Girls at War: A Review

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This a personal & non-academic review of Chinua Achebe’s Short story ‘Girls at War’. Originally done for a Whatsapp book discussion group but which I’ve been encouraged to share far & wide. The Short Story ‘Girls at War’ is from the collection of Nigerian civil war time short stories of the same title by Chinua Achebe.

Let’s start with the title, I have always had thing for titles.

Have you ever seen teenage girls fight? Well, if you have then simply multiply the confused, abusive, scratchy, revealing spectacle a few times over & you have ‘Girls at War’. Girls play dirty & fight crazy. Maturity & civility goes out the window. Fairness remains a distant past, order is lost completely, wisdom a mirage & a ‘strip tease’ a strong possibility, very much expected by amused bystanders, who watch with keen selfish interest.

Even those who step in to separate the Waring ladies will have their motives questioned, especially if they are male. (And in these modern days, even female ‘referees’ get their sexual preferences scrutinized also).

Who to grab, where to hold, what to say, to laugh or not, how to behave, self preservation, (dangerously essential for guys with their two very fragile natural passengers to worry about).

Now if you’re the poor fellow the warring girls are in battle over, you’re not on your own for nobody minds their business anymore. Everyone is in your face nowadays. Blaming everyone & you, for the ‘hurt’ girl is always right by default these days.

‘Who rules the world?’, don’t ask Beyonce, just read the tabloids. “That time done pass. Now everybody want (their say). They call it (free speech). You put your number six; I put my number six.
Everything (is) all right.”

Nigeria was at war with Biafra, is the setting of the story & Biafra was doing quite badly. War is the art of survival. Which of the the two sexes is most dexterous in the practicalities of survival? Girls are at War, perpetually.

The manipulation in daily living is survival, one that is sired in us from that maiden race down a ‘penish’ tube, as we aim to win the fertilization laurel & indirectly cause the demise of millions of our first ‘spermy’ peers.

This a story of changing priorities, of changing times & changing people surprising themselves & but not really altering stereotypes & established perceptions.

The first hint of romance is carried through, ’till death do them part’. The young Gladys clad in khaki, searching cars at a roadblock in the early days of the war, changed into a reluctant battle field for troops to ‘not march in’. The privileged intellectualism of Reginald Nwankwo of the Biafran Ministry of Justice is reduced to the pettiness of the pursuit of luxuries everywhere, that will end with ‘drilling his troops’ in Gladys’ ‘battle field’.

The war efforts had commenced with enthusiast children ‘who marched up and down the streets at the time drilling with sticks and wearing their mothers’ soup bowls for steel helmets.’ Alongside them was the jest of the likes of ‘the contingent of girls from a local secondary school marching behind a banner: WE ARE IMPREGNABLE!’

By the time Gladys & Reginald crossed paths for a third & final time, eighteen months of ‘Death and starvation’ had long
chased out the headiness of the early days.’

Amidst the lackness in
blank suicidal resignation of multitudes, Reginald towed Gladys along to a party with the better-off few feeding off the war. Those ‘who had no other desire than whatever good things were still going and to enjoy themselves to the limit. ‘But unlike these strange lot, normalcy had not returned to the rest of the world. ‘Girls became girls once more and boys boys,’ only in the parties of these priviledges few, as the world around them ‘was a tight, blockaded and desperate world.’

Living in these war days made
heads of stockfish & tinned meat a very privileged luxury and the likes of ‘the dreadful American stuff called Formula Two’ heaped on the populace by international relief bringers. Reginald’s contacts kept him within easy reach of a variety of relief stuffs like ‘rice, beans and that excellent cereal commonly called Gabon gari.’ He has an official car & a driver to ferry him through the land & a bomb shelter within reach of his home to weather the horrific fear of air-raids.

Reginald Nwankwo is fortunate and not one of ‘the starved scarecrow crowd of rags and floating ribs’, reduced ‘by the independent accusation of their wasted bodies and sunken eyes’ as they perpetually hung around relief centres, making crude, ungracious remarks like “War Can Continue!”

