put thorns in the path of the people and bring forward the day when desh is a source of relief rather than a sink.

Thankfully this is probably the first time desh's cyclone warning system has worked properly, there were days of warning and between 500 000 and 700 000 people were evacuated to the shelters that have been built over the years. However, i have been told that the shelter spacing seems to have been too far apart in some places for some people to get to. The very poor are said to have found it especially difficult to find the will and the way to leave and have born the brunt of it. They are most vulnerable now as food relief takes its time to get to them, having a rubbish rural transport network has not helped.

The human cost is difficult to ascertain at present for a number of reasons. Firstly nobody seriously thinks that the existing census data and settlement mapping resembles that of reality. Secondly and more physically, body counting is hard as its a coastal area and theres water everywhere. Perhaps the number might be known, but the knowers haven't remitted that knowing into the same receptacle. There are hundreds of graves dug every day and just as many janazas. The Red Cresent Bangladesh chap reckons the toll could rise to 10 000.

Interestingly, and maybe just as well for the internal outpour of welfarism even the residents of the capital were affected by the power outage. Every day the papers report this or that organisation suddenly doing something. The Banglalink mobilephone company has fixed up an SMS donation service straight into the Chief Advisors Emergency fund.

Most of the microphilanthropy going on now is undocumented 'give with your right hand so your left hand doesnt know it' type action rather than bombastically, marketed business as usual. The law advisor appealed for these Ansar types to report to local admin as they have lists of the areas that are most needy. So here we edit the ethic to 'give with your right hand so your left doesn't know but have a look at this list, maximise the practical benefit'

Internationally this disaster event has received a lot of attention, publicity and marketing. No change there. The BBC's river boat trip just happened to be around the area, they were journeying around the river network producing content on the countries problems when the storm unfolded. Aljazeera too seemed to be covering it quite a bit, their desh coverage is usually very poor.

This cyclone is seen with more sympathy than the floods, which are so frequent that internationals tend to attribute them more to geographic misfortune, ineptitude and disunity. Thankfully no pseudoscientific git has bought climate change into the debate yet, not that I've been following much. If they did i would have to ritually beat them.

India has decided to lift the ban on the export of rice into the desh. Saudi king pledged 100 million dollars(they always deliver on their word wrt releif), other gulf people splashing the cash, boro shoytan sending in Naval warships to help. NGOs and GoB not coordinated too well. Sheikh Hasina (jailed corrupt political leader) complaining that she isn't able to stand by the suffering people. Its a complicated shcomplicated can of worms, the disaster business.

Just like with Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Aceh and Kashmir, folks here in the UK can show how much they care by praying really hard and specifically for the affected, hitting the streets with buckets, purifying their wealth (yes you wage slaves), creatively lending their skillset to the cause and/or getting there arses over there.

For example, charities like Muslim Aid have established a niche in post disaster rebuilding of housing. Most of our people in desh live in tinsheds and the like, they dont really have much chance of surviving high winds. For the next time its important to build something which fits and is stronger. Their sustained works in Turkey, Aceh, Kashmir over the years makes me figure that theyll come up with something interesting after the releif rush. Now would be a good time for students to study related housing matters generally.

On the topic of hitting the streets with buckets of baraka....

Islamic Relief have planned street and tube collections they urgently require volunteers. These are very positive collective actions that have great positive cascading effects.

The centre point for picking up/drop off the buckets is Green Street Mosque (88 Green Street E7 8JG)

The address is collection times are 10am-4pm on the following streets:
Green Street, Romford Road, High Street, Manor Park (outside the underground station), Stratford

TUBE COLLECTION on Saturday 1st December
Stations: Aldgate East,Borough, Edgware Road Bakerloo, Edgware Road Circle, Pimlico, Tower Hill, Warren Street

3 people needed per station on following 3 shifts: 8 am – 1 pm, 1 pm – 5 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm

The pick up/drop off point for the buckets will be: Muslim World League, 46 Goodge Street London W1 (nearest tube Goodge Street)

If you would like to help out, please contact Nasrin at Islamic Relief on 02084982099 or email nasrin.sayed@islamic-relief.org.uk confirming what times you are available, and at which stations.

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