// Sudan protests
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« on: Sep 28, 2013 10:36 PM »

Assalamu alaykum,

I was going to post the below on Facebook, about this much maligned and underappreciated, beautiful Muslim country with a government not worth wiping your shoes on.

"Who feels like scrolling past another yawn-inducing Facebook status about some African/MiddleEastern country with the usual cliched photos of death and destruction?

Sudan is boring news. No one cares about that ancient nation on the Nile, because its hundreds of pyramids aren't as big as Egypt's, its laughing people are too sensible to be exotically Orientalized, they're too black to be 'Arab' and not black enough to be 'African', and there are no emotional documentaries about the simplicity of life in Khartoum. When bloodshed turns the dusty side streets of Umdurman red, when the yellow sun is shrouded in black smoke, and when the quiet baker that you bought bread from on Friday mornings has had his little shop burnt down - get someone to cover the story in a sentence in the corner of the Washington Post.

Let me tell you something that a bunch of monetary exchange numbers won't - Khartoum is known as the safest city in the world. You can walk around at midnight exploring the dark streets, and you'll drink tea with people who treat you like your family. The Sudanese are patient, resilient - they've lived through drought, military coups, stagnation in development, civil war and a government so ridiculous it's unbelievable, yet they simply grit their teeth and keep on going. The only thing that would bring this rage, these protests by a usually forcedly silent people, is that you literally cannot afford to stay alive anymore. 21 pounds, 40 pounds, a doubling in prices - this all means nothing to you when read in the New York Times. Bread, meat, water - imagine those three things taking up your entire miserable salary already, and now their prices have been doubled. People go to the streets not just because of a higher calling, they go because they know that being alive isn't worth much more than being shot to death.

Think about that."

This has been fermenting over the past few years as people get more and more frustrated - when you can't feed your children, that is really the straw that breaks the camel's back. The Sudanese are peaceable, wonderful, hospitable people in general, and these are perfectly respectable people who are protesting now, going out after the Friday prayers and being shot to death on the streets. Many of them are young people, in their teens and early twenties. Life was already cheap in a country where you eke out your survival daily - now, after the behavior of the Assad regime in Syria and the new one in Egypt, life is worthless. They've seen that they can kill as many people as they wish and the world will say not a word except in its own interest.

I'm so, so worried about this, the sectarianism and disorganization and media-twisting that may occur if this actually topples the regime. Please, please, please keep Sudan in your prayers. This could either be wonderful or terrible for the country, it depends how things go...



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Dont be sad...

« Reply #1 on: Sep 29, 2013 05:39 PM »

This is so touching. Inna lillah, wa inna ilaihi rajiun.

I didn't understand the harshness of their condition until I heard from my Sudanese colleague this afternoon when I asked him whether the riots have stopped.

"People are hunger, they can't survive, they can't buy food so they have no option [sic]." He came to Kenya beginning of this year for Msc and it is his first time to learn English language.

I was really touched. I could feel tears making their way as I read the article. I have seen people suffering from poverty in our villages back home, but this is far more gross.

"May Allah ease their hardship, and give them peace," was my prayer and will keep praying that for them.

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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