I arrived last night in London after a 10 hour journey from Karachi and when I got out at the airport it felt like I had never traveled before to the West. I guess this year has been so transformative that i’m seeing everything with a new set of eyes, a new sense of awareness. Waiting for me at arrival was a man holding a sign with my name… my friend, Nadia, had arranged the pick up, an Afghani taxi driver, who calls everyone darling:) The sun was just setting and I was itching to have a smoke! My lighter had been taken in Karachi airport so I had to wait until my final destination to have one!
Seeing Nadia, as always is amazing. She is one of the few people I know who has this contagious energy, always smiling with fun just written all over her face. We went upstairs to her typical to London, tiny studio apartment, with a double bed bunk. She told me she was worried about her cousin, Abbas, a journalist for Gulf News, who had left yesterday on Freedom Fotilla, a ship taking aid to Gaza. Israel had issued warnings that they were going to block this ship from reaching Gaza.
We woke up this morning to the news that the ship Abbas is on was attacked by the Israeli army and 16 people have been killed. To now we have no news from Abbas, but have heard that the ship will be docking in Israeli shores shortly. Hoping and praying for his safety we started our day by walking to Hyde Park. Thinking in my mind that London meant the Caribbean I only came with tanks and tracks, yet the cold numbing breeze reminded me that I should have checked the weather before leaving!
Nadia and I went through a short yoga routine and then we sat down to meditate and pray. I find that whenever something is on my mind, and I am stressed, praying helps me focus and channel my energy to a positive place. So we prayed for Abbas. For God to protect him and give him strength. To send him our love and patience. If you’re reading this take a moment to think of all the people who are on that boat and send them your love and prayers. May we hear of their safety soon.
Update: Heard from Abbas on Monday night – he is safely returning to Dubai. http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/gulf-news-reporter-abbas-to-be-deported-tuesday-1.635236