Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nuktey -urdu poem-

Basti mein in murdoo ki

Zindagi ko parvan charhana ha

Ek nuktey k ghulam ban ge hazar

Ghoomay ja baja har bazaar

K eik meri aas thi

Who bhi jo meri pyas thi

Us nuktey k who loogh

Uthey bachey chor maa ki ghud

Yad aaya woh jo us din aya tha nazar

Jis k naam pe hum ne ki eik zindagi basar

Who nuktey na miley jahan

Hum chor aey apna sab kutch wahan

Humey yad sab kutch tha magar

Sabar ker k unke hum chaley dagar

Nuktey phir jag uthey eik din

Ghulam unke hai sarey insaa o jinn

Dekh raha hon mei yahan beth

Rang jo bikharey ga har har khet

K un nukto k baghair lafzoo ki kya okaat

Jaisey namaz ho bina rakaat

Gar unko ghum ho tu kyun na mein rou jaon

Unke liye mei tu bas mar jao

Tamam lugat ha dushman-e-nukta

Ab mujh pe aa nahi sakta koi sakta

K abb tu safey bandhi hain k ho ada namaz

Kahey na koi ab k aai na humey awaz

-dabeer hemani


for the roses that bloom;
for the rivers that flow;
today air is so pure and sight is sweet;
i see my lover and the drums do beat.
make the sun cool down and the night all bright;
leave the drought and come to the abundance;
for today all the old will young.
come oh dear on the throne of me;
for my ego swept away;
with open arms, I have nothing to say.
on the cliff I wait, its high but I know you will make your way;
i wait today with my open gates;
in the day and in the dark when its late.

-dabeer hemani

Monday, October 20, 2008


She could see nothing but darkness now. Opening those eyes wide so that the thin cold air cools his buring eyes. Not that one tear has fell but she has cried enough. This journey would be a long one but it wants to be cut short- by her, unable to stop from going on that road she tries and tells herself not to walk on it aimlessless or rather with an aim that is unwanted. The daylight has to creep in, the morning breeze wants to blow on the face and the warm sun shines on her skin; but i walk towards the darkness.
Perhaps one day, she would see the path more clear. Standing in the sandy waters of the beach today, the sun bakes over as she feels the cold water kiss her feet. The sea is so huge it always encompassed everybody, every wish, every joy and every sorrow. This misery wants to end but is there a way out? There has to be one, she tells herself and if there isnt, she wants him to feel it. Time is the vessel which you never see when full, its only when it emptys, you realise what you have lost. The only fear she has is if she may drift away way too much that it is impossible for her to come back for anyone; even herself. The fear overpowers her to step ahead or move behind. She just realised, she was officially in a limbo- that was no where.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So tommorrow!

Tonight is a sad night. There may not be tears falling nor the women wailing but even the spirits fall silent in the gloominess around. She wasn't alone tonight but had so many people around that she would never think of being alone. Classical music wasn't her forte but tonight she felt strangely close to it. So on a borrowed laptop she plugs in these huge white headphone lying unwanted on that desk far away and slowly closed her eyes as those sitar strings sent vibrations into her head and the emotions simmered. She smiled secretly. All of people she always made sure felt wanted, cared and special were no where to be found. Their leftovers in life lay all across- a stark reminder of tomorrow that would be yesterday. Getting hurt wasn't a new thing for her but left alone was. Getting up with the look of disbelief on her face she moved towards the empty building and saw a dark corner with a carpeted floor. Good Lord the darkness wasn't as bad, at least no one could see you in there but you. A voice called from somewhere but it wasn't what she hoped it would be but someone wanted an errand. She got up slid out and did so in her face half hid in the subtle lighting. Falling back into her secret darkness and closeing her eyes secretly smiling to herself- not that she was happy but of helplessness and an artificial sense of content. Who was she fooling? One thing that she knew very well was that the night was anything but over. It said 3 43 AM in the digital watch she was wearing on her right wrist. The time never stopped but tonight it would lazy around as a pretty soul cried with a smile on its face, almost if all the breaths she took would be as heavy as her last one. She lied in gloom with the music blaring loud into her ears. A smile rolled up as her thin lips moved to complete the fooling smile. Tonight she questioned a lot to herself and got the answers to; they made so much more sense with the heart all submissive. Hidden under the veil of a false grin, which she would be wearing in the morning when she was with her 'friends', the people who promised to be there all the time but tonight when she really wanted them. Little did they knew that she had felt the breeze of betrayal hard on her soft skin of the inner most part of her soul as the pale softness turned red and rough.

