Throughout history, during some of the most vicious wars, a “ceasefire” was observed on this day, Christmas? One such example was one of the history most powerful yet forgotten Christmas stories. Nearing the Christmas of 1914, in the fifth month of World War I, which had claimed hundreds of thousands of killed, wounded, and missing, but sometimes the greatest beauty emerges from deep tragedy. The Christmas Truce was one of histories most beautiful moments, made all the more beautiful in light of the carnage that followed it.

The Christmas Truce

It began on Christmas Eve, when many German and British troops fighting in World War I sang Christmas carols to each other across the bloody line of death. It is said that when the German soldiers lit and placed candles on their trenches and on small Christmas trees, the British, French, Belgian, and German troops continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols to each other, and at certain points, the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. Extraordinary, but not as extraordinary as what followed next. 

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenched and approached the Allied lines across “no-man’s-land”, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed, they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a soccer game. 

They were naively hoping that the war would be short-lived; the truce lasted through Christmas night, continuing until New Year’s Day. Until angry superiors ordered them to recommence the shooting, many men aimed harmlessly high overhead. This reminds me of Charles Yale Harrison who authored an anti-war novella from first-hand experience as a young soldier who fought in World War I. In his book, Generals Die in Bed, Harrison helps us realise that war is a game of strategy fought between generals, and soldiers are the ones who suffer. 

The Christmas Spirit of Peace

Man has argued about the ethics of war for generations. For instance, the “Just War Theory” is a tradition going back to St. Augustine in the 5th Century and St. Thomas in the 13th Century. In stark contrast to the Old Testament, the New Testament –the Christian ideal is total elimination of war and brotherly love among all people. The Christmas spirit hinges on this spirit, the spirit of peace and not war that prevailed over those soldiers of World War I.  

To quote British soldier, Murdoch M. Wood, speaking in 1930: “I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves there would never have been another shot fired.”

During World War One, the soldiers didn’t expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but not even a world war could destroy the Christmas spirit.


The words which began tomorrow's future of Dubai: "Brothers I think it is time for a new government " – Sheik Maktoum bin Butti, 1833. 🧐🧐🧐

Just two generations ago (50 years) homes in Dubai didn't have running water. This now eye-popping city was nothing more than an obscure speck on Arabian sand. Now tops New York City as one of the most visited cities in the world.🐫🏙🌃🚄✈🏪🏗🏝🏖🏥🏟

I often wonder as do many others, "how did Dubai do it?" How did Dubai go from a devasting pearling village to high-flying global powerhouse in less than 50 years? ⁉️⁉️⁉️

OIL? Wrong! The answer is not oil!

Dubai is the poorest petrochemical producers compared to her wealthy neighbours. Dubai has minimal oils reserve, so what is the answer?

The answer is: L E A D E R S H I P!


The Economy of Dubai 💵💵💰💰💰

🔴GDP per capita 2005
39, 439,80 USD

🔴GDP by sector

$308.5 billion

🔴Export goods
Crude oil,
natural gas,
dried fish,

🔴Unemployment 2.5%

The Economy of South Africa

🔴GDP per capita 2005
$5,277.93 USD

🔴GDP by sector

$108 billion

🔴Export goods
gold, diamonds, coal, iron ore, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment, motor cars, fruits, wines, various agricultural foodstuff, ground and air military hardware.

26.9% (2018)


To His Excellency, Mr President M. C. Ramaphosa

It would have been appropriate to write privately, but understandably citizens do not have the direct details, so please excuse this attempt to write over social media addressing his excellency.

Mr President, South Africa does not have a xenophobic, crime, gender inequality or a femicide problem. Sitting at the source of our countries dilemma and longstanding unrest is another failed government. Firstly the apartheid government and now the ANC government.

Mr President, the bloodshed of the countless innocent, the looting from the hard-working, including our foreign nationals, the violation of our women and children's rights broil in the heart of our countries political self-interest attitude.

The results are evident in the lack of security, a regressed economy, inadequate service delivery, myopic decision-making processors, vested interest of specialised groups, state-capture of agriculture, telecommunications, transport, high-income taxation, and now the health services, et cetera. Reading into the South African crisis, these are some of the root factors of our people's unhappiness, now being smoke screened behind xenophobia, femicide, criminality, et cetera. This is a leadership blind spot.

Mr President perhaps what South Africa needs is not another parliamentary explanation. Instead, we seek decisive, present and responsible leadership from his excellency firstly.

Our nation's majority has put their trust in his excellency to lead our country, and to shepherd our people into greener pastures. Instead, all we see is a burning and blood-stained land. We are most concerned that your excellence has given us no hope of a better tomorrow, yet?

Mr President, above all, God has entrusted you, sir, for a time such as this. Please, Mr President, do the right thing;

1. Bring back the death penalty – a symbolic statement that we value life and human dignity
2. Instead of land reform, leadership reform is more critical – who is being groomed in the leadership pipeline that is unstained, fresh and honest?
3. Promptly trail to jail every corrupt former or current politician and then work way down to the municipality
level- "Crime does not pay" must be a motto adopted for such a time
4. Protect our borders – Care for the nations needs first and find other ways to help our neighbours
5. Disregard the nationalising of the healthcare bill – we are nowhere near ready for this
6. Review the BBBEE Act – we need the skilled as part of the process of empowering the formally disadvantaged.  Losing our skills to other nations is senseless
7. Return this country to Biblical-based policies – it will heal the decayed moral climate and God will forgive the
bloodshed and heal our land

Mr honourable President, inclosing we can only consider a fraction of the burden his excellency have to carry until one walks in Mr President's shoes. We pray, therefore, that, God strengthens the President and protects all those dear to you.

Still, Mr honourable President, if his excellency remains silent at this time, relieve and deliverance for our nation will come from someone else (Esther 4:14).

Your excellency, Mr President, we are not black or white, we are south AFRICANS. Please do the right thing?

Shan Thumbran

The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa