Jeddah Flood 2011 – Drives you to Heaven

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Wednesday January 26, 2011

1. The second reunion our beloved bride experiences since the 25th of November 2009, The Jeddah Floods. Today, Wednesday, the 26th of January 2011 rain started at 7am and continued showering Jeddah, with some pauses in between, until approximately 10 hours later in most of J-town.

2. This year’s floods effected my family and friends. It effected not only the so called “victims of the neglected South” but the “luxurious side of the city, the North” Maybe it was time for everyone to become united in a single experience of danger, fear, anger and misery… But was this the only way towards reaching such desired unity? (Or is it desired?)

3. Speaking of Unity and Togetherness, have you heard of the princess saved among other Dar Al-Hekma college students by midnight after the disaster took place? Many faculty and students were kept inside the college for security reasons and due to the enormous danger awaiting them outside its doors. Only by midnight (around 15 hours later) a helicopter lands, picks up the princess and leaves. A while after, it returns to pick the princesse’s friend (So I should be your friend to be rescued? Or your highness?). The third time the helicopter visited was to leave blankets and covers for those remaining in the college.

** Second day: We received it was false information. (Would you please trust your own eyes at least and not the news? You saw it happening, it needs no justification.)

4. Returning from work in a hurry, my cousin was stuck in his car for more than an hour, wasn’t able to open the door due to water pressure, windows were damaged and water reached near his shoulders. He was able of leaving the car floating and bumping into other cars only when we encouraged him to do so, forcing the water pressure through the window. His phone was cutting signal constantly and his laptop was his primary concern (certainly being in a technology and an information age, human lives come second!), but perhaps this reflects a person that had hope in survival. He did survive.

5. No, my cousin is only one of hundreds and thousands who now face a trauma that hinders normal and stable functioning. The numbers include school students, university students and workers and employees from all around Jeddah.

Al-hamdulilla, I wasn’t stuck outside my home nor was I physically harmed. However, I, like so many others, was mentally and psychologically devastated. Perhaps I wasn’t a hostage of the floods, but maybe that would have been better than being a hostage of a self and of a system, when my will to survive has either surrendered or strengthened by the events. I was disabled, yet able to Tweet.


To my friends, colleagues and faculty members at Effat University, Al-hamdulilla you are safe. For a detailed explanation, please visit Sana’s note on Wednesday’s events: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=490984561506&id=570660036


For one that is horrific and inhumane, please read what happened to the students of (KAU) King AbdulAziz University – http://al-madina.com/node/286284

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1. Buying a BlackBerry phone only three-four months ago, finally revealed its magical presence in such circumstances. All through these two days, I have received and sent significant information with pathways to take and pathways to avoid, level of rain, missing people, news about finding them, news and contacts for rescuing initiatives, strikes against kau for holding exams only two days after the disaster, updates on protests and other…

BC: هروب جميع الحيوانات من حديقة الأنعام الجميلة الكائنة بحي الصفا … Animals ran away from the zoo (maybe were set free) in fear of over flooding! Great efforts (Making animal rights activists proud?)

BC: Amara num: 026651551 if you are in need of their help. My friend dialed the number, no one answered!! (Over population?)

2. By Maghreb time, Al-Harthy exhibition center opened its doors, welcoming volunteers and donations.. All youth ran towards that destination.. When I entered the hall, I signed my name and wrote my number, took some steps forward, and looked around to see nothing but the expected. Hundreds of girls and boys wandering around not knowing how to help or where to go. Suddenly Shy? Boys were circled in cliques, so girls passing by would be stared at from head to toe. (As long as they were going to start work soon, that would be ok)

I returned back to the entrance, met a lot of friends, and many of last year’s volunteers. Uhmm.. A reunion indeed. One of them even asked: “Intu kul sana?” = “You, every year?”

Yes, every year.

Yes, we will be there even before the ones in charge.

Yes, it seems like we’re defining who’s in charge and who’s not.

Yes, After this visit to Al-Harthy, I payed no more visits and had to interest to help in such a manner.

Yes, I apologize, because I understand that short term initiatives of feeding, providing shelter and primary needs is very important.

