Opinion

Embracing the new beginning

Robin Saban

Greetings to all of you in South Sudan.

I have to admit once again that I was always hopeful about the future of South Sudan and I was not wrong about this at all.

This is what I acknowledge as leadership and in my opinion compromising and making sacrifices in order to bring peace and stability to a country after a civil war deserves recognition.

I would like to take this opportunity as an outsider to thank the Holy Father Pope Frances  as well as His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his office, also the first Vice President Dr. Reik Machar, the Vice Presidents His Excellencies James Wanni Iga, H.E. Taban Deng Gai, Her Excellency Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior and His Excellency Hussein Abdelbagi. I also wish to acknowledge all other involved parties, international organizations, individuals and decision makers who have worked toward the peace truce.

The new cabinet has been announced by the president of the Republic of South Sudan, His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit. He and his vice presidents’ bold decisions shows that the country is moving in the right direction for a new beginning. The decision makers have shown the world that South Sudan is determined to become a peaceful country.

South Sudan is ready for development and the international community may now revisit the sanctions to work with the South Sudanese government to find ways for lifting the sanctions giving a chance to the new cabinet to help put development in first place for South Sudan.

I wish to take this opportunity to embrace this turning point in the lives of the South Sudanese people and to offer my support to the new ministers and the citizens of South Sudan at this historical moment.

This turning point marks the bold decisions made by the new cabinet to appoint many women ministers for top positions in the new government. This adds to the positive image of the country and the move may be seen as a role model for other African countries to appoint women for top positions.

I had the honor and pleasure of visiting H.E Ambassador Beatrice Kamisa Wani Noah several times at the South Sudan embassy in Berlin, Germany recently and am happy to hear that she has been appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

H.E Beatrice Kamisa Wani’s hospitality, professionalism, her wisdom, knowledge of international politics as well as her visionary personality and her love for her country is unquestionable and I have no doubt that she will do an excellent job for her country and on  the International arena.

I sincerely wish the new cabinet all the best in their new endeavor.

LOOKING AT OUR LIFE BEFORE COVID -19 AND AFTER COVID- 19 Corona Virus?

This virus is real and has been known to scientists since 1965.

It showed itself to us as the SARS coronavirus (SARS-COV Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus) in 2002-2003. The MERSCOV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) appeared in 2012 and now we have Covid -19 in 2020.

There was not so long ago a movie called Contagion. If any of you have not seen this movie I highly recommend it. The movie predicts today’s pandemic disease in an explicit way.

As a matter of fact, I ask myself whether this pandemic is Mother Nature`s way of conducting a social experiment with us all and has come to show us how to change many of the things that we have become used to. Or whether it has come about as nature`s  plan for a new world order?  Whether this experiment is done intentionally or unintentionally, we must see that the outcome of this pandemic does not land in the laps of the opportunists so that they can take advantage of the situation and push the changes to implement huge gains for themselves.

We must not forget, every crisis has two sides; one goes down and  the other comes up. In other words, each crisis or chaotic situation destroys many things but also creates new opportunities.
As individuals, companies, organizations, thinkers, professionals or as a country, we must ask how will we take the resulting changes and are we prepared for the changes that we must face sooner or later? 

How will this pandemic affect the world economy?

The  online educational system is becoming more popular and is currently being implemented in many countries during the Corona Virus pandemic. Does this indicate a change in the educational system of the future? Working from home is being pushed by companies due to the virus to keep the work flow going. At the same time many people are losing their jobs and do not know whether they will be rehired or not. Could these be the changes in the structures of international organizations? Again, we must ask the question whether this is the revenge of nature? In many countries of the world we are cruelly destroying the natural environments of many species as well as their livelihood, deforesting huge areas and consequently disturbing the balance of nature. Mankind must rethink its behavior and its actions against nature.

Perhaps this unexpected slowing down of human life in the current situation of the pandemic will  give more room for us to look at our forgotten friends in nature as well as to all living creatures.
If we are in peace with ourselves and mature enough to do re-questioning, judge our inner voice to reset ourselves, we can handle the new changes coming more intelligently. I am pretty sure that the whole world will be asking many questions and revisiting all current activities whether it be businesses, politics or personal.

Coming back to the COVID -19 Corona Virus I would like to share with you our current life style in western society.

As we have already heard in the news, people have been ordered to isolate in their houses world wide to contain the virus against further contamination. Despite having good hospitals and health care systems, clean running water, great public transportation, social welfare systems and so on so forth nothing could save us from the COVID -19 Corona virus pandemic.

