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29 May 2020

The Amnesty International’s Report on Ethiopia titled ‘Beyond law enforcement: human rights violation by Ethiopian security forces in Amhara and Oromia Regional States is an extensive document alleging human right violation by the Ethiopian security forces in two districts in the Oromia National Region State (ONRS) and two districts in the Amhara National Regional State (ANRS) in 2019.

We are grateful to see Amnesty’s recognition of the efforts by the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) since 2018 and we reaffirm our resolve to further strengthen our democratic institutions.

While the reform process has at times experienced bumps, the Government of Ethiopia has proven that it remains committed to build a consolidated democracy. For the GOE the loss of a single life is one too many. And if there are, as the report alleges, incidents where violations of rights took place, the GOE will conduct an independent investigation, which the report also recommends, at the appropriate time.

We note that the report in general is a one-sided snapshot security analysis that fails to appropriately capture the broader political trajectory and security developments in Ethiopia since the commencement of the reform. For instance, it deliberately ignored the extensive and successful peace-making efforts in the districts indicated. The peace-making efforts were overwhelmingly supported by the communities and were conducted by the consortium of regional and federal actors in collaboration with local religious and traditional leaders as well as civil society.

The GOE’s data, which is also complimented by the several independent agencies, indicates a strong support to the Ethiopian National Defense Force, the Federal Police and other security agencies to ensure law and order in the locations indicated by the report. In addition, the report sidelined the GOE’s preferred mode of engagement to address any security impediments, i.e.through peaceful means that respects the culture of the communities in dispute.

The security forces in collaboration with development and humanitarian agencies repatriated a large number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in a very short period of time. The repatriation has been conducted in a manner that respected the dignity of our citizens and in accordance with global human right concerns that highlighted safe and voluntary return.

Apparently, communal issues across different parts of the country, including in the areas where the report is focused, have been largely resolved. And as the report also indicates, the political space is wide and open. The security problems identified are more of banditry than communal. In today’s Ethiopia, every region and every citizen maintain the right to actively engage in the political affairs of the country at regional and federal levels.

Be that as it may, there are major improvements in the area of security in the two regions at large. Beside being geographically expansive, the two regions were the areas where the reform processes were ignited. And comparatively speaking, Ethiopia’s reform and transition to democracy is much more composed, less bloody and purposefully participatory.

Currently, Ethiopia is fighting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the GOE has focused on forging a national unity of purpose across different sectors and declared a State of Emergency to save lives. We believe, in its rush to collect temporary propaganda gains, it was reckless and unprincipled for the report to deliberately leave out the grave dangers posed by the spread and impact of COVID-19 during the current government response.

Responses to specific questions – to the Guardian – are provided below.

Question #1

Security forces deployed in the two Guji zones in Oromia carried out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, forced evictions, and destruction of property. In particular, it has a list of “39 people who had been extrajudicially executed” in Goro Dola District of East Guji Zone and Dugda Dawa District of West Guji Zone since January 2019. It also claims that “at least 10,000 people were detained in Tolay in rounds of mass detention that started in January 2019 and continued to September 2019.”


The Federal Government and Oromia Regional State’s law enforcement have been conducting security operations before the Covid-19 pandemic that was aimed at stabilizing the zones and returning peaceful life to residents in the area. The zones had seen illegal arms trafficking, displacement of communities, banditry, multiple attacks on members of the police and armed forces and distraction of lives and property. The communities asked, several times, for the regional and government to intervene and restore law and order. Accordingly, security operations were conducted and due caution was employed to minimize harm to innocent civilians. A semblance of stability has returned to the area as a result of the operations and the government credits the success of the engagement to a significant scope of coordination and cooperation with the local community.

Government security operations have, however, stopped to allow for a full-fledged public health response to Covid-19 in the last three months except for regular law enforcement activities in the area to discharge its constitutional duty to protect citizens from violence and unlawful acts within the mandates of the state of emergency. And it strongly rejects malicious claims of extra judicial killings, evictions and destruction of property in the area and believes these lies are purposefully disseminated by forces that seek to actively undermine initiatives of dialogue, peace and stability in the area. The Government also takes allegations of misconduct by members of the armed forces seriously and regularly launches internal investigations; and where it finds evidence of wrongdoing, it takes appropriate legal and administrative measures and puts in place protocols to minimize the chances of similar misconducts from happening again. Allegations of mass detentions of people in Tolay are also categorically false and spread by entities who are attempting to sow instability in the region and the country. Our focus has, and remains to be, a unified response to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Guji and provide available resources to health centers.

Question #2

Amnesty International has observed a surge in unlawful restrictions and violations by security forces targeting journalists critical of the Government, and members and leaders of opposition political parties since June 2019.


The Federal Government believes its track record of handling dissent and criticism and political mobilization by opposition parties speaks for itself. Opposition parties continue to freely speak and consolidate their base and journalists are currently exercising their rights to consistently and fiercely criticize the government. We believe this is a significant departure from past practices and the federal government is committed to keeping the political space inclusive for all voices. But the government also recalls the appeal by the public to take concrete measures against hate speech, abuse of freedom of expression and the numerous offenses that violate the ethical, cultural and legal norms of Ethiopians. While it continues to encourage the exercise of constitutional rights to the expression of opinion, the government reaffirms its commitment to take appropriate and firm measures against hate speech, the dissemination of fake news and other violations of the country’s laws.

Question #3

In Amhara Regional State, Amnesty discovered evidence that the Regional special police units and local administration militia were complicit in inter-communal violence between the Amhara and Qimant ethnic communities in West and Central Gondar.


The security environment in west and central Gondar has shown considerable improvements in the last three months and communal clashes have stopped. Investigations by the regional authorities into the clashes including establishing accountability are ongoing and will be made available when they are completed. The engagements by joint regional and federal forces have been effective in creating a political space for the communities to discuss and resolve differences. Inter-communal dialogues have been held to consolidate gains from the stability and once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the federal government will continue encouraging and supporting the dialogues. We would like to highlight that community led peace initiatives have registered strong success to prevent violence and widen the political space across the region. Currently, regional security personnel are focused on preventing the further spread of the pandemic and supporting health authorities as required.

Question #4

Amnesty International says that it sought responses from the Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Defence, Federal Attorney General, Federal Police Commission, Oromia Regional Security and Administration Affairs Bureau, Oromia Police Commission, Amhara Security Bureau and Amhara Police Commission – to comment on the findings of the research at various stages but its requests through email, letters, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings went unanswered. Why is this?


The Federal Government strives to put in place a comprehensive response mechanism to requests for information. While many requests for information are responded to, some are not timely processed; particularly as all our resources are focused on battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Noting the critical character of the questions in this context, a whole of government response was deemed appropriate but coordination mechanisms have been regrettably inadequate to timely respond to the questions.

Question #5

In addition, I would like to know if the federal government has any plans to address or correct patterns of abuse carried out by its security forces in this transitional period.


We strongly believe a presumptive approach that has already appropriated guilt to the governments’ handling of security during the transition is very unhelpful to understand the security context of the country. The government would like to reaffirm its commitment to working towards preventing peace and security violations in the country and will take corrective measures to maintain the discipline and ethical standards of members across federal and regional law enforcement.


The Government has been undergoing through significant transformation, virtually in the social, economic and political arena. The most important factor in the process has been the commitment of the leadership expand the political space and deepening the democratization of the state.

Among many of the significant openings, freeing of thousands of political prisoners and welcoming of all opposition groups that were considered as terrorist would shake the statuesque in many ways. Meanwhile, political sobriety would take time and conflict of interests would occur in the process. What the government has extensively been doing – in addition to bold reforms – is facilitating platforms for different political groups to discuss and debate sensibly. Many received the invitation with open arms.

Furthermore, the commitment of the government goes beyond Ethiopia. The peace deal with Eritrea opens door to sustain peace in the Horn, which is considered as one of the most conflict-prone regions of the world. Ethiopia’s initiative to re-build the strained relationship between Djibouti and Eritrea, Eritrea and Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia as well as the peace deal process in Sudan has brought hope to the Horn of Africa.



News in Brief

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on the Ethiopia-Sudan Border Incident

Statement of the Chairperson following the murder of George Floyd in the USA

UN Security Council Extends UNAMID mandate till December

Ethiopia reiterates its call to International Partners for support to Ethiopian migrants

Ethiopia, Spain Stress on Sharing Experiences in fighting COVID-19

Africa and the African Union

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission MoussaFakiMahamat, in a statement issued on Friday (May 29), strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. (See article)

The Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, Ambassador MinataSamateCessouma presided over a virtual consultative meeting of senior officials of African Election Management Bodies (EMBs ) on Wednesday (May 27) on the COVID-19 pandemic and elections in Africa. The virtual peer-learning consultative meeting was convened in collaboration with the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA) and Regional Economic Communities’ networks of EMBs.


Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, GeduAndargachew on Thursday (June 04) welcomed to his office, the Algerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Salah Francis Elhamdi. During their discussion, Mr. Gedu commended the long-standing relationship between the two countries and called on expanding it further. The two also have discussed the arrangements of training opportunities to Ethiopian diplomats in the higher education institutions of Algeria. Following the briefings on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam by Gedu, the Algerian ambassador expressed his hope that Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt would reach a mutually beneficial agreement through dialogue.

Ethiopia on Thursday (June 04) donated 17,000 Kg of COVID-19 medical supplies to the Republic of South Sudan. Ambassador Beatrice KhamisaWani-Noah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan received the Ethiopian delegation that delivered the medical supply at Juba International Airport. Ambassador Redwan Hussein, Minister of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and head of the delegation handed over the medical supplies to Ambassador MayenDutWo, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan. The Undersecretary commended Ethiopia’s support of COVID-19 medical supplies to his country at this difficult time.

