Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
VICTOR: 4th May 1970, America.
Victor; I spun around against better instinct and saw the soldiers drop to their knees in single file,raising their weapons. And the sound of non stop gunfire, students running and screaming ripped the air suddenly. My heart stood still.
Jennifer; They’ve killed someone! Oh no! Its Jeremey, They’ve killed him
“help! Help! I’ve been shot in my spine! I’m going to die! Help me!” I looked over at one of the students screaming in agony,as I ran towards him. Utter chaos filled the campus yard. It changed the lives of some of us forvever.For the worse.
Innocent American students were killed by American soldiers on orders of the American leaders. Their families were shut up by the FBI…the FBI who had placed Terry Norman amongst us to spy on us and who fired the shot that began the attack on harmless students. Do you Still believe that America will not kill and harm its own people?
The motto of the Sahaba RA, which they lived by and implemented in their governance and leadership, was; Sayyidul qaumi khaadimuhim- The leader of a nation is their servant.
A few months later, my dad came to me with a sad look on his weathered face,before he even said it… my stomach dropped, I knew what was coming..
“Victor I’m so sorry …I lost my job… the army will pay upfront if you join…it’s the only way to keep us from being kicked on the street…the rent’s overdue for 3 months, there’s no other income …will you accept the draft? I’m so sorry,I’m so sorry son.”
And that was how I ended deep in the jungles of Vietnam. Where I met this guy named Simon,….he knew my brother John.
Simon; So you’re Johns brother? Hope you don’t go down his way
Vic; What do you mean?
Simon; Haven’t you met your brother as yet?
Vic; Nope but they will be transferring me to his unit next month, I can’t wait to see him after years
Simon just shook his head.
Simon: run,run! Quick get this old man to safety before they find him!
Vic; don’t worry ,don’t cry sir, they won’t harm you!
Captain; Victor Smith! Drop that man now! Gather all the civilians in this hut…I said NOW!
John; Dont listen to the captain Victor, don’t do it…
Vic; John! What are you doing here?(I spun around to find my older brother, his eyes wild,with the look of a hunted animal)
Captain; John Smith! You will be court martialled!
John; I don’t care! Do what you want! As it is I’m a zombie
Captain; Very well then .I will sort this here and now ( and I heard the sound of a gun being clicked into place)….
UMAIR 1976 America:
Umair; Hello, hello!
Vic; So sorry, I was lost in thought there
Umair; It’s okay. Not very good thoughts from your expression, what can I get you?
Vic; Just a packet of cigarettes please
Umair; here’s your change. I must say that I’m not a fan of smoking. Helps you distress but for how long? Rather work on being calm so that nothing stresses you out very bad
Vic; Easy for you to say , you haven’t fought a war
Umair; Ah you were in Vietnam…sorry, I’m Umair Jal by the way
Vic; Victor Smith. Yeah,I’m sorry… I had to get shot in the leg to get out of that hellhole,I don’t think anyone was so happy to get shot…hey you’re telling me about cigarettes aren’t good but you sell them
Umair; A bit like a druglord telling an addict the harms of crack no?:) Actually this is my uncles shop. He past away and my aunty is alone, I came to be with her till she completes her mourning,then I will take her back with me to Afghanistan
Vic; You mean you came all this way just for your aunt?
Umair: Yes. She is my aunt, it is my duty to look after her. We Muslim men have to look after our ladies and take care of them,don’t you’ll do the same?
Vic; Hell no.I see my aunts only at Christmas man, if their husbands dropped dead, I wouldn’t even think of helping them or making them cramp my space, I mean not that I won’t…we pretty much lead independent lives
Umair; Hmm…no point in being a hero for your country or your friends if you can’t be there for your own family…
Vic; Wow!I never had thought of a hero except in terms of glory where you are recognized for your efforts by the masses. Like the medal I had received for getting shot in the line of duty. I was wounded in more ways than one and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I spent my time trying to escape my nightmares which troubled me even when I was awake…. What what! John! John! Aaaah!
Umair; I ran after Victor who was scaring passer by’s with his insane screaming and him trying to …hug them??
“What the hell’s wrong with that guy? Someone shut him up!” A man shouted.
Umair; “Victor! Victor!” And then I slapped him. He snapped out of it.
Umair; Come with me into the shop…here…have a glass of sugar water…
Umair; want to talk about what happened?
VicI saw this guy I thought was John…my brother… I went to hug him so he hit me, he thought I’m attacking him, then I heard a plane and the sound reminded me of…of(chokes) that day ….I’m losing it Umair…I’m losing it …(desperate) I don’t know what to do!
Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A.) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) stated that if a person constantly makes “Astaghfar”, then Allah removes every difficulty, frees him from every sorrow and makes a means for him to receive sustenance from places that he never thought of.
Vic;I tried drugs,clubbing,women,drinking,gambling and it numbs me for a while till the high settles
Umair: I’m sorry Vic. I know how tortured you are. Why don’t you do something that helps you heal?
Vic; I tried everything I told you
Umair; how is a bad thing going to help you? Come with me to Afghanistan.I live in a beautiful village in Kandahar. It was called paradise on earth you know. Just come get into the simple rhythm of village life… enjoy it
Vic; Hmm…I would never have thought of that…maybe I can do something for one village in exchange for the horror I helped unleash on the other side of the world.
VICTOR. AFGHANISTAN. 1977
Sounds of village life. Chickens cluck, goats, children running.
Vic; Unbelievable. I’m here! The best part was getting an internship with a travel magazine ,so I’m going to get paid for this, cool right? The only problem is dragging you everywhere as my translator,sorry man
Umair; It’s okay…
(someone speaks pashtun in the background)
Umair; My grandfather says to tell you that the sorrow is fading from your eyes
Vic; Tell him that being here in the open countryside is helping
Umair; he said that the countryside is always good for the body and mind and our Prophet SAW lived in the countryside as a child for the same reasons.
Vic; You guys have everything covered in your religion man! I’m impressed.
Umair; He said ,come sit next to him while he chants prayers, he says it will make you at peace. He says praising the Creator brings gratitude and gratitude brings happiness.
Vic; I joined the old man with the straggly white beard and calm eyes under the tree. He closed them and started his prayer. It was called Zikr.
I didn’t know what he was saying,but I did know it was words of gratitude and as my eyes surveyed the rolling emerald green hills, splashed with bursts of flowers and the azure blue sky and my ears soothed by his chant… at last peace entered my heart. Praise be to the Maker of all this.
The peace was broken by Umair shouting from a distance. “Vic! Abdul Haq went to the post office,he brought a fax for you! Here read it.”
Vic; Return home. You are wanted back in Vietnam.
This series is based on true life events. May ALLAH accept it and forgive our shortcomings. For more firsthand information on the events of the 4th of May 1970 > click on this.