On July 9th 2015, the 4th Anniversary of the proclamation of South Sudan Independence was elegantly celebrated at the residence of the first ambassador of South Sudan to Israel, H.E Ruben Marial Benjamin and Mrs. Agar Benjamin in Kfar Shmaryahoo.
At the beautiful serene garden, and decorative flowers floating in the swimming pool, diplomats and other distinguished guests from the African continent and from around the world, together with top Israeli diplomats and commercial companies' representatives, all gathered to honor and celebrate the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, on July 9th 2011, from Sudan.
His Excellency the ambassador and his lovely family greeted the guests upon their arrival, and ladies dressed in traditional outfits were so kind to explain to the "diplomacy" crew about the national cloths, jewelry & customs.
Chef's delicacies were hand served to the guests that were engaged in exchanging information, business connections and expressed their appreciation to the worm hosting.
His Excellency Marial Benjamin thanked the distinguished guests for their attendance and before addressing his speech, the national anthem of the Republic of South Sudan was sung, followed by the Israeli anthem Hatikva.
The ambassador then addressed his speech in a most touching description of the recent history and hardship that the brave people of the Republic of South Sudan had to endure, until they finally reached their independence.
His Excellency the ambassador spoke in a most graceful and painful way, but also with an admirable positive and hopeful manner, combined with a great sense of humor! The ambassador emphasized the fact that the people of South Sudan always chose the peaceful way to reach any political solution.
H.E Ruben Marial Benjamin then continued to thank the state of Israel on its critical and important role in bringing about the actual engagement of the independence, together with other friendly nations.
He praised the close ties between South Sudan and Israel in the fields of agriculture, advanced technology, the exchange of knowledge and interests between the nations, and concluded with the important statement of:
"The three most important contributions to South Sudans' continuous development are -
1. Education 2. Education and 3.…Education!" a phrase that was received in a warm round of applause from all the honorary attendants.
Amongst the many thanks, the Ambassador thanked the honorable Hanan Goder - Goldberger non resident ambassador of Israel in South Sudan, Ambassador Gil Haskel - deputy director General Head of Mashav (Israel's agency for international development connection), and told the impressive story of Mr. David Ben Uziel, also called "General John", the first Israeli who started the collaborations between South Sudan and Israel!
Mr. Avi Gabay, Bezeq CEO, followed with an even more explicit speech about the atrocities that the people of South Sudan had to endure and the great appreciation of the state of Israel to the young republic, comparing it to the Jewish exodus from ancient Egypt.
Mr Gabay touched upon the contributions of Israel to the infrastructure of roads, agriculture, technology and general development of South Sudan.
At the end of the speeches all the honorable guests raised a toast to the 4th anniversary of South Sudan's independence day and continued to mingle by the beautiful pool, enjoying the African beat, the tasty chocolate cake with the design of South Sudan's flag on it, the marvelous assortment of tropical fruits… and the perfect evening sunset.
Photos provided by the Embassy