by Fauzia Minallah
At 11.30 at night I got a call from a weaver known to my mother- in - law Helga Ahmad. He belongs to Swat, when the conflict started we helped him get a shop in Islamabad after which he setteld in Islamabad. He informed me that after a week, he finally got a call from his family. They were somewhere in the mountains of Bisham, 23 women 46 children and 13 men, reached Bisham after a four days torturous journey by foot. On the way one woman gave birth to a baby boy in Miandum, who is called Miandum Khan. Her 17 year daughter had a days old baby with her. On the way they saw a woman from another family dying in childbirth who was buried in the snow by her family.
I told him that as soon as they reach the road they should take whatever transport possible and come down to Islamabad.This particular family was lucky a contractor basd in Satrameel Islamabad, allowed them to stay in his under construction plaza. We helped them with providing family packs and some cash. Helga Ahmad with the support of Shahnaz Ahmad started an informal school for the children and provided sewing machines to women. Mr. Amir Usman donated school bags and stationery. Dr. Saqib Abbassi visited them personally and donated medicines while a team from Benazir hospital examined them. Our Austrian friend with a heart of gold Waltraud Torrosian and her friends from ZONTA club have donated generously to support this family. Compared to many from their area they are lucky but they have been through hell and it will take a long time for them to recover from the trauma of leaving behind their homes.
Uncle and nephew. The nephew is 40 days older than the uncle. While the uncle was born during the exodus, his nephew was barely a fwe days old.