Good evening to you all. I thank the organizers of this meeting with the faculty, students and the students’ union of Oxford University. It is my hope that we will continue to meet from time to time to reflect upon the social, economic and political crises and challenges that plague every part of the world.
You requested me to address the question of Africa in the 21st century. My hope is that what I am going to say will not only benefit the Africans or the students of Oxford University, but will also be of value to the whole world.
During the bygone era of the so-called Cold War, the major powers namely; the USA, USSR, the Eastern Block, the Western Block, NATO and the Warsaw Pacts were competing over Africa. That conflict and competition had very negative and harmful consequences on Africa and the whole world.
Africa was severely affected by those conflicts. It turned into an arena for the ideological struggle. The competition between the US and the USSR for military and political influence shaped the continent. So did the rivalry between those who sought to monopolize its resources and obtain the largest number of lackeys and clients. The struggle between East and West was indeed fierce. Its coveted prizes were Africa’s raw materials and having African countries as allies in international fora.
We were the victims of that struggle. The world drew no benefits from it either. All that happened was the creation of an additional battlefield. Traditionally, the conflict used to be in, and on, Eastern and Western Europe. Then it was extended to Africa. Africa was divided into countries allied with either the Eastern Block or the Western Block. Like it sapped the energies of the major powers, that conflict exhausted Africa.
Both the US and the USSR squandered enormous resources in order to dominate the largest possible part of Africa. That reflected negatively on world peace, stability, security and economy. Revolutions, wars and fighting erupted. Acts of violence, assassinations and physical liquidation took place. Though not to the same degree, similar things happened in Europe by way of conflict, cold war and occasionally hot wars. The conflict was over Europe, like it was over Africa and in particular North Africa and, more specifically, the place we are in right now.
What I mean is that when a continent like Africa or Europe finds itself the theater of a hot or cold war between major powers, that situation is bound to have extremely negative consequences both regionally and globally. It is therefore my ardent wish that the world, through this meeting, will draw the necessary lessons from the past experience. I also hope that it will desist from such practices.
Europe used to be divided. There used to be a military confrontation between its Eastern and Western parts. Now it could be said that Europe has been united. Its unity is a factor that contributes to great political, economic and psychological stability. Now, Europe acts as a buffer zone between the Russian Federation and the US. It must remain peaceful, united and a zone of separation rather than confrontation.
Now, I return to Africa; our main subject. Africa has been rid of the conflict that plagued it during the Cold War. Most regrettably, the signs of a new struggle over Africa have become clearly visible. It might take us back to the tragedies of the past. What is happening now is the emergence of a conflict between China and the US over Africa. It is my duty to be the first to sound the alarm against this menace.
This subject is being broached very timidly and hesitantly. It is like someone who is suffering from a disease but decides to ignore it until it is too late. I do not wish to hide the truth from the peoples of Africa or of the whole world. A new conflict is emerging in Africa. It will take Africa back to being an arena of competition between the major powers. That conflict is likely to drain the energy of its main protagonists; the US and China.
Let me describe clearly the approach taken by each of those two countries. America is taking a harsh, rough approach to Africa. It is coming in with soldiers, weapons and military bases. It is seeking military bases and an American military command in Africa. It grossly interferes in the internal affairs of Africa. Human rights, which are not given any attention inside the US itself, are used as a pretext to penetrate African and to exert pressure on it. It trumpets human rights and democracy despite the fact that democracy does not exist in America or elsewhere. It talks of good governance, while in reality there is no such thing. It interferes in each and every aspect of internal affairs. If a lackey of America or an agent of the CIA is apprehended or investigated, America demands to know every detail. Where that person was incarcerated, what happened to him and why? Is there any country in the world that could request similar information from America about one of its own citizens under similar circumstances? Of course not. Then how could America arrogate such right to itself. This is America’s harsh approach into Africa.
China and the US are competitors. They both wish to colonize Africa and benefit from its wealth. However, China is taking a soft approach. China does not lecture African countries about their system of government, human rights, freedom of expression, good governance or such like. China never interferes in the internal affairs of other states. It does not bring in soldiers, military bases or military command. More than 600 Chinese corporations are penetrating deep into Africa. Some Chinese communities have started to settle in Africa. This is China’s soft approach.
