Emmanuel Maingi – Co-Founder and Director, Athena Group

#MyTwoCents  –  Emmanuel Maingi

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing nothing” – Albert Einstein

Tonight, in my #TwoCents, I wish to highlight the plight of the ongoing massacre of innocent civilians in Syria and the fact that the world and it’s military powers with the exception of the Russian government, are standing by the sidelines watching as the Syrian government continues to kill for power and control without taking any necessary measures to put this to an end. The innocent civilians – parents, children, doctors/ nurses are paying the ultimate price with their own blood and we go about our daily business as though nothing is happening. We all have have watched all the videos being shared by different media platforms on what’s going on on the ground but we choose to share ‘funny’ memes on social media. There’s no problem with doing this as we all have the choice – will, to do whatever it is that we find comforting and within our reach. However, there comes a time when we as a people ought to pause and reflect on the world’s ongoings and it’s evils that are being carried out by democratically elected government(s) like Syria and take action as individuals to help those who are in dire need of financial assistance to meet basic human needs – food, clothing and shelter.

I’m not a Foreign Policy expert but it doesn’t take a Ph.D degree/ rocket science or the study of quantum mechanics to connect the dots and differentiate between good and evil and what’s happening without action from the usual ‘Big Brothers’ of the world – the West is plain ignorant and the fact that they choose to remain non-partisan on what’s happening to people is a lame excuse and i believe that they should take action against Assad’s regime and putting an end to the ceasefire negotiations deadlock. Sometimes even in a family, tough decisions have to be made to correct a mistake and avoid any potential or further damage that an individual might cause to the unity of the institution. In an ideal scenario, we’ve seen the invasion of Countries by others in the fight against terrorism and the sprouting of cells that cause potential threats to Western democracies but when it comes to unnecessary blood-shed, they choose to soft negotiating power which so far has not worked an inch and we are now counting down to almost 5 years and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost to date. The Arab League of Nations is also failing on this as they watch one of their very own and neighbour handing the baton to the ‘dogs’ and doing nothing yet they’re actively involved in restoring order in Yemen.

As reported by the BBC on October 6th 2016, the markets in three districts – Qadi Askar, Masakin Hanano and Tariq al-Bab ran out of flour and some people were rationing their last pieces of dried bread and tubes of tomato paste, while others were bartering what was left in their cupboards. We’ve all seen what has actually transpired between then and now and imagine, what these people are going through. Imagine as you close business, getting paid early by our respective employers, drawing the holiday savings in preparation for this big feast, this holiday season, that these people have nothing to go by a single day. It does not matter and i do not care an inch what religious institution you subscribe to but what i care about as a human and the whole of humanity, is that we are gifted with empathy to vividly imagine the horror of the ongoings of this Civil war and extend an helping hand where we can. You never know that your help might be the only one these people (might) have.

As a Kenyan, i was surprised to see in the local media that a local ‘Bishop’ bought a private jet (Cessna Citation X) to the tune to $20.6m <=> KShs. 2.107b as a gift for his 50th birthday gift and yet we continue to watch innocent blood being shed and doing nothing about it. My guess is as you read this, you are asking yourself what this pastor’s plush lifestyle has to do with a war across the ocean? Well, it’s against humanity and has no discrimination against religion, race, color, sex et al and (they) could have donated part of that money to worthy organisations on the ground as these are the only boots on the ground in Syria giving hope and the faith that they’ll live through another day to see a better tomorrow without so much fighting leading to unnecessary loss of innocent lives.

These organisations as reported in the Huffington Post are:
2. Save the Children
3. IRC
4. The White Helmets
5. Syrian American Medical Society
6. Doctors without Borders (MSF)
7. Islamic Relief USA

You can read more about them and find a link to donate here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/syria-donate-how-to-help-ch…

Let me paint this scenario to give perspective to the ardent church goers contributing millions to their respective churches. Don’t you think that you’d have a very goodnight sleep and an inspired honest earning in our respective professions knowing that your church contributed or is contributing a slice of your tithe contributions to a worthy cause like humanitarian assistance to the victims of war in Syria? Personally, i’d sleep and even dream in German language (Language of Engineers) making the next generation, 90% energy efficient automobile. Religion should not be a basis of our social divide but a uniting factor for all humanity and for prosperity.

In conclusion, imagine what a difference you’d make in the lives of the people of Syria by making a meagre $10 to any of the humanitarian organisations mentioned herein and knowing that as you celebrate your holidays with family and friends, somewhere in Allepo or the other parts of affected areas in Syria, that a child has a warm meal and a blanket to cover themselves in this bone-chilling winter cold. Yes, it’s winter in Syria and these people don’t anything left to call a shelter and beyond that, even those who have ‘homes,’ they’re being attacked and shot to death by government or allied Forces.

As the famous saying, power corrupts and without control, it’s of no use. I am a human being created in the image of God, with emotions and free-will to make choices, and as such, i stand with the people of Syrian and i’ve made my contribution.

Is an Country or Democracy greater than another; has human life become so cheap?

It begins with you.