Monday, June 6, 2016

Ramadan Kareem: A message of Peace, Hope and Reconciliation

By Pal Chol Nyan*


Photo Credit: www.eurovisionfamily.tv 
As the Muslim world begins fasting for the Holy month of Ramadan, I hope this Holy month will bring in hope for a genuine and sustainable peace and stability in the whole world. It is my cherished hope as well that those who are butchering, in cold-blood, innocent children, elderly and women in the Middle East, the Gulf using Islam, and in some parts of Africa where the tenets of leadership have slipped out of the hands of the dictators or those, who are trying to be so by all means just because their eyes have been blindfolded by a blood quest for wealth and power, will call it quit.

I also call upon those who use the name of Islam to cause anarchy and lawlessness in Somalia, Libya and the so-called jihadists who terrorize and behead people to refrain from doing so. Islam is a religion to be revered and not to be used for unlawful killings and destruction of the world. I take this opportunity to thank my mentor and teacher Dr. Abubakr Bashir Mohammed and Dr. Emmanuel Jermano, both are Physicians, who taught and helped me know the ABC of medicine and molded my behavior and attitudes towards how I deal with and treat the patients. If there are things I know, these two men have a big hand as I am now guided by their lofty teachings and ethics.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention something about South Sudan as our Muslim brothers and sisters in all corners of the world start fasting, this country, Almighty God and through your Prophet Mohammed (PUH) along with Abubakr, Al sadiq (friend), has been plunged into senseless war by her own sons and daughter over power wrangle. Many lives have been claimed and many more either displaced internally or sought refuge in the neighboring countries under deplorable conditions. We ask for forgiveness and reconciliation among ourselves.

As a country endowed with abundant natural resources and arable land, the inhabitants, instead of engaging themselves in making it a good place to live in, they opted to subject it to instability, insecurity and economic hardships. We pray with all our conscience that God changes the hearts of those at the helm of power to put the country above their individual needs to end the suffering. We are undergoing this suffering under their noses while they show no sign of remorse readable on faces. They have their material wealth the mortal man needs on earth.

I will not shy away again from thanking the Collegial Presidency for the steps they are now taking to implement the deal they affixed their signatures on, albeit, some of us may be surprised to see that some of the things being done are not enshrined in the agreement. At least, there is a change of heart and the will to implement the agreement. It’s sad to realize and understand that the whole exercise is/was more about positions rather than reforms to say the least. We pray for transparency and accountability.

We are voiceless and helpless otherwise why should we allow our resources to be used by oligarchs and tribal elites who conduct themselves arrogantly?
My humble appeal to the Muslim brothers and sisters in South Sudan is to pray for our leaders and the country. La ikra fi diin goes the adage. Whatever religion we own and worship, we are at the end God's people and God's people are kind hearted, religious, god-fearing, hospitable and affable, the list is long.


 As I conclude, I congratulate Shiek Tahir Bior and the Muslim community in South Sudan on the Holy month of Ramadan and wish them good health. Ramadan Kareem to all of you. Thank you!

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Pal Chol Nyan is an opinion writer and columnist for Stance English Daily, an independent newspaper which advocates for peace and reconciliation.  For contact: palcholnyan@yahoo.com

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SELF-ESTEEM AND DISCRIMINATION

As someone who grew up in war conditions and lived as a refugee for a long time, I'm sometimes considered by many people in the 'west' to be prone to (or have) low self-esteem, be poor or illiterate. Living as refugees or displaced persons, who depended on the good will of others put people in a situation where they don't think much about themselves. But that's not everyone though.

As I stood by our front desk at my place work talking about Race and Identity in relation to my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?, the issue of why many African peoples in North America become so over-sensitive when racial issues come up! For many rational people, this owes its origin to slavery and racial segregation.

But one of my coworkers, a person of European descent, was surprised to realize that her 'black' friend, a very intelligent woman, easily becomes irritated by simple things she [friend] considers racist. The friend considers any mention of a watermelon racist; and complains a lot about 'white privilege.' This means that discrimination is considered something 'whites' don't face because of 'white privilege.' In any discussion between 'blacks' and 'whites', 'white privilege' issue comes up!