Reginald did the best he could to keep the clutches of kwashiokor out of the reach of his driver’s (Johnson) home by making sure that whenever he got sizeable supplies he gave some to Johnson, for his wife and six or
seven kids.

At one pound per cigarette cup in the market, Gari might as well be caviar for most ordinary folks. Something has to give & always did. Priorities changed & things like respect & sympathy lowered in standard, so much that only pretty girls get rides in staff cars, not begging old women.

When gentleman say to a pretty girl, ‘I broke my rule today to give you a lift. I never give lifts these
days”, it’s not love or fondness, it is good old sweaty panting lust. When a girl braves bomb raids on the road to a major city during a war & tells you ;“I am going to visit my girlfriend,” it’s good old fashioned survival hunting.

Gladys got the bush meat she came out for in a comfy bed, party fun, good food & scarce money. Reginald got the ‘match’ he wanted to win for a looooooooong time.

“But your family is not there with you?” “No,” he said. “Nobody has his family there. We like to say it is because of air-raids but I can assure you there is more to it. Owerri is a real swinging town and we live the life of gay bachelors.” “That is what I have heard.” Gladys heard the hunting is good in the Owerri metropolitan bush and she came to get lucky.

In a real swinging party hosted by a Lieutenant-Colonel, in the real fun of the moment, she saw someone better than Reginald and fell in-love with what she saw in a man for the first time in Owerri & as it turned out, for the last time. While Reginald was ashamed of himself, hating the parties and frivolities to which his friends clung like drowning men, Gladys found her mojo.

Still it was always about taking a girl home for the classy dude & Reginald was always a classic guy who wants to get the babe. ‘And this particular girl too, who had once had such beautiful faith in the struggle and was betrayed (no doubt about it) by some man like him out for a good time.’

This personified the entire story for me. Gladys is the ‘Girl at War’ with the circumstances she has found herself in & setting out to make the best of it. Just like a young controversial nation at war with the circumstances it found itselt & making a whole mess of it. And five decades later, that region of the nation is still making a mess of the politics of it, playing the blame game still.

Their last morning together, Reginald felt better as he saw Gladys as ‘a mirror reflecting a society that had gone completely rotten and maggoty at the centre. The mirror itself was intact; a lot of smudge but no more. All that was needed was a clean duster.’ One that is still being awaited over fifty years later. And like the bold Biafran experience, Gladys ventured to be bold & heroic at the moment that called for it. Like Biafra, she ended her in a monumental crash of her world in a charred, smoking and entangled remains of the girl and that didn’t what ‘troops to match’ in her insides.

Sadly, the story is a comical but romantic take on how wrong it could be when it feels so right, like fighting a war to regain the peace the war shattered.

Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

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Sculptor of God

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By an Anonymous Writer

Enjoy & meditate on it….

“A German once visited a temple under
construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God.

Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?”
“No,” said the sculptor
without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”

The gentleman
examined the idol and found no apparent damage.
“Where is the damage?” he asked.
“There is a scratch on the nose of the idol,” said the sculptor, still
busy with his work.

“Where are you going to install the idol?”
The sculptor replied that it would be
installed on a
pillar twenty feet high.

“If the idol is that far who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” The gentleman asked.

The sculptor stopped work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not.

“Excellence” is a
drive from inside, not outside. Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and efficiency.

Don’t Climb a Mountain with an Intention that the World Should See You,
Climb the Mountain with the Intention to See the World.

Maiduguri: City of a Thousand Kings 👑

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Culled from Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook

There is this other side of Maiduguri we seem to have forgotten. Let the good times roll again in that great city. I was quite \fascinated when I read this uplifting piece that I stumbled upon online. Enjoy!
Origin and Meaning of Maiduguri:

The name Maiduguri is from the name Maiduwuri, the name Maiduwuri is referring to the present day Old Maiduguri in Jere local government Area of Borno state. So Maiduguri is a combination of two Kanuri words namely “Mai” and “Duwuri”. Mai is a Kanuri word referring to a King or a leader and Duwuri is from the word Duwu which means a thousand ;hence Duwuri is referring to the plural of a thousand which is thousands, ordinarily its like saying something is in the category of thousands (a thousand in ancient time is the peak of counting bc counting in millions was not known then). So literally Maiduguri (Mai+Duwuri) means “Thousand Kings” thus Maiduguri is a land of a “Thousand-Kings”.

Why Maiduguri is called the Land of the Thousand Kings: During the colonial and pre-colonial eras the African societies and even the global community is not as rich as it is today due to the effect of industrial revolution. In those days ordinary citizens apart from the King /ruler and his children or siblings all other people in a kingdom hardly owns more than One Gown cloth (Babban riga/Kuluwu or Malum-Malum) bc they are expensive thus they are not used as regular wears but rather ceremonial`. However contrary to this practices in the neighboring kingdoms to Kanem-Borno of wearing Gowns only on special occasions here in Borno (Old Maiduguri) which was a town with booming economy and having Islamic scholars as its leaders (the Shehu’s/Sheikh) who pays less attentions on their subjects on issues of who wears what made almost all the indigenes of Maiduguri then to be wearing. the traditional Gowns for their daily activities. So for visitors visiting Maiduguri for the first time as at that time normally gets surprise seeing everybody in the city dressed like a King. Therefor they feel that they are in a Land of a thousand Kings. So that is why old Maiduguri is called Maiduguri. To prove this claim just have a look at the Maiduguri society of today where people are still wearing one of the most expensive traditional clothings in the country when compared to their neighbouring counterparts or states. Just imaging how an ordinary man who is not a governor,a minister or even known to the society wearing a Zanna cap along worthing N 50,000 (fifty thousand naira ) or even above.

It is also important to note that the present day Maiduguri is also called Yerwa bc that was its original name before the name Maiduguri.
Why is Maiduguri called Yerwa : Yerwa is a name derived from the Kanuri word “HERWA” or “Herra “which means a promising or a blessed Land. Experts said it is called Herwa in the first place bc of its close proximity to the seasonal Ngadda River that still passes through it. Remember most of the Kanem Borno capitals like Ngazargamu,Kukawa,Monguno and others were either desert or semi desert cities , so water has a prestige in the kingdom in fact it is even a determining factors 4 creating new settlements.

Maiduguri, is still called Yerwa by its locals, is the capital and the largest city of Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria. The city as stated above sits along the seasonal Ngadda River which disappears into the Firki swamps in the areas around Lake Chad. Maiduguri was founded in 1907 as a military outpost by the British and has since grown rapidly in to millions in terms of its population.
A brief history:

The city was actually home to the Kanem-Bornu Empire for centuries. Maiduguri consists of two cities: Yerwa to the West and Old Maiduwuri to the east. Old Maiduguri was selected by the British as their military headquarters while Yerwa was selected at approximately the same time by Shehu Abubakar Garbai of Borno to replace Kukawa as the new traditional capital of the Kanuri people.
Maiduguri is estimated to have a population of 1,197,497 in 2009 as of 2007 and presently 3.3 Million due to the recent past unrest tht pushed the rural population to Maiduguri. Its residents are mostly Muslim including Kanuri, Hausa, Shuwa, Bura, Marghi, and Fulani ethnic groups.

The highest record temperature was 47 °C (117 °F) on 28 May 1983, while the lowest record temperature was 5 °C (41 °F) on 26 December 1979.

The Shehu palace:
The Shehu Palace was built in 1907 by the British. The original setleres who were relocated to build the Shehu’s Palace were the descendants of the former Mais of the Borno Empire including the great -great grandchildren of Mai Idris Alauma, some of them were initially moved to Shehuri North to enable the British create space to build the Palace which still stands at the place today. Construction work of the Palace began in the early 1900’s immediately after the defeat of Rabih az-Zubayr in 1900.

Economy

Maiduguri is home to three markets which include an ultra-modern “Monday market” that has a spectacular satellite or Umbrella like image view 4rom the above. It has an ancient museum and is served by the Maiduguri International Airport. The city has one of the best layouts in Nigeria. It is connected by road to the republics of Cameroon, Chad and Niger and from Maiduguri goods and services are transported to as far as Sudan and Bangui in the Central African Republic. There were existing historical records of trade with the North African nations of Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. A survey of property markets in Nigeria (2009) positioned Maiduguri as the third most expensive for buying and renting in the country next to Abuja and Lagos. Maiduguri is the principal trading hub for northeastern Nigeria. Its economy is largely based on services and trade with a small share of manufacturing. The city lies at the end of a railway line connecting Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kafanchan, Kuru, Bauchi, and finally Maiduguri. This rail lines were originally intended by the British to convey Ground nuts as well as Hides and skin to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean for upward transportation to Europe. Even though Nguru town of Borno in the present day Yobe state had its rail system as far back as in the 1930s, but Maiduguri got its own rail lines around the 1960s due to the fact that the elders of ancient Maiduguri prevented the rail lines from reaching Maiduguri deliberately through prayers . Because after their “ISTIHARA” (prayers) regarding the coming of the rail lines to Maiduguri it was said that they saw associated problems coming with the rail lines to the city meaning that it might bring with it associated trouble to the City . So their efforts prevented the rail lines reaching Maiduguri in the 1930s, 1940s and the 1950s. So we can now say that their guess is proved bc in 2009 the unrest that seriously affected the city actually started from the “Railway compound” behind State-Low-cost Housing Estate. I am not an anti-rail line person, but I was amazed with the level of the forecast or thinking of our illiterate Grandfathers as far back as some 70 years ago that manifested now having direct correlation with the sophisticatef modern science of today which has the ability to forecast future weather patterns ahead of time or even day’s b4 they happened using the most sophisticated gadgets and satellites of our modern technological advanced time.

Education:
Maiduguri is known to be a center of Islamic and Quran studies for the past 100 years. In fact for Islamic scholars from the Sokoto Caliphat including Sokoto,Gwandu,Kano,Zaria,Katsina,Hadejia and many others that have not come and studies Islam and Quran in Maiduguri they feel that their studies is somehow incomplete.
So it is not a surprise that Maiduguri based Scholars like late Sheikh El-Miskin,Sheikh AbulFathi,Sheikh Abba Aji,Sayinna Alhaji Bashir,Imam Upchama (Ba Liman),Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh,Sheikh Sherriff Tijjani and Mallam Usman Bida remained popular across the country or the entire sub-Saharan African region. In fact this is one of the reasons that made late Sheikh Mahmud Ja’afar keep acknowledging during his life time that he was greatly inspired by the teachings of Sheikh Abba Aji and the same Sheikh Mahmud Ja’afar after visting Sheikh El-Miskin’s library in El-Miskin house also acknowledged that he has never seen a library that has so much unique collections with some of its books not even obtainable in the market or in the other libraries that he has known in fact some of the books looks new to him.

In terms of modern education Maiduguri has one of the best-equipped university and hospitals in Nigeria. The University of Maiduguri attracts foreign students from neighboring countries especially Cameroun ,Chad,Sudan and Niger Republics. The College of medical sciences is amongst the top 5 best medical schools in Nigeria. Other higher institutions include Ramat polytechnic, Elkanemi college of Islamic Theology, Muhammad Goni college of Arabic and Islamic studies, Lake Chad Research Institute, College of agriculture and College of education among others.

As of 2011, the Future Prowess Islamic School provided a free Western and Islamic education to orphans and vulnerable children, was open to both boys and girls, and was free of charge.

Attractions of Maiduguri: Kyarimi Park,University of Maiduguri,Maiduguri Monday Market, the Maiduguri Museum, Shehu’s Palace, Imam Malik Islamic Center,Indimi Mosque,Deribe Mosque,Deribe Palace,Maiduguri International Airport, Maiduguri Sports Center and the Maiduguri International Hotel (Not functioning now).
The Deribe Palace which is considered as the most expensive House in Africa and one of the best in the World is in Maiduguri. Remember this house hosted King Carlos of Spain,Prince Charles and lady Diana as well as the American President @one time.
Maiduguri served as a home and remains a home to many great business men, scholars, military generals, academicians, technocrats and diplomats; Some of the popular names under this category are Sir Kashim Ibrahim, Waziri Ibrahim, Alhaji Mai Deribe ,Sheikh Elmiskin, Babagana Kingibe, Sheikh Aabba Aji, Professor Umaru Shehu, Shehu Mustafa Elkanemi,Alhaji Bukar Mandara,Alhaji Bukar Bolori,General Abba Kyari, General Mamman Shuwa,Major General Yusuf Brutai, Kashim Ibrahim Imam, Mala Kachalah, Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh, Mukaddam Bukhari, Alhaji Zanna Deribe, Muhammad Indimi, Alhaji Zanna Dipcharima, Ba’a liman upchama and Babagna Monguno among many many other great personalities not mentioned here that are either residence or indigenes of the city.

The geographical location of Maiduguri is @ Coordinates: 11°50′N 13°09′E. It occupies an area of 50,778 square kilometers. It remains center of trade, learning, culture, Daaba and home of tourism and history.

The Failure of Fathering

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By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The circumstances behind this photograph are too painful and mind boggling to recount here. As the details have already gone viral but irrespective of the heinous actions these teenagers committed the truth is simply that no matter how hard we try to color or panel beat the situation the spike in kidnapping, rape, substance abuse, suicide, vandalism, crime and other forms of vice pervading our nation are all symptoms of the breakdown of traditional family values.

We are all responsible either by acts of commission or omission of making monsters out of these kids because the virus causing their ailment is what is known as “father absence”
Being a father is the world’s most difficult job. It is beyond the culmination of our lust and not a job description of just physical presence but of psychological relevance. It is being there taking responsibility, communicating and mentoring. Paying the bills and providing for them is mandatory but not enough. That is why the Biblical definition of being an orphan is fatherlessness.

Th

e main challenge is that no matter how well you package your children as long as those they hang-out with are badly packaged yours are in constant danger. It is called Peer Pressure. There is no perfect formula against it but being there for them is a good beginning. Then there is wisdom, tact and good luck. Being strict and vigilant monumentally helps. It is however a double edged sword because the teenage years are the most radioactive. At that age all systems are at peak performance and willing to experiment and be inventive. It is a precarious stage of experimentation.

What therefore is the best way forward? Fathers must take back their children by spending more time with them. What teenagers hate most is being judgmental on them. So create ways and means to channel their enormous energies and imagination. Back in the day there were outlets of positive character formation and confidence building Boys Scouts, Man o’ War and so on. Now its social media all the way!

It is within that double edged sword context that we must find the solutions. Fathers must become more media savvy and checkmate our young in the battleground that takes so much of their attention.
There is however nothing that beats spending more time with them that is why it is called “quality time” Give them freedom…….wahala don’t give them freedom…..wahala. I do not subscribe to the Hausa adage of “Ka haifi yaro, baka haifi halin sa ba” – Fathering a child does not make you responsible for his faults. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a very lame excuse. Their faults are ours. Without teaching them about taking responsibility how can they transit from being boys to men? The teenagers in the above picture certainly have or had fathers. There must be a missing link somewhere. Exploring these missing links by all fathers is the most veritable solution for us despite our social class, religious and ethnic differences.

We are not perfect but as fathers we must constantly improve our brand equity. After all it was another father like us who ought to have known better that raped an underage Busola Dakola. This kind of double standard confuses young minds. Lord Have Mercy!

NIGERIAN DEMOCRACY DAY JOKE: JUNE 12TH

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Buhari met with the Queen of England in London n asked her…How do you run such an efficient government here?
Are there any tips you can give to me? I want to help Nigeria.

QUEEN: The most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.

Buhari: How do I know the people around me are really intelligent?

QUEEN: Oh, that’s easy. Just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle.
The Queen sent for Theresa May. Theresa May walked into the room,

MAY: Yes, your Majesty.
You sent for me.

QUEEN: Answer this riddle. Theresa, your mother and father have a child, it is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?”

MAY: Hmmm… that would be me.

QUEEN: Yes, very good.

When Buhari came back home he sent for Abba Kyari.

Kyari walk in to Buhari’s office.

Kyari : Sir you call me.

