A Lesson in Humanity From Great Britain
Official portraint of Rishi Sunak after his appointment on January 9, 2018 as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. (Flickr)

A Lesson in Humanity From Great Britain

Al Qabas, Kuwait, July 19

Rishi Sunak, who has emerged as the heir apparent to outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is the son of two Indian immigrants. Despite the notable ethnic and religious differences between Sunak and his colleagues in the Conservative Party, the 42-year-old politician succeeded in becoming a prominent figure in the British Parliament, culminating in his service as chancellor of the exchequer from 2020 to 2022, the most important position after prime minister. Sunak was born in Southampton, educated at Winchester College, then studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, and subsequently obtained an MBA from Stanford University, where he met his wife, Akshata Murthy, the daughter of NR Narayana Murthy, a well-known Indian businessman. After graduation, Sunak worked at Goldman Sachs, and later became a partner at a few hedge funds. Finally, in 2015, he got involved in politics and was elected to the British Parliament, where he worked in Theresa May’s government as a deputy minister and promoted Brexit. Sunak supported the election of Boris Johnson as the leader of the Conservative Party and was appointed as Under Secretary of the Treasury. He resigned after his differences with his boss deepened over economic policy, and announced his candidacy to lead the Conservative Party. If elected to lead the Conservative Party, Sunak will become the first Brit of Indian origin to hold the position of prime minister. This will be a great civil and historical event, and a slap in the face of extremists and racists. Even if he isn’t ultimately chosen, it is still impressive that he made it this far. Here, in the Arab world, we often maintain a condescending attitude toward immigrants. Sunak’s rise to power is a reminder that the most modern and advanced societies should welcome voices and experiences that differ from those in the mainstream. Perhaps we can learn something from British society, and work to make our own countries less racist, tribal and dogmatic – and learn to embrace humanity first and foremost. – Ahmed Al-Sarraf (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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