State Minister TsionTeklu and high-ranking government officials accorded a warm welcome to 118 Ethiopians who have returned home from Saudi Arabia Thursday (June 4). It is recalled that 136 Ethiopians returned home from Saudi Arabia last week on Tuesday.

Ethiopia recorded 150 new cases of the coronavirus, out of the 5,141 laboratory tests conducted on Thursday (June 04). With this, the total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 1,636. A 30-year-old man also died of the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 18. The number of recoveries reached 250 after four people recovered from the virus.

The Prime Minister Office announced on Wednesday (June 03) that Ethiopia will officially embark on its annual Green Legacy challenge on June 5, 2020. “Last year,” said Prime Minister Abiy “we each committed to the national call and met our set target,” adding, “Despite COVID19, we are determined to plant the intended 5 billion trees.”

State Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, TsionTeklu said expelling and deporting migrants would further exacerbate the spread of the virus. She said this in addressing a webinar held on Wednesday (June 03) that aimed at discussing how migrants who find themselves in a difficult condition under the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic can be assisted where they are at the moment. (See article)

The Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr. SeleshBekele on Wednesday (June 03) held a virtual meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, Professor Yassir Abbas Mohammed on ways of resuming the trilateral negotiation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The two ministers along with their respective delegation exchanged views on the procedural aspects of resuming the trilateral negotiations and other key concerns from each country. Key issues and concerns regarding the outstanding negotiations on the GERD have been also discussed in the virtual meeting. The two sides further agreed to hold frequent bilateral meetings leading to the trilateral negotiations as soon as possible.

Ethiopian Airlines on Monday (June 02) stated that it has generated more than 120 Million US Dollars revenue within the last month, an income surpassing its monthly expenses. The Chief Executive Officer of the Airlines, TewoldeGebremariam said the airline is supporting the domestic economy besides covering its monthly costs. The Airlines’ success is attributed to its timely engagement in cargo services, especially transportation of medical supplies across the world. Tewolde noted Ethiopia’s being selected as a convenient transit hub to the distribution of medical supplies amidst COVID 19 pandemic in the region and across has created a good opportunity for the airlines to emerge as a global airlift operator.

Ethiopian Embassy in Israel has organized a coffee exhibition and culinary diplomacy event aimed to foster the Ethiopian Coffee to the Israeli community. The exhibition held at Empress Taitu Memorial Building in Jerusalem on Tuesday (June 02) has been attended by representatives of Israeli Foreign Affairs and Tourism Ministries, Mayor of Jerusalem, Members of the diplomatic community, Journalists, members of Ethiopia Friendship Association and guests drawn from various institutions in Israel. Ethiopian cultural restaurants and Importers of Ethiopian Coffee in Israel took part in the exhibition. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Special Envoy of Ethiopia to Israel, RetaAlemu, while delivering a welcoming speech, said the exhibition is mainly aimed at promoting unique features of Ethiopian Coffee to the world.

Office of the Federal Attorney-General said it has started its investigation into the new Amnesty International report on “grave human rights violations.” “We respect human rights, not for any reason but the protection of our people and for justice,” AdanechAbiebie, Attorney General, said in a post to her Facebook page on Tuesday (June 02). “We have looked at the report of Amnesty International and have started our investigation on the matter. Now, we are working on finalizing our investigation and checking the content and process of the report for actuality and neutrality,” she said. “After the investigation is complete, where the report is correct, we will take the necessary steps to remedy the problem and where the report is false or exaggerated, we shall discuss with Amnesty International and let the report be corrected accordingly,” she added.

Ethiopia and Spain expressed the need to forge a joint approach in their efforts to mitigate and prevent the COVId-19 pandemic. This was related on Monday (June 01) in a phone conversation held between Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, GeduAndargachew, and his Spaniard counterpart Ms. Arancha González Laya. (See article)

Forbes on Sunday (May 31) has listed seven countries that have the potential to become major tourist destinations in a post-COVID World. Ethiopia is the first amongst the list. In listing the reasons for selecting Ethiopia as one of the most attractive tourist destinations, Forbes writes, “Out of the 54 nations that make up Africa, one could make the argument that Ethiopia has the most fascinating historic background – it was the second civilization on earth to adopt Christianity, the only African nation to defeat a European power in battle and resist colonialism during the Scramble for Africa, and it’s believed that our earliest human ancestors first came from this fertile region. Visitors to this unique country will find a truly diverse scope of natural beauty – the western edges of Ethiopia are home to lush rainforest, which quickly gives way to the towering peaks of the Ethiopian Highlands as one ventures east.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia issued a statement referring to the incident of 28 May 2020 along the border area between Ethiopia and the Sudan with great dismay and expressing its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of both countries. (See article)

The government of Ethiopia on Saturday (May 30) announced that it has repatriated 323 of its citizens from Lebanon. Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, the returnees were welcomed by State Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia TsionTeklu and, other high-ranking government officials including Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia. In addition to the 333 returnees that have arrived in Addis Ababa last Thursday, the Government has covered the costs of the trip in repatriating Saturday’s arrivals too. The government announced that it would continue to identify its citizens who are living in unbearable conditions abroad and provide assistance to those who want to return home voluntarily.

The UN on Friday (May 29) reported that excessive heavy rains that started in April in Ethiopia have led to flooding, displacement, loss of lives and livelihoods, as well as damage to infrastructure in different parts of the country. According to authorities, flooding has affected more than 470,000 people, of whom over 300,000 people are displaced. The Government, the UN, and other humanitarian agencies and communities are responding to the needs of flood-affected and displaced people, although with limitations. The UN said that $25.6 million is urgently required to address unmet needs as well as early recovery support.


Contribution by nationals to augment the National Fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Eritrean Ministry of Information announced. The Ministry quoting reports said, various administration areas in the Southern and Central regions, cooperative associations, and religious institutions contributed a total of 63 thousand and 808 Nakfa. Similarly, small businesses in the Gash Barka, Northern Red Sea, and Central regions contributed a total of 193 thousand and 543 Nakfa. 20 individuals also contributed a total of 132 thousand Nakfa. In related news, the Ministry said, several administrative areas, owners of small businesses and members of the Eritrean Defense Forces extended food items and sanitation materials to disadvantaged families in their area while many nationals inside the country and abroad decided that the families renting their houses to live free of rental payment ranging from one to four months.


The government of Djibouti Delivered Food aid to Beledweyne Flood victims in Somalia on Monday (June 01). Hiraan governor Ali Jeyte Osman received the consignment at UgaasKhalif airport. AbdiWaare, the state president of Hirshabelle thanked the government of Djibouti for sending humanitarian support. “We appreciate the president of Djibouti, Ismael Omar Gelle, the people and troops serving under the AMISOM peacekeeping mission.” Many people were displaced after the river burst its banks’ many people are now living in IDPs.


The UN on Friday (May 29) reported that seasonal heavy rains in Kenya have affected nearly 302,000 people in 43 of the 47 counties. Currently, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society, over 211,000 people are displaced, up from 116,000 at the beginning of the month. Nearly 27,000 livestock have been lost and over 30,000 acres of crops submerged, increasing the risk of food insecurity across the country. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $3 million to the response, which will support partners in providing shelter, food, water, sanitation, and health services to the affected population. Emergency shelter and non-food items have been distributed to over 5,600 households.

The Kenyan government has facilitated the evacuation of 120 Kenyan teachers who were stranded in Somalia amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The teachers landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) aboard a Daallo Airlines flight last week on Thursday evening from the Garowe area in Somalia. Most of the evacuated teachers worked in Yamays, Dawaad, and Rasasyr international schools in Galkayo, Garowe, and Bosaso.


Galmudug regional state president Ahmed AbdiKariye (Qoor-Qoor) on Thursday (June 04) hailed the construction of the port in the city of Hobyo as a game-changer to the Somali economy. He said that his administration was well placed to complete the required job and that they would not seek any external help. Galmudug president said, ” the people of Galmudug can construct the port without other people’s help”. He reiterated that the operation to disarm the clan militias to surrender their weapon is still ongoing.

Two airlines operating in Somalia have had their licenses withdrawn on Monday (June 01) over Khat smuggling. Somalia banned imports of khat in the wake of COVID 19 to avert the spread. According to government officials, the government has accused Buff AIR SERVICES airlines of illegally transporting Khat to Buhodle town on 26 May and in violation of the Somali government’s ban on COVID-19 revoked its license. Also, Silverstone Air Service was accused of illegally importing khat and transporting to Jowhar on 31 May in the name of Carrying medical supply. Khat was banned in a bid to combat the spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somalia will push ahead with plans to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in early 2021, removing doubt that it will delay the vote because of the spread of Covid-19. “Holding a timely election is more important than anything else at this time and it’s one of the primary goals which the public entrusted us,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre said on Sunday (May 31) in a speech following a cabinet meeting.

The UN on Friday (May 29) reported that seven Somali health workers were abducted on May 28 from a mother and child health clinic run by an NGOin Gololey village in the Middle Shabelle region. These seven health workers and another civilian were subsequently killed. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said any attacks against medical facilities and personnel are unacceptable and a breach of international humanitarian law and any common decency. He called for a thorough and transparent investigation.

In related news, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) condemns the abduction and deliberate killing of seven health workers and a civilian at a local health center in Gololey village in the Balcad District of HirShabelle State on May 28, 2020. “I am shocked by the senseless killings of civilians. Deliberate attacks against health professionals and facilities are a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law and constitute a war crime in non-international armed conflicts,” said the Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira. The African Union Mission in Somalia, presents its sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the people, and the government of Somalia, for the loss of these dedicated citizens.