I am at home self isolating myself and this has given me a chance to do some deep soul searching. You may laugh at me, but I think the COVID -19 Corona virus is a very democratic virus and is showing us that whoever you are it takes down the rich and the poor equally.

We are trying to find some self irony and humor in anything we can as we live in this situation and to keep up our morale many of us are sharing funny videos via social media.

Groups of teenagers are posting leaflets at the entrance of the buildings to ask if anybody such as the elderly needs help like shopping or any other help.  On the streets very few people are out walking and people have to respect each other’s space so as not to spread the virus.

As we can see, even your money cannot save you. In other words, you might have the money but once the Corona virus gets you, until you go to hospital or get some treatment, Covid -19 makes sure that you better do some soul searching about your behavior, your way of life and face up to the reality of how fragile we are.
Every day, we are reading and listening to the news, holding our breath helplessly, waiting to see which countries medical scientists will find the vaccination for this virus to save humanity.

We in the western societies have taken many things for granted. When we went shopping, we were not valuing any of the food or products on the shelves; it was just there. Now it is different, we are looking for what we really need and we pay more attention to what we buy, considering which products to buy as well as what others might need. We have started thinking of what we have done wrong and have begun to reconsider our values.

Many of us are alone in our house or apartment, waiting for someone to call us on the mobile phone or visit us in these difficult times. Some of us are lucky enough to have a dog or a cat in our house so that we have someone to talk to. By the way, we do talk to our dogs and cats and this is not a joke. 

We had been rushing around to get into buses, metros, trams or trying to get a taxi to reach our destination. Now, everything has slowed down and no one is rushing anymore and very few people are on the streets. The buses, metros, and trams are almost empty. Where did all these crazy and so to speak busy people go? In other words, in western societies we thought we knew everything, or that we have the best, we are the best in the west. But WoooooW, my goodness I guess what we have found out is, that we are as fragile as all others in the world and at the end of the day we are human as well.

We did not think about and respect the values that our ancestors created for us such as good morals, ethics or the many traditional customs that were passed on to us. Our ancestors paid a heavy price for these values, often with their lives.

Each year humanity spends billions and billions of dollars to try to find life on another planet and spends billions and billions of dollars on the weapon industry, as well as other ambitious things. But at the same time two thirds of the world population lacks a glass of drinking water, basic nutrition, basic health services, basic sanitation products and so many children go to sleep with hunger every night.

What will happen if we find life on another planet and what do we think we can accomplish on  another planet if we find life out there? What will we have accomplished here on earth?

What’s not enough for us and why are we letting this greed dominate our life? When will we say enough is enough? Why can’t we see the bigger picture and accept the fact that our life is made out of a spilt second?

Why are we becoming slaves to materialistic things and letting this possess our soul and dictate our way of life?

COVID -19 Corona Virus will change many things in our life. Like many other intentional or unintentional occurrencies such as sickness, chaos and crisis that are created by mankind or by natural disasters, this virus will wake us up and tell us to respect each other as well as other species and show us that we are not alone on this earth. We must behave respectfully, stop being greedy and understand the gratefulness of sharing what we have with others.

Let’ s not forget that the Universe is not blind or deaf and hears all the voices, watches all our movements as well as our actions and our behavior toward each other. 

There is always a lesson to be learned from these kinds of pandemics and we need to read the messages from these crisis’s correctly and in a timely manner. And hopefully these kinds of crises will teach us a lesson so that we can be better prepared for the future and be more responsible, respectful to nature and to all living creatures on earth.

Again, “To be needed or not to be needed”. “To be relevant or irrelevant”.

It all depends on our decision making, for ourselves as well as for our nation.

These are the times and moments when we should do some soul searching and stay with each other in solidarity. Color, religion, geography, gender, old, young, wise, literate or illiterate does not matter at all, because we are all vulnerable and we need to be comforted with love, dignity and integrity.
One thing is for sure, once everything goes back to normal our social life and our behavior will change and we must hope that these changes will bring positive sides to the world and that it will not be like before.

I hope your nation is COVID -19 free and if not please remember to be responsible, follow the directions of your health minister and local authorities for the goodness of your fellow citizens and for your loved ones.

With that in mind, I embrace you all for the new and fresh start for your nation as well as for your private life, with love and respect.

Until next article, please stay safe and sound and god bless you all.

The author can be reached via: +43-699-172-76-649 or email: robinsaban@hotmail.com

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