Educational Camp Quetta And Ziyarat – Day 5

Day 5 Thursday 22nd September ((19tth Shaban ull Kareem))
On 22nd Sept our last day in Ziyarat we again set out for a walk. The morning walk turned into an adventure when we arrived at a nearby gorge and had to climb a slippery rock to view a small pond where rainwater had collected. Some students were able to climb but most of us slipped even after trying repeatedly. Then an idea struck. Most of us were wearing shawls, so we tied together few shawls to make a rope and those students who had climbed up pulled up the others. For climbing down we had to slide down with the support of shawls. It was a real adventure and students enjoyed it very much. We then asked students which was easier climbing up or climbing down? There was a mixed response. Then we discussed this Tasawwur that rising in Darajaat is very difficult but falling is easier. A small mistake in life can result into falling in Darajaat. We have to be very careful. We also discussed the meanings of Rasullulah (SAW)’s hadith mubarak “Takhaffafu Talhaqu”.

After having breakfast and Tilawat ud Dua we were on our way to visit Prospect Point and Baba Khrewari. Prospect Point is a viewpoint in Ziarat offering an amazing view of surrounding hills and valleys. It is at the height of about 3000 feet. From here one can clearly view and read ALLAH in Arabic formed naturally on the top of a hill. There is also an ancient juniper tree at Prospect point whose branches form the word of ALLAH written in Arabic. Over here we did trekking for few hundred meters. Each group had a photo at this picturesque spot. Some students wrote poems while some started to sketch in their memory books. After some time Raudat ul Adab il Fatimi (Qafiya) were held between boys and girls. Girls won the competition. Ziarat is famous for its ancient Juniper Forest. The trees over here are 2000 to 5000 years old. It is one of the oldest juniper forests of the world. At Prospect point we discussed the characteristics and properties of a Juniper tree, its leaves, berries, bark and its role in ecosystem, its uses and its conservation. From Prospect Point a road goes down to the Baba Kherwari Mazaar. It’s just ten minutes drive. This place is named Ziarat because people from the nearby towns and villages come here to do the ziarat of this saint. As it was Zohr namaz time we quickly saw the mazaar, prayed namaz in a nearby Masjid and returned to Sadakat House for Lunch.

After lunch we went to Quaid e Azam Residency, where Quaid e Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah spent his last days. We saw some personal belongings of our beloved Quaid. Except few curtains all furniture and interior of the residency is of Quaid’s time. Nothing has been replaced or changed. The guide over there shared some interesting information about the last days of Quaid’s life and his death. A beautiful lawn surrounds the residency. We sat there in groups and did some planning for the campfire programme. It’s a daily routine that the National flag at the residency is raised at 10:00 am and lowered at 5:00 pm. As we were present there at 5:00 pm we requested the incharge to let our students conduct this ceremony. The group leaders lowered and folded the flag with respect while others recited the National Anthem. We walked back to Sadaqat Rest House.

An hour after Maghrib Isha namaz we all gathered in the garden for presentations. The programme started with Tilawat ul Quran followed by Hikayat Presentation. Marjaan was given hikayat of ‘Tabeeb’, Aqeeq ‘Aqalmand Wazir’ and Yaqut ‘Aama ane Maqaad’. The pathans working in Sadaqat and our van drivers also gathered to watch the show. The Hikayats were so well presented that even they understood and enjoyed it. Yaqut group’s hikayat was very well presented. Then Capture Activity started. Each group was given a topic with a brief text. In capture activity each group had to prepare ten good questions from the text. During the activity one member of the team read the text, the other team had to listen carefully. Then they asked their questions. If a member of the opposite team was not able to answer he was captured. The topic for Marjaan was ‘Juniper Forests’, Aqeeq ‘GSP Museum’ and for Yaqut the topic was ‘History of Quetta’. After several rounds that continued next day in Quetta also, Yaqut group won in the finals.

It was becoming chilly. Dinner was ready but it was so cold outside that we had to serve dinner in the rooms. Because of the cold and the tiring activities of the day some students went to sleep. But the real fun was about to start. We had a Camp Fire, which started at around midnight. Students tucked in their shawls and blankets gathered around the fire. The group leaders lighted the fire with torches (mashaals) as is done in scouts’ campfires. Then it was an open forum. Students presented beautiful poems which they had written during the camp and told hilarious jokes and asked mind-boggling riddles. As it was the last night both students and teachers gave their comments and shared their views about this camp. We slept at around 1:30 am.