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Yahya Sultan and Kinza: Two Leaves in the Wind

The ten unsponsored children from Noreen Zindagi stand together. Yahya Sultan is the child in the far right on the first row, and Kinza is the second girl from the far right on the bottom row.

History is full of tales of valor. A tale involving sacrifice, journey, and family. Hardships and trials are the daily norms of the lives of people spread throughout time. Through history we know what happened, but whatever were the origins of those events are rarely ever known. However, such is not the case with Yahya Sultan and Kinza. Their tale has just begun with tragedy at its dawn.

A warm summer afternoon, the sun in the sky, there’s a lone truck driving along the highway. A father thinking of getting back home and seeing the smile of his beloved children. That may as well have been his last thoughts, there’s no way to know now. In some twist of fate, the truck got out of control and got into an accident. The lone driver lost his life then and there.

All it took was a single death on the highway to ruin the lives of two very special young children. In the city of Okara, the world of Yahya Sultan and Kinza collapsed. Yahya Sultan, a 7-year-old boy, and his elder sister Kinza, 9 years old, found out about the death of their father. Imagine losing the only pillar of support you have. The ground beneath your feet shifts away and you're left in pain. You’re wondering and hoping where is the warmth of the man who raised you who loved you. None of us can truly feel what these children went through.

The loss of their father caused a turmoil. The mother of the children could not cope with the death of her husband. She lost more hope than the children themselves and was not able to look after them. In such trying times there was only one source of light for them.

One house to be the home of all.

Amidst the devastation, Noreen Zindagi Trust was a ray of hope. A silver lining in the clouds, Madam Noreen took both of the children under her wing. They joined the orphanage and have been with her for the past one and a half years. She has clothed them, fed them, and educated them. With her, both Yahya Sultan and Kinza have once again found hope. They smile again. They dream again.

The mother now works as a live-in domestic worker and is often sick. She has completely forgotten about her children, at least that’s what the children think. But maybe she is too ashamed to see them and cannot muster up the courage to come meet them.

The children do not resent her. For their age they are much wiser than most of us. Loss has been their teacher but they have only learnt to smile and move on. Both of them dream to fly. They want the sky to be theirs; they want to be free in the wind. They want to be pilots. There is an old Urdu couplet from the great poet Iqbal that fits the dreams of these children:

نہیں تیرا نشیمن قصر سلطانی کے گنبد پر
تو شاہیں ہے بسیرا کر پہاڑوں کی چٹانوں پر

Translated, it says:

Thy abode is not on the dome of a royal palace;
You are an eagle and should fly on the skies of mountains.

In the near future, these siblings will represent the greatness of their nation. They have pride. They have love. Most importantly, they have hope. Thus, we should have faith in their abilities and support them to our fullest.

From Afsana: We are pleased to share that we have reached our fundraiser's goal here -- your support and funds will sponsor Yahya Sultan and Kinza for the next six months. If you are interested in continuing to support Noreen Zindagi, find out more information here. Written by Salman Tariq of Afsana


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