Witten by Shubhangi Kumari, THIMUN Qatar Press Staff member
Emmanuel Jal’s address was indeed the highlight of the first day of the THIMUN’16 conference, read on to reminisce or know why:
While the spectators expected a video of Jal as his introduction at the opening ceremony, he surprised them with a musical performance advocating peace and went about the crowd exchanging high fives. Instantly uplifting the temperament of the audience, Jal engaged in a lively yet sincerely moving discussion about his life lived as yet.
Jal sifted the audience through his past as a little boy born during the worst times of his country; who lost his relatives to the inevitable clutches of war and who heard his mother tell him that “One day the world is going to end.” As if these debilitating hardships weren’t enough, circumstances forced him to be a child soldier in Ethiopia at his tender age. Jal went through a severely exacting and pernicious training during which some of his friends perished. Unfortunately, what kept him indefatigable in his training was his ingrained hatred towards the Muslims and Arabs whom he held responsible for all the destruction around him. Putting himself together, Jal managed an escape which yet again put him to testing times when he faced cannibalism for survival.
But like every triumph of man which is born from an exploited opportunity, Jal was rescued by a British worker who introduced him to schooling and education. “Education has helped me discovered the truth” succinctly regales the impact this opportunity had on his upbringing. Breaking through the shackles of delusions, Jal sought the truth and eventually understood it and chose to forgive.
But his story doesn’t end here, Jal had to carry his message and be an agent of change. Empowered with his insight to the spiritual power of music, Jal sought a life dedicated to changing the world with music.
Focusing on where he was and where he is today, Jal succinctly put his long story short as, “I came from below like a lobster, now I’m rolling on the top like a rockstar”
Today Jal has worked in the movie The Good Lie with Reese Witherspoon, collaborated with Grammy winning artists such as Coldplay and U2, and is an international advocate of peace. He is an active supporter of refugees and rehabilitation in war stricken areas. The most moving part of his story probably was his dedicated endeavor to erect schools in Sudan. “It took me 662 days to convince people to build schools and I ate one meal a day.” When he told the emaciated children he was helping that he comes from a place where people die of obesity, one of the kids told him, “That’s the coolest death ever.”
Wrapping up his principles, Jal shared an acronym: Life is ART. A- Action, acting against wrong; R-Reading, Listening and Understanding, and T- Trying and Training till perfection is achieved. He also shared his two secrets of life for the audience to contemplate:
1. Let money run after you: Solve the grappling issues; Jal related one of his ventures, Jal Gua Diet in which he created a power diet, the funds for which came from the Canadian government.
2. Seek constant joy not transient happiness: The former comes only from serving a cause greater than yourself.
“If you serve a cause greater than yourself and hear something in your heart, that’s Mother Earth saying “Thank you”, which you cannot buy.”
Finishing as he started, Emmanuel Jal performed his thought provoking song, “War Child”.