Pakistani Students Hears From Home

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

October 10, 2005

The earthquake has impacted people all the way to Charlottesville. There are some Pakistani students studying at UVA who were personally touched by this natural disaster.

The death toll has climbed to 30,000 and people are still searching for their family and friends. But what do you do if you are thousands of miles away, on another continent, studying abroad at UVA?

Maimoona Khan is from a small village outside of Islamabad--one of the hardest hit areas. She's in the United States, but the rest of her family is in Pakistan.

"My mother, my father, my siblings, my cousins--they are ok, but some of my family friends didn't make it in an apartment building fell in Islamabad and they were on the 5th floor and they didn't make it," said Khan who studies at UVa.

She spoke with her mother just last night ,who said they are still feeling the tremors.

"People are really scared. They don't want to go inside their houses and it's really cold outside and they don't have blankets or anything in our village because they are poor people and they are just sitting outside, waiting for relief," said Khan.

Some of her friends are still missing--and there is little if any relief in sight.

"My own cousin was looking for his sister and the poor child had to look through dead bodies to see if they were his sister and thank God he found her alive," said Khan.

The UVa Pakistani Student League is raising money to possibly send to her family or else UNICEF.

"First we're probably going to be raising funds at the lawn or at the Newcomb Plaza," said Muzammil Saya, President of UVa's Pakistani Students League.

The buildings in her village have fallen to ruins, but despite this people have been as optimistic as can be expected.

"People are really motivated there and they are helping out as much as they can and that's a good thing and the government is taking good steps to help out the people." said Khan.

If you want to donate to the UVa Pakistani Student League you can call 434-297-6677 for more information.

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