Ahead of time

Today we’re talking about some ironic awards that, in school child terms, are less a gold star than a thundercloud. You know, down through history, there have been some people who steamed far ahead of their time - and ahead of their peers and were therefore largely unappreciated or underappreciated in their lifetime; many of them died while they considered themselves a total failure.

Authors such as Herman Melville, Franz Kafka, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to name a few but not Colonel Saunders. And yes, he really existed. May they rest in peace and their genius live on, in word, deed and the family bargain bucket. Having said that, humankind has learned to thank the best of its race, its men and women of genius before their deaths, and shown some token of appreciation.

It is against such a backdrop of recognition that the London-based Ekklesia Institute for Human Rights has recently awarded wait for it awards to those judged to be doing most to perpetuate the war, cause death and suffering, and obstruct efforts to bring peace. Yes, really. Hold on I’ll explain! The goal of these awards is to bring international attention to the continuing horrors of the Yemen war and to ‘shame the shameless.

They aim to assign responsibility to political individuals for the atrocities they’re helping to commit. So who made it to the podium, you ask. Well, the winner is: Muhammad bin Salman! He wins the award for peace related endeavours or to be specific, not a peacemaker, but as the number one ‘Spoiler of Peace’ in the war in Yemen. And that’s not all! In fact, His Majesty has not just earned two awards that recognise his prowess in: "Committing atrocities and severe rights violations”, and “Violations against children”.

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