South Sudan

South Sudan President SalvaKiir on Thursday (June 04) appointed Nhial Deng Nhial as new Minister of Presidential Affairs after firing his former Minister MayiikAyii Deng. Nhial took the oath of office before President Kiir in a ceremony attended by Vice-Presidents Rebecca Garang and Taban Deng, Senior Presidential advisor KuolManyangJuuk and SPLM Secretary-General JemmaNunuKumba.

South Sudan denied claims that it approved a request to set up an Egyptian military base in the country, according to a government statement late on Wednesday (June 03). “There is nothing of that kind,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “No agreement has been reached whatsoever to allocate a piece of land for Egyptian Military Base in the territory of the Republic of South Sudan.” It said South Sudan denies claims “circulated in social media that the Government of South Sudan has agreed to Egyptian request to build a military base in Pagak.” Pagak is a town in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, near the border with Ethiopia.

In related news, Ambassador of South Sudan to Ethiopia, James Pitia Morgan, said his country won’t do anything that could harm Ethiopia. Ambassador Morgan’s remarks came following information shared on social media claiming that South Sudan had agreed to Egyptian request for a military base in Pagak. “The information is completely false,” he said in a press conference issued to local journalists on Thursday (June 04) in Addis Ababa. “The information is shared by a group who has the interest to undermine the existing cooperation between the two countries,” said the ambassador.

A batch of South Korean peacekeepers has left Seoul heading to South Sudan where they are expected to arrive on Monday (June 01) three months after its initial scheduled date due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. On 3 March 2020, South Sudan suspended until further notice the rotation of peacekeepers from five countries China, Cambodia, India, Nepal, and South Korea. The suspension coincided with the replacement of a 300-troop South Korean contingent deployed in South Sudan’s Bor area, known as the Hanbit Unit or Reconstruction Assistance Force.

South Sudan’s Vice President James WaniIgga has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the third vice-president and the fifth member of the government to catch the respiratory disease. South Sudan’s vice-president, James WaniIgga informed the country of his infection in statements to South Sudan’s TV on Saturday (May 29). “My samples were taken for testing a few days ago and today it has been found positive for corona,” he said. “I encourage all South Sudanese to really go for testing. This is very important so that we stop the spread of this pandemic to more people,” he further said.


In a videoconference meeting held on Thursday (June 04), the Security Council of the United Nations extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 31 December, deciding that the peacekeeping mission will maintain its current troop and police ceilings during this period. (See article).

The Sudanese negotiating parties, the government and the Revolutionary Front (SRF) have achieved a “very significant progress” in the peace talks, said the South Sudanese mediation on Thursday (June 04). Speaking to the press after a videoconference session of talks between the two parties from Juba, DhieuMatouk told reporters that the two parties agreed on 25 of the 29 issues on the agenda of the talks. The peace talks which are approaching their deadline of 20 June are now focused on security arrangements, national and pending issues.

Sudanese Prime Minister AbdallahHamdok pledged to hold accountable the responsible for the bloody attack on the pro-democracy sit-in last year where over one hundred people were killed and hundreds injured or abused. On Wednesday (June 03) Sudanese marked the first commemoration of the brutal attack on the main site of protests outside the headquarters of the Sudanese army on 3 June.

The African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) on Monday (June 01) requested the UN Security Council to extend the UNAMID mandate until 31 December but at the same time called to separate Darfur operation and transition in Sudan. On Friday 29 May, the Security Council decided to delay its decision on the troops’ drawdown until 3 June to allow more consultations about the UNAMID withdrawal and the political support mission requested by the Sudanese government. The PSC “Appeals to the United Nations Security Council to consider the situation in Sudan separately from the mandate of UNAMID and to also ensure that any future mission to be deployed in Sudan should be under Chapter VI mandate of the UN Charter,” said the PSC in a statement adopted in a meeting held on 21 May.

Security conditions are not met for the withdrawal of the hybrid peacekeeping operation from the western Sudan region, said Darfur armed groups participating in the Juba-mediated peace process in Juba. The Security Council is expected to extend the withdrawal of the UNMAID for 31 December as the UN peacekeeping department it was not possible to meet the initial date of 31 October due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 measures on the drawdown schedule. In a statement extended to the media, Ahmed TugodLissan, the Chief Negotiator for the groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) participating in Darfur Track said that UNAMID is needed to protect civilians due to the “fragile” security situation.

A spokesperson for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster of former President Omer al-Bashir on April 11, said that their support for separating religion from the state aims to promote the peace process. On Saturday (May 31), the SPA announced its support for separating religion from the state. This announcement came in the wake of a declaration by the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) expressing its support for the negotiating position of the SPLM-N al-Hilu calling to reaching an agreement on the secular state during the peace talks.


Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on the Ethiopia-Sudan Border Incident

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia refers with great dismay the incident of 28 May 2020 along the border area between Ethiopia and the Sudan and hereby expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of both countries.

In the spirit of containing the situation on the ground and avoiding any further tension, the Ministry urges that the two countries should work together through existing military mechanisms to address and jointly investigate circumstances surrounding the incident. The Ministry strongly believes that there is no honorable reason for the two countries to descend into hostility and calls for the need to continue the close collaboration between neighboring local and regional administrations to ensure peace and security in the border area. We are of the view that such incidents are best addressed through diplomatic discussion based on the cordial and friendly relation and peaceful coexistence between the two countries. We believe that the incident does not represent the strong ties between the peoples of the two countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia wishes to underscore the importance of further strengthening the cordial and friendly atmosphere that reflects the longstanding fraternal relations between the two countries based on good neighborliness and mutual understanding.


Statement of the Chairperson following the murder of George Floyd in the USA

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission MoussaFakiMahamat, in a statement issued on Friday (May 29), strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Recalling the historic Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) Resolution on Racial Discrimination in the United States of America made by African Heads of State and Government, at the OAU’s First Assembly Meeting held in Cairo, Egypt from 17 to 24 July 1964, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission firmly reaffirms and reiterates the African Union’s rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America.

He further urges the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.


UN Security Council Extends UNAMID mandate till December

In a videoconference meeting held on Thursday (June 04), the Security Council of the United Nations extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 31 December, deciding that the peacekeeping mission will maintain its current troop and police ceilings during this period.

According to a statement issued by the UN, “the Council expressed its intention to decide by 31 December courses of action regarding UNAMID’s drawdown and exit.” “The mission’s strategic priority will be the protection of civilians, including by supporting Sudan’s capacity to carry out that duty and by preserving requisite capacity, particularly in Jebel Marra.”

The Council underscored that UNAMID will retain its responsibility for civilian protection in Darfur without prejudice to Sudan’s primary duty in this regard, the statement reads. According to the statement, the council reiterated its requests that UNAMID and the newly established United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) create a coordination mechanism to determine the modalities and timelines for the handover of responsibilities where they have common strategic priorities in Darfur.

The Council also called on UNAMID and Sudan’s Government to finalize swiftly a revised framework agreement which ensures the principle of civilian end-use, as well as the security and physical integrity of the handed‑over UNAMID team sites and assets that will not be used by UNITAMS and its integrated United Nations country team partners.

The 15-member organ also called on Sudan to swiftly conclude its investigations into recent looting of previously handed‑over UNAMID team sites and to continue to hold accountable individuals who participated in such incidents.


Ethiopia reiterates its call to International Partners for support to Ethiopian migrants

State Minister TsionTeklu hosted a webinar on Wednesday (June 03) with International partners to discuss the situation of Ethiopian migrants residing in some countries in Africa and the Middle East. The webinar was held against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on migrants. The aim was to discuss how migrants who find themselves in a difficult condition under the current circumstances can be assisted where they are at the moment.

In her opening remarks, State Minister TsionTeklu explained that large scale migratory movements lend the coronavirus the mobility it needs to spread. She noted, the expulsion and deportation of migrants further expose them to the coronavirus. In this regard, she referred to the decision by the African Union Peace and Security which condemned mass deportations and called for an international moratorium on mass returns until the fight against COVID-19 has been won. She also mentioned the United Nations Network on Migration, which has similarly pronounced itself on this issue, calling for the suspension of forced returns during the pandemic and redirection States towards including migrants in national responses to COVID-19.

The State Minister further explained that the Government of Ethiopia has established 50 quarantine centers to provide shelter, humanitarian, and health services to returnees, with the support of the International Organization for Migration, cognizant of its obligation under international law to accept the return of its nationals. To date, over 14,441 Ethiopian migrants have returned but with the domestic infection rate rising, she noted the challenge this could pose in seriously overstretching the country’s capacity. In this regard, she expressed the government’s commitment to continue to engage in constructive dialogue with countries hosting Ethiopian migrants in need of humanitarian protection and assistance.

She took the opportunity to thank all the host countries for accommodating Ethiopiannationals and expressed hope that they will continue this kind gesture together with partners. She also expressed profound appreciation to the Ethiopian community members and leaders in countries where these migrants are present in huge numbers, for their relentless dedication and commitment to contributing their share, mobilizing resources, and coordinating the “sharing of dinning” request made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. State MinisterTsion indicated that the Prime Minister has been very keen to ensure that all street people, many of them non-Ethiopian (e.g. Syrian and Yemeni refugees and migrants) do not get forgotten in the COVID19 response efforts.

