I recieved an email about a month ago from Vivek Mukherjee asking if I would do poetry recital at a fund-raiser for Operation Smile. At that moment in time, I did not know much about this wonderful organization. I accepted happily, but as time goes by and the more I learn about Operation Smile, the more I learn about the wonders of small miracles, the more blessed I feel to have been invited.
The wonderful thing about Operation Smile is that ones’ contribution is very tangible. Your gift of 880 Dirhams which is about 240 US dollars, changes a life. In 45 minutes, doctors who donate their time and skills do the magic. Imagine changing the life of a child forever, and all those around. One child, one smile, many many moments and hearts captured over time.
Vivek, along with Dmitriy Tretyakov, are students at NYUAD who have been dedicating their time as volunteers to Operation Smile. It is truly enough to see them at work to realise that this is the work that keeps giving smiles in their own hearts and souls. Operation Smile UAE is run by Morag Cromey-Hawke. She is Executive Director of Operation Smile UAE . Morag states”at Operation Smile UAE, we believe that every child deserves a smile”.
The following are details sent out as part of the invitation:
With the Holy Month of Ramadan approaching, and the time of giving, the team at Operation Smile UAE and IndustryRE have collaborated to create a fund-raising iftar to help children with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.
Our iftar intends to raise enough funds to transform the lives of 87 children by providing them a smile for life through free corrective surgery. We would love for you to join this special occasion to help make a life-changing difference to these children.
On Thursday July 26th at 6:30 PM at Ritz Carlton Dubai. Details on Face Book Event Page Operation Smile Iftar. Email or call for tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org and call 0501063068.
I have been blessed with being invited to recite Poetry at this wonderful event. The wonderful Nina Boutchakjian will be playing the Oud for the event. You can watch her beautiful singing and playing at this link.
Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that heals children’s smiles, forever changing their lives. Operation Smile UAE gives hope to these children and their parents by offering free surgeries and follow-up treatments. This is made possible through the generosity of the local community, both individual and corporates. Here is where you can read more about Operation Smile
I woke up early this morning with a poem in my heart, I share with you the thoughts before the poem that seemed to want to come to life from the soul of a child with cleft lip
The beautiful Organization is called Operation Smile
The more I look at the pictures and the more stories I read about
The deeper I fall
I fall into a daydream or a nightmare
I fall into the belief that all children must smile
Smile with no shame
Smile with no pain
Smile with no embarrassment
The stories each more real than the following
The stories each more gripping
Of course knowing me
I wonder why
Why the cleft lip to begin with
For that I am too week at heart
So for now I will only except and know that
There is a reason why I write
From their eyes perhaps:
“I see the world with open eyes and open heart
Unfortunately all the world sees is the open part on my lip
As if an opening into my being
The shame I have carried all my life
Since the moment of birth
And since I could not latch onto life from my mother’s bosom
I grow up in the small neighborhood we live in
Even after all these days
11 years each year carrying the burden of 365 days
Still our neighbors and even at times my siblings (accept for the one born like me)
and my parents look at me as the open mouth to feed
The open mouth that can not speak or sing but always crying from inside
I stay inside
At first for the comfort of others
But even more so I go inside to myself to find comfort and solace
In the darkness of this life I sense a light
Perhaps that is where one sleepless night I dreamt of Operation Smile
Can it be a group of doctors coming around to find me
Find me in the hole in the wall we live in
Find me with hole in my head that at times made me dream
of digging a hole in the ground
I feel the touch of God on my head and I feel the grace of giving in their hearts
I know I am not dreaming
I am awake and my life about to start
Thank you Operation Smile”