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While I was born in Pakistan and have lived much of my adult life in New Jersey, I lived in Houston for two years and I have children that were born there. So watching what has happened in the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey over the past few days has really hit home for me.
I have been deeply saddened to see the destruction and devastation caused by the hurricane.
But in a strange way, the aftermath has helped lift my spirits.
Why do I say that? Because of all the incredible displays of kindness and generosity I see on display from, so many of my fellow Americans.
Sure, there have been the occasional boneheads suggesting that Houston deserves this because Texas is a “Red State” or outright saying they wouldn’t give money to a state that voted for the president.
But at a time when this country feels more politically divided than any point since I’ve been here, the overwhelming majority of people have managed to drop their petty grievances and come together to help those in Houston who are in dire need of assistance. Citizens in the area have risked their own lives to help strangers, people outside the area have been sending in donations left and right, and joint prayers have been said all throughout the country for the well-being of those in harm’s way.
And no matter what you think of them, President Trump, Governors Abbott and Edwards, and local law enforcement have all done a terrific job of handling the crisis.
The people in the Houston area are going to continue to need our support, our money, and our prayers for a significant amount of time as they attempt to rebuild the damage done. How long it will take to repair that damage is anybody’s guess. But what’s not anybody’s guess is which country has the most generous and warm-hearted citizens, even if sometimes it takes an unmitigated crisis to remind us of that.
*Note: If you haven’t do so already, I implore you to donate anything you can spare to one of the fine charities collecting funds to help the Houston area recover from this natural disaster.*