The State Minister concluded her remarks by reiterating Ethiopia’s commitment to forging international cooperation around migration management practices that prioritizes migrants’ health, wellbeing, and human rights. As the international community intensifies efforts to combat COVID-19, she underscored the need for solidarity to successfully combat COVID19 and mitigate its socio-economic impact on individuals, families, and communities.

On her part, Dr. Catherine Sozi, UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, who delivered brief remarks at the Webinar, said that no one can fight the COVID-19 or manage migration alone. In this regard, she expressed the UN’s commitment to supporting Ethiopia to manage returns during this pandemic. She also highlighted the recent report released by the United Nations on people on the move, particularly the plight of vulnerable women and girls. She underlined the need to uphold the dignity of migrants. The African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Ambassador MinataSamate who also attended the Webinar delivered a brief remark highlight what the African Union has been doing to address the issue of migrants.

This was followed by a brief intervention by Ambassador TesfayeYilma, Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and UNECA. He expounded on the discussion at the level of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, Ethiopia being the current member, and the decision by the AUPSC condemning mass deportation of migrants and called for an international moratorium on mass returns until the fight against COVID-19 has been won. On his part, Mr. DawitYirga, Director General for International Organizations stressed the need for protecting the most vulnerable populations and those least able to protect themselves. He referred to what the United Nations Secretary-General, who said that “International Humanitarian, human rights and refugee law continues to apply, even –and especially – in challenging times like these”. He, therefore, expressed hope that international partners will consider irregular migrants in need when working together with the national committee led by the Ministry of Finance.

Following a brief question and comment from participants, State Minister Tsion concluded the webinar by assuring the participants of the Ministry’s desire to continue engaging with partners on this important issue.


Ethiopia, Spain Stress on Sharing Experiences in fighting COVID-19

Ethiopia and Spain expressed the need to forge a joint approach in their efforts to mitigate and prevent the COVId-19 pandemic. This was related on Monday (June 01) in a phone conversation held between Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, GeduAndargachew, and his Spaniard counterpart Ms. Arancha González Laya.

During the conversation, Gedu expressed his sympathy to the government of Spain and its people on the loss of lives to the pandemic. The Foreign Ministers also said that Ethiopia and Spain should further strengthen their bilateral relations through sharing experiences gained in mitigating and containing measures against the virus.

In their talks regarding the GERD, Gedu presented explanations regarding Ethiopia’s stance to equitably and reasonably utilize its water resources in line with accepted principles of ‘causing no significant harm’ as well as cooperation.

The Foreign Ministers have noted the importance of applying the principles laid out in the DoP and the spirit of the document as well to resolve outstanding issues in the tripartite talks and to reach mutually beneficial agreements.


The Ministry of Finance has drafted a bill that proposes 470 billion Br for next year’s federal budget, a figure highly influenced by fears of the repercussions the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) could cause to the economy. The proposed budget is 83 billion Br higher than the current fiscal year’s value.

In terms of foreign currency, the budget stands at 13.7 billion dollars, a slight increase from the current fiscal year’s 13.4 billion dollars and a considerable increase from the 12.6 billion dollars that was ear marked two years ago.

The bill that is expected to be tabled to the Council of Ministers this week aims to cover a little over half of the budget from domestic tax revenues. Out of the total, 100 billion Br will also be raised through external loans. The remaining balance of expenditures is expected to be covered by other non-tax sources, including foreign grants and domestic investments.

The Ministry’s proposed budget is 21.5pc higher than that of the current fiscal year and 35.5pc higher than the amount that was allocated two years ago. However, the growth rate also remained modest, considering the 52.3pc growth rate that was recorded 13 years ago, when the federal budget jumped to 45.7 billion Br.

Out of the total budget, 180 billion Br of it is allotted as subsidy appropriations to the regional states, higher by 40 billion Br from the current fiscal year’s budget.

Next year is going to be a difficult one, according to Eyob Tekalign (PhD), state minister for Finance, pointing that the pandemic has already battered the economy.

“We needed to be more flexible,” Eyob told Fortune.

To offset the challenges the economy is facing due to the pandemic, the parliament has approved 48.6 billion Br as the second supplementary budget of the year. The latest approval made the total extra budget of this year 76.5 billion Br. The supplemental budget will be directed to food support for 30 million people who are part of vulnerable groups and to procure additional medical equipment and medicine to combat the pandemic.

Two months back, the government approved a 27.9-billion-Br supplementary budget for the implementation of the Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda that was launched by the administration. The two additional budgets are on top of the 386.9 billion Br federal budget that was approved last July.

For the current fiscal year, the government intends to raise 253 billion Br from domestic revenue, of which 225 billion Br was expected to be generated from tax revenues. However, the pandemic, which was first reported in mid-March in the country, hit the economy hard and paralyzed almost all economic sectors and industries.

With decreased government income from tax and non-tax sources and increased government expenses, 11 billion Br is expected to be lost by the end of this fiscal year, according to Ahmed Shide, minister of Finance.

Since February there has been a significant drop in the collection of taxes. The tax revenues generated in February as compared to the same month in the last fiscal year shows a decline of 14.8pc. The government is expecting the growth rate of the country’s GDP to fall by two to three percentage points from what was expected.

To address the adverse effects of the pandemic on fiscal policy, the country needed 64 billion Br. Out of that sum, 15 billion Br was raised by restructuring the budget of this year from different government offices.

To fill the remaining balance, the government intends to borrow 10 billion Br from the central bank, raise another 10 billion Br by selling treasury bills and bring in 28.6 billion Br from various grants and loan.

Alemayehu Geda (PhD), a macroeconomist and a lecturer at Addis Abeba University, projects that the deficit will be more than double what is mentioned by the authorities.

The impact of the pandemic will increase the current expenditure of the government by 30pc and shrink its total revenue, including grants by 16pc, according to Alemayehu.

“With this figure, the expected deficit just to maintain the country’s fiscal posture will jump to 145 billion Br,” said Alemayehu. “Financing this will be a headache for the government.”

Alemayehu said that the government needs an additional 228 billion Br in the coming months to cover the deficit of this fiscal year along with the 83 billion Br in additional expenditures the government planned for the next fiscal year.

“This will lead the government to print cash that will automatically increase the broad money supply by 10 percentage points,” he said. “This in the end will cause 24pc inflation.”

The country is already grappling with a higher rate of inflationary pressure since the beginning of this year. April’s inflation rate stood at an annualised rate of 22.9pc, the highest figure in the last seven years. Food inflation stood at 25.9pc, while non-food inflation hit 19.2pc.

The coming fiscal year’s budget is very expansionary, and it did not consider the inflation rate, according to Alemayehu.

Eyob, the state minister, also admits that the coming fiscal year budget is expansionary, considering the previous years’ experience.

“But it isn’t too expansionary,” Eyob toldFortune.

The nation’s total outstanding debt increase also reached 29 billion dollars as of this February. Of that amount, 16.7 billion dollars is external debt. In the first half of the current fiscal year, Ethiopia secured 1.7 billion dollars in the form of loans and grants.

Despite the debt stress, the double-digit inflationary pressure and the negative impact of the pandemic, the government seems ambitious in hoping to control the budget deficit.

“We’ll carefully watch to make sure the budget deficit does not exceed three percent,” Eyob told Fortune.

To mitigate the challenges, Alemayehu recommended the government cut its expenditures as much as possible, try to finance the deficit from external loans and avoid domestic borrowing altogether.

“Part of the loans secured from external sources should be used to import food items, basic commodities and medicine to avoid import inflation and depreciation of the Birr,” Alemayehu recommended.

Alemayehu also suggested that the government avoid depreciation since it will increase government expenditures and employee elective credit policies, and instead use a strategic shift in some sectors and allow major economic sectors to function.

U.S China Shocked By UN CoronaVirus Diplomatic


NEW YORK — China and the United States both supported a draft United Nations Security Council resolution confronting the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday and it was “shocking and regretful” that Washington changed its mind on Friday, a Chinese diplomat said.

A U.S. diplomat refuted the Chinese comment, saying there was no U.S. agreement on the text.

For more than six weeks the 15-member council has been trying to agree on a text that ultimately aims to back a March 23 call by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres for a ceasefire in global conflicts so the world can focus on the pandemic.

But talks have been stymied by a stand-off between China and the United States over whether to mention the World Health Organization. The United States does not want a reference, China has insisted it be included, while some other members see the mention – or not – of WHO as a marginal issue, diplomats said.

Washington has halted funding for the WHO, a U.N. agency, after President Donald Trump accused it of being “China-centric” and promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak, assertions the WHO denies.

It appeared the Security Council had reached a compromise late on Thursday, diplomats said and according to the latest version of a French- and Tunisian drafted-resolution.

Instead of naming the WHO, the draft referenced “specialized health agencies.” The WHO is the only such agency. But the United States rejected that language on Friday, diplomats said, because it was an obvious reference to the Geneva-based WHO.

“The United States had agreed to the compromise text and it’s shocking and regretful that the U.S. changed its position,” said the Chinese diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, on Saturday, adding that China supported the draft.

The U.S. diplomat, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was no U.S. agreement on the text, which the U.S. mission to the United Nations had sent to Washington for review on Thursday.

Diplomats said that during negotiations both China and the United States had raised the prospect of a veto on the issue of whether WHO is mentioned or not. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by France, Russia, Britain, the United States or China to pass.

A State Department spokesperson said on Friday the United States had worked constructively and accused China of repeatedly blocking compromises during negotiations.

While the Security Council – charged with maintaining international peace and security – cannot do much to deal with the coronavirus itself, diplomats and analysts say it could have projected global unity by backing Guterres’ ceasefire call.

French U.N. Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière on Friday said “we are still trying to achieve a positive result and trying to see if there is a possible compromise.”


(Reporting by Michelle Nichols Editing by Chris Reese)


Sababaa Vaayirasii Koronaatiin Barattoonni Miliyoona 25 Ol Akka Mana Turan Taasisame, Jedha Ministiriin Barnootaa Itiyoophiyaa

Sababa weerara Koronaatiin Itiyoophiyaa keessatti barattoni maneen barnoota Idilee Miliyoona 25 ol ta’an barnoota dhaabanii mana akka turan taasifamuu Ministiriin Barnoota beeksise.

Yeroon cufamuu barumsaa kun yoo kan dheeratu ta’e dhawaatni barnooota dhaloota danqamuu akka malu illee dubbatame.

Maneen barnoota dhuunfaas kaffaltii dhibbantaa shantamaa hanga torbaatamii shanii qofa akka kaffalchisan murtaa’e jechuun dubbatan, Minister De’eetaan Ministirii Barnootaaa Dr Garramoo Hlluuqaa.

Gaaffii fi deebii Dr. Garamoo waliin


Ramadan Kareem Calendar 2020


Ramadan Kareem
According to Ramadan Kareem Calendar, in this year of 2020, the Holy month of Ramadan 2020 ( ٢٠٢٠ ﺭﻣﻀﺎﻥ ) started on 24 of April which was on Friday. And as obvious this Holy Month ended on 24 of May with the start of Eid ul Fitr on the next day. Well these are the dates which are being followed everywhere in the world, but in actual according to Islamic
Ramadan Calendar, this is the ninth
month, and this month starts with the
sight of moon, and same goes for the end of Ramadan Mubarak Calendar as well when moon of Shawwal appears in the sky, which means Ramadan Kareem has been ended and now a joyous occasion of Eid ul Fitr has been started which continues for next 3 days. Usually, Ramadan Kareem Timing continues for 30 days for maximum, but as it depends when the moon appears, so sometimes Ramadan Kareem Calendar 2020 limits to 29 days as well.
As for Muslims, almost every single one of them is aware from Ramadan Kareem
( ﺭﻣﻀﺎﻥ ﻛﺮﻳﻢ ), but there are several
youngsters and non-Muslims as well who have no idea that what actually this month is and for how long is the
Ramadan Timing. Plus they also have no idea that how exactly Ramadan Kareem Calendar ( ﺭﻣﻀﺎﻥ ﻛﺮﻳﻢ ﺍﻟﺘﻘﻮﻳﻢ ) works as well.
Basically, Ramadan Kareem ( ﺭﻣﻀﺎﻥ ﻛﺮﻳﻢ ) comes as ninth in the count of Islamic Calendar, and this is one of the most important Month for Muslims all across the world. The reason is that this Holy month has much more important than
any other, and this month is the best way to seek blessings and forgiveness from God. Besides all, in order to follow the rituals in this Holy month, Ramadan Kareem timetable is being followed which shows up the exact time of Sunrise and Sunset. And the reason that why these two times are important in Ramadan Kareem Calendar 2020 is that Muslims start his Fast from Sunrise till sunset. Actual Meaning of Fast Now for those who have no idea what fast actually is, then while a person who is fasting cannot consume any type of Food or Water, and cannot seek for any
sexual or sinful activities during this time period. And for every single Muslim who has reached puberty are must to fast during this Holy month and stay put to Ramadan Kareem. While for the children who still have not reached puberty are not need to take part in any of the Islamic
Rituals including fast. But that does not mean that they cannot go with the
schedule of Ramadan timetable, or follow up rituals of Ramadan Kareem. Ramadan is also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan. It depends on the language because a single word can be pronounced in several different ways in different languages.

Description of Fasting

It is not limited to the Muslims only to
fast and follow Ramadan Kareem, but
there are several other religions as well who follow the same Islamic traditions, and for some religions, they follow up Ramadan, as in terms of respect for Islam. In Islam, there are five basic pillars around which this religion is followed, and Fasting is the fourth pillar. And that means if you are a Muslim then it is necessary for you to fast when Ramadan Calendar begins. In the Arabic
language Fast is known as Sawm. Now
you might be wondering how does fasting begins and ends up. Well as it is described in Ramadan timetable that your fast is going to start before sunrise.

How to Fast?

So that means you can eat anything you want, and as much you want before Fajar prayer. Once the Fajar prayer has been called up then you must stop eating and drinking that instant. So this will be your breakfast for a whole day, and this time is known as Seher. Once you have
stopped eating then you have to go for
Sehri dua, which is like the start of your fasting. And afterward you have to offer Fajar Prayer, and continue your activities for the rest of the day. Besides from this time onwards you cannot drink or eat something till dawn. For the whole day, you cannot commit any of the sinful activities, and if you are married then
you also cannot involve in sexual
Importance of Ramadan Calendar
As soon as you hear Maghreb prayer
being called then you can start eating
because this is the time when your fast is over according to Ramadan Calendar. Now when you will start your meal then Muslims prefer to start that with a date, and then they can eat or drink anything that is halal. And the meal that you have at sunset is named as Iftar or Aftar. There
are some areas where it is tough to listen to prayer calls, so Ramadan Calendar is really beneficial because it will tell you the exact time of Seher and Iftar.
Furthermore, you can also find alerts for Seher of Iftar in Ramadan Kareem Timing which lets you open your fast on time. Now you might have seen many Muslims keeping fasts besides Ramadan, well such fasts are known as voluntary fasts. But the fasts of Ramadan Kareem are obligatory and right according to the Ramadan Kareem Calendar. In the earlier times, the fasts of the month of Ashura was also obligatory, but later on, that obligation was changed to the month of Ramadan.

Voluntary Fast

Still, there are many Muslims who follow to keep fasts in the month of Ashura which is voluntary which is their own choice. But there is no sin for those who do not keep fasts in that month. But as for Ramadan Kareem Calendar, it is necessary for every single Muslim to follow, and for those who leave fasts of Ramadan Kareem timetable without any actual reason is wrong. Fasting according to Ramadan does not just mean to stay hungry and thirsty throughout the day, but it actually means to offer prayers 5 times a day, and spend most of your free time while reciting Quran, while staying away from any of the sinful activities. As for praying it is also a pillar of Islam, which means that it is as important as it is fasting.

Lessons Learnt in Ramadan Kareem

Many of the Non-Muslims consider this month as one of the toughest because Muslims have to stay hungry and thirsty throughout the day and to follow Ramadan Calendar while keeping their daily routine as usual. Well, that is not the truth because Muslims all around the world celebrate this Ramadan Kareem with the same joy as they celebrate Eid ul Fitr or any other occasion for the rest of the year. And fasting is as joyous as having a party every day for one whole month. This Ramadan Kareem is not just some ordinary time period of the year, but it comes with several blessings and lessons as well. As you follow Ramadan and keeps fasting throughout the day, then you realize the pain of those poor people who cannot afford to buy food and have to stay hungry for several days.

Tolerance and Patience

Furthermore, fasting also teaches
tolerance and patience in yourself. And not just this but fasting also teaches to stay away from any of the sinful emotions including anger. And when you have to follow Ramadan Kareem timetable for one whole month then, as a result, it becomes your habit for the rest of your life. So, in short, you can call that to follow Ramadan timetable means to turn yourself into a perfect Muslim. Furthermore this Ramadan for several other reasons as well, and among those reasons, the first one is that in this blessed month Holy Quran was completed, and that is one of the four Holy Books of Islam. Holy Quran was revealed to the last messenger of Allah who was the Holy Prophet PBUH. And then among the last ten nights of Ramadan Kareem, there is one night which is considered as one of the most blessed nights of the whole year, and this night is being named as Layla tul Qadr. And whosoever asks anything from Allah on Layla tul Qadr, gets it no matter what that is, but as for Ramadan, there is not confirmed that which night exactly is Layla tul Qadr. So Muslims usually pray maximum in the last nights of Ramadan. Besides, there are certain conditions according to which fasting is exempted, and that will not be a sinful act.

Exemptions on Obligatory Fast

Like if you are traveling or if you are
sick, even if you are aged then it is not
necessary for you to fast. While for
women they cannot fast while they are menstruating or breastfeeding an infant one. Then further as it is discussed above that those children who have not reached puberty yet do not need to follow Ramadan Kareem’s timetable, but it is up to them if they want to start practicing fast at such a young age. This Ramadan is the best time of the year for all the Muslims to wash away their sins by following this Ramadan Kareem. This Ramadan also teaches you many of the life lessons which no one else can teach you ever, so this Holy month is not just blessed but also beneficial as well. First of all, if you see practically then fast, it is
really hard to keep. Because Ramadan
suddenly takes you away from your
normal routine diet all of a sudden which is not normal for anyone.

Ramadan Kareem: Test for all

Muslims So it might take some days for everyone to get used to this new routine. So this is the lesson for everyone to feel the pain of those who are unable to eat food for several days. Furthermore, according to
Ramadan Kareem Calendar of 2020, this holy month comes in one of the hottest times of the year. As for a normal person, it is hard for anyone to skip food or water in normal weather, but for such weather, it is quite unbearable to not have water for an entire. And that is how
Allah tests Muslims by fasting in
Ramadan. Then further there is not even proper time to eating as well if you have to follow Ramadan Calendar. When you have to eat at Seher then, of course, it is
unusual for anyone to eat that time of the day, and obviously, it is the time when you cannot eat enough. Then according to Ramadan Mubarak Calendar when it is time for Iftar then many people try to stuff themselves all of a sudden due to hunger and thirst for all day, but they ended up having stomach disorder as well.

