Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kashmir: We Are All Born Free and Equal : Feb. 5th Solidarity

Kashmir: Significance of February 5th

© 2011
Susan Marie and Waleed Ashfaq

"We Are All Born Free and Equal"

- Article I: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations 1948

 © Rifaqat A. Mir:  Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 2010

"We observe 26th January as Black Day. When India celebrates its democracy, we want to remind the world that India has illegally and brutally occupied Kashmir. This time around we will observe peaceful processions on 26th January with Black Flags.  Please get our message to the masses and officials in Pakistan that we need a strong Pakistan that will enable us to achieve freedom." 

-  Mr. Syed Ali Geelani Sabas, exclusive interview Fortress Magazine Jan. 2011

On November 2, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister broadcast to the nation from All India Radio, "We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given (and the Maharajah has supported it) not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it. We are prepared when peace and law and order have been established to have referendum held under international auspices like the UN.  We want it to be a fair and just reference to the people, and we shall accept their verdict. I can imagine no fairer and juster offer".

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Preamble states, "If man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, [that] it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations, [and] Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Kashmiri woman throwing stones at an Indian soldier © Frontline Kashmir 2010

On January 5, 1949, Document #: S/1196, PARA IS, Resolution adopted at the meeting of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan agreed the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite [people allowed to decide outcome of vote, a decree from the citizens] and that there is no victimization in Kashmir.

Female Indian police in (brown khaki) beating trying to arrest a Kashmiri woman 
during pro-freedom protest in Srinagar. © Frontline Kashmir 2010

On September 28th, 2010,
[United Nations News Service reported] Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi address the UN General Assembly [main policy making organ of the United Nations] stating, "that the Kashmiri people’s human rights must be respected and their voices heard to create an enabling environment for a peaceful solution of the long-standing Jammu and Kashmir dispute.”  Qureshi continued by condemning the brutality and prevailing situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir where more than 100 Kashmiris have been killed by Indian Security forces over two months prior to September 2010.  In the same month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [8th Secretary General of the UN] called for an immediate end to violence in Kashmir after recent deadly clashes.

The last attempt at peaceful declaration with no resolution was made four months ago.

Syed Ali Geelani Sabas speaking to media on stone pelting. © Frontline Kashmir 2010

On January 18, 2011, Muhammad Tabish, Correspondent for "Fortress Magazine" [Karachi, Pakistan] conducted a live audio/video interview with Mr. Syed Ali Geelani Sabas, [Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference] where Geelani stated, "Kashmiri nation is suffering from unbelievable atrocities since 63 years.  It is time for the world to respond to oppression. We believe Pakistan will not only rely on diplomatic standards, in fact, [they] will strongly support our legitimate struggle."

Blood of a martyr flowing on the roads on Srinagar  © Frontline Kashmir 2010

Kashmir, a northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent is a disputed territory.  It is claimed by India and Pakistan, as well as China.  Kashmir includes Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan occupies Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.  China administers Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.  The Treaty of Amritsar 1846, was in place due to the purchase of Kashmir by Britain from then Sikhs ruler, Ranjit Singh which annexed Kashmir. Gulab Singh became the new rulers, under British Crown until 1947.  Jammu and Kashmir signed a treaty with India.  India accepted this treaty from Kashmir until a time when the will of the people could be recognized because Kashmir was disputed territory.

An innocent citizen beaten by Indian Security in Kashmir © Frontline Kashmir 2010

By the 19th century, Kashmir had passed from Afghanistan, from Mughals and Afghans to the conquering Sikh armies. The Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu was founded 1820 - 1858 and did not develop full identity.  In 1857, after the Indian Rebellion, Kashmir turned to Britain under direct rule and Kashmir came under seize of Britain. 

Kashmiri wounded by Indian Security In Kashmir  © Urooj Ul Ummar Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 2010

The reigning monarch in 1947 and end of British rule with partition of British India formed the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.  During this split, both countries agreed that the rulers of Kashmir would be given the right to choose between Pakistan or India or to remain independent.  Kashmir shared boundaries with India and Pakistan. Pakistan thought India would accede to Pakistan with end of Britain rule. When this did not occur, the United Nations were then a mediator.


Kashmiri funeral prayers of Fayaz Ahmad who died due to injuries 
Sept. 18, 2010, Srinagar, Kashmir, India © Burhaan Kinu

In 1948, India approached the United Nations Security Council for a resolution. 


Grand mother of Yasir Rafiq Shiekh during his funeral procession 
Sept, 17 2010 Srinagar © Burhaan Kinu


The United Nations approved a demilitarization of the state accepted by India and Pakistan. This cease fire divided Kashmir into two parts. Jawaharlal Nehru, one of India's founding fathers and first prime minister, told the Indian Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1947 that when the people of Kashmir are given the chance to decide their future it shall be done under supervision of the United Nations. On June 26, 1952, Nehru told Indian Parliament that if the Kashmiri people wish to go they can. India had broken promises originally made when first approaching the United Nations by later backing away from promises made in front of international community allowing Kashmir the right to self-determination. This began grave human rights violations towards Kashmir.


Person treated Srinagar's hospital, security forces opened fire on protesters 
in Indian Administrated Kashmir Sept, 17, 2010 © Burhaan Kinu

Since 1991, February 5th as been observed by Pakistanis around the globe as a day to stand in solidarity with the people of Kashmir who have been struggling under oppression for six decades. Kashmir Solidarity Day is a direct result of the partition of the subcontinent while under British rule in 1947. Under this plan, the subcontinent was to be split into two states, India and Pakistan.

To understand this partition of sovereign states, one must look at the geographical importance of Kashmir. Kashmir has tendency to accede to Pakistan. However, the then Hindu ruler, Jawaharlal Nehru along with the Indian National Congress, deployed its armies there on October 27, 1947 against the original partition plan and Kashmiri wishes. This began an armed struggle supported by a public uprising. Kashmir did not accept the illegal Indian occupation, struggling with their liberation to present day.

File:Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.JPG

Freedom of thought and expression do not exist in Kashmir. Under the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act of 1958, Public Safety Act of 1978 and the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act of 1992), Indian troops have been given a free hand to kill, detain and torture any person irrespective of their age and gender. Nearly one hundred thousand Kashmiris (including youth) have suffered, suspect to be freedom fighters. Enforced disappearances are common in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan has always been an advocate towards India regarding a peace dialogue yet this has yet to occur. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani have stated that Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris and that is their fate. The issue of Kashmir has led Pakistan through three wars, devoting budget to defense. Kashmir is the nuclear flash point of Asia, surrounded by three nuclear powers. Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan.  Both South Asian sides are armed with nuclear weapons.  A war on Kashmir has potential to be a nuclear disaster not only for South Asia but the world.

Mother of Feroz Ahmad Malik during his funeral © Frontline Kashmir 2010

In 1948, ceasefire was agreed under United Nations.  The United Nations never truly interceded resulting in relations between India and Pakistan to deteriorate leading to two more wars over Kashmir in 1965 and 1999.  India has control of half the area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan controls a third, Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir.  In 1951, elections held in Indian Jammu and Kashmir brought the leader Sheik Abdullah, the National Conference, supporting India. The President of India ordered the Constitution Order under Article 370. In 1957, elections to the State Legislative Assembly were held for the first time. This ratified the State’s accession to Union of India. The two countries fought several declared wars over Kashmir:  The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 and and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. The last resulted in a United Nations ceasefire.