Monday, August 25, 2008

In Rwanda, visionary doctor is moving mountains again

In Rwanda, visionary doctor is moving mountains again
Health system built from the ground up
By Bella English
Globe Staff / April 13, 2008
photo gallery >> Paul Farmer's mission in Rwanda

RWINKWAVU, Rwanda - It was November 2004, and Dr. Paul Farmer had agreed to bring his world-renowned Partners in Health model to Rwanda, which was still reeling from the aftershocks of the genocide a decade earlier. Now here he was, with Rwandan health officials, to scout out a location for a hospital to serve the poorest of the poor.
Farmer, who teaches at Harvard, was taken to Ruhengeri, in the country's northwest corner. But there was already a clean hospital there, with employees and even an X-ray machine. "No, no, no. You don't understand," Farmer recalls saying. "Find me the worst possible place in the country."
So they took him to Rwinkwavu, a remote area two hours east of Kigali. Even Farmer - who works in the world's worst regions - was taken aback. The "hospital" consisted of derelict buildings that had been used by a Belgian mining company decades earlier, then as military barracks during the genocide in which 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. Bullet holes pocked the walls, which were also scarred with hate messages left by the killers: "Those we don't kill, AIDS will get."
There were no beds, no patients, no staff, no medical equipment. "It was abandoned, dirty and scary," Farmer says. There were 200,000 people in the district and not a single doctor.
It was the perfect place for Farmer.
With the help of the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the Clinton Foundation, Farmer went in with American and Rwandan workers to rebuild the facility and find Rwandan doctors and nurses. During that time, he and Dr. Michael Rich, who was raised in Natick and is Rwanda country director for Partners in Health, and their colleagues lived in decrepit housing left over from the mining days. Over the years squatters had moved in, so Partners in Health - or "Inshuti Mu Buzima" in Kinyarwanda - had to start a housing program, too, constructing 120 concrete or brick houses, a huge improvement over the mud shacks that look as if they'd dissolve in a good rainstorm.
In the summer of 2005, the doors opened at Rwinkwavu Hospital, which now sees 250 patients a day, some of them walking hours to get there. Farmer, Rich, and their Rwandan counterparts have built a second hospital in an equally remote area of 200,000 - also without a single doctor - and built or renovated 19 health centers that feed patients to them. A third hospital is on the drawing board, designed by Harvard architecture students. Ultimately, they plan to expand rural medical services to the entire country.
Reluctant heroFive years ago, Farmer became reluctantly famous with the publication of Tracy Kidder's best-selling book, "Mountains Beyond Mountains," which told the story of the brash Harvard Medical School graduate who changed the face of healthcare in rural Haiti. Now 20 years old, Partners in Health, with its emphasis on treating poverty as well as disease, has expanded to nine countries.
Though Haiti will always be his "true north," as Farmer puts it, it had become too dangerous there to raise a family. Rwanda is today considered quite safe under the presidency of Paul Kagame, the former rebel leader who stopped the genocidal slaughter that erupted 14 years ago this month. Farmer, a Harvard professor who each fall teaches undergraduates and medical students about global health issues and infectious disease, has moved with his family to Rwanda, where he recently became a citizen and a member of the Rwandan Medical Society. He'll be in Boston later this month for speaking engagements at MIT, Harvard Medical School, and a Brookline church.
His wife, Didi, who is Haitian, has a degree in medical anthropology and spends half the week with Farmer at Rwinkwavu, where she runs the community health workers program. The couple live with several other Partners workers in a modest house on the grounds. The rest of the week they spend at their rental home in the capital of Kigali, where their 10-year-old daughter, Catherine, attends private school.
The Farmer family recently welcomed two new members: Elizabeth, 6 months old, and Sebastian, born in February. Elizabeth was abandoned at Rwinkwavu as a newborn, and Didi, who was pregnant at the time, called and asked her husband if they could take her in. Though Rwanda does not encourage adoption, the government approved it.
"I had no criminal record, and I was under 50," quips Farmer, who is 48.
The truth is, Partners in Health has an excellent relationship with Kagame's government. "Our vision matches theirs," Farmer told a group of Americans who toured Rwinkwavu in early March. On this particular day, he is wearing a loud shirt with a busy African pattern on it, sewn by a grateful patient. "In Haiti, they give me potatoes and carrots," he says. Here, it's a handmade item of some sort for no one has money and Partners In Health services are free.
