News archive 2005
Letter from Pakistan20 Oct 2005, PR 89/05
Sarah Hassan, King's student wrote
International Management 2004/2005
After completing my masters from King's, I landed a job at British American Tobacco, Pakistan. During my induction I journeyed the length and breadth of the country especially regions in the north, such as Mansehra, Abbottabad, as they are our prime tobacco leaf growing areas. It is these very places, which I now see images of on the news, of complete destruction.
On 8 October, 8:50 local time I experienced what was truly my most God-fearing moment, as my sister pulled me out of bed and screamed at me to run for my life as we felt the ground move. For what was six minutes of hell, me and my elder sister sat, crouched on the driveway outside as the whole world shook around us, things fell to the ground, birds went haywire.
Having spent time in Islamabad, I have experienced earthquakes before. Minute ones, lasting a few seconds; however they didn't even come close to the terror I felt on that day.
How can I describe what followed? Seeing loved ones homeless, hearing about children buried alive under the roofs of their schools, news slowly filtering in from around the country about relatives and friends affected in a thousand ways. The silence on the streets as the country mourned.
The fear as the tremors followed, and we braced ourselves for more destruction, more death. Even now, not a day passes that we don't hear more bad news, or are evacuated from buildings and houses as the continuing aftershocks pound us. But there is a silver lining to this cloud. The response of the people in Pakistan has been stupendous; you can see almost everyone contributing to the relief effort through cash donations, material donations and by blood donations. Pakistani civil society has mobilized in a way I have never before seen. I am overwhelmed by the response of my countrymen, and honestly appreciate the goodness in people.
However, this is not enough, we need to keep going, as winter sets in and the homeless and injured face another onslaught from the elements. I appeal to the citizens of the world to join in solidarity with the people of Pakistan in our time of need.
To contact Sarah for further information of how to help, email: Sarah_Hassan@bat.com
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is the fourth oldest university in England with more than 13,700 undergraduates and nearly 5,600 graduate students in nine schools of study based at five London campuses. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level, and it has recently received an excellent result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, international relations, medicine, nursing and the sciences, and has played major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of health care professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – more than any other university.
King's is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings, with income from grants and contracts of more than £114 million, and has anannual income of more than £369 million.
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