19 November 2012
"I was walking toward a relative’s home when I saw a man standing by a donkey cart calling to children and offering them candy. Suddenly, the man ran away and ‘boom’ I found myself on the ground. I was terrified, I thought I was dead. At the hospital, when I was told that I was okay, I said to myself 'Allah loves me'." Farouq Aftab, 12, student, injured by a bomb planted on a donkey cart in Peshawar, Pakistan on 12 June 2012.
In recent years, Pakistan has been rocked by hundreds of attacks on civilians. From roadside bombs to suicide bombings and target killings, attacks take place on an almost daily basis in cities across the country, as a result of terrorism, sectarian conflict, and a mix of political, religious, and criminal violence. In the last ten years, over 5,000 people have lost their lives and some 10,000 have been injured in attacks perpetrated by militants in Pakistan. Of those lucky enough to survive, many carry physical disabilities or mental scars for the rest of their lives.
Suffering is far from unknow in a part of the world with a high rate of poverty, and also often hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. However, many devout Muslims embrace those tragedies as their particular fate. Pakistan is a majority Muslim country, where faith is the most sacred and precious thing in many people's lives, and where the devout believe in al-Qadr (Destiny) - that all that exists or happens is an expression of Allah's will. Believer's accept their fate because they trust in His will.