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Quick Guide & Transcript: Pakistani quake orphans persevere, Young runner overcomes the odds

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(CNN Student News) -- October 9, 2006

Quick Guide

Quake Anniversary - Observe what's being done to help orphans cope after last year's Southeast Asian earthquake.

Honoring Hispanic Heritage - Follow one man's career path from barber to bookseller as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Perseverance Personified - Run alongside a courageous cross-country athlete whose participation is a victory in itself.



VIRGINIA CHA, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's good to see you on this Monday You're watching CNN Student News. I'm Virginia Cha. Let's get you right to the news. Pakistanis mark a year since an earthquake there killed tens of thousands. How some are reaching out to children orphaned in the disaster. He went from cutting hair to selling books. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, see how one businessman made a big difference by offering much more than a trim or a shave. And being a winner doesn't always mean you have to come in first. How one small athlete beat the odds just to compete at all.

First Up: Quake Anniversary

CHA: First up today, we go to Pakistan. A country marking the one-year anniversary of a massive earthquake that left thousands dead. A moment of silence was observed at 8:52 am yesterday, the time when the 7.6 magnitude quake struck last year. President Pervez Musharraf led a memorial ceremony in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. 73,000 Pakistanis were killed, 100,000 were injured and three million people were left homeless by the quake. Tim Lister takes us to one tent encampment that houses children who lost their parents in the quake.


TIM LISTER, CNN REPORTER: More than three million Pakistanis lost their homes in last year's earthquake...but 40,000 children lost much more. They are the quake's orphans, and several hundred of them now live in this camp at Atar Sheesha.

Ten-year-old Sajawal Ahmed remembers the morning he lost his parents.

They were under the rubble,' he says. 'My sister kept telling me, get them out. I said how can I? - I'm alone.'

One year later, they face another winter under canvas - as agencies struggle to build permanent shelters. But at least some of the orphans aren't entirely alone. They are united in loss with about 20 widows, who've become their caretakers.

The younger children crowd around 27-year-old Maryam Rehman for storytime. She gets a sense of belonging from her role. 'Even Allah appreciates this kind of work,' she says...'Besides I also have no-one, no mother or father. So I enjoy doing it.'

The agencies running this camp are trying to give the children a basic education, in very basic classrooms.

MOHAMMED ABUZAR SHAH, ASSISTANT MANAGER, ATAR SHEESHA (TRANSLATED): If these children are not educated, looked after, some of them will become gang members and thieves, some will beg. The generation that has lost parents and families - the generation that has survived - will end up destroyed.

LISTER: The orphans also need help in overcoming the trauma of that October morning a year ago...The Red Crescent Society is trying to give the kids some self-confidence.

MOHAMAD ALI, PAKISTAN RED CRESCENT SOCIETY: After the quake, children were not social and preferred to stay away from people. In fact they refused to go to school out of fear of another quake. But now they have become out-going, they take part in sports and are generally very active.

LISTER: For some of them, a game of cricket - Pakistan's national passion - helps pass the time. Some of them dream of playing for the national team one day. They may have little else, but they do still have their dreams. Tim Lister, CNN, Atlanta.



STANLEY NURENBERGER, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Who composes the largest minority group in the U.S.? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Asian-Americans, B) African-Americans, C) Indian-Americans or D) Hispanic-Americans? You've got three seconds--GO! Hispanic-Americans compose about 14 percent of the U.S. population, which makes them the country's largest minority group. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Honoring Hispanic Heritage

CHA: We're reaching the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. The holiday was first established back in 1968. This year, the month-long celebration ends Sunday. All week, we'll bring bring you stories that reveal the unique contributions of Hispanic-Americans. Ruben Martinez fits the profile. He's a champion reader, and as Carl Azuz reports, the barber has inspired many with his love for the written word.


RUEBEN MARTINEZ: The book, the spoken word, helps you reach your goals and make a big difference in this world."

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Rueben Martinez was born in Arizona, the son of Mexican miners. He studied to be a barber, a profession he's held for more than 45 years. During those years, he discovered a hidden talent: to inspire a love for reading.

MARTINEZ: Well, in the barber shop, I always had lots of good books - books in Spanish, books in English, good magazines. And when my clients would come to get their haircuts, they would read, and then they'd say 'Mr. Martinez, I love this book. Where can I find it?' And I'd tell them, 'I don't know; I bought those in Tijuana.' Later they'd ask me, 'Can I borrow it?' And I'd say, 'Of course - you're my customer'.

AZUZ: Tired of the books not returning and inspired by one of his customers, Martinez decided to combine the profession of barber with bookseller.

MARTINEZ: So this is how we started: with two books. From then, five, from five, ten, from ten to twenty-five. And the day came when we ordered one hundred books. I received a box and emptied it all over the floor of the barbershop, and I said to myself, "These are mine. I do not want to sell them, but it was a business -- I had to. That was 15 years ago, 15 years and we have sold more than two million books. But I have also given many away to the children. Why? Because it is an opportunity for me to give away a book to a child whose parents do not have the money to buy one.

AZUZ: Rueben Martinez is moved by something other than a business spirit because everyone from kids to university students has heard Rueben's lectures about the importance that Hispanics should place on reading and learning. Today, he is the owner of three bookstores and the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions for his work in the Hispanic community. But Martinez still considers himself a man of little education. He said he's read more than 10,000 books, and that each of the authors and protagonists has been the real teacher.

MARTINEZ: And this is what Carlos Fuentes once told me: He said a book is dead until we open it, words are born again, but words never change. And that's what's beautiful about them.

AZUZ: Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, I'm Carl Azuz.



CHA: Teachers, to make Hispanic Heritage Month come alive, consider today's learning activity. Your students will find it interesting to track national census data about Hispanic-Americans. The activity will combine thinking with chart-making, always fun. You know where to go, to the web's most useful website. Once there, scroll down to the "learning activity link."

Word to the Wise

NURENBERGER: A Word to the Wise... persevere: (verb) to keep at something in spite of difficulties or discouragement

Source: www.wordcentral.comexternal link

Perseverance Personified

CHA: A famous writer once wrote "the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." That's certainly the case for Kris Phillips. The middle-schooler has over-come medical challenges since birth. And that perseverance is on display in cross-country meets. Russell Bivens from WBIR explains.


RUSSELL BIVENS, REPORTER: There are some sports moments that reach out, grab our hearts, and inspire us forever.

One of those moments happened on a recent Tuesday evening in West Knoxville. It was an evening on which hundreds of middle school runners were hoping to make a name for themselves. But on this day, only one child took the spotlight.

When Kris Phillips was born, doctors said he would never walk. His family took that prediction as a challenge, and at six years of age, little Kris had rods placed in his back. A few years later, he endured another surgery, this time to fix a problem that caused him to stop breathing.

Today, Kris is a runner, and on this night, he was competing at Karns Middle School in front of stands filled with excited, enthusiastic families and fans.

In the middle of this group of young athletes was that little boy doctors said would never walk, much less run across a finish line.

Kris Phillips, only four feet tall, struggled through the last stretch of the two mile race. His father, Frank, ran part of the course with his son.

Kris crossed the finish line in last place, but there's no doubt that Kris was first in the hearts of his many fans and supporters, and especially his mother Deb.

In the race of life, it's not always having the fastest feet that matters; sometimes it's all about having the biggest heart.



CHA: Truly an inspirational story. If you'd like to hear more from Kris, he was interviewed on CNN on Sunday, and we've streamed that interview on We'll put a link to it in today's transcript. And that's where we're going to leave you on this Columbus Day edition of CNN Student News. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you again tomorrow. I'm Virginia Cha.




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