By aida farah
Everyone raves on about the beauty of the world to me, from the beaches in Brazil, to the gardens all over France; but they forget the one place with true beauty: Sudan. Now I may be somewhat prejudice, but bare with me. My homeland is the land of the original Nubians, land of the Nile, and no one is focusing on the tragedy that is currently unfolding in its streets. Sudan has decades years of oppression under Omar Al-Bashir, the dictator who not only economically suppressed my people, but also tried to get rid of Sudan’s authentic culture. He pushed for a more Arabized Sudan, only fit for Sudanese with proximity to Arab culture, despite the fact that Sudan is not genetically homogenous. Each face that makes up Sudan is so unique in some way, so there really is not just one way to be Sudanese. From the Nubians, Zaghawa, the Nilotics, Sudan’s makeup is too big and beautiful to be concealed under the blanket of “Arab”. Since Sudan is so geographically unique, lying in between East and North Africa, people tend to try and group Sudan as culturally one or the other. But Sudan is its OWN. We have a culture so rich and beautiful, you cannot possible just try and throw Sudan into one pile or the other.
Al-Bashir’s agenda to turn Sudan into his Sudan and not the people’s Sudan turned dark. He committed ethnic cleansing against our own brothers and sisters in the South and West. He drained the South’s resources while killing men, raping women and turning our children into soldiers. And all for what? Because they did not fit his idea of what Sudan is? His disturbing idea of turning Sudan into an Arab country has held us back from so much. The Arab world mocks Sudan, calling us slaves and spitting on us all while they use us for their own benefit. But this was fine with Al-Bashir, he would kill his own people just to claim people who think they are above his own. Sudan failed its own people in the South by staying silent during their fight. We turned a blind eye to the atrocities happening to our own people, and at what price?
Al-Bashir was ousted, but his influence was not. His government put in Abdelfatah Al-Burhan, Bashir’s former vice president in power. But my people are too strong to let such ignorance go by. Within the span of 48 hours, the people of Sudan had ousted not one but TWO presidents. The strength of my people was seen all over, and could especially be seen within our women. Kandaka, which roughly translates to “queen” in Nubian, became a widely-used term during the Revolution. Strong, fearless women played a huge role in ousting Al-Bashir’s regime, and what makes being a Kandaka so special is that it is a step in bringing back Sudan’s original roots that were suppressed by Al-Bashir.
With Al-Bashir gone, Sudan’s future seemed full of promise and hope. Out with the old and in with the new, right? But the old is adamant to leave and refuses to help see Sudan become the great land it is meant to be. Former heads of Al-bashir’s regime, such as Abdelfatah Al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti have put their own selfish desires before the needs of the country and its people. Hemedti is better known for the military campaign that he led as general under Al-Bashir’s regime in Darfur. Hemedti actually comes from Darfur, and participated in a military campaