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Dealing with Pain Philosophically

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Most, if not all of us, have gone through a traumatic experience or a period of sadness. It is part of life. However, many of us do not know how to deal with pain. While we all know that pain is something that we all go through and that we should expect it occasionally, many of us are easily swept away by emotional burdens when we are confronted by traumatic and painful experiences. Yet, some of us have found effective ways of dealing with these experiences while others have not. Some of us seek assistance from professionals like psychologists, social work therapists or psychiatrists. Some seek emotional and spiritual support through religious or spiritual leaders. Yet, some of us are prevented from seeking any emotional support or psychological encouragements because of cultural barriers that rationalize emotional vulnerability as a weakness of will. In this case, people would rather suffer in silence rather than subject themselves to emotional abuses by community members or risk

Half of My Grade One Class Died during the War in Sudan: The Case of Pator Ayual Primary School

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  By Reuben Garang* "I came to realize that half of my grade one class died during the war.  Most of them died at frontline as liberators, and only a few died of natural causes. Pator was the first school in the village and many of the students who joined the school with me included those who came from the nearby villages and were above the conventional grade one age; some were more than ten years of age. "     Photo: Courtesy of the author's Facebook.  I have a story to tell. The Republic of South Sudan is the world's youngest nation.  This is good. Despite its present challenges of a poor governance system and internal wars, all South Sudanese are proud to have their independent nation. It is hoped that there will come a time for things to change to better the lives of the people of the South Sudan.  I want to highlight the sacrifices made by my school and community and also provide examples of the impact the war has had on South Sudanese families and communities.

UN Trusteeship and possible "neocolonialism vs. SPLM current "neocolonialism" in South Sudan

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"South Sudan has been a failed state since [its] birth. [The] Only solution will be a temporary period of voluntary UN trusteeship to allow for establishing [of] viable institutions and for training a new class of credible leaders.”  ~  Herman J. Cohen By  Kuir  ë  Garang On April 7, 2021, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Herman J. Cohen, wrote this on his twitter account: “South Sudan has been a failed state since [its] birth. [The] Only solution will be a temporary period of voluntary UN trusteeship to allow for establishing [of] viable institutions and for training a new class of credible leaders.” But as always, South Sudanese responded with anger, contempt, and dismissiveness. Below are samples responses on twitter. As some of you know, this is not the first time this suggestion has been floated. In 2014, Joint Administration was suggested by Lyman et al . and Trusteeship by Herman Cohen to the same response by South Sudanese. While I would not

The danger of entrenched negative journalism and scholarship on Africa: Who will write positively about Africa and Africans?

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Photo: Aralipunan In On The Postcolony , Achille Mbembe writes that “speaking rationally about Africa is not something that ever comes naturally.” Would you wonder why? The tragedy of knowledge production today, just as it was in the past, is that Africans continue not to be the intended targets of whatever is written about Africa and Africans. So, when European explorers from the late 18 th century and earlier 19 th century started ‘discovering’ places in Africa, there “discoveries” were structured around pan-European epistemological universe. European understood that Africans lived in the places they “discovered.” But what Africans knew or valued meant absolutely nothing to Europeans unless it informed what Europeans understood about their interests in Africa. In the western context therefore, what Mungo Park did in the 18 th century regarding Niger River was a discovery. The African was epistemologically non-existent. Even after the end of the official European colonialism

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MTA) and Ethnic Differences in South Sudan

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  I have written about the creation of this ministry somewhere , but I will go into it in more detail. It is, I think, a feasible suggestion. But you’re welcome to disagree and discourse with me rationally. Ethnic groups, or to use the dreaded anthropological term, ‘tribe’, are the basic sociopolitical units in South Sudan. This makes them the center around which the South Sudanese society operates. Unfortunately, some South Sudanese have bought into the failed Western idea that tribes can be wished away, and our societies live in a de-tribalized environment. This is an extremely dangerous myth. It makes us overlook the problems engendered by tribal affiliations and belonging and wish for a utopian world where ethnic groups do not exist; a cosmopolitan world of Kwame Anthony Appiah where our universal similarities are overplayed and our ethnic differences downplayed. But as Walter Rodney, in his classic, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa , has noted, ethnic differences are not the

The policy to train midwives from all genders is to reduce the prevalent maternal mortality rates in South Sudan

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By Pal Chol Nyan* "Having male midwives was not there in Sudan because they had enough  workforce  in the health sector in contrast to South Sudan. The male midwives are guided by professional ethics including confidentiality, among others, which appeared to one of the complainants that the male midwives will not adhere to what they got trained for." I read a funny story on Radio Tamazuj website that the people of Aweil  and Rumbek are against mothers being delivered by male midwives. They cited two reasons: That the male midwives will develop a loss of libido ( sex drive), and  that it is against their cultures and norms. This means that it is a social taboo for another man to see the private parts of women who are not theirs.  They might be right, as it were, if their concerns are taken in the context of traditional cultural practices. In conventional scientific  and medical practice, that perception has become outdated, obsolete  so it remains a superstition that has no p

In South Sudan one day...

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By Yien Wil Mayuak Nyoch*   "We will let our intellectuals know that being educated is not about sitting idly at tea shops or being appointed to a certain political position, but it is about putting the skills one learns at school to practice. We will let them know that the value of education is the use of what is learned at school for the development of the society ." Current road conditions in South Sudan  We (the patriotic citizens) will challenge our corrupt politicians by ceasing hotel accommodations and proving to them that spending money in hotels cannot take us anywhere. We will tell them that sending their children abroad for a better education instead of establishing a better education system in the country can only make South Sudan a benefactor of other countries with about 80% of the country’s budget spent in foreign countries. The country will be democratized where a nyone will respect the law and no one will be above the law. The power will be decentralized in