Kashmir Protests. Young boy pelts stones 
at armed CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) Kashmir © Burhaan Kinu

As of 1971, Resolution 307, United Nations Security Council discussed that the grave situation in Kashmir is a threat to international peace and security deciding on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan and Foreign Minister of India that:  1.  Unilateral ceasefire and cessation of all hostility will be observed until all withdrawal takes place.  2. That all states refrain form aggravating this ceasefire due to harming international peace, to preserve human life under the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 3. To protect the sick and wounded, prisoners of war and civilians.  4. That international assistance be given to relieve the suffering and to rehabilitate refugees.  5. To authorize the Secretary-General of the U.N. for humanitarian issues nor to delay in informing the council on present solutions, and to remain seized of the matter and to keep it under consideration.  All votes were in favor of this resolution of 1971. 

September 11, 2001 changed the course of history. When the United States formed alliance to combat terrorism, India turned its back once again attempting to blame Pakistan for aiding militants through cross-border terrorism. The observance of the Kashmir Solidarity Day is Pakistan’s commitment.  February 5th is a day to recognize Kashmiris’ struggle for justice, peace, truth, and basic human rights.

Indian Occupied Kashmir

*A 2005 study conducted by Medecins Sans Frontieres [Doctors Without Borders] found that Kashmiri women are among the worst sufferers of sexual violence in the world, with 11.6% of respondents reporting that they had been victims of sexual abuse.

*Amnesty International called on India to "condemn enforced disappearances" and ensure that impartial investigation is conducted on mass graves in its Kashmir region. [The Indian state police confirms as many as 331 deaths while in custody and 111 enforced disappearances since 1989.]

*1996: Human Rights Watch and Time Magazine: "In retaliation for the killing of one soldier, paramilitary forces rampaged through Sopore's market, setting buildings ablaze and shooting bystanders." [The Indian government pronounced the event 'unfortunate' and claimed that an ammunition dump had been hit by gunfire, setting off fires that killed most of the victims.]

*OHCHR  spokesmen stated "The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights" is concerned about the recent violent protests in Indian-administered Kashmir that have reportedly led to civilian casualties as well as restrictions to the right to freedom of assembly and expression.

*Amnesty International criticized Indian Military regarding an incident on April 22, 1996, when several armed forces personnel forcibly entered the house of a 32-year-old woman in the village of Wawoosa in the Rangreth district of Jammu and Kashmir. They reportedly molested her 12-year-old daughter and raped her other three daughters, aged 14, 16, and 18. When another woman attempted to prevent the soldiers from attacking her two daughters, she was beaten. Soldiers reportedly told her 17-year-old daughter to remove her clothes so that they could check whether she was hiding a gun. They molested her before leaving the house.

*Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indians such as "extra-judicial executions", "disappearances", and torture.

*The Armed Forces Special Powers Act grants the military wide powers of arrest, the right to shoot to kill, and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations. Indian officials claim that troops need such powers because the army is only deployed when national security is at serious risk from armed combatants. Such circumstances, they say, call for extraordinary measures. Human rights organizations have also asked Indian government to repeal the Public Safety Act, since "a detainee may be held in administrative detention for a maximum of two years without a court order." A 2008 report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees determined that Indian Administered Kashmir was only 'partly free'.

Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

*A two-day conference on Gilgit Baltistan was held on April 8–9, 2008 at the European Parliament in Brussels with the International Kashmir Alliance. The European Parliament expressed concern over the human rights violation in Gilgit Baltistan, and urged Pakistan to establish democratic institutions and rule of law in the area.

*International Crisis Group stated "Almost six decades after Pakistan's independence, the constitutional status of the Federally Administered Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan), remains undetermined, with political autonomy a distant dream.

*According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence operates in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and is involved in extensive surveillance, arbitrary arrests, torture, and murder. Generally this is done with impunity and perpetrators go unpunished.

*Act of 1970 Constitution of AJK [Azad, Jammu and Kashmir] states election rules have been so formulated as to permit authorities to reject nomination papers of any politician believed to be insufficiently committed to the idea of accession to Pakistan. This was constituted by the people of Kashmir.  Kashmir has been acknowledged as a disputed territory by Pakistan.