He tells his audience that Rwanda is the perfect place for his organization. "This is the most exciting thing I've seen in 25 years. Here we're in a country that came from a terrible place and in just 12 years says it wants a national health program with 40,000 to 50,000 health workers." Because of the government's commitment, Rwanda's progress on HIV/AIDS has been remarkable, with less than 3 percent of the population infected.
The third partner is the Clinton Foundation, the former president's organization dedicated to addressing health inequalities in developing countries. While Partners provides the medical expertise, the foundation provides funding, management, and policy support. The two groups also run programs together in Lesotho and Malawi. Farmer and Rich are paid by the Brigham and Women's Hospital, which also sends medical residents to work with them and learn about global health. The program manager for Rwanda is another New Englander: Melissa Gillooly from Warwick, R.I., who also lives on the hospital grounds.
With a $50 million annual budget spread over nine countries, Partners stays barely three months ahead in funding, which keeps Farmer up at night. "I go to bed worrying about all the promises we've made," he says, "and I get up each morning thinking we haven't made enough promises."
Dignity amid povertyThe countryside en route to Rwinkwavu Hospital is lush with banana groves, eucalyptus forests, and deep emerald valleys with sweeping views of the mountains. Rwanda is known as "The Land of a Thousand Hills," which seems a gross undercount. It is indeed a land of mountains beyond mountains.
But the close-up view from the Toyota pickup that Farmer is driving on a recent weekday is not so pretty. Everywhere there are mud huts with dirt floors and no electricity, water or toilets. Straight-backed women carry huge cans of water on their heads, while stooped men push bicycles overloaded with stacks of wood or bunches of bananas.
Everywhere, there are children; Rwanda, the size of Maryland, is Africa's most densely populated country. Big children hold small children; small children hold toddlers. Babies are bound to their mothers' backs with colorful cloth, even as they bend over in fields.
The bumpy secondary road ends at Rwinkwavu Hospital, and the unbaked scenery instantly changes. Bauhinia trees bloom along with bignonia vines and creeping ficus, set among several low buildings.
In the middle of the hospital grounds is a fish pond, a Farmer trademark at all Partners clinics. He and his brother Jeff, a former professional wrestler, dug this pond themselves, wading into swamps for plants and fish. Farmer says it's about providing dignity and something of beauty to the poor.
The 96-bed hospital includes a pediatrics and a malnutrition ward, operating room, women's clinic, radiology, pharmacy, dental clinic, lab, and a lively center for children with HIV/AIDS.
A field of soybeans flourishes on the grounds; the hospital lends the land to farmers with HIV/AIDS. Just beyond is the start of a training center for medical workers in Rwanda and throughout Africa. A nearby dorm for visitors has just been completed.
At the hospital, each bed has a mosquito net hanging above. In pediatrics, the first bed in the ward holds a preemie so tiny it's hard to tell she's even there. Other beds are filled with children suffering from septic shock, a brain tumor, malaria, and heart problems. Their mothers rarely leave their side.
Next door, the malnutrition ward is eerily quiet considering all the babies and toddlers, most of them lethargic. When patients are discharged, they go home with food and follow-up from local health workers hired and trained by Partners.
It is these "accompagnateurs" - neighbors, really - who are the backbone of Partners in Health. They go into homes to check on discharged patients and identify others at risk. They also visit those with chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS to make sure they're taking their medications, and to provide company. Partners is by far the biggest employer in their local areas: 1,500 so far, including 825 community health workers.
"Good things happen when you create jobs," Farmer says. The accompagnateurs, some of them HIV-infected themselves, can now support their own families. And the visits are healing, Farmer believes: "It's not so much about supervising as it is about being neighborly."
Rising above the past"Neighborly" is a loaded word in this country, where the majority Hutu butchered the Tutsi and moderate Hutu during the genocide. Neighbors killed neighbors, teachers and students killed each other, workers killed co-workers, doctors killed patients, priests killed parishioners - and vice versa. Many Partners staffers are Tutsi, while most of the patients, because they comprise 85 percent of the population, are Hutu. Thus, many Tutsi workers are treating Hutu patients and, under the housing program, building homes for Hutu families.
