Saturday, February 04, 2023 | Rajab 12, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

When the flowers will bloom again?

We need flowers, not missiles. The sunflowers are bright and strong. They can represent that even in adversity, beautiful things can happen

The world appears to be perfect as one looks across fields of sunflowers. Heaven and Earth seem to be in harmony. The birds' tweeting and chirping create a soothing symphony that is devoid of worry and anxiety. The vibrantly coloured natural images delight the eyes as great paintings like those created by Van Gogh to immortalise the 'happy flower.'


Flowers have always had a cultural significance in societies. But the sunflower is special: It rotates slowly on its stalks to face the sun. People's minds are filled with joy when they consider sunflowers in the context of poetry, songs and art. Despite its beauty, the plant also serves important purposes: It was used to remove toxins from the soil following the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. It was used as a form of protest when people placed the plant outside the Russian Embassy in London to mark the first week of war on Ukraine.


Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and sunflower to decorate houses are all products of this exuberant plant, which has grown in popularity since the war. It is Ukraine's national flower. Until the Russian war, the country was the world's largest producer of sunflower seed and exporter of sunflower oil.


The ugly destruction of schools, hospitals, buildings, infrastructure and farming fields does not go well with the 'happy flower' meadows. They are dying because there are more urgent matters to attend to. The planting season has arrived in Ukraine, but, like the flowers, wheat, corn, vegetables and fruits are taking a back seat.


Ukraine is not alone. Similar situations exist in Crimea, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Georgia, Afghanistan and other countries. Men don't seem to learn from history. They believe they are little gods, that they have the right to enslave populations to satisfy their domineering ambitions.


It's troubling to believe that humans were designed to be bombed. We may have varied skin tones but we are on an equal footing. This equality does not grant permission to anyone to ruin families, livelihoods, or entire populations.


Slavery existed in the past, and we can still see it around us. Having money or a high position in government institutions are ephemeral circumstances that do not entitle anyone to control the lives of others. Once we become dust, we become nothing more than a shadow in the memories of a few until we are forgotten entirely.


I've asked the angels to bring hope to those who don't have a roof over their heads or food on their table. I try not to read about the suffering of millions of people around the world who have been displaced. I choose to turn off the lights and gaze up at the stars, dreaming of a day when there will be no famine, no wars, no refugees, no diseases and no evil. I prefer to focus on the moon rather than the competition between nations for space conquest. I choose to be grateful for the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings and listen to the most amazing natural sounds – without the echoes of explosions.


A daydream is a luxury in a changing world that has not yet recovered from a pandemic and then the start and continuation of wars. The fields that produced food, the fields that were adorned with flowers, the land that provided a decent living and optimism to so many are now carpeted with explosives. On the one hand, technology advances, while on the other, men diminish their significance.


We need flowers, not missiles. The sunflowers are bright and strong. They can represent that even in adversity, beautiful things can happen.


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