Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day Seven in Pakistan: October 9 - Day of Fasting to remember the Children killed by Drone Attacks

Continued from Day Six in Pakistan: October 8 - Day after the Peace March - JoAnne Lingle reporting on her trip.

We planned this to be a public fast, a Ramadan Fast with no food or liquid from sunrise to sunset, to atone for the U.S. killer drone strikes.

6:00 am - up before sunrise to eat and get ready to get on the bus that would transport us to the Islamabad Press Club where we would spend the day fasting and talking with passers-by. When we got there, we discovered the street in front of the Press Club had little to no traffic and saw nary a soul walking by.

So, back on the bus to find another public place. Ah, the shopping mall where there are lots of stores and an area with benches and even a Gazebo. We scurried to cover the Gazebo with our signs of "No Drones", "When Drones Fly, Children Die" and "Code Pink Delegation for Peace". It wasn't long before a crowd gathered and we began to have conversations with lots of people. Some even began to fast with us.

Next the media came for interviews. One of our fasters was invited to go to the CNN studio for an interview.

At sunset when we heard the Call to Prayer, we asked one of the Pakistani men to say a prayer. Then, with others joining, we broke our fast with the traditional eating of dates and drinking water.

Later, we were devastated to hear news of the Taliban attack on the 14-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousufzai, who is an outspoken advocate for girls to attend school. We began to collect funds to send to Malala's school and we are reaching out to global community to find medical help for her neurological needs. We condemn this violence and understand that American drone attacks increase extremism. We are praying for Malala's quick recovery and return to school.

A day filled with gratitude for the fast and filled with sorrow for the tragic shooting of Malala Yousufzai, a courageous young girl who spoke out for justice while knowing she was risking her life in doing so. May her family and the larger community be comforted in their time of need.
"Healer of our every ill, Light of each tomorrow,
give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.
You who know our fears and sadness, grace us with your peace and gladness.
Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts."

Continued at: Day Eight in Pakistan: Our Final Day - Farewell Islamabad!

Read the full story of JoAnne Lingle's participation in the Code Pink peace delegation to Pakistan.

For more photos see the Code Pink delegation photo site.

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