Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!

July 18, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Forty-five years ago, Nelson Mandela made the following opening statement at his trial:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

He was sentenced to prison, where he spent the next 27 years. He would later say: “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”

Mr. Mandela is what I consider a true hero. Always, always, he is on the side of justice and also mercy, of truth and also love. On education, he makes a strong and true point.

“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

Nelson Mandela is 91 years old today. Happy Birthday Sir :)

Ya Haqq!