Because of that soft approach, Africans are welcoming China warmly. This will no doubt be to China’s benefit. Africans are wary of the US because of its harsh approach. This is proof of the folly of American policy. The US is ignorant of the world. It always acts foolishly and erratically. As was the case in Viet Nam and Somalia in the past, and as the current situation in Iraq proves, America always acts foolishly and erratically. It is always ignorant of the region where it decides to wage war. Therefore, it always loses. It would seem that China is fully aware of the psychologically correct way to approach Africa. It has come in peacefully. It is establishing itself peacefully. China will win in Africa.
This is the alarming fact that I wish to state loudly and clearly. Nobody is talking about it. Some believe that we should bring China to our side against the American Goliath. There is a colonialism that imposes itself by force and another that uses gentler methods. There is a soft and a harsh colonialism. But in the final analysis, colonialism is one and the same. As I said, there are those who welcome China. We all seek a deterrent against the harsh approach of American penetration. This makes us take China’s side. However, China must know that we are aware that it could turn into an imperialist power. If it wishes to settle in Africa or to plunder Africa’s resources at a low price and sell its manufactured products at an exorbitant one, it will turn into a colonial power.
There are a few in Africa that lean towards the US. But if a referendum is held, China will win. The majority is afraid of America. In view of its past conduct in other parts of the world, people are wary it might impose its military presence and gross interference in all internal affairs.
The US-China rivalry is one of the issues we currently face. Another issue is that of the African Union. If Africa manages to unite like Europe, this will be to the benefit of the Africans and the whole world. The fact that Europe is no longer a divided area of confrontation and conflict between two opposing blocks, nor a powder keg that could explode at any moment, has benefited Europe, its inhabitants and the whole world. I am aware that the American forces that occupied Europe in World War II are still there. This is a threat to peace in Europe, the Mediterranean and the whole world. I hope it will cease to exist. However, it is a European concern.
Europe now is a political and economic asset for itself and the whole world. The united Europe, with its common currency and policies, is a stabilizing factor in the world. We would like to see the same in Africa. We would like to see a common currency, a single central bank and a common security policy. The single African market with unified policies of imports and exports will boost the world economy.
Currently, there are 50 states, each with its own currency, central bank and distinct economic system. This makes us of no consequence. What is the combined value of the economies of Malawi and Guinea-Bissau in relation to the major blocks? How could a giant like the EU, US, China or Japan waste its time in negotiation with a delegation from Gambia that wishes to buy ten cars? If a representative of the whole African market comes along with an offer to import half a million cars, the situation becomes totally different. This is a client who deserves the time in view of the volume of the transaction proposed. Who is going to devote their time to negotiate a business deal with Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Guinea-Bissau or even Libya with its oil wealth? It is a waste of time for anyone to negotiate with or enter in any transactions with such tiny economies. The fragmentation of Africa does not serve the world economy or the major markets. Just imagine if one of those giant economies is to negotiate with the African federal minister of foreign trade. This will be far more beneficial for the world economy in view of the sheer size of the single African market and its needs.
I hope that the major players and the whole world would understand this fact. I hope they will help Africa to achieve its unity and to establish the United States of Africa. This will contribute to world peace, security and stability. It will bring huge benefits to the world economy and to China and America.
We welcome Chinese, American, European and Japanese commercial enterprises. However, they cannot settle our land or attempt to colonize it. Neither can they terrorize, blackmail or exploit us. That we can never accept. We Africans are different in this day and age. We have world class scientists and experts. We can no longer be fooled by the little tricks used on us in the past.
Astronomical sums are spent on the production of weapons of mass destruction, ICBM’s, nuclear weapons, and aircraft carriers. Equally mind-boggling amounts are squandered on military bases and armed forces. Just imagine if those who indulge in such evil spending decide to allocate a part of it for us in Africa. Just imagine if America, Europe, Japan and China work with us to build the “Anga” dam in the Congo. It would generate enough electricity to light up the whole of dark Africa. The huge surplus would be exported to Europe via North Africa and to Asia via Egypt. Why can they not allocate a few billion dollars to help us accomplish this beneficial humanitarian work? Is this not better than military bases and armed forces? Is it not better than the talk of human rights and good governance and I do not know what? What is good governance and what is the freedom of expression? We do not even have paper to print newspapers where we could express our opinion. We do not have broadcasting stations to transmit our viewpoints. We express ourselves by screaming, wailing and howling with pain. We have only the freedom of the expression of the agony. An example of that agony is what we feel at the loss of Lake Chad.
I submitted a paper on Lake Chad to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. Only one tenth of the Lake is left. Nine tenths of it is gone. This is a major environmental disaster for Africa and the world. We can they not come to help us save the lake? We can construct some conduits from the rivers of Congo, Central Africa and Cameroon. We can clear the route of the sand and trees that obstruct it. Thus, Lake Chad will be fed once again by the waters of those rivers. You can see my paper the website (www.Algathafi.org).
I appeal to the world to join us in saving Lake Chad and in building the “Anga” dam. This way we would generate electricity and save one of the lungs of the world. There are to lungs that give the world its oxygen. These are the Amazon rainforest and the forests of the Congo. Drought, desertification, the misuse of rivers and the destructive conflicts in the Congo have not allowed us to save that lung that belongs to the whole world. I renew my appeal to the world to save it.
These are some of the issues to which I wanted to draw the attention of the world. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to raise some of the questions that no one had dared to raise concerning Africa. If you have any other questions about other parts of the world, please feel free to pose them. I have the Green Book and the White book in front of me. This being a university lecture, I will accept any questions from the students and the faculty of Oxford University.
Question: Thank you Brother Leader for this analysis of the situation on the African Continent. I would like to refer a question received from one of the students. Why have you not used your forces for the solution of some of Africa’s conflicts and for the alleviation of human suffering in Somalia and Zimbabwe for example?
The Leader: Thank you. Most of the UN forces are in Africa. There are so many conflicts in the continent that we have requested nearly three quarters of the UN forces to resolve them. The main culprit is the colonial powers that divided Africa. All those conflicts are tribal and border conflicts between tribes that have been dismembered by colonialism. Africa was one whole. Now we live in 50 states with tangled borders. Those borders divided the single tribe among two or three states. Take the conflict in the Ivory Coast for example. There used to be a single entity made up of Upper and Lower Volta. The colonial powers divided it into a state they called the Ivory Coast and another named Upper Volta. It was later renamed Burkina Faso. The population of a single entity was divided between two states. The inhabitants of the northern part found themselves in trouble for being in the south. The Ivory Coast tells those people that they are not its citizens and that they belong to Burkina Faso. As such, they should go back there. That situation precipitated the crisis that continues to plague that part of Africa. The colonial borders created that problem.
The tribal conflict in the Great Lakes region is also the result of the colonial borders. It was the colonial powers that created Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo and divided the Hutu and Tutsi tribes among them. Colonialism created that conflict too. Colonialism was also behind the conflict in the Congo and the liquidation of Lumumba. The scramble for the raw materials of the Congo was a colonial enterprise. Who was behind the conflict over the diamonds and the uranium of the Congo that was used for the production of the atomic bomb used against Japan? It was colonialism.
The same applies to the conflict in Somalia. Who divided it into Italian and British parts? It was colonialism. Why was it not left as a single, united Somalia? Because the Italians colonized the North and the English took the South. The ramifications of that situation continue to live with us to this day, like many other problems in the world.
Take a look at the map of the Gambia. It defies all logic. The river Gambia runs through the center of Senegal. The British came, occupied it, established a state. Taught its inhabitants English then granted it independence. Senegal, a former French colony, now surrounds the Gambia from all sides.
The answer to the question is that there are enough international forces in Africa. We are part of the AU. When the AU decides to send its own forces, or the forces of certain states to a given place, we are ready o participate. But the problem is much larger. It is not enough to send troops for peace to be restored. The solution requires a genuine African integration. It requires the elimination of the legacy of colonialism. It needs the establishment of the united states of Africa. It does not matter whether those states number fifty or even a thousand. What is necessary is a unified political framework. This is where the solution lies. We are therefore doing our level best to establish a genuinely strong African Union.