*No Kashmiri can be appointed on the official posts of "Inspector General of Police [PaK], Accountant General [PaK], and Chief Secretary of [PaK]. One from other provinces of Pakistan will be appointed on all posts, regardless how deserving and capable a Kashmiri officer is.

* * *

The Line of Control [LOC] matches the front line at the end of the first war between India and Pakistan, over the control of Kashmir in 1947. The LOC runs over 700km of forest, hills and inhospitable terrain. It splits villages in half and bisects mountains. Thousands of Kashmiri families have been separated from each other and aspire to meet yet due to ever-tensed circumstances between Pakistan and India, families are unable to reunite from years and decades. Kashmiri people demand softening of borders and LOC so separated families can meet and see their loved ones.

Another reason for dispute over Kashmir is water. Kashmir is the origin for rivers and tributaries of the Indus River basin with tributaries that flow into Pakistan.  The Indus Water Treaty of 1960 resolved most of these disputes but the treaty faced issues raised by Pakistan over the construction of dams on the Indian side which limit water flow to the Pakistani side.

In 2008/09, Amnesty International and BBC News reported that hundreds of unidentified graves [believed to contain victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other abuses] have been found in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Data is based upon "Facts under Ground" a report issued by the Srinagar-based Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). The graves are in areas not accessible without permission from security forces due to their proximity to Pakistan controlled areas. Since 2006, the graves of at least 940 people are reported to have been discovered.  Amnesty International has urged the Indian government to launch urgent investigations into the graves, thought to contain the remains of victims of human rights abuses in the context of the armed conflict that has raged in the region since 1989.


Saffron Plant, Kashmir, India. There are only two or three places in the whole world where saffron grows.
Kashmir has the proud privilege of being one of these places. ©
Burhaan Kinu 2010

"With all deference to this Parliament, I would like to say that the ultimate decision will be made in the minds and hearts of the men of Kashmir and not in this Parliament or at the UN . . . however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means; we will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us. We want no forced marriages, no forced unions. I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to people of Kashmir; it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble and expense, and in spite of all we have done we would willingly leave Kashmir if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving, we are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them at the point of the bayonet.  "I started with the presumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign."

- Nehru, Indian Prime Minister’s statement in Indian Parliament, August 7, 1952.

In July 2009, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake, Jr, stated that the United States had no plans of appointing any special envoy to settle the dispute, calling it an issue which needs to be sorted out bilaterally by India and Pakistan. According to Dawn this will be interpreted in Pakistan as an endorsement of India's position on Kashmir that no outside power has any role in this dispute.

India continues to assert their sovereignty or rights over the entire region of Kashmir, while Pakistan maintains that it is a disputed territory.

"Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein." 

- Article 30: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, 1948. 

* * * 

© photo Burhaan Kinu, Rifaqat A. Mir, Frontline Kashmir, Urooj Ul Ummar
© Video/Audio Geelani: The Fortress, Muhammad Tabish 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tamasha 2011: Global 3 Day Youth Art Event (Submit Please)

Tamasha seeks youth participants from all parts of the country to provide an opportunity to inter-mingle with each other and share thoughts through the medium of art.  Tamasha consists of 20+ competitions to let youth express their soul through all possible mediums.

Tamasha is a dream that became a thought, a thought that became an idea, and an idea that has now become reality.  It is an attempt to vitalize the lives of those who are the nation’s ultimate carriers and those who will make EVERYTHING possible one day. 
Tamasha is an awakening.

A learning atmosphere is provided by workshops and seminars. While spice of fun is added through social events.  

Visit official website:


Tamasha 2011 is an event being held January 28th -31st, 2011, FAST University in Islamabad Pakistan.  It is to provide all youth with a platform where they can express their thoughts through various mediums. The three-day event channels the enormous energy present in those who participate.  One has to have a vision so internally stimulating that it can take shape to a life of its own and be be set free to the external world.  