Blessings of Ramadan Kareem

And most importantly at Iftar, it does not matter that what you have on the table because your only focus will be on eating. So this represents that poor people do not wish to eat expensive food when their only wish is to get food twice a day. Then due to Ramadan, your routine of sleeping changes as well, or sometimes
you do not get enough time to sleep.
Because when you are done with Iftar
then after some time people feel hungry once again, and instead of sleep they have to eat once again. Then in the morning, they have to get up earlier in order to prepare food for Seher and then to eat most of it before Fajar Prayer is being called. And when you are done with Seher and Fajar Prayer then there is already time to go to the office. Due to the strict routine of Ramadan, there is no time to complain about the food, so you
have to eat what can be prepared easily. So that is the lesson for you to eat what you get instead of complaining about food even in your normal days. Things not to do Then during fast, you are not allowed to
listen to music or watch any of immoral shows as well, as this is the way of Allah to keep you away from any kind of sins and wash away every single sin of yours. And that is the best opportunity for you to make it your habit. Moreover, due to the strict routine of Ramadan, it is obvious that you will go low on energy with scorching heat and no food. Now,
this might seems to be irritating for some people that they are unable to heat when they do not even have enough energy to carry out normal routine tasks. Well, that is the test of your patience that for how long you can keep yourself in this condition which Allah has demanded from you. As Allah has ordered to Pray five times a day and to recite the Quran
in the routine of Ramadan Mubarak
Calendar, so this is not easy for those
who are more involved in worldly affairs. But as this is an obligation in Ramadan Kareem Calendar so this is necessary to follow as well.
Best time to arrange your Routine
And you might find it tough to manage your time for your office and Godly affairs as well. No doubt this is the best time of the year to manage both tasks accordingly and keep this routine for the rest of the year. You might consider fasting as a burden, but actually, if you will follow Ramadan then it is not just good for you spiritually but also good for
your health. And it is even proved
scientifically as well, as after that many nutritionists follow diet routine just as the routine of fasting. And where other nutritionists are charging hundreds of dollars from their clients then at the same time you are having this natural routine for one whole month by following
Ramadan Mubarak Calendar. If you are thinking that you are giving up something by following Ramadan then you need not worry about that because Allah will never put unbearable burden over you. Help those who are Unable to Afford
Always be thankful for what you have
instead of complaining about what you have lost because whatever you are losing is for your own good, if not in this life then for life afterward. Now as you have benefits and lessons for Ramadan Kareem, next comes your duties that you should follow which you have already learned from those lessons. Fasting is obligatory for every Muslim except those with special conditions. But there are some people who wish to follow Ramadan
traditions as well, but they are even
unable to afford food for Seher and Iftar. So make sure that you must notice in your surrounding for any such people, and purchase everything that is necessary for them to eat during Seher and Iftar. Even if you are unable to afford food for a whole month, then at least provide them with few things which they can use. Furthermore, there is no doubt if you are following the routine of
Ramadan Kareem, and working hard as well in the office.

Help Women prepare Meal

But you must notice that on the other
hand women are also performing house chores for the whole day, and when you get back home then they are still preparing a meal for everyone for Iftar. If your task is not easy then you should know that their routine is also not a piece of bread, and that is why you should help
them with Iftar preparation as well. As there is no doubt that males are higher in strength, so even with a hectic office
routine they can still help their Mother, wife, or daughters to prepare Iftar, and more importantly, it is your fair share. While you are in the office, there might be several of your colleagues who are not following Ramadan and having lunch. So even if you see them eating or find out
that they are not fasting then do not tease
them. You would never know the reason why they are unable to fast, so you have no right to make fun of them or tease them in front of everyone. Besides if you are still concerned to find out the reasons then the best way to do that is to discuss it in person with your colleague so that he does not have to feel embarrassed about that. Do not Tease Others And it might be possible that he is going through some health problems which he
has not discussed in office yet, or if he is going through some serious problems back at home. You cannot judge anyone by just looking at them. And this is another lesson for you that you will learn by following the Ramadan Calendar. And if your Colleagues are working outside in
scorching heat, then the best you can do for them is to arrange cold water, and meal for them as a good deed. While you are following Ramadan you will be saving much of the money that you were spending before on the food. So it is best that you donate that money among the neighbours or relatives who are unable to afford food and other daily necessities.

Keep Helping Poor

Besides as there will be Eid ul Fitr right after Ramadan Kareem, so with that donation those poor people can buy some clothes and food for that occasion as well. On every Iftar, many families prepare a lot of food, but they are unable to consume all of it on Iftar. So instead of wasting that food, you must share that food with your neighbours as well which you think is unable to get enough food over Iftar or even Seher. Even Islam teaches us to look in the surrounding for all the needy people, and if Allah has blessed us with money then it is our duty
to donate it among the poor as well. And all this would be only possible if you are able to follow Ramadan Kareem Calendar, and teaching of Allah in a proper way during the month of Ramadan Kareem.


A woman who traveled from China to Illinois in mid-January likely transmitted the novel coronavirus to her husband through “prolonged, unprotected contact,” according to research released Thursday. None of more than 300 people who came into contact with the two patients after they showed symptoms, however, developed symptoms of their own. The findings, published in the medical journal The Lancet, detail the first known transmission of novel coronavirus in the United States, and suggest that the virus may transmit most easily through extended contact with infected people, not brief or casual exposures. “Our experience of limited transmission of [the virus] differs from Wuhan where transmission has been reported to occur across the wider community and among healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Jennifer Layden, referring to the city in China where the virus first emerged. NEW #COVID19—First known person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 transmission in USA occurred between 2 people with prolonged, unprotected exposure when 1st patient was symptomatic. No further transmission detected in 372 contacts of both cases— The Lancet (@TheLancet) March 12, 2020 Layden, the chief medical officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health and co-leader of the research, stressed that health care providers should still “rapidly triage and isolate individuals suspected of having [the virus]” and notify local health departments. That’s because, according to the study, “infection control measures within the hospital setting and an aggressive public health response” to these first cases might have prevented widespread coronavirus exposure. And it’s possible that other patients — those with more severe illness, for example — may transmit the virus more easily. Questionnaires and security camera footage helped identify possible contacts Working with local, state and federal public health investigators, researchers identified more than 300 people who had contact with the two coronavirus patients. Among those contacts were 195 health care workers who were tracked down using patient logs, staffing records and even security camera footage. After asking patients about their interactions and travel history, researchers also identified 152 additional people — “community contacts” — who may have been exposed to the virus. In total, 372 individuals were found to have contact with the two patients, and 347 underwent active monitoring to look for coughing, shortness of breath or fever. While 43 people developed symptoms and became “persons under investigation,” none of them tested positive for the coronavirus. Study is small and limited, researchers say The researchers cautioned that their findings are preliminary and based on a single transmission event, which might not represent the population at large. The study had other limitations, too. Because they relied on memories to reconstruct people’s movements, investigators might not have identified everybody who came into contact with the coronavirus patients. And those who were identified as possible contacts were monitored for symptoms — meaning that researchers would have missed “asymptomatic” infections, where people could contract and transmit the virus without feeling ill. In a sample of 32 health care workers without symptoms, all tested negative for coronavirus, suggesting that none had an asymptomatic infection. But that sample was a minority of the 195 health care personnel who came into contact with the infected patients. It’s also possible, the researchers said, that a single coronavirus test may not be able to accurately diagnose infections, given that the virus’s incubation period can last for up to two weeks after exposure. New criteria from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also say that health care workers should be evaluated for the virus even if they show mild symptoms — such as a sore throat — that the study didn’t look for. Despite its limitations, the research does suggest that quarantining those with “high-risk exposures” to infected patients may help reduce the virus’s spread, said one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Tristan McPherson, from the Chicago Department of Public Health. “Without using appropriate facemasks or other personal protective equipment,” he said, “individuals living in the same household as, or providing care in a non-healthcare setting for, a person with symptomatic [coronavirus] are likely to be at high risk of infection.”

During Lockdown

A three-step technique for creating space, slowing down and enhancing creativity.

“When one has much to put in them, a day has a thousand pockets.”

– Nieztsche

One of the challenges of living, working and socializing all from home during this Pandemic-induced lockdown is that the spatial structure of our days has been largely dissolved: where before we’d have a repertoire of different spaces for different activities, now everything’s happening at home.

If you think about a typical pre-COVID day for someone who works in an office for example, events are naturally distinguished by where they take place.

In my case, I’d get up, exercise in the park, cycle to the office, work and have discussions in different meeting rooms, go out for lunch, return to the office, go for a walking meeting, perhaps zip across town for a meeting in a café; and then after work, I’d often meet someone for food and sometimes go a concert or an exhibition: all in different, distinct locations… in short, my day would have as its backbone an elaborate spatial journey.

But with this lockdown, even though much of the content of my former lifestyle has been recreated digitally (including the parties- the subject of another post), it’s all now happening in my flat on my laptop. So all this experience has lost any meaningful spatial component.

The troubling consequence of this is that the day can feel without shape, and time can seem to slip past; it’s relatedly more difficult to remember what happened… and despite in some sense now having more time… it’s easy to feel as though I have less.

Moreover, without clear demarcation of work and home life, the preoccupations of the day naturally infest my evenings… it becomes more difficult to turn off, and equanimity and mental freshness can suffer.

Having struggled with this, I’d like to offer an analysis of why this happens based on how we humans apprehend time and space, followed by a three-step technique for structuring your home-life during the lockdown in which you can conduct a substantially more spacious, creative and calm existence.