Buhari: Yes sit down and answer this; Your mother and your father have a child, it’s not your brother and it’s not your sister, who is it?

Kyari: I’m not sure, let me get back to you.
He asked all his staff in the office but none could give him an answer. Kyari then ran to Fashola.

Kyari asked: Your mother and father have a child and it’s not your brother or sister, who is it?”

FASHOLA: That’s easy. It’s me!

Kyari smiled and said, Thanks! Then he went back to speak with President Buhari.

Kyari: Sir, I have the answer to that riddle, It’s Babatunde Raji Fashola!

Buhari got angry, and said to Kyari; No wonder Nigeria isn’t moving forward, I am surrounded by dummies! The answer is… Theresa May!!!

A beg don’t laugh alone ..make someone laugh. A MERRY HEART DOETH GOOD LIKE A MEDICINE. Proverbs. 😀😂😄
COPIED…

The Kano Pigs in Gala

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By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

This was reputed back in the day to be the largest piggery established by Kalil Maroun in Kano to cash in on the massive animal protein demand for allied troops during the Second World War. By 1959 the facility was transporting up to 36,000 swine annually by rail to Lagos for processing and packaging at a plant located in Apapa. That is why in 1962 when “Gala” was first introduced to the Nigerian market there were the pork and beef varieties. Soon after Satis set up shop producing sausages and bacon. In another part of Kano was a corned beef factory. A modern day abattoir including a livestock development agency and cold storage facility were also built in that ancient commercial city by the 1970s. Back then there was no need for Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore because the supply chain was to come from a herd of cross breed of Friesian cows with our local breed at the Farm Center where also a mechanized dairy plant producing export quality fresh milk, cheese, butter and yogurt was established.

The imported cows were fed from the by-products of “Double Crown” and eventually “Power Stout” from a brewery located in Bompai commissioned by the Sardauna of Sokoto in the early 1960s. Now the piggery of K. Maroun & Company is partly a motor part and the Farm Center grazing grounds a GSM market.
Today in Nigeria a kilo of iced fish from Norway is cheaper than its equivalent of locally produced beef. We even import Pizza. Meanwhile the shipping cost of a 40ft container from China to Tin Can Island is N900, 000. That same consignment costs N700, 000 and N1, 500,000 to reach Alaba and Onitsha respectively.

A combination of factors has led Nigeria to its present prostrate position. That is why I deeply sympathize with those that expect a quick fix to our problems. There is however a starting point which is simply to create an enabling environment for business to thrive. What attracted Mr. Maroun from the Juwaiyya region in Southern Lebanon to Kano in the first place is not unconnected to the business friendly nature of that ancient city guaranteed by local authorities. As early as the 1900s Ilyas Al Khuri arrived in Kano where the textile merchant district still bears his surname. Every economically vibrant society must open its hands to welcome a wide variety of outsiders. Unfortunately we are becoming more insular from Ijawnization to Fulanization.

However capital investment is essentially a coward that easily gets scared. It hates insecurity but likes accommodating leaders that point at the right direction like the generation of Governors Audu Bako of Kano and Samuel Ogbemudia of Mid-West. Those guys had imagination. Benin’s Ogbe Hard Court was on the global tennis circuit just as how the Argungu – Kano Motor Race predated Paris- Dakar Rally. Nigeria was back then on the world map for all the right reasons. Nobody gave a damn where you came from. Today governors are better known for being unaccountable for enormous security votes and tinkering with traditional institutions. With the combined resources of their states and those of local government subventions which they always corner, these governors are supposed to cumulatively outspend the Federal Government Naira for Naira in developmental projects. The real damage to our national economy takes place at state and local government levels.

Regerettably all eyes are on Abuja.

Easter Iscariot

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Judas Iscariot was a traitor. But was that infamous act of betrayal specifically predestined to fall on him? This question is pertinent because the person he betrayed had foreknowledge of the act yet allowed it to happen. Is it misplaced to describe Judas as a scapegoat? Is there the possibility that he was a victim of circumstances that he neither understood nor had control over?