Another point is that such forces require financing. The UN refuses to provide financing for any force other than its own Blue Helmets. The reputation of those Blue Helmets is bad. Countries like Sudan refuse to have them on their territory in Darfur. They say that the international forces widen the scope of their mandate, or have it widened for them by America, to include interference in the country’s affairs, apprehension and trial of their citizens. This is another form of colonialism that will breed other conflicts. The question of sending troops here or there is a very thorny one.
Question: My name is Tareq. I am a Tunisian student at Oxford. My question has to do with notion of unity and they way to handle democracy. There seem to be many problems concerning democracy and the crisis of the Sahara. Is it not high time the leaders overcame those problems? When can we see truly national plans? When will there be a common market? How can we overcome the bureaucratic hurdles in this regard?
The Leader: I pray to God that the leaders would heed your call. I personally share your hope. That is why I call for the establishment of the power of the people. The power of the people means that they should govern themselves without a ruler or a government. There is no hatred or enmity between the Algerian and the Moroccan peoples. They are bothers. But there are divergent political positions among the rulers.
As long as rulers exist, they would be responsible for the political situation. We hope that the power of the people would be established everywhere in the world so as to ensure genuine and everlasting peace. Peoples do not hate or invade each other. The rulers and the standing armies are the ones who invade and conquer. They are the ones who threaten world peace. When one talks of wars and invasions, you do not hear them say “the German people or the Mongolian people invaded this or conquered that”. You hear them talking of individual leaders; Hulagu, Timurlane, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini, Bush and others. This is entirely correct. Peoples do not invade. The rulers, who control the armies, do. Without Hitler, the German people are peaceful. It was Hitler that waged war on Europe and the whole world. The history of Napoleon does not mean that France is an aggressive country. It is now a peace-loving country despite that history.
Personally, I have no admiration for the so-called Arab and Muslim triumphs in Europe. I consider them acts of colonialism. The Arabs occupied Sicily for 300 years and the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years. When they left, there were no Muslims in those places. How can that be considered a triumph. It was nothing but an invasion and colonialism. Who ordered those invasions? The rulers did because they wanted the spoils of war, the treasures and the slave-girls. Nowadays those spoils of war are called winning elections, a second term for that president or the control of the oil. They are all individual ambitions that have nothing to do with the wishes of the people.
Question: In your opinion, would it be appropriate for the African Union to intervene militarily in the Sudan without first securing the consent of the Sudanese people as a whole?
The Leader: Concerning the question of Darfur, I must tell you that I tend to have some bold opinions concerning political or diplomatic questions. I prefer to deal with them from a social and psychological point of view. I am neither a politician nor a diplomat. I am the leader of a revolution and a social reformer. I have made an effort regarding the situation in Darfur. Hundreds of its elders, sultans and citizens came to me to discuss a solution of the problem. As long as there will be international relief in Darfur, there will be conflict, refugees and displaced persons. When people hear that they will receive supplies of rice, flour, milk and canned food, they will leave their villages and go to the refugee camps. If the crisis is going to give us all this food, then why solve it?
We opened the port of Benghazi to the international relief supplies. In view of the geographical proximity of Darfur to the Libyan birders, we decided to allow the relief supplies to go through our territory. When people heard of the airlift of supplies from Al-Kafra airport, they asked why they would stop the conflict. Some were told to create an incident in order to leave their villages at night, go to the camps to get the supplies during the day, and then take the food back to their families in the village. This was not the only thing that happened in Darfur. Many other problems arose. If the conflict is going to bring us international forces, it means we will serve those forces, have business dealings with them, and at the same time they will be like a police man protecting us. This is yet another reason to prolong the conflict.
When a crisis is internationalized, the political and military rebel leaders become celebrities. They talk, and the world listens. They appear to be leaders defending the cause of oppressed and marginalized people. This is another temptation to prolong the conflict. Once resolved they will lose their celebrity status. Therefore, I believe that in a situation like Darfur, and in similar situations, the solution is to leave the place and its people alone. They will be able to solve their own problems. It is not really an impossible problem to solve. What has made it dangerous and complex is the interference by outside forces. It is also said that there is a conflict between China and the US over Darfur because of the discovery of oil. Then, it stands to reason that there in an international interference that is creating and fanning the flames of the conflict. It is truly a conflict between colonial powers. So, what is to be done? If the conflict in Darfur is becoming more complex because of the competition for influence between China and America, then what can we do? If the major players with their economic ambitions are the ones that are creating this crisis, what can we do? If China is against you, and the United is against you, and they are both working in this particular region, what can our forces do? To whom can we send our troops?
Question: There is a great deal of interest by the viewers and listeners of the BBC in certain other subjects. We hope that your time will allow you to answer or comment on them. First question is; you have proposed a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. How do you think this can come to pass?
The Leader: This conflict is a chronic one. It is a chronic disease for the world. It has poisoned the life of the world. The question of Palestine is the reason for the hostility between the Arabs and America. America has taken the side of the Israelis all along. All peaceful and military means have failed to put an end to the conflict. In all honesty, the current players cannot be trusted because they have no genuine interest in the situation. For instance, I know that a former president of Italy said, “We’re looking for a temporary solution in our time. Later on, let the whole region go to hell. We are not responsible for it.” Finding a temporary solution means taking palliatives and painkillers. This in itself is of extreme gravity. If a doctor prefers to give a painkiller instead of a radical treatment of the disease, this could be a cause for death. A painkiller numbs the pain while the disease continues to destroy the body. As I said, the main players now have no genuine concern for a solution. They might have their own commercial or security reasons to want peace or something like it at this moment, but no interest in a solution. Some in the region might wish to consolidate their hold on power. They pretend to make an effort to solve the problem in order to be seen as a stabilizing factor whom must not be allowed to fall. So he stays in power, to serve his own interests, and not those of finding a solution. You hear some saying we must encourage people to re-elect him. Others are kept on because it is said that they serve the US interest and others because they serve other Israeli interests, while others still are kept on because they know how to placate their public opinion. As we can see these are all selfish and personal reasons. Let us take any US president as an example. Whenever he decides to deal with this question, it is purely for electoral reasons. If, like the current president, he cannot be re-elected, he does it for his party. To convince the American people to vote for the Republican Party that could help to solve the question of the Middle East. So whatever is done is not done in the interest of the Middle East, in the interest of the Israelis or the Palestinians, it is done solely in the interest of a political party or a politician. Everyone is exploiting that question. It is some sort of blackmail. This is the problem with the current movers and shakers.
I have no personal interest in the solution. I do not wish to lick the boots of the Americans, the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Arabs, or any other group. They cannot re-elect me or re-elect my party, and I have no need to market myself. After studying the question, I wrote my White Book “Isratine”, i.e. a state made up of Israel and Palestine. The solution proposed in the book is very convincing. It distills the opinions and the viewpoints of numerous Palestinian and Israeli personalities. Some of the Zionist leaders and founders of the state of Israel believe that the present situation is a grave one, and it does not solve the problem. The Palestinians also have a similar view. Major world powers share that vision. The ultimate historical and correct solution lies in the establishment of a single state for the Palestinians and the Israelis. The establishment of that democratic state should take place under the supervision of the UN. Elections must be held under the UN supervision. We must rid ourselves of the racism. If an Israeli or a Palestinian wins the elections, it is of no consequence. They are all Semites in the final analysis. Arabs and Israelis are cousins. The Israelis have nowhere else to go. They have been expelled from all parts of the world. If they choose to live in this place forever, they must live in peace and harmony with it. They must not be a force for aggression. America cannot protect them forever. No one can protect them forever. Maybe one day they will find themselves all alone without an American umbrella. It is in their own interest to accept the other party and integrate with it. When can that happen? Only when a single state is established.
To talk of a “pure” Israeli state with a single religion, language and race, is to talk of an exclusivist reactionary approach. It is like going in the middle of the sea with a handful of dust, hoping it does not get wet. This is impossible. Israel lives in the middle of a sea of Arabs. How can it maintain its purity? There are a million Palestinians who live in it right now. In the future, they will become two or three million. So, that takes care of the purity notion. If a Palestinian state is established in the West Bank, the depth of the state of Israel will be a mere 14 km. Any military operation in the future will easily split it in half. These are not just my words; they are the words of the Zionist leaders who established Israel. They believe that they created a state in the crater of a volcano. It cannot survive. The problem lies in the fact that the two parties are fighting over one piece of land called Palestine. When one party takes that land, and, unilaterally declares the establishment of its own state on it, it would be asking for trouble. There are two parties. They must reach an agreement or it will remain a disputed land forever. This is what happened and this is the reason why the Arabs did not recognize or accept the situation created by the Israeli expropriation of the whole of Palestine. Let us take Turkey for example, when the Turkish Cypriot republic was established, nobody recognized it except Turkey. Why? Because Cyprus belongs to all Cypriots, Turkish and Greek alike. Palestine also must belong to all its inhabitants, whether Palestinians, Israeli Jews, Arab Muslims, or Christians. It belongs to all of them.
This land cannot be partitioned. The area between the river and the sea is way too narrow for two states to be established in it. The Jews of the world number 12 million. Let’s suppose that the 12 million will return to the country called Israel today. There are five million Palestinians in the Diaspora. If all of them return, the number of Palestinians will be around seven million. How can this huge number of people live in two states in this miniscule piece of land? It is simply impossible.
Isratine already exists. The West Bank contains both Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements. They are mixed together and live side by side. In what is currently called Israel, as I said, one million Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, and live side by side with the Israelis .The Palestinian workers are the ones running the Israeli factories. The workers from the West bank and Gaza strip are working in Israel of 1948. The two groups are fully interdependent in the fields of goods, services, and security. They are closer to each other than they are to anyone of us. The solution is an establishment of a single state for both groups. We must rid ourselves of the culture of religious, linguistic, and ethnic racism. This is the culture of the old guard. But the youth in Israel and Palestine want peace, want a single state, want to travel and trade and have a normal life. This is what they want. This is what the White Book proposes, and this is the solution. I am certain that the solution will impose itself because it does not emanate from selfish interests like those of the current players who lie to people and deceive them. I do not do that.
Question: Excellency, please give us a direct response to this question. Egypt and Jordan have established diplomatic relations with Israel. Yasser Arafat also established such relations on behalf of the Palestinians. You have no problems with Israel. Why can there not be diplomatic relations between Libya and Israel?
The Leader: The question puts the cart before the horse. It is not a matter of diplomatic relations; it is a matter of solving a problem. Instead of finding a way to resolve the problem, you are asking me about recognition. It is like giving someone raw meat, and then asking them why they do not eat. The question should be why the food was not cooked in the first place. And then, the question about eating could arise. What I am saying is that the order of priorities should be the solution of the problem first, and then we talk about recognition. Without such a solution, I don’t think there is room for raising the matter of recognition.
I am very grateful to you, to Oxford University, to the students union, the interpreter, and the broadcaster. I thank you all, I stand ready, when the time permits, to have more meetings like this one with you, and I believe the meeting was extremely useful,
Question: You are a man of clear political vision and wisdom. What advice would you give to the leaders in Iran and the US to address the problem between their two countries?
If Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, I do not see why anyone should object to it. I believe nobody has the right to object to it. What is the real question? Is it the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, or is it preventing the countries of the third world from making use of nuclear energy? Iran says that to deprive it of the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is tantamount to denying that right to all developing and third world countries. They ask how you can prevent us from enriching uranium. If such enrichment is for peaceful purposes, then no one can object to the Iranian program. If it is for military purposes, then Iran could say that it is willing to relinquish its nuclear program only if all other countries, not just Libya, do the same. The production of nuclear weapons continues unabated. In the Middle East, there is a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, in Dimona. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. India has the same weapons. China is a nuclear power. Russia is a nuclear superpower. All those countries are geographically close to Iran, and Iran asks why should I be the only country not allowed to possess these weapons? Many other peoples, including the Arabs, are asking the same question. For instance, Egypt could say if the Israelis are allowed to have nuclear weapons and missiles, and Iran is going down the same route, why should I not have the same right? Syria could say the same.
If the question is that of weapons of mass destruction, then as I said, Iran could argue that it will destroy its nuclear program only when all military nuclear programs are brought to an end, and when all nuclear weapons are dismantled. However, Iran, thus far, has not admitted that it has a program for military purposes. It says that its program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, and therefore nobody has the right to ask it to stop. Thank you all. With this answer I bring our talk to an end.
On behalf of all present here at Oxford University, I thank you, Brother, Leader for your time, your time, contribution and your answers.