Before we get to that, though, let’s consider how we relate to time and space cognitively, to understand our options.

How we experience time

Space and time are deeply interconnected in our way of understanding the world, and indeed time is mostly conceived through spatial metaphors.

We compute these metaphors so effortlessly, that we’re rarely aware of their presence in our experience. But whenever we “squeeze in a trip to the gym between meetings” or “look forward to the summer”, or talk of “distant memories” a “crowded schedule” or “way back when” or indeed when we enjoy “bitesize” content or bemoan the boringness of a “long argument”, we’re borrowing our mental mastery of space to imagine and reason about time.

Specifically, our spatial metaphors for time carry an underlying mapping:

  1. time = space or journey through space
  2. moments of time = locations or objects in that space

These metaphorical schemas are amazingly flexible and sophisticated. When we say a busy day is “back-to-back” with meetings, we’re imagining the day (time) as a container (space) and our activities (which take time) as objects (smaller space-occupying entities) filling that container. In this example, the objects fill the container so tightly that they press against each other, leaving no space (i.e. time) for that coffee at which you wished to pick my brains, or whatever. Therefore, even if I just respond “sorry I’m back to back” you immediately grok my meaning.

This is of course taken to a nefarious extreme by calendars, which reduce time to a grid of boxes in space- with very potent, and many regrettable, consequences for our experience of our lives. That though is a different subject to the one we have on our hands here.

Now, while the high-level mapping of time to space is almost ubiquitous in cognition, there are interesting cultural and contextual variants. In Chinese culture, time goes up and down, not forward and backward, as it does in western cultures. We’ll avail ourselves of that flexibility later. Even with the forward/backward time relationship in English, we flexibly use different sub-variants, without necessarily realizing that that’s what we’re doing.

“Wednesday’s meeting has been brought forward by two days. What day is it now on?”

Some will say “Monday”, others “Friday”. Both make perfect sense, but which you choose depends on whether you imagine from an object- or observer-centric framework. In the observer-centric case, the event currently sitting in the space of Wednesday is an object being brought forward towards you, the observer, which will land it on Monday; but if you assume an object-centric perspective, you are Wednesday and move forward two days in time, landing on Friday. Check our Lera Boroditsky’s extraordinary work on the embodied cognition of time, from which these examples are taken.

Anyhow, this mapping of time to space is of course a good design principle for the mind, since, in the normal peripatetic run of things, different events happen in different spaces, as we saw earlier with my routine. This natural pattern or constraint cascades down into how memory works: indexing very thoroughly on the spatial. We remember things primarily by where they happen, and only indirectly by when. This is incidentally why “memory palaces” are such a potent device for remembering things in sequence (i.e. time): they leverage our powers of spatial recollection to structure long temporal sequences in our imaginations through imagery.

Why living all of life in a confined space can mess with our sense of time, and feel cramped and stressful.

We’ve seen how our experience of time is rooted in our apprehension of space, and how this is reflected in memory. So when we stop moving around over the course of the day, we shouldn’t be surprised that it messes with our experience.

And this is why a day spent all in one spot will tend to feel like it’s passed quicker: as we experience the sequence of activities in our day, each is a little bit less distinctive and differentiated than it would be under normal conditions because it lacks spatial context, and the different portions of the day then bleed into each other.

This interfusion of the different parts of the day diminishes them all. Your yoga headspace carries into your work headspace carries into your argument with your flatmate headspace carries into your creative time headspace, and the resources of your mind are never fully focused on any one of these things.

And this lack of distinctness to individual moments in your day has its flip side in memory, where because there are no spatial hooks for it to gain purchase on, it becomes difficult to remember what we did: there are no differentiated locations to trigger recollection. It’s as if all the photographs have been made on top of each other on a single print.

And when we lack spaciousness like this, things quickly begin to feel claustrophobic, monotonous and stressful.

How we can control our experience of space and time using our imaginations.

We’ve seen that time is spatial, and that when we take spatial experience away, it can be stressful and confusing. What to do about this?

Well, it turns out that our dependence on space is both the disease and the cure to this one: by imagining and relating to our spaces differently, we can regain control of our experience of our time.

In order to manipulate back into health our diminished experience of time, that is, we simply have to manipulate our experience of space- with the tools at our disposal.

This might seem tricky, given we’re stuck indoors, but in fact our experience of space is much more highly contextual, subjective and full of opportunities for alteration than we normally imagine, or commonly admit.

This is because space as it arises in our experience (which we often confuse with the space of physics) is not a feature of the world, but of our relationship to it. By changing how we relate to our home spaces, we can transform them.

One way of seeing this is to think of how we tend to be surprised when we revisit places last seen in early childhood: they seem much smaller than we remembered, because when we were small they were relatively bigger in relation to us.

This phenomenon goes way beyond the size of our bodies, into their skills, interests and athleticism: people with heavy backs perceive slopes as steeper, for example; we experience the world in terms of how we can act within it.

To get a handle on how our experience of space is our experience of our possible movements, ask yourself this: have you ever had the strange experience that an empty room can come to feel larger when it is filled with furniture?

How can this be? Well, one way of thinking about this is that now the space is structured, there are more opportunities for movements than before: it, therefore, is bigger so far as your body is concerned.

On top of this, we don’t experience spaces devoid of their emotional, social and pragmatic contexts. Space isn’t just a container, but a field of action, pregnant with significance: for example, people can tell almost as much about your personality by looking at picture of your office or bedroom than they can from meeting you personally.

A carpenter’s studio invites a totally different set of actions than a kitchen and feels correspondingly different- even if laid out much the same. Changing the colour of the walls of a room can make it feel more spacious, warmer, more formal, more calming.

So we see from all of these examples that our experience of space is highly embodied, contextual, and subject to all manner of emotional layerings. This gives us a clear set of tools for how to change our experience of time in a restricted space: by manipulating our patterns of behaviour, emotion and perception.

With this analysis in our back pocket, let’s look at five strategies that can be deployed against the problem of expanding subjective time in the lockdown, which collectively add up to turning your home into a kind of memory palace.

The three-step technique

  1. Divide your home into a set of distinct locations, with activities for each

Your home is your new city. Let’s kit it out accordingly.

Of course, we need to work with the tools at our disposal: which will seem meagre to begin with, but all of which we will see can be applied to an arbitrarily small space.

First, choose ten activities you want to accommodate in your lockdown

Ten activities is a good basic repertoire. I do in my life: sleep, yoga, reading, washing, working, writing (managerial), work (creative), exercising, partying, eating/socialising.

Your repertoire will, of course, be different depending on what you like doing, and need to do. It’s actually quite fun to reflect on your life and make a list of ten best-version-of-you core activities. Not a bad moment to dig out that list of unactioned new year’s resolutions: that habit of a daily workout? Now’s a good time to actually begin doing it.

Another way of finding your ten activities, is simply to think “what are the activities I’d love to be able to do somewhere else, but I can’t”?

Whichever way you create your list, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of honest, joyful self-reflection.

Next, find ten locations around your home to which to assign these activities

Reminder: to be calm during the storm, we want to have clear, differentiated spaces in which we can conduct the activities of our new life in a way that we are “insulated” from distraction, and in such a way as to foster calm, creativity and joy.

So the next step is to select ten distinct locations within the overall space of your home, to which you’ll uniquely assign these actvities.

For me, I had to choose ten locations across the four available rooms to me: bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen. If you have more space than this, be expansive. If you have less, zoom in.

You really can do all this in quite small spaces. The only constraint here is to ensure these locations are each at least a metre or so apart from each other. I think it would be just about possible with a bit of creativity to do this in the smallest flat I ever lived in, a 3x3m garret in Paris in my early twenties.

Not having much space to play with is actually part of the fun. I’m grateful I don’t live ibn a castle: it would remove the opportunity for creativity.

To illustrate, I have had to set up four different locations in my sitting-room, for example, and three in my bedroom. Neither room is especially large. One important trick when you are creating several locations in a small room, is to ensure that when you’re in those spaces, that you’re pointing in different directions: out of sight is out of mind, and this will help them differentiate the locations later and make them feel “insulated” from each other. In this way, in that old cell-like flat in Paris, I’d have arranged the spaces “looking outwards” roughly in the four corners, and against the four walls, with a space in the middle to get to ten.

Assign activities to locations

After you’ve chosen ten locations, link the activities to them uniquely. I have several types of work requiring a desk, and so I have set up three tables in my living room and I move tables to do different kinds of work.

So, zooming in on my livingroom, we have three desks, pointed in different directions, for different kinds of work. The Eastern desk (in front of the window) is for working on managerial tasks at Memrise -a diversity of tasks. The Southern-facing one (less than 2 metres away) is also for working on Memrise, but this is for creative work- which I especially enjoy, but which can be difficult to find intellectual and emotional space for in the course of a busy day. The third desk (facing West) is for writing. This way, I’ve created differentiation between these kinds of work.

My full list of locations and activities is then this:

  1. Bedroom: Bed (sleep)
  2. Bedroom: floor by bed (yoga)
  3. Bedroom: Rocking chair by window (reading)
  4. Bathroom (washing)
  5. Sitting room: East wall (working)
  6. Sitting room North wall (working)
  7. Sitting room West wall (writing)
  8. Sitting room: space in middle (exercising)
  9. Kitchen (eating)
  10. Bar counter between kitchen and living room (partying)

Now’s the moment then to get

2. Imaginatively amplify the distinctiveness of these spaces

We now have different locations for different activities. The next step is to amplify. their felt differentiation using our imaginations, and a few props.

Remember, space is a space by dint of the full gamut of the perceptual and emotional experience that is taking place within it. So we can change space by manipulating the experiences

Our key levers here are:

  • The activity itself
  • Props (photos, hats, lamps)
  • Lighting
  • Music
  • Aromas (candles, food)
  • Simple imagination.

To see how we can leverage these easily controlled inputs to create differentiation, let’s look at some examples.


I’ve kitted out my bathroom as a Hammam (by adding a chair, a kettle, and some imagination). Where before, I’d be in and out in five minutes, I now hang out there for 30 minutes with my (imaginary) friends, the room steamed up by running a lidless kettle into the corner and letting it boil.

Sitting room (4 locations)

In my sitting room, I’ve set up, as we saw, four locations: three separate desks and exercise space.

To stop them interfering with each other (i.e. feeling like the same space), I ensure with music, props and lighting that each has an entirely different feel and vibe to the others: to go along with the different patterns of activity and so on.

So when I’m at the East Desk (reserved for Memrise managerial work) I have a fully differentiated multi-sensory set-up that changes the character of the whole room, and effectively makes the location I’m at feel like a totally different space.

Specifically, when sat this desk, I keep all the curtains drawn, play Balkan music whenever I’m say there and imagine I’m in Croatia. On my desk, I keep a photo of Novak Djokovic and hanging on the nearby cupboard is a traditional Croatian dress. All of these things in combination give the location the feel of a totally different room.

If I then move to the North desk (which takes me ten minutes, as we’ll see later) I open the curtains, change the music to jaunty Italian Tarantella, and enjoy a spacious paper-only desk environment. On the wall in front of me is a view of the Italian town of Cividale that I once ineptly painted. No matter, I imagine it as a window and I’m in Italy, doing wonderful free creative tasks. Again, it feels like I’m not only in a different room but in a totally different country.

The West desk is for writing: things like this blogpost, love letters to my girlfriend (currently quarantined in Burgundy, France), and other purely verbal activities. The wall in front of me is covered in bookshelves. Since this is a space of pure ideas, and we’ve already established it’s in effect possible with these techniques to change country, I take it a bit further here and imagine I’m entering into a beyond-worldly magic space of pure imnagination. The music genre here is jazz, and since I tend to sit here at night, the lighting’s also naturally different. My props here include my computer, but I keep the internet off to aid the sense of isolation.


I visit the kitchen three times in the day, but I make sure that each feels like a different experience.

My kitchen in the morning is a French Café. I drink coffee while listening to French radio. I eat a croissant. I talk to myself in French. I complain about the government. No mobile phones are allowed.

It’s all very different in Berlin (lunchtime). Here I’m in Kreuzberg, surrounded by hipsters. I’m listening to Wagner. I’m talking to myself in German. I’m actually not listening to Wagner, I’m playing café sounds to give me a sense of being in an energetic social spot.

In the evening, there isn’t a specific nationality to the kitchen: it’s more of a guest spot for different cultures depending on what I’m cooking. Devices are actually allowed in the kitchen in the evening (as I like to dine over Zoom with a friend and a bottle of wine).

But all in all, the kitchen manages to be three spaces only through changing up the food, the attitude, the music, the props.


My favourite location is the rocking-chair by the bedroom window. I’d picked this up off the street years ago and it had sat there broken and never-sat-upon as a vague never-quite-prioritized to-do item.

Self-isolation and duct tape dealt with that, and now I can read before bed while calming myself down after the energetic day by rocking myself back and forth. An aromatic candle further changes the mood, and my bedroom is now a no-device zone so if there’s a disaster I won’t get to know about it till tomorrow morning.

In sum

You won’t land on a set-up this elaborate overnight. You can gradually experiment and find what feels right in terms of props, music, rules, lighting, and activities in each location around your home.

But the basic principle is very simple: by behaving in thought, imagination and action as if each location is an entirely different space/room/country, you make it feel so.

And this does a massive amount to free us from the sense of claustrophobia and time-disappearance that living all day in one place can occasion.

3) Design your preferred daily adventure, then perform it.

Our next step is to build a schedule for our days that travels through our newly invented repertoire of spaces: which may now exist in many different countries, yay!

Designing your daily journey

But schedules suck. They constrain and control, and we don’t want too much of that. So the way we’re going to organise our day’s activities is to transform our schedule into more of an adventurous travel-journey. Doing so is pretty simple: we just need to decide on our itinerary.

To do this, simply pick a path through your new city-home that fits with what you need to do across the day. Writing it down helps. This is your daily journey in the new imagination-built city in your home. Hopefully, we manage through this tool to construct a daily routine as exciting as any that ordinary life could offer.

Performing your daily journey

We have all the pieces in place, now we just need to begin performing them.

A few tips follow as to how to do that in the most effective way possible.

Stick to your itinerary

Itineraries work best when you stick to them, so keep a softly sounded alarm of some kind to let you know when it’s time to move on. Pomodoro is a good tool for this.

Consider changes in costume between activities

Often in normal life, we habitually change clothing for the different activities in our day: with different outfits for work, gym, socialising etc.

It’s good to reproduce these habits in our new city-home. Even small changes do good work to make different moments feel different: the addition of a hat, putting on a jumper, changing our shoes. And they take hardly any time to implement.

Use physical activity to amplify transitions between spaces

A dominant feature of our experience of spaces, and of times, is landmarks and moments of significant transition. This is why rituals are so important to creating experiential space: they act as tools to amplify transitions in our moods.

To boost differentiation between moments in our day, getting moving acts a ‘reset’: there’s nothing like it to freshen yourself physically and emotionally. My current favourite mode of doing this is dancing socially for five minutes: by powering up Zoom and getting on a virtual dance party. But press-ups stretches or even jumping jacks equally get the job done.

My advice is to aim for one of these approximately hourly and to deploy them even if you’re not changing location.

Consider adding a “travel-time” layer

This one is for the advanced practitioner.

Let’s return to our core inspiration: the city. The nature of a city is that it takes time to get between places, which enriches the overall experience and introduces breaks and stimulation between activities. To solve the problem of an absence of the experience of travel-time and the consequent reduction in felt spaciousness, we have to add these back in with a bit of embodied, performative imagination.

The baller options here is to magnify the scale of your flat by simply forbidding yourself from moving at a normal speed between rooms. After extensive experimentation, I’ve found that an allowed pace of 1-2cm/second works well for moving between spaces (this only applies to changing locations, by the way, you’re going to need to move around at your desk at normal speed). But I wouldn’t recommend this on day one, you won’t have the discipline yet.

Whether you choose a physical activity or slowed movements, in time these embodied practices begin to make the whole flat seem much larger. Space is, after all, relational. And there are in fact numerous additional benefits to this approach. You realize, for example, that there’s a ten-minute walk or ten press-ups between you and the fridge (even though it’s just 6m away), and so you begin to find it much less tempting to grab a snack mid-task.

An example schedule

Here’s an example of what a schedule can look like, once you’ve divided your home into ten locations for unique activities, and ‘gamified’ the transitions between the spaces.

  • 6-6.15 a.m. Wake up, travel to Hammam
  • 6.15 -7 a.m. Wash, hang out in the Hammam, dress
  • 7-7.30 a.m Commute to Paris (kitchen), while listening to a podcast
  • 7.30- 8 a.m Enjoy Parisian breakfast, coffee, French radio.
  • 8-8.15 a.m. Commute to Croatia (East desk)
  • 8.15-12.30 a.m: Croatia. Management work / meetings on Memrise. Occasional breaks to dance between tasks.
  • 12.30-1 p.m. Freshen mind with 30 min stroll through the Park (central living room) on way to Berlin.
  • 1 p.m- 1.45 Lunch: Berlin lunch.
  • 1.45- 2 p.m. Commute to Italy while calling family members.
  • 2-4 p.m. North desk: creative Memrise work in Italy listening to Tarantella
  • 4-4.15p.m Jog to Croatia (through park)
  • 4.15-6.45 p.m More Memrise management work in Croatia (East desk)
  • Travel to Ukraine (kitchen, last night)
  • 7 p.m. Cooking and dinner with friend over Zoom
  • 8- 8.15 p.m Travel by bicycle to the West desk (realm of pure ideas)
  • 8.15p.m- 10.15 p.m. West Desk writing in pure realm of ideas.
  • 10.15p.m.10.30 p.m. Walk home to bedroom.
  • 10.30-midnight: Rocking chair reading until sleep.

If suitably enacted, each of the events in this schedule will be insulated emotionally and mentally from the others and will lead to gloriously pure and focused consciousness, as well as a very clear recollection of the events once they’re completed.

To sum it all up

Time in the lockdown can slip away from us, and disturb our mental tranquility. Being locked up inside our homes can be claustrophobic, stressful, boring and uncreative. This simple methodology will allow you to free yourself from these issues.

By combining perceptual, bodily and imaginative techniques, the featureless open scape of a day at home can assume all the spatial trappings of an adventure out around a city, with all the benefits of fun, memorability and distinctiveness, but none of the incidental opportunities for contracting COVID-19.

When you get this method spinning, you’ll feel calmer. You’ll feel like you have more time in the day. You’ll be able to concentrate with a greater purity of focus. You’ll be able to do more different things throughout the day. And you’ll have a tonne of fun while you’re doing them, which is something we all need a bit of in our lives right now.

Finally, with luck, you may find that the core principles underlying this technique will serve you well even when you’re back to living out in the world again. I’m certainly intending on keeping the bedroom as a no-device zone, and on keeping the Hammam too: if nothing else, this lockdown has taught me that I have been under-using my bathroom like a muppet.

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