Bruce Nizeye was 14 years old when the genocide broke out. He watched as his father was taken away and shot to death. His 18-year-old brother was killed at school. The family house was burned down. Two years later, Nizeye found his mother in a refugee camp.
Now 28, he works with Farmer, who was best man at his wedding. ("I gave him a cow as a gift," Farmer says. "It's traditional for best man.") Like his father, Nizeye is an engineer, and directs Partner's building program. That means he has built many houses for Hutus, the group that torched his childhood home. Indeed, some of them may have destroyed the very homes they are helping rebuild.
Nizeye is also in charge of renovating the dilapidated infirmary at the country's largest prison, which Partners took on when Farmer learned there was no doctor for its 10,000 inmates. At the prison, Nizeye's workers are mostly the incarcerated "genocidaires."
Does it bother him to work with, and for, the people who killed his loved ones and destroyed his home?
"I don't even ask," Nizeye says. "I ask if someone is a hard worker or doing his job well, not if he is a Hutu."
At Rwinkwavu, Nizeye has jumped into the pickup with Farmer for the 45-minute trip to a Partners clinic in Rukira over deeply rutted roads that are little more than paths. Farmer maneuvers around a dead cow and picks up a couple of hitchhikers, when Nizeye gives the nod.
At Rukira, abundant flora - bignonia vines, bougainvillea, cala lilies - and a fish pond once again grace the grounds, while patients and relatives wait in shaded areas. Farmer is there to discuss a complicated case with the center director, and to see another patient who was raped and bayoneted during the genocide and is HIV-positive. Sometimes, he'll treat a hippo bite or land mine injury.
Back at Rwinkwavu, Claire is lying in wait for him. At 24, she has cared for two younger sisters for years, since their parents died from AIDS. Claire is also infected. She's a patient of Farmer's, but this day has other business. She wants a job. Though Farmer has a long list of patients, doctors, and staffers waiting, he sits down and looks at her resume.
"What do you want to do with your life. What is your dream?" he asks.
"I want to get a job and take care of my sisters," she replies.
"That's not a dream, that's a necessity," he says. They talk a bit about her dreams, and he promises to see what he can do.
Next, he stops by the lab to get some test results. He shakes his head: "Not good." Everywhere, he greets patients who ask about his new baby. "Bonjour, mon frere," "Bonjour, ma cher," he says, exchanging the Rwandan triple cheek-kiss. Some back-packing Brit with time on his hands has shown up unannounced to visit the doctor. Farmer is polite, but he's got work to do.
In the pediatrics ward, he and Dr. Jean Bosco Niyonzima head to Bed 6, where a young mother sits with her listless toddler. Farmer, speaking French, questions the mother, while Bosco translates into Kinyarwanda. When the woman says she has lost her two other children to disease, Farmer winces.
"Tell her the boy looks good, I don't want her to panic," he says. He suspects tuberculosis.
More to doIt's 5:30 p.m., and Farmer hasn't had lunch. His day started before 7 a.m. in Kigali, when he dropped Catherine at school. He and Gillooly attended a meeting with Rwandan health officials before setting off for Rwinkwavu, with a stop at the prison, Rwinkwavu Hospital, Rukira health center, and back to Rwinkwavu.
Now, Farmer and Rich are anxious to take their periodic power-walk up a nearby mountain. They are also anxious about their work, especially the ambitious expansion of the Partners model to all 27 districts and 9 million residents of rural Rwanda, in partnership again with the Ministry of Health and the Clinton Foundation. Right now, only a couple of dollars a year is spent on each rural patient in Rwanda; the doctors want to increase that tenfold. (The United States spends nearly $7,000 per person.)
"We want to be an organization that says yes," Farmer says. "We have to find some big donors." His work in Rwanda, he says, will take at least 10 more years.
Why does he do it all?
"Because it works, because it's exciting, because we're working hand-in-hand with the government. Plus, treating a hippo bite is really cool."
Paul Farmer will deliver the keynote address Saturday at an MIT conference organized by Global Poverty Initiative. On April 22, he will speak at the Harvard School of Public Health with Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, head of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission. On April 27 he will receive the 2008 Spirituality and Justice Award and deliver a sermon at All Saints Parish in Brookline.

