30 Days of Faith: Day 4

· · · Lalako was a shepherd in his youth, grazing large herds of cattle in the lush mountains of Kunar, Afghanistan. At age 85, he has been a refugee in Pakistan for 33 years. “I vaguely remember those peaceful days like a beautiful dream.” Seven years ago, Lalako became paralyzed from the waist down, and now spends most of his time in the shabby, makeshift hut his sons built for him and his wife in I-12 Refugee Settlement in Islamabad. Because he can’t go to the mosque to pray, Lalako is teaching the Quran to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is the proud grandfather of 37 children, born to five of his sons and their children. “During Ramadan, I teach my grandchildren the stories of the prophets of Allah. They sacrificed their lives for the betterment of humankind. I tell my grandchildren to be kind to people who can’t help themselves and to help the poor. And if you don’t have money to help, then a simple smile to a fellow human being will be counted as a good deed. You are rewarded for every good thing you do.”

Photo and text by Duniya Aslam Khan for UNHCR

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