United Nations’ “Awake at Night”: Ms Sarah Copland, interviewed by Melissa Fleming

What a moving AND inspiring interview with Ms. Sarah Copeland… Ouf. Thank you Ms. Melissa Fleming, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, for your “Awake at Night” interview.

From the UN website, we can read the following:

This week’s guest is Sarah Copland. Sarah first joined the UN as part of the Young Professionals Programme in Political Affairs. In 2015, along with husband Craig, Sarah moved to NYC for her first UN post with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in the Policy and Best Practices Service. They were in NYC for 4 years, where Isaac was born. The family then moved to Beirut for Sarah’s work on women’s rights and gender equality in the ESCWA Centre for Women.

On August 4th 2020, as Sarah was working and simultaneously preparing for the arrival of her second child, Ethan, she and her family were tragically caught in the vast explosion that caused devastation across Beirut. Isaac, Sarah’s first born son, was killed. Trying to understand her grief, Sarah started writing a blog, and in the process, her words have resonated with others experiencing loss.

Writing helps me organize my thoughts because it’s, it’s a mess up here. There’s just so much going on in my head and it helps others relate to me, I think which in turn helps me because I found in these past few months, I’ve shut down a lot. And it’s through writing that I’m able to connect again. Because once if people can read how I feel, then that sort of opens up a door to be able to connect and talk.”

Here is the interview, both as a podcast (S3-Episode 16: Isaac) and a full transcript:


To Ms. Sarah Copeland, to her spouse Mr. Craig, and their beautiful family (Isaac in heaven and baby Ethan born in October, 2021), Bambi sends her heart… Thank you Ms. Copeland for sharing your story and for all what you did to Beirut and the Arab world (women’s rights/gender equality). Bambi is TERRIBLY sorry for your loss (your adorable Isaac is Beirut’s and our world’s loss too…).

To conclude this post, this Beirut man-made tragedy is still unaccountable, six months after the tragedy. Doesn’t Isaac deserve justice?! As a reminder, a female engineer is still jailed (scapegoat?) whilst all the Lebanese politicians, up to the high levels (President’s office) who knew about the ammonium nitrate for years are enjoying their freedom. The underlying tragedy of Lebanon is that its justice system is both corrupt and politicized. Of course, no other country is immune to this, including us here… and including UN tribunals (i.e., the disappointing verdict about the assassination of former PM Mr. Hariri). Anyhow, Lebanon is sadly a world leader now with regard to systemic corruption. Perhaps related to this, it is also sadly at the end of the bottom list when it comes to quality of life ranking (Bambi thanks Paul for sharing, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/quality-of-life-rankings). Of note, perhaps Bambi’s eyes missed it, but Venezuela does not appear to be among the list of countries in the link above. Regardless, we know how bad its situation is from its 2020 reported inflation of 3000 percent (https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/02/12/21/venezuela-reports-2020-inflation-of-3000-percent). The question is which country is worse when it comes to hyperinflation, Venezuela or Lebanon? Perhaps it is still Venezuela’s economic model fiasco (yes, extreme socialism can kill entrepreneurship, destroying economies)? However, Venezuelans of Lebanese origins who escaped to Beirut are unsure of the answer, still wondering which is worse than which (https://www.ft.com/content/a7137fa5-0ff4-4248-8814-deb0b5a9e4dd)… One thing is sure: Lebanon seems to be doomed when it comes to intellectual and military sovereignty on its own land (Iran’s hegemony regionally and its related Hezbollah’s influence internally).

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