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

In memory of murder

In memory of murder
Rory Carroll
Can art help ease Rwanda's pain?
Rory Carroll visits Kigali's disturbing new monument to the genocide

The Guardian, Wednesday March 24 2004

At first sight it could be mistaken for a hacienda. Perched on a hill overlooking the city, it is a big, solid, obviously new structure with a terrace, a garden and a long granite wall. Move closer, though, and you notice unexpected touches: thousands of names engraved on the wall, windows made of stained glass and a ground floor that is effectively buried underground. The sunshine does not follow when you walk down the steps into the entrance of Rwanda's official house of pain: a new memorial centre in the capital, Kigali, for the genocide of 1994.
Ten years on, Rwanda is erecting its first proper memorials - and racing to complete them by April 7, the anniversary of the first day of slaughter, when centres like this one will open their doors to survivors, perpetrators, scholars and tourists. For those who have kept guard over mass grave sites lest the remains - proof of the genocide - disappear, these centres offer a chance to end their vigil and rebuild their lives. "Now I can do something else," says Emmanuel Murangira, 48, an unpaid sentinel for hundreds of bodies in Murambi, south of the capital, where a memorial is under way.
The Aegis Trust, a Nottingham-based genocide prevention charity that is setting up memorials at the request of the Rwandan authorities, hopes the design and exhibits in Kigali will be on a par with Holocaust museums in Berlin, Jerusalem and Washington DC. But fusing a museum with what is in effect an art exhibition to depict historical events in Rwanda is a fraught exercise, simply because the genocide was so recent. Make it too vivid and survivors who visit could be upset or even traumatised. Veil too much and you sanitise what happened. Accuse too harshly and you undermine the peaceful but fragile co-existence prevailing in Rwanda since Tutsi rebels ousted the extremist Hutu regime, which orchestrated the massacre of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days.
Trickiest of all is whether to mention the Tutsi reprisals during and after the genocide, since the former rebels are now the government. "We don't want to start historical arguments that the country is not ready for. Though we do expect a very strong reaction from people who visit the memorial," says Stephen Smith, who founded the the Aegis Trust with his brother James after visiting Jerusalem's Holocaust museum.
The Kigali centre is Rwanda's de facto national memorial. Its hilltop site was chosen by a former mayor of the city in the late 1990s. Coffins containing the remains of up to 50 people each were stacked five high in eight concrete graves, totalling thousands of people, and on the slope above, a Rwandan architect designed the building. Some residents grumbled that the $1m would have been better spent on practical needs such as municipal drains.
The building might have remained a shell had not Belgium, Sweden and the Clinton Foundation stumped up $1.5m to finish the job. (Britain's department for international development sponsored memorials outside the capital.) Several months ago, Kigali city council commissioned the Aegis Trust to have it ready by April 7. Smith is positive, if not effusive, about the external architecture the Aegis Trust inherited. "I think it is a very creative space. I like the idea of being forced to descend into a cavernous space. To me it feels crypt-like."
The sound of traffic at the bottom of the hill fades as the visitor walks up the slope. The stacked coffins are now overlaid by polished black terrazzo, which is lined by a black granite wall, 2.5m high and 70m long, displaying the names of 20,000 victims. At night, torches will be lit, the flames visible for miles. A word that did not exist in Kinyarwanda until 1994 - jenoside - hangs from a sign near the entrance.
Steps lead down to a large mound of jacaranda wood with engraved reliefs depicting everyday Rwandan scenes, titled Life. But as you move through the memorial, other sides of the sculpture become visible - those depicting rape, beatings and killings. The team of sculptors included survivors and relatives of perpetrators.
