Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I found out about some heartbreaking stuff today.‎

It all happened in a very spontaneous way – completely unplanned. After Iftar, we were ‎heading out to one of the Ramadan Shisha joints, doing the Egyptian Ramadan thing. As ‎we reached the place, I saw a sign for an orphanage. I immediately stopped there so we ‎can visit the place. You see, my wife has been wanting to visit an orphanage for some ‎time now. She’s been wanting to help out in any way she can: give the kids private ‎lessons, donate money or food. Basically she’s been feeling we’re too wrapped up in the ‎grind of life, and she felt there’s much more to be done to help those in need. Naturally, ‎she was thrilled. We went inside and discovered that this orphanage was a very pleasant ‎place. A small villa housing around 20 kids, ranging from newborns to 4year olds. You ‎could feel it was well-run, and it was clear the kids were getting tenderness and care. The ‎staff was great. We stayed and played and with the kids, who were really eager for any ‎sort of attention. They were literally throwing themselves at us and we spent a good ‎amount of time with them playing, cuddling, and goofing around with them. It was really ‎emotional.‎

That’s not the heartbreaking part. When we sat with the manager and talked to him, he ‎told us that almost all of these kids were not really orphans. They were abandoned ‎children that were discovered as newborn infants in the streets, most probably because ‎they were illegitimate. To escape social ostracization, their mothers just abandon them. ‎What was heartbreaking was the stories of how they find these kids. Apparently, in a bid ‎to get rid of any evidence of their fornication, many of these mothers purposefully leave ‎the kids in places that will lead to their death! Some infants are found placed next to the ‎back wheels of a huge truck, so that when the driver backs off when he gets into his car in ‎the morning, he crushes the baby! Others are found with fractured skulls because they’re ‎thrown out of the window of a car. Others are left in the garbage, where they get attacked ‎by stray dogs and cats. When we heard this, we could not believe such a thing was ‎humanly possible. How could a mother do something like that? When you see these ‎little children, with all their innocence and purity, and then you hear about what they ‎were subjected to, you cannot help but be heartbroken. Whose fault is this? Are the ‎mothers solely to blame? Or does our society, which values female “honor” much more ‎than it values life, share a huge part of the blame?‎