National Geographic : 2002 Aug
Forum April 2002 Something about Sharbat Gula, the Afghan refugee on ourJune 1985 cover, touched a nerve. Just a week after the story broke, 315 letters had arrived.After a month the number of letters and phone calls had reached 1,500, one of the largestand most rapidreactionswe've ever experienced. Many ofyou wondered how we were meeting the needs of Sharbat and her family.Read on to learn more. Tibet The Chinese have built schools and hospitals, but if one million Tibetans hadn't been executed at the hands of the Chinese, per haps those victims would have made the same contribution. RICHARD MARTINI Santa Monica, California I found the article on change in Tibet to be the most accurate article I have ever read in the Western world. I understand that the author had to use carefully chosen words to avoid upsetting Western readers, who are heavily conditioned by distorted reports, Hollywood movies, and propa ganda from the Dalai Lama's government. Both my parents are surgeons and went to Tibet in 1958. I still remember their spending eight or nine hours in the operating room almost every working day performing surgery on patients, mostly Tibetans. I am proud of my parents' contri bution in establishing a health care system in Tibet. I believe the MEMBERSHIP Please call 1-800-NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Special device for the hearing-impaired (TDD) 1-800-548-9797. Online: nationalgeographic.com/ngm AOL Keyword: NatGeoMag future status of Tibet in China will be like that of Hawaii in the United States. People's lives will become better, and a good part of their culture will be preserved. People in Tibet will still blame Han Chinese for anything they are not happy about, and they have the right to do so. LI HUO Cambridge,Massachusetts The article conveyed a sense that we should abandon all hope because Tibet has been occupied for 50 years. Never is it said that peace is impossible for the Mid dle East or that Afghanistan can never heal. Why is Tibet left out of this optimistic promise of peace? MICHELLE RYDER Sumner, Washington Once again I see more Western media denouncing the actions of China in Tibet. Certainly there was abuse and brutality during the integration of Tibet into China, but it pales in compari son to what English-speaking European immigrants have done around the world in the past 500 years. Why do I never see the list of civilizations that have been erased in order to enlarge Western societies? "Free Tibet" is a euphemism for "stop the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * AUGUST 2002 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increase and diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C ., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. 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