The first zone, Before Genocide, is a dimly lit passageway with images dating from 1894-1994; the emphasis is on images rather than text since many visitors are likely to be illiterate. These show one of Germany's more obscure colonies at the turn of the century, independence in the 1960s and life continuing much as before in a small, unremarkable country in central Africa. There is just one ominous note: the Germans' use of taller, lighter-skinned cattle-owning Tutsis to reign over the shorter, darker peasant Hutus - divide and rule that poisoned ethnic relations.
The second zone, Warnings, shows how the horror was avoidable. Here are a copy of the fax sent by Romeo Dallaire, the UN peacekeeper commander, asking his superiors in vain for permission to seize weapons caches, and the quote from Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, Rwanda's alleged Himmler, vowing to prepare an "apocalypse". At the top of a stairwell is a stained glass window depicting dark, brooding clouds of midnight blue. Made by an Auschwitz survivor, Roman Halter, and his son Ardyn, both based in Britain, the stairwell window represents Rwanda's lost chance to escape its fate had the international community responded to the warnings.
The third zone, Genocide, is a passageway of harrowing stills and film clips showing just how fast events moved on April 7 1994. Within hours, road blocks sprang up around Kigali, trapping inhabitants. Images deemed too graphic to broadcast a decade ago show people being decapitated, bodies twitching on the road, the wounded struggling to rise. Some survivors involved with the memorial wanted to include simulated sounds of clubs crushing babies' skulls, but they were overruled. Instead there is a glass case displaying machetes, clubs and guns, and survivors talking to camera about being raped and mutilated. One interviewee is in silhouette not because she is embarrassed, says Smith, but because she did not want to give her attackers, some of whom are free and may visit the exhibition, the satisfaction of seeing the effect of a shotgun blast to her lower face.
The fourth zone, Responses, tries to lift spirits somewhat by focusing on the heroism of those who hid fugitives, resisted death squads and retained their humanity at a time of depravity. That is followed by a section called Aftermath - its name changed from "reconciliation" after survivors said today's peaceful co-existence should not be mistaken for forgiving and forgetting. There are exhibits about refugee camps, reunited families, the impact of HIV/Aids, self-help groups and the rounding up of thousands of alleged killers.
Of the reprisal massacres of Hutus by the Tutsi rebels there is not a word. Not surprising, perhaps, since the rebels now run the country. Smith does not use the word censorship but he makes it clear it was the decision not of the government but the Aegis Trust. "In this society at this time it's akin to Britain in 1945 talking about the bombing of Dresden as a war crime."
Genocide survivors disagree on whether victims' remains should be buried with dignity or displayed as a warning. The Kigali memorial hopes to have pioneered a compromise in a quiet, dimly lit room where the bones and skulls of hundreds of adults and children are just about visible through a smoked glass floor which is called a grave. A neighbouring room displays artifacts recovered from bodies: shoes, watches, rings, identity cards, trousers.
On the top floor there is a raw, minimalist exhibit of dozens of photographs of children with brief captions. One girl gazes from a cot wearing a white dress and an uncertain smile. All we are told is that her name was Irene Mutoni, she was two years old, her farvourite food was banana and rice, her favourite toy was a stuffed dog, her first word was daddy and she died drowning in boiling water.

Competition Entries for Mobile HIV Clinic in Africa

JAS Architects

Johnson Entry

Naeem Biviji

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

thankyou: architectureforhumanity

African Architecture

Service Centre Pay Points

Sue House

The 'Real' Hotel Rawanda

Deiner House

Farming School

Medical Research Facility

Nelson Mandela Meuseum

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Using light for spirituality in Japanese churches

Cathedral of Santa Maria
Kenzo Tange

Church of light
Tadao Ando

From facebook for architects!

All these pictures are NOT mine, i came across them and posted here