Author Archives: Princeali

About Princeali

It's okay to be different same is boring!

Country Profile: the Central African Republic (CAR)

The ideas of a Global Village and the convergence of cultures across the world are becoming more popular. Unfortunately, many more people do not know about the isolated and under-known places around the world. This lack of awareness can be attributed to the popular culture focus of society in the West.

In addition to the focus on the West, larger hurtles such as poverty, literacy, and war do not allow a phenomena such as the Global Village to occur. This is mainly due to theological, cultural, and socioeconomically statuses within the different divisions around the world.  These statues are a result of many years of different events and sets of experiences that defined these cultures, which reluctantly play a role in terms of their development. This can be said about many regions across the globe, but especially a small African country called the Central African Republic (CAR).

The tropical climate of the Central African Republic allows the country to be rich in vegetative soil and a magnificent amount of mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, and diamonds. Despite this richness, the CAR, this richness the Human Development Index (HDI), a system that ranks countries based on qualities like life expectancy, rates the CAR a sorry 185 out of 187. Like many African countries, the CAR suffers from tribal, theological, and cultural warfare that leads the nation to extreme levels of poverty and diseases.

Ashima Falls  In Central African Republic

Ashima Falls In Central African Republic

As a former French colony gained its independence in 1960, various autocrats ruled the Central African Republic and a few semi-democratic attempts often suffered letdown before it even started.  Today, its estimated population is about 5 million and its religious groups consist of 80% Christians, 15% Muslims, and other indigenous groups.

Despite the growing idea of Global Village, many people around the world have never heard of the Central African Republic. I have found that only geography enthusiasts know that the Central African Republic is an independent country with in Africa and not simply a location. Thank you for letting me tell you a brief overview of the country that I was born in, I hope you enjoyed it.

Location of Central African Republic

Location of Central African Republic

The Journey of Superman Around the World!

Growing up, my family moved a lot: we moved from country to country for various reasons such as economic and political instability. As a young child, I remember telling my grandmother that I just really hated moving. When she asked me why, I told her that I disliked moving to a new place because it meant finding new friends, attending new schools, and sometimes learning an entirely new language.  My grandmother always reminded me that I was lucky because they are many “blessings” one gets from traveling. She always encouraged me to seek the best out of each new travelling experience. At the time, I couldn’t see what she was talking about, all I could think was that leaving my home to go to a completely strange and different place was a terrifying idea. Over the years, I have lived in ten different countries around the world, everywhere from Africa to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America.

When I was young, I thought my culture and language was “the right one”. I did not have an outside perspective on different cultures, but that quickly changed when I encountered situations with different traditions. I remember in the Sudan, I often bumped heads with a classmate in middle school, who now remains a close friend, we often argued about many different topics, such as which childhood superhero was better, he liked Batman and Superman was “the hero” to me because he was awesome and is not even from earth, (yes, we read about American super-heroes there). I identified with Superman; he was from the planet Krypton and I was from a different country, which I felt was close enough. He was a superhuman and I wished that I could eventually become one too.

Other times my friend and I talked about which country had the best food or sports. One time I said Central African Republic, my home country, is the best because it has pineapples and fresh guava, but in Sudan there is nothing like that because it is mostly hot, humid, and dusty.  Central Africa great basketball teams, but in Sudan they don’t even play basketball. My classmate said that in Sudan they have Shawrima, Kebab, and Shaia (common food among northern African countries and the Middle East), as well as the gigantic soccer stadiums we didn’t have in the Central African Republic. I enjoyed soccer and loved to eat most of the food that he mentioned, but I never admitted it since denying it allowed me to compare and contrast the different cultures. It enabled me to see things from a rather unusual prospective. The differences and common things I shared forged friendships between groups of people with different backgrounds and religious beliefs.

I learned that “diversity” is beneficial when people from different cultures try to communicate and learn about each other. It helped me look at my own culture differently, in a less-biased manner. I may not have gained superhuman abilities like Superman, but I learned to adapt and function within differing societies, which allowed me to have super-traveler skills. I have grown to appreciate the great values traveling added to my life (apart from the lack of superhuman abilities).  Finally I understand what my grandmother meant.