By Rahila Ovais

Peshawar Remembered

It’s been 40 days since that dreadful event took place in Peshawar, Pakistan – the day when a pack of cold-blooded barbarians attacked a school full of kids. Scores of mothers, just like you and me, had sent their sons to school that day. Little did they know, that when they waved good bye to their loved ones that day, it would be their last farewell.

The news of this massacre made international headlines. Not only Paksistan but the whole world was outraged, and grieved with those mothers and families in Peshawar. Nonetheless the next morning millions of mothers continued with their life as they woke their kids to get ready for another day at school. Oh the guilt of carrying on with our lives as our sisters still grieved!

We talked about this dreadful event in the days that followed. While we deliberated the emotional trauma of the event, we also discussed the political aspects as well as the religious facets. We paid tributes to the teachers who died trying to defend their students. We lauded the Pakistani army and their families for their sacrifices for their country. 

Mothers around the world especially Pakistani moms abroad struggled to explain this loss to their own kids as they carried out normal day to day tasks. How do you explain such a tragedy to your four year old or your ten year old or even your teenager when you don’t understand it yourself? Who were those terrorists who attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar? How can anyone attack a school and how heartless does one have to be to take a child’s life, point blank? 

There have been previous incidents in the world where schools were taken hostage, albeit none as repulsive and shocking as this attack in Peshawar. Words are not enough to condemn this act of terrorism and violence by those who have hijacked our religion. No one will ever forget this act of savagery in its true form. No one will ever forget the loss of those mothers and families. Time does not wait for any one and life goes on as we continue to mourn this momentous loss of lives, of our future. 

It’s been 40 days since that horrific event when humanity died. As we remember and mourn the loss of those precious lives, lets pray for safety and peace for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan. Let’s pray that they come out of this tragedy stronger and ever more united. Today, as we relate to the pain and heartache of the loss of these mothers, let’s pray that we can stand stronger together against all evil and be unanimous in our condemnation of everyone who hijacks our beautiful faith to further their nefarious aims.

About the author:

Rahila Ovais is a Pharmacy Technician working at the Ontario College of Pharmacists. A mother to four, she’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago.