I Sing The Hero, Aitizaz Hasan

I sing the hero Aitizaz Hasan, who prevented a suicide bombing at a school with nearly 2,000 students in Hangu, Pakistan

“What do men long for, mother, and why?”
“They long for a star’s bright rays,
And when they have glimpsed a tiny light
They follow with songs of praise.” – Christmas Lullaby for a New-Born Child by Yvonne Gregory

I sing the hero Aitizaz Hasan.  I am join my voice to the many songs of praise for the late 15-year-old Aitizaz Hasan.  He lived in the city of Hangu, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of north-west Pakistan.  This town of roughly 35,000 people has been in a violent region over the past eight years.  The combatants are the Taliban, and the local Shia community.  A suicide bombing near a hospital under construction in 2010 killed 11 people.  In 2011, an explosives-laden car was detonated close to local government offices, killing 35 people.

I sing the hero, Aitizaz Hasan

Aitizaz Hasan was a student at Government High School Ibrahimzai in Hangu.  They say he was a good student.  On Monday, January 6, he was late for school, and was not allowed to attend the morning assembly as a punishment.  He was standing outside the gate with two other schoolmates when a man aged 20-25 years approached, dressed in a school uniform, saying he was there to take admission [enroll?]. It was during this conversation that one of the students spotted a detonator and Aitizaz’s schoolmates ran inside. But Aitizaz stood his ground and got hold of the bomber who then detonated his vest, killing himself and Aitizaz instantly.

There were nearly 2,000 students in the school at the time the attack occurred.  I shudder to think what would have happened had the bomber gotten close to the morning assembly.  There is currently a campaign underway for Aitizaz Hasan to be posthumously awarded a civilian honor in Pakistan.

11 January 2014 UPDATE: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to award the Star of Bravery, Pakistan’s highest civilian honor, to Aitizaz Hasan.

Where does the power come from to see the race to its end?

What made Aitizaz Hasan grab the bomber when the other two students ran?  There wasn’t time to think about it.  The decision had to be made right then and there.  I’m not saying the students who ran were wrong.  They may have had a plan to get help, or to obstruct the bomber’s path, or to help the students at the assembly get to a safer place.

Something happened in that moment.  What made that something that happened able to happen?  I don’t know.  I want to know.  But I’m glad it did.  I am honored when others, like Aitizaz Hasan, are strong.

In discordant life
I sing the hero, Aitizaz Hasan
Melody of strength

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