The Nuba Vision
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2001
By Mijia Mersol, Editor in Chief of Delo
Tomo Kriznar, a world traveller, Suleiman Musa Rahhal, representative of the Nuba people. Tomo, unshaven and with a colour of face marked by sun and wind, in a T-shirt with an appeal to help the Nuba. Suleiman clean shaven with glasses, business suit a tie well matching the colour of his shirt. Tomo is a little bit more in “origin” clothes and Suleiman more in “western” style. Some kind of contradiction which could be understandable. Tomo is a Slovenia who has done more than anybody else to dispel the idea that Slovenia is a xenophobic nation. Our world cycling 'champion' is also a Slovenia who feels deeply for the pain and misfortunes of another nation far beyond our experience - for the indigenous people of the Nuba Mountains in Sudan.Nearly two decades ago they were nearly as abundant as us, 2 million, but now because of bloody and brutal genocide they have been decimated. Tomo kriznar, the
traveller from Nako, the author of the book “Nuba: Pure People”, and the author of international awards for this film of the same title, actually, a mechanical engineer and economist. And Suleiman, born in the Nuba Mountains (where his father was a tribal chief) a Biomedical Scientist and Virologist by profession. The man who lives and works in cosmopolitan London where also his book “The Right to Be Nuba” was published recently.
Tomo and Suleiman are standing in front of us in the middle of a gala ceremonial announcement of Delo Personality of the Year. They represent a paradox of time and world. Tomo more emotional in his words, Suleiman ready to explain things - and all of a sudden I feel I am watching Kubrik's 2001 Space Odyssey in which you don't know where is the beginning and even less where is the end, what is the cause and what is the effect. As a first impression, Tomo, the lonely cycle rider, looks in his T-shirt the more vulnerable. I can see more power and influence in elegant Suleiman, dressed in a suit and tie. But this is only a first and mistaken impression. The T-shirt itself suggests Tomo's unconventionality and his will. And in fact it suggests even power, even though someone might want to cover him with a blanket. But, at the same time Suleiman's suit is itself a sign of he will and power of a person who even a couple of years ago was going to become one of the numerous wrestlers and fighter with a kalashnikov. But now, as he is, modern and urbane, he could do much more for his people than if he would fire thousands of bullets from a machine gun.
But Tomo and colleague Stane Kirin are promising another humanitarian action to help the Nuba. But, even before something is done, the terror in the Nuba Mountains will continue. How many Nuba are going to be killed and raped in the coming weeks and months? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand? Because of this I remembered words which were said by New York neighbour Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Nazi concentration camp survivor. He said we should never forget the heroes of the Warsaw uprising, the victims of Treblinka and the children of Auschwitz. Indeed, they were lonely in their fight. They were lonely and hopeless in their suffering and dying. But they did not die alone, thought Wisesel, because with their death, something died inside of us as well. In spite of this, cruelty and violence did not die. Tomo is trying to tell to us that together with his people, a bit of humanity is dying within us. In this I think, his mission is even more valid, even more universal than material aid.
But all this does not apply only to Nuba. Not only is it important for other suppressed and massacred nations. It is important also for us, and opens the question whether lonely riders are enough for eradication of violence.
At the Delo celebration, nearly all the world diplomats were present. With the Czech ambassador Hybasko, we spoke about the demonstration of Czech journalists and the attempts by politicians to manipulate them. Any protest against such manipulation, especially international protest, is necessary. As it looks now, the most effective were the really huge demonstrations in Prague by hundreds of thousands. It seems that protesting journalists are going to tip the balance. There still two ominous opinions hanging in air, which were uttered by Premier Zeman (Journalists are yappy mongrels which think they are pit bull terriers) and President of parliament Klaus (who claims that journalists are the biggest problems of mankind). How does one do anything against such state control based on such reactionary thinking?
Yes, we have to save the Nuba, we have to help them so that they can choose the right to self-determination. Indeed. But, let us try to find and support as well the pioneers who think about new, better more just social order, about friendlier social states, about new global regulations and connections. The old Kantian thinking, in which the higher levels of democratisation are lowering levels of violence, is definitely not naive.
The lonely riders of global civilisation are fighting with numerous destroyers of humanity and civilisation. The ruination of the balance of nature is so huge that our planet is on the brink of ecological catastrophe. Do we really need to move to the moon?
Cloning, after all the experiments, is definitely not anymore Frankinsteinian
science fiction but a reality which is opening new and fateful question. Those questions are above daily issues of morality.
Tomo and Suleiman are standing in the middle of the hall with light smiles they turn around, thanking everyone and answering questions. Meanwhile, the hall is full of small talk and people stuffing themselves with snacks.