3. I met a group of friends, we had a life boat, and because of that we thought we were ready for visiting the areas in the South. Our car drove to Al-Samer district, one of the infected areas, but not the worse case. Before we arrive, we landed beside a “Falafel Buffet Cafeteria” we thought we had to not only do what we are doing, but be it. Entered the shop, flies flying on top the cold left over falafel, we had it heated, put some taheena and hot sauce on top, and “belhana wel sheffa” we enjoyed every bite. Or every taste!!

We cruised around Al-Samer’s neighborhood, found its exterior dry and alive, until the car walked on mud. That’s when we located trucks and people filling the area on the sidewalk area. Taking a closer look, the area has drowned. I saw buildings, a life boat out for the rescue, lots of people stepping aside and GMC cars parked, unnoticed if it wasn’t for the few centimeters remaining on top of the surface.


A short clip portraying how I felt that day!! http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150148185842265&comments

Friday, January 28, 2011

The need to plan ahead

The need to stop being constantly fed

The need for a long-term impact instead

The need for courage to avoid being blindly led

Friday morning, I joined a group calling for a peaceful protest on facebook, the social media revolutionary tool. (Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg)

The group reached hundreds of attendees and hundreds of non-attendees as well, which only transmitted a reflection of the nature of our culture and the mindset of its people. Only those who registered as attending included people living abroad, youth whom their parents were against the idea (thus, not allowing them to attend) and many more whom belonged to the category of “virtual or spiritual supporters”. *Facebook was never an accurate measurement in predicting the number of attendees in a single event. (Mark, did you just hear that?)

Putting in mind a broadcast being received on my blackberry, just before the opening of that page, saying: Activists call for protest.…etc

The list of demands people asked from the Municipality was posted on the group page.

After maghreb, a brainstorming session was held to think of long term plans, a sustainable continuation to what is already being executed from short-term actions and fulfillment of materialistic needs, such as, food, diapers, home supplies…etc (Which is already taking place at Al-Harthy Exhibition Center)

I had a fabulous BBQ dinner afterwards with great people, significant ideas and hearts striving for positive change. Change in the core of social phenomena, not the surface. Change triggered by mental rationales and sensual realizations, not stomach aches missing the smooth taste of “jubna kasa” on a crispy piece of brown toast. (During dinner: I met Fluffy – This glamorous beauty-maybe not in psychical appearance but in her soft and loving spirit)


Saturday, January 29th, 2011

I suffered from insomnia. I suffered. I stayed awake. I couldn’t differentiate between my waking state. If it was fake. I dreamt while my eyes were open. My unconscious, I discovered was empathetic with the current circumstances. I dreamt I was a miserable bride & cheerful people surrounded me putting tons of make-up on my face. Leaving me in no space. I woke up with mosquito bites all over my body. Was it due to the filthy water bordering us since Wednesday, 26th of January? I only knew the bites were real.

I left home and in my handbag, I had a toothpaste, a sanitizer bottle, my eyeglasses, two chapters of the Quran, a pen and notebook, and an extra charged mobile. Just in case I had to sleep outside for the night!

———————————–

Many volunteers at Al-Harthy center reported complains about the overlapping responsibilities, work labelings and flow of functioning taking place among leaders and their volunteers. (A Clash of Civilizations?) However, I still belief some work is better than no work (But i’m not quite sure I belief bad work is better than no work).

As far as I recall, last year’s work had its own set of problems, which by nature hindered the productivity of the youth. Nonetheless, despite the mixture of intentions and motives, there always remains a sense of a united outcome. Which we all work to achieve. Uniquely.

CURRENT PLANS:

1. Support Group: I created this private Support Group facebook page, in support of those who have experienced a trauma.. Sessions will begin next week inshAllah.


ANOTHER CURRENT PLAN:

———————————————————–

NEWS:

For Donations: http://mreowsheroared.blogspot.com/p/jeddahrain-needed-supplies.html

لقاء الأمير خالد الفيصل بالمواطنين عند سد أم الخير http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zxGOg_1Kok

سيول جدة ٢٠١١- فينيسيا http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIoyp82h7tY&feature=youtu.be&a

نواجه كارثة حقيقية http://www.al-madina.com/node/286154

نريد الحقيقة – Truth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4pMzasz4Yg

خط ساخن لاستقبال الحالات النفسية http://www.sabq.org/sabq/user/news.do?section=5&id=19400

Details of donators and volunteers and those in need http://www.jeddahguide.net/

Children finding a floating body http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGyWs4V3pbs

Effat University students and faculty: Rescued http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=490984561506&id=570660036

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