Thanks, Christine Burrill
(A letter from Suraya Sadeed, born in Afghanistan, now an American
Her foundation, Help the Afghan Children, Inc. Vienna, Virginia, has raised
medical and food aid worth millions of dollars, which she has personally
delivered to the desperately needy inside Afghanistan and to refugee camps
in Pakistan. She returned from Afghanistan recently.)
Sept. 15, 2001
President George W. Bush The White House Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
It has been five agonizing days. My heart goes out to the families
of the thousands who lost their lives last Tuesday. I love this country and I
feel the pain as much as any one.
I can hardly see the screen of my computer from crying as I am writing
- I am
crying behind the closed doors of my office, because I cannot cry outside. Why?
I was born in Afghanistan.
The fear that I have had for years has been realized. I
knew that Afghanistan
would have to pay for having Osama Bin Laden as its unwanted "guest." The fact
that Osama bin Laden is in Afghanistan has nothing to do with the Afghan people
themselves. He is not an Afghan and, he is not supported by Afghans. He came
by force and will only leave by force. Did the Afghan people invite him? No.
Can they remove him? No.
Afghans are terrorized themselves. For the past nine years, I
17 times to Afghanistan to deliver humanitarian aid. I have seen the unspeakable
pain and agony of millions who are in constant fear, living a powerless shackled
existence where even learning and showing a woman's face in public is now
outlawed. Afghans did not elect their government, they have no voice.
For too long ours has been a forgotten nation--one that paid a heavy
fighting a war for freedom against the invading Soviet Union, which benefited the
United States and the world - a war that helped bring the end of the cold war.
Our small nation sacrificed over one million lives, had 5 million refugees,
widows, over one million orphans, over 500,000 amputees. Afghanistan is a country
in enormous pain and is drowning in her sorrows.
A nation that has sought freedom and civility for decades, now has received
title of "Terrorist nation". I hope the U.S. Government and American people
realize that the people of Afghanistan have been terrorized themselves and kept
hostage for years.
The foreigners who finance and support the operations of bin Laden have
fled the Capital city of Kabul leaving behind terrified Afghans who look to the
skies in fear, and brace themselves for more war.
Let us hope that the United States Government and the American people
distinguish between the victims of terror, the Afghan people themselves, and
the perpetrators of these unspeakable acts.
On behalf of millions of Afghans I express my sincere sympathy and hope
the families of the victims find solace in knowing that we share their pain
and stand by them in such times of distress and agony.
Ms. Suraya Sadeed Help the Afghan Children, Inc.
703-848-0407 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please e-mail and fax this letter to all who care about world peace.
-- Christine Burrill <email@example.com>