A Variety of Approaches and Humble Suggestions for Solving the Problem of the Sudanese Refugees in Egypt
About the meaning and purpose of satire, and about this piece: Satire is an ancient literary genre that exposes flaws of societies, organisations, and individuals. It ridicules these flaws using irony, parody and often absurdities to enhance its mocking. While well written satire may amuse, shock, enrage, enlighten or frighten its audience and/or the group(s) being satirised, and poor satire will typically fail to do anything at all, the ultimate goal of satire is to offer a criticism that will not be ignored. By presenting implied or explicit solutions to the flaws satire mocks it aims to better the system. Successful satire must be constructive at the same time it is destructive.
In this piece the narrator (who is not the author, nor based on a specific person) is a service learning student at CAC who has given little thought to why he is in service learning. Most likely he believes it will look good on his future college application. This student has been asked, unexpectedly, to give some thought to the service work he has been doing. In an attempt to avoid thinking, for he does not wish to expend the effort, he instead presents what he naïvely yet understandably considers to be legitimate “tried and tested” approaches of nations and international organisations to solve world problems, in this case applied to Sudan. (Indeed all of the presented solutions reflect in thought actions that were once or still are intended to solve problems.)
I honestly am a bit of philanthrope. Last year I sacrificed nearly two hours a week to giving service to Sudanese refugees in Egypt. Hours that I could have spent sleeping or eating snacks or playing halo or watching Dr. Phil. After a year of these tireless efforts I was asked to do something I rarely do; I was asked how the problem I was fighting the symptoms of could be solved at a more fundamental level. I thought long and hard and concluded finally that the source of the problem of these Sudanese refugees was in Sudan. If they did not have to leave Sudan there would be no problem for us. So if we are to get rid of the problem here in Egypt all we must do is resolve the conflict in Sudan, end the genocide, and all the refugees could return leaving us in peace and me to my more enjoyable wednesday-afternoon activities.
I would have willing invested more time in considering solutions to this overarching problem, but then I realised that various groups and powerful leaders had already solved similar problems. Hence, instead of further depriving myself by thinking about an issue, I decided to compile the following list of possible solutions. While I attempted to attribute them accurately to the group from which the solution originated, the names may sometimes reflect a party who commonly puts the solution into practice. If you are the leader of an important nation, please contact the editor if you feel that not enough credit for any of the following solutions has been attributed to you:
The UN Solution - Send angry letters to all concerned parties threatening with trade sanctions from all countries that Sudan does not currently trade with and has no desire to trade with in the future. Then draft an agreement between the opposing sides and have all member nations of the UN except for Sudan and North Korea sign it. Complain to anyone who will listen what a horrible shame it is that the agreement is being ignored. As soon as public attention shifts to something else being pretending that the agreement never existed.
The American Solution - Invade Sudan. Never ever leave.
The Pan-Arab Solution - Combine Sudan, Egypt, Libya, and the Gaza Strip into one country.
The USSR (and potentially Ethiopian) Solution - Divert all of the water from the Nile so that none of it reaches Sudan.
The Chinese Solution - Send thousands of highly qualified civil engineers into Sudan to build up advanced infrastructure on a strict timeline. As soon as everything is finished remove everyone with the necessary technical knowledge of how to operate and maintain the facilities from the country.
The French Solution - Surrender to the Sudanese.
The EU Solution - First impose regulations that will cause 80% of all products being imported or exported into/from Sudan to be discarded. Then draft a perfectly reasonable peace agreement for all concerned, including clauses that will provide sufficient international help in ending the violence the Janjaweed are responsible for, simultaneously ending world hunger and curing AIDS. Then hide aforementioned agreement in a safe place where nobody will ever see it, never mentioning its existence to anyone.
The Red-Cross Solution - Guilt the general public into donating large sums of money to “end the suffering in Sudan.” Upon having collected the money determine who actually gets it by tossing a coin.
The British Post-War Solution - Establish a state within Sudan in which only known enemies of the Sudanese people at large may reside in. Ensure that this state will be able to control all resources and fertile land the country has to offer. Pressure your allies and the UN to officially recognise the new state. Provide this state with a nuclear arsenal, billions of dollars in aid and all the weaponry they could ever use. Should, contrary to all reasonable expectations, conflict between this state and the rest of Sudan arise guarantee your full support to the government of the new state of any and all actions they deem necessary to protect their national security from potential “Sudanese terrorists.”
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