SUBMIT your written ideas on 'How to re-brand Pakistan practically"


Hira Zainab: General Secretary: Tamasha:

Haider Miraj : President Tamasha'11'


If you've not registered so far then what are you waiting for? 

Get yourself registered before it's too late! Some things are 

worth NOT missing and Tamasha, we assure you, is one of 

such gems.

'Sham-e-Charaghan is partnered with the Edhi Foundation


USA (New York), UK (London), Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, 

Islamabad), Australia (Sydney), Canada (Toronto), Japan 

(Tokyo),  Bangladesh (Dhaka)

Media Partner:



We look forward to join hands with you all in Tamasha '11. 


Photos © Tamasha 2010-2011


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Counseling Center of WNY: Get Back To Being You

It's time to open the doors, remove the barriers, break down the walls and lend an ear.  It's time to COMMUNICATE with a family member, a friend, a coworker or simply a stranger on the street.

May is Mental Health Month and we need your support in spreading the news. The Counseling Center of WNY's goal is to promote health and wellness in homes, communities, schools, and business.

Every day, people are affected by the vast challenges, stresses and demands on their lives but they may not know where to turn to seek help in responding to them. The good news is there are tested and effective tools that are readily available and free that anyone can use to help them cope better and improve their well-being.

This Mental Health Month, The Counseling Center of WNY is encouraging people to use these tools which can be found in the 'Links' section of their website.

The Counseling Center of WNY is dedicated to helping people better cope with stress and enhancing their well-being. Stress can take a huge toll on a person's health, mood, productivity and relationships, but specific, evidence-based tools can help counterbalance these effects.

Together we can increase the number of people who take action to protect their mental health, both in the face of ongoing stress and in times of great personal challenge.

The Counseling Center of WNY website provides you with straightforward tools and ways to apply them in everyday life. From relaxation techniques to journaling exercises to simple ways to get better sleep and improve eating habits, the materials offer a wide range of resources to build resiliency and well-being.

Link to their "event" on Facebook:

To learn more about health and wellness, visit today.

The Center
(716) 833-0415


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peace From Susan Marie Public Relations

"Peace on Earth, that implies no violence, no starving children, no violent minds, no violent households, no violence, no frustration, no fear."

- John Lennon when asked in an interview if he had one wish for Christmas time what would that be? 
Rare interviews with Lennon, a genius, please listen and be grateful for what is around you and put by you, because others may be less fortunate and be happy.  
John speaks the truth:(click below)

As Lennon said: The thing we have in common is love and love equals peace. My Dad was a WWII Marine and everyone I know is involved in the madness of war in some fashion. This was my visit to Arlington. At the end of this, I tried, you know, as Lennon had, and maybe woke at least one mind.   (click below)
Happy Christmas, (and to ALL celebrations at this time) love one another, be nice, don't judge and most important, be good to your own self.



Sunday, December 19, 2010

U.S. Senate Votes to End "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell"

Discriminatory Law on its Way to the Dustbin of History

Washington – Today the U.S. Senate voted on legislation that will allow for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).  This historic action comes on the heels of the passage of an identical bill Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives.  President Obama has said that he will sign DADT repeal into law.

“Today, America lived up to its highest ideals of freedom and equality. Congress recognized that all men and women have the right to openly serve their country,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Plenty of people had already planned the funeral for this legislation. Today, we pulled out a victory from what was almost certain defeat just a few days ago. We are grateful to President Obama, Majority Leader Reid and Sens. Lieberman, Collins and countless others for their dogged determination to repeal DADT.”

Today’s vote caps off two weeks of frenetic, roller-coaster activity. Last week, the Senate voted for the second time against allowing debate to begin on the National Defense Authorization Act, to which DADT repeal was attached. As a result, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a stand-alone repeal bill in the Senate. This Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a DADT bill sponsored by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA). That bill was advanced to the Senate and voted on today.

