When South Sudan finally became independent after a 56-year struggle and a bitter secession from Sudan on July 9, 2011, it was a dream come true for many.
Roughly the size of the UK and Germany combined, the new country had its own passport, as well as football and basketball teams singing a national anthem under their own flag.
One of the most diverse nations in Africa, with more than 60 languages and dozens of ethnic groups, the creation of South Sudan was hailed as a way out of decades of strife.
But, 10 years after independence, visitors to the capital Juba will see a country suffering from underdevelopment and extreme poverty – the direct result of five years of civil war that stymied the transformation of the young country into a viable state.
On this week's Beyond the Headlines, Ahmed Maher travelled to South Sudan to see how the world's youngest country has fared during a decade of independence and investigate what the future holds for a nation brought to the brink by years of brutal conflict.
He sees the impact of a famine, a civil war and of corruption, and speaks to those leading the nation and promising a brighter future, as well as ordinary South Sudanese, to hear their reflections a decade after their country was finally born.