This is not an attempt to exonerate Judas or launder his image. It is my personal quest to better understand the political context and cultural background of his betrayal that led to a monumental death and resurrection that took place 2000 years ago we are today celebrating as Easter. Truth is without Judas there would not have been the arrest, trial, death by crucifixion and resurrection known collectively as the Passion of Christ which is the very foundation of the Church. Judas was therefore the historic means through which Scripture was fulfilled. The fact that he had degenerated from being an Apostle into an Apostate makes him a villain that acted with reckless abandon. That is irrefutable. We however worship a merciful God.

Anyway Judas was the son of Simon of Keroith which meant he was a Judean. The other 11 disciplines were Galilean. It is against this background that Judas became the treasurer of the group. Judea and Galilee were Jewish parts of Israel sandwiched by Samaria, a land of non-Jews called Samaritans. Politically Galilee was under indirect control of Roman conquest through King Herod meanwhile Judea including Jerusalem was directed administered by Rome’s representative Pontius Pilate.

The Judeans were more politically rebellious and religiously zealous; their concept of the Messiah was that of a military leader that would mobilize an army to overthrow Roman colonialism. On the other hand Galilee had vast agricultural and fishing resources therefore its citizens had a higher per capita income. It was also an area of Israel that was more cosmopolitan with lax religious observance than the more mountainous Judea which encompassed Jerusalem the spiritual capital of the Jews. The Galileans and Judeans all spoke Aramaic but with distinct accents. Judas’s ease in relating with the chief priests that facilitated a payment of 30 silver coins for his betrayal was not unconnected with the fact that Jerusalem’s spiritual hierarchy was dominated by Judeans. The grouse of the priests was understandable – Jesus Christ usurped their authority. Judas had both financial and political motivation for his betrayal apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like other disciples he had given up his life for a Master that was going to be arrested and willingly die in the hands of his captors without a fight.

For someone who had been in charge of the finances of a group of disciples that had limited funds, Judas was fully aware a precarious future. Being a disciple meant a life of struggle, harassment and no fixed address. The motivation to embark on self-help was therefore high. Irrespective of his incentive of 30 silver coins Judas embarked on a necessary duty. Interestingly he returned the money intact. Wrecked by guilt he committed suicide. He had left home, alienated his fellow disciples and run out of options. He had neither future nor master. I therefore fully sympathize with him.

The moral of my empathy for Judas Iscariot is anchored upon the Biblical injunction of our mandate to bless those that hate, despise and deride us. If we fail to extend compassion to Judas and indeed our detractors including real and imagined enemies, our faith is in vain. The implication being our celebration is meaningless. We must return to the true essence of Easter and the wisdom it entails, if not we shall increasingly lose relevance, purpose and direction.

“In a speech Abraham Lincoln delivered at the height of the American Civil War, he referred to the Southerners as fellow human beings who were in error. An elderly lady chastised him for not calling them irreconcilable enemies who must be destroyed. “Why, Madam,” Lincoln replied “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

FRIENDLY FOES: A World of Sentiments

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Strangest explosion rocks the Karachi international airport just as a massive deployment of US marines arrived the busy airport. Stories of victims and their relatives, responders and their purpose, perpetrators and their reasons, unfolds a tale of current resolutions based on old conceptions.

The narrative tells of the most diverse colorful global characters surrounded with a good mix of friends and foes.

David Holden is the English Doctor who loves humanity more than his origins and Abdul Kazaar Ali is his opportunistic aged patient who lives out his perception of Muslim norms like he desires. Aaamu and her mother Rael, live by their wits as their circumstances allow. Fatima is smart enough to outwit her sexuality but too human to resist normalcy.

Ruth is the Israeli genius whose Jewish father gave her a lot more than just his name and Lee is her Chinese boyfriend, trying out fantasies alongside opinions. Then there is Sean Samuel, the Irish-American reporter with a huge reputation he constantly seeks to live up to, like his country.

Smash words Read an E-book week sales : March 3 – March 9, 2019

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I’m involved in the 10th Annual
Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Sale!

Get All The Ebooks You Can Read Free or at Massive discounts
March 3, 2019 – March 9, 2019

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