DADT was made a law seventeen years ago and is the only U.S. law that punishes people for simply telling the truth. Since the law went into effect, over 14,000 gay and lesbian service members have been discharged from our nation’s military simply because they were gay or lesbian. An estimated 66,000 gays and lesbians are currently on active-duty.  Over the past two years, Human Rights Campaign has worked steadily, including dedicating over $3 million in financial resources, to bring about today’s successful outcome. Click here to see a summary of our work.

Senator Joe Lieberman, the sponsor of the Senate bill, added his perspective to this historic day. “This ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010’ removes a law that discriminates against military service members based solely on their sexual orientation and also harms our national security.   This historic day has been seventeen years in the making and would not have happened without the leadership of Joe Solmonese and the Human Rights Campaign.”

“This is an historic moment.  Like our closest allies, the United States’ Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine).  “And, I agree with Defense Secretary Gates that it is critical that the issue is decided by Congress, not the courts.”

The Human Rights Campaign issues a critical warning to service members that repeal of DADT is not effective immediately and service members are still at risk of being discharged on the basis of their sexual orientation until certification occurs and an additional 60 days have passed.  Click here to see the Pathway to Final Repeal.

“This has been a long fought battle, but this failed and discriminatory law will now be history,” added Solmonese.  “Congress now joins the majority of our troops and the American public in the common sense belief that on the battlefield, it does not matter whether a service member is lesbian, gay or straight – what matters is that a service member gets the job done. The President can now fulfill his promise and sign this repeal legislation into law.  After signing this legislation, we call on the President and Secretary of Defense to act expeditiously to complete the steps necessary to implement final repeal.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

© Human Rights Campaign 2010

Greater New York Chapter Human Rights Campaign 
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Habitat for Humanity: South Buffalo: 2nd Buffalo ReStore

New Doors Open, New Hope Enters

Buffalo, NY- Once a brick, primer colored car dealership, then glove factory, then ultimately a warehouse in an economically troubled area of South Buffalo is now a retail center selling so much more than just building and home furnishing materials. It now sells hope, not only to families in need through-out WNY, but for an area of Buffalo built on partnership and strength of community.
On Tuesday, December 7th Habitat for Humanity-Buffalo opened the doors, of its second ReStore location at 1675 South Park Avenue in South Buffalo; grand opening celebrations are scheduled for Saturday, January 15th. The ReStore, a retail outlet, carries 100% donated materials. Shoppers can find deeply discounted merchandise for all home furnishing and improvement needs.  
Along with the first ReStore location, located at 501 Amherst Street in the Black Rock section of Buffalo, the new location hopes to continue to provide, and create an increase of additional revenue available, outside of private donations and mortgage repayments, for the mission of Habitat-Buffalo, which is to provide affordable housing opportunities for families in need through-out Buffalo. In addition to raising funds for housing, the ReStore helps the environment by diverting thousands of tons of usable materials away from landfills, and allows for responsible recycling. 

To date, the new Habitat ReStore is the first and only business to open in an area that has been part of the City of Buffalo’s South Park Revitalization Initiative, in which 2.3 million dollars was spent to help improve the conditions of an area that has long since been neglected.

“I grew up on Pries Avenue, which is only 3 blocks down from the new ReStore, and to see a new business open in this area of South Buffalo is extremely refreshing and renewing from a personal stand point, and I am grateful to be able to be a part of it!”-Evan Quinn, Marketing Manager Habitat-Buffalo

Habitat-Buffalo specifically chose this area with the intention of being part of the hope that is symbolized by the efforts of the City; attempting to restore the beauty of one of Buffalo’s greatest neighborhood, and centers for local commerce.

“We are excited to extend our mission in South Buffalo with this investment on South Park Avenue. The building as well as the community was perfectly suited to house Habitat-Buffalo’s second ReStore”-Kevin Scherf, Store Manager ReStore South

The Habitat ReStore concept in Buffalo currently accounts for 12% of the Habitat-Buffalo revenue, with the opening of the second location that hopes are high for the number to increase greatly.

