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Web Letter

I am encouraged that Mr. Laiq's eyes were opened by this much-awarded movie. However, I would like to take issue with a grouping of words he used in his article. "Wasteland" and "sub-Saharan. In attempting to find a comparison for the poverty he saw in the slums of his homeland, he reached too conveniently for Africa. For an article on slums, I bet there are quarters in Cairo that would suffice for comparison. What I sense is a deep embarassment at the poverty the author found in his country of birth.

It is hard to stare at a thing that hurts us. But keep your eyes, heart and mind focused on that thing alone. The pain of slum dwellers' need not be compared to that of other slum dwellers. The hungry cannot be fed by creating distinction between their empty bellies and those of others. As an African I hail the ingenuity of my Indian brothers as much as that of my own. It takes an innovative skill set to survive on less than a dollar a day in the sub-Sahara and the sub-Continent.

Allen Makere

Chicago, IL

Feb 20 2009 - 2:15am

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