people in the West commemorated Veteran's Day or Memorial
Day, November 11, I was trying to recover what in the medical
jargon is called Lithotripsy (in layman's English: kidney
stone treatment or stone crushing) that has gone awry, notwithstanding
the much bandied hi-tech state of the art instruments.
a Dr. A. Zini of Mount Sinai Hospital assured me, after returning
to this world, that everything is hunky dory, despite the
incalculable pain, discomfort, blood and sand in the urine.
was performed at Saint Michael Hospital's Lithotripsy Unit,
and for some unknown reason friends and relatives who brought
in the patients to the hospital are kept at the hospital's
waiting room, far away from the doctors and nurses, helpless
as experienced by my son who brought me there.
however, another hitch in the process. A newcomer in Canada
had a hell of time explaining his ailments to the medical
staff in his halting English. (I guess he was from Southeast
Asia). I was at that very moment thinking: "What would
happen to an old Somali lady in pain and whose English is
not beyond the grocery store medley. Who is going to assist
her in explaining her ailment to the medical staff?"
the horrible pain I was subjected to in the botched surgery,
I had protested to the Registered Nurse that since Canada
is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society immigrants and refugees
should be allowed to call in an interpreter of their own choice,
if the hospital cannot afford to employ multi-lingual staff.
The RN took note of my suggestion and I hope it will make
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for those touching
GET WELL emails. My Inbox is overflowing with them!
however, one exception -that's an email from a Catholic bishop
in Dallas, Texas, who seems to be unhappy about my last TALKING
POINT, "A BRIEF REMINDER TO GENERAL BOYKIN."
Here is my very modest answer to the bishop:
I have no skill at talking theology. I am not much good in
that department. I only know that too many have died who could
have been saved. That too many brave, fine, valuable lives
have been snuffed out in the name of God. And by the bad,
the worthless gun toting riff raffs. Christians (Catholics
and Protestants) have been massacring each other in Northern
Ireland for more than two decades on what is termed as sectarian
violence. Arabs and Jews have been at each other's throats
for over 50 years, Muslims and Hindus in India have been trying
to eliminate each other since independence from Britain. The
Hutus, who are predominantly Catholics, have massacred over
a million Tutsis in Rwanda. Ironically, the Tutsis are also
from Rwanda genocide
the Shi'aa and the Sunni Muslims have been killing each other
over centuries old interpretations of Islam.
the Rwanda genocide, the world, particularly, the bishops
at the Vatican watched indifferently while these wholesale
grisly extermination/ethnic cleansing was taking place.
Similarly the United Nations Security Council failed to
react even after the Canadian General, General Dellaire,
in charge of the small UN peace keeping force in Rwanda
repeatedly appealed for a robust peace keeping forces
to restrain the heinous crimes being committed by the
Hutu Interhamwe death squads against the Tutsi minority
Many of the bishops in Kigali, the capital, refused to give
safe haven to the fleeing Tutsi families. Instead, they locked
up most of their cathedrals and conveniently disappeared in
truth is always nasty, brutish, and short. Who said that?
I guess it was Rousseau's Noble Savage concept. The exact
quotation is, I believe: "Man in a state of nature is
nasty and brutish, and short."
example, the choice in my native country of Somalia isn't
between good and bad, but between bad and worse. No. It is
between worse and worst.
quotation about miracles is straight from the Bible and the
Qur'aan, but you have something there when you said many Americans,
like General Boykin, should learn more about Islam and other
world faiths before they open their big, parade ground mouths.
That makes two of us.
Padre, the magic question is: "Why can't all faiths on
Planet Earth speak out with one voice against injustice, bigotry,
racial/religious profiling, poverty and wholesale massacre
of innocent civilians?
should not keep quiet, but defend the truth from the attack
that has been forced upon Islam post 911.
a Global scale, universal tolerance would lead to world peace
LEST WE FORGET!
ball is now in your court, my dear padre."
By M. M. Afrah©2003,