Who Knows It’s Christmas Time In Mali?

I actually woke up to hearing the “Band Aid 1984” song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” What’s up with that? Sometimes I wonder where these things in my head come from.

Do any of you remember this song recorded in London by a conglomeration of top European musicians to raise money for international Aid in Africa? There was a huge famine in Ethiopia at the time, resulting from years of drought. The pictures of starving children coming out of Africa at the time were nothing less than horrific. Any person with a few years under their belt at the time probably has those images forever burned into their mind.  I was in high school at the time, and I remember.

Most of the songs words I have long since forgotten. However, the phrase, “Do They know it’s Christmas time at all?”,  was going through my head as I dreamed and then woke up Christmas morning.

Looking out my window at the bustling Sikasso market; and at the shop keepers at my very own gate. I’d have to say that they certainly do not know it’s Christmas time. Well, not Christmas as we think about it.

I read about these silly debates back home, of people supposedly being offended at being wished, “Happy Holiday”, instead of, “Merry Christmas”, or wished, “Merry Christmas”, instead of “Happy Holiday.”

Have you ever actually met any of “those” people, “those” who take offense over this? I have never actually encountered any of “Those” people. Who are “They” anyway? I think it is more Journalistic bull, than an actual reality we experience in life. The debate is happening more in interviews and news articles, than in real life. It’s a war of “ideologies” on paper for the journalistic and Political elite; not a debate among neighborly people who sense a common humanity in the face of a community of diversity. Most decent humans are capable of a genuine, “Thank You! And you the same”.

People worldwide, are generous, civil, and kind people; good neighbors. Anyone who would assault someone for a greeting gesture of good will, from any side of any “fence”, is a lousy neighbor. As the Band Aid song reminds us,  “It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.” I think “these people”, if they are out there, need to take a day off.

“The artists were not all friends, but they set aside their differences and were at least cordial to each other during the recording – with one exception. In the book I Want My MTV, George Michael said: “The only person who didn’t succumb to the charitable nature of the day was Paul Weller, who decided to have a go at me in front of everybody. I said, ‘Don’t be a wanker all your life. Have a day off.'” (From SongFacts..com)

I have to say that of all the Christmas’s in Mali, this is the best so far. Yet I am missing my family, especially my three sons (And New Daughter-In-Law), more than ever. But, we have to remember why we are here; as the Band Aid song says,

“The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life”.

We will continue to help people with food security, and life; finding life of every kind. Regardless of what we personally believe, no matter which way we cut it, we all know, and I mean EVERYONE knows, that Christmas is about Jesus Christ. I’ve come to learn that Muslims also think he is very special too. This is half of all Global humanity living in the world today.

“….. until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Pet 1:19)

“Behold! the angels said, ‘Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter, and in (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. He shall be (in the company) of the righteous…(Koran 3:45-48)

BAND AID, 1984 (Linked video)

[Chris Martin:] It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid. At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade
[Dido:] And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy. Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time
[Robbie Williams:] But say a prayer, Pray for the other ones. At Christmas time it’s hard, but when you’re having fun
[Sugababes:] There’s a world outside your window And it’s a world of dread and fear
[Fran Healy:] Where the only water flowing
[Fran Healy & Sugarbabes:] Is the bitter sting of tears
[Fran Healy & Justin Hawkins:] And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
[Bono:] Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
[Will Young & Jamelia:] And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
[Ms Dynamite & Beverly Knight:] Where nothing ever grows. No rain nor rivers flow
[Group of ten and Joss Stone:] Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?
[Tom Chaplin (Keane):] Here’s to you
[Justin Hawkins (Darkness):] Raise a glass for everyone
[Dizzee Rascal:] Spare a thought this yuletide for the deprived. If the table was turned would you survive
[Busted:] Here’s to them
[Justin Hawkins (Darkness):] Underneath that burning sun
[Dizzee Rascal:] You ain’t gotta feel guilt just selfless. Give a little help to the helpless
[Joss Stone & Justin Hawkins:] Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
[Tom Chaplin:]Feed the world
[Tom Chaplin & Chris Martin:] Feed the world
[Tom Chaplin & Chris Martin & Sugababes:] Feed the world
[Tom Chaplin & Chris Martin & Sugababes:] Feed the world
[Everyone in full chorus line.]Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again – [repeated]
[Group of ten:] Feed the world
[Everyone in full chorus line.] Feed the world – [repeated to end]
[Joss Stone ] [Ad libs over outro]

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