The age-old dream of the human caravan is not to send astronauts in their orbit in outer space.. it is to send its individuals - every single individual in his orbit of self-realization. It is high time that this dream be thus reinterpreted. It is also the sacred duty of every man and woman to help intelligently reorientate human endeavour towards the culmination of this pilgrimage.

Mahmoud Muhammad Taha - Answers to the questions of Mr. John Voll - 17.7.1963

Preparing the Free Human Being:
A letter to Dr. Torrez Bodet, UNESCO General Director

Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha

This letter is published in The Voice of Sudan Newspaper, 1953, in Khartoum and is translated into English by Dr. Mustafa Eljaili

[UL]This article was originally published in 1953 in the Arabic newspaper: “Voice of Sudan”. Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha wrote it in response to a report by Dr. Torrez Bodet, the UNESCO General Director at that time. Since the original English script of the UNESCO report is not available, the translation included the sections of the report quoted in Taha’s article. To make these quotes distinctive in the essay below, they are printed in Italics. [/UL]

I do not mind if nothing is mentioned in your report other than three issues, a goal and the two approaches to achieve it. They are all that I and any thinking man or woman would value. The goal is preparing the free human being, who lives in an international community.

One of the two approaches is the new education scheme quoted in your statement, yet, the world of increasingly tied international relations adds to the duties of people recognizing larger roles and responsibilities. To fulfill these roles nothing can prepare them better than a new kind of education.

The second approach is the proficient international system that you touched upon by the words joint plan in your expression, People live in an anxious world where it is not enough for governments to provide education and arts at nationally required standards. But rather in an internationally joint plan that guarantees the process of global social and economic advancement. That is of course without taking from the sovereignty or cultural identity of any nation. By that, the joint plan inspires the desired international principles and establishes peace on strong and righteous foundations. If you want to bring about the free person who lives in an international community, then you are thinking of a united world system that you may call a world government, for which you need a new kind of education. Though I do not quite understand all the fear you display about the international government, when you state without taking from the sovereignty or cultural identity of any nation. Motives for your caution may be explained by the strong intent of every nation to hold on to their internal sovereignty. Otherwise, you know very well, as I know that the world government cannot stand without the limitation of individual national sovereignties.