#WATWB August 2021 Afghani Paralympians

Welcome to the We Are The World #WATWB Blogfest for August and thanks to our co-hosts, participants and readers once more. I missed out last month and am delighted to scrape in this time around.

Some of us have watched in horror as the Afghanistan human rights disaster unfolds. But then I saw this story on the Tokyo Paralympics from SBS News Australia:

Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli arrived in the Japanese capital after a week-long stay in Paris, where they had been housed after fleeing their homeland following the Taliban takeover.

They are now set to be resettled in Australia, according to former Socceroo and refugee advocate Craig Foster and a lawyer assisting the efforts. 

Source SBS News Australia https://www.sbs.com.au/news/afghan-paralympians-evacuated-to-tokyo-given-australian-humanitarian-visas accessed 30 August 2021

As the story continues….

Zakia will be the first female Afghan to compete at the Games since 2004 in Athens when she takes part in the women’s K44 -49kg taekwondo event on Thursday.

Hossain will line up in the heats of the men’s 400m T47 athletics event on Friday.

Lawyer Alison Battisson from Human Rights for All was involved in the efforts to evacuate scores of athletes out of Afghanistan.

She told SBS News she worked with an intern lawyer at her firm to assist Zakia and Hossain escape Afghanistan.

“I have this amazing legal intern who works as a plasterer two days a week so he can then work at my firm three days a week, Eric Zhang, he did [Zakia’s] application.

You can play along with more of the story here. Some may argue what about the many, many other Afghanis still trapped? Indeed. Stories like this might inspire other sports and organisations to get involved. That may save some other lives.

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Lockdown Letdown or Variations on Mark 5:1-20

Lockdown Letdown or Variations on Mark 5. 1-20

The pandemic has gone on for a long time now. People are tired. Bone tired. Resilience has run down. Some have lost work or are living in the fear of doing so. Although we know that many of the issues are complex and cannot be solved rapidly or easily, we still lose patience. In addition to our own struggles, we go online only to see the struggles of others. Their frustrations and angst are expressed or even ranted, looking for a home. Some of their angst gets transferred on to the accumulation of our own. While walking I caught this transfer happening to me. Then this happened.

Why do you want to heal me?

Who am I?

Legion

There are many of us

Faces like mine

Mirrored here

And there

And everywhere.

We are isolated and locked down

Nowhere to go

Let us out!

We can only walk or run

Around the same blocks

So many times.

We want to go to

The footy

The club

The gym

The church.

We want to hoon around

In our cars

Like bloody bogans

Terrorising old ladies

And little children

And the frazzled nerves

Of sequestered parents

Invigilating “online learning”.

We want to be out in the streets

Bawling and shouting

“My rights! My rights!”

We don’t care if we get the virus

As we’re dying in here anyhow.

Don’t try to make us feel bad

By talking of Afghanis who

Dream of being able to exercise rights

Or of earthquake affected Haitians

Who don’t have homes to have a lockdown.

We can’t fix them!

We want to be keyboard warriors

Or serve salvos of the seething stew

Boiling in our bile.

Give us our vaccination yesterday!

We are programmed consumers

And we want our product already!

Give us those police and politicians.

Let us hurl our hate at them.

How dare they do not show up to the press

Every. Single. Day.

Why should they rest?

We don’t!

Or aren’t!

Or can’t!

Let us release all our hate

On them!

Let them be

Our scapegoats

Our herd of swine

Cast into the drowning foment.

Take our torment!

Take it!

Take….

It’s … It’s… Gone?

It’s gone!

I’m free

I don’t have to lockdown

My heart

My reason

My soul

I’m free.

Simon C.J Falk      23 August 2021.

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