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Saturday, October 19, 2013
The Genesis of Holocaust and Genocides commemoration
Draft in process, its my personal story
I was ten years old, and my mother held me back from reading the book, "Eishman 60 lakh yahudiyon ka qatil" - Eichman, killer of 6 million Jews in Urdu Language to protect me from the anxiety. I was probably 10 and had read a lot of her books, except this one. I stole the book and saw the images, and it shut me down for a long time.
The fear of seeing the images of Holocaust, particularly where they were shot into into ditches, had prevented me from seeing WWII movies for nearly 54 years of my life. Never had the guts to see the sense of betrayal they expressed on their faces, but never begged any one to save their life... I have held them in a very high esteem for the dignified death they faced.
We held the first public commemoration of the 9/11 event at Frisco Convention Center, about 650 People attended the event, about 10 Mayors and several Police and fire chiefs, and clergy from every faith was represented in the event. Mayor Joe Chow was speaking and the Fire Alarm went off... creating a panic. My Jewish friends in the front row dashed out, I saw the fear in their eyes, and that bothered me to no end. No human should be afraid of the other.
It was a false Alarm, Mayor Simpson announced it within 3 minutes for the people to come back, the Fire Marshal was on the way to shut down the Alarm, and I asked the FBI Chief Guadalupe Gonzalez to assure the people... while all this was happening Mayor Chow continued with his speech.
That fear prompted me to do something about it, not sure what.
The United Nations made a proclamation to commemorate Holocaust on January 27, 2006. All the images were coming back to me. I called my friends with the idea of commemorating the event, and thus began this journey. The purpose is education, hitherto, Yom HaShoah was commemorated in Synagogues only, and for the first time in history, the Muslims took the intiative to say to the Jewish friends, that we are with you in the most somber moment of your life.
The first commemoration lifted a huge burden off me. I felt the relief, then also felt guilty that I should not feel the relief. It was a freedom, mukti, nirvana.... There are incredible stories associated with this journey of harassment, threats, bias, prejudices... we have made though it all. Many dropped me from their list of friends... It has not been an easy story. Maria Arita of Fox News and I had a heart to heart on this, and she probably can share the full story some day, may be, we ill write a chapter together.