“Habitat Buffalo is thrilled to have a new ReStore location in South Buffalo. Our second ReStore will enhance the sustainable funding stream already in place with our store at 501 Amherst Street and will allow Habitat to continue to expand on the work we are doing throughout the city of Buffalo in helping low income families realize their home ownership dreams.” Dave Zablotny, Executive Director Habitat-Buffalo

The ReStore hours of operation are Tues-Fri 10-6pm, Saturday 9-6pm, Sunday 12-4pm(north store only). Pick-ups of any and all donated materials are available in Niagara and Erie County, and can be scheduled by calling 716.852.6607. For additional information, visit Grand opening festivities for the South Park location are scheduled for Saturday, January 15th.

For addition information, quotes, and hi-res photos please contact Evan Quinn:
Evan Quinn
ReStore Marketing
Habitat For Humanity ReStore/Buffalo
1675 South Park Avenue,
Buffalo, NY 14220
Tel: (716)852-6607
Cell (716)907-1844
Contact Me Facebook Twitter MySpace YouTube

Sunday, December 5, 2010

International Youth Conference and Festival Dec 6-9, 2010

Ministry of Youth Affairs Miradore Productions and Young International Club in collaboration with Government Ministries is holding this International Youth Conference & Festival in Islamabad, Pakistan from 6-9 December, 2010.

Youth power is an absolute power for a nation's strength and its pride. Youth with the power of vision explore incredible horizons for its nation's splendor, dignity and prominence.

Youth is a force that can change the future of the world and make it a better place to live. Youth only requires proper attention and now young people have realized that our elders have failed to deliver, so it is the duty of the youth that they should act at the earliest.

The main objective of the conference is to promote peace and harmony among the youth of different countries of the world. It provides an opportunity to the young leaders of the world to interact with each other and will strengthen goodwill and foster understanding among them. This workshop carries a message of harmony and friendship among the youth of different nations.

PYA was the brainchild of Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (now a renowned youth activist and philanthropist). Other founding members include Samad Khurram (famous for refusing to take an award from US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson) & Maryam Kanwer. 

© International Youth Conference/Pakistan Youth Alliance 2010 


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Chairperson PYA 

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi 


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You Tube


Dr Arslan 
0092 300 9800000

If you believe you have what it takes to live the change 
join us!

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ONE click will help the Goodwill and Food Bank

A message from Jeremy Juhasz: Goodwill Industries of WNY and The Food Bank of Western New York.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick"

As some of us know, we are currently in the middle of a national in-store Walmart food drive. The folks at Walmart have also set up a separate web site specifically for a complimentary Facebook competition among 100 markets spanning the nation.

Facebook users choose to “support” a region, and Walmart will distribute $1.5 million to hunger relief organizations in those regions that finish 1-5. The Food Bank of WNY is part of those organizations listed underneath the Buffalo/Niagara Falls umbrella.

Here is all you have to do. Click this link below

Then click on the “Like” icon just to the right of the orange arrow. By doing so, you may be redirected to Facebook to log in. Once you’re logged in, your vote is registered. I also urge you to spread the word on Facebook by updating your status and copying this link to your message.  Email friends of the food bank, tell your neighbors, do whatever you can to generate support from your network of relationships. Together we can finish at the top! Even if you’re not active on Facebook, find those in your family who are. You’re bound to know someone who’s affiliated.

Just to give you an idea as to where we stand currently. We sit right in the middle at 50/100 regions. The top vote getter to this point is a region in Florida at 300+ supporters. We have about 45. The competition, remember, only applies if you’re on Facebook. And the contest concludes December 31, 2010.

Thanks Everyone!  

Jeremy Juhasz
Social Media/Web Site Coordinator
Goodwill Industries of WNY and Food Bank of WNY
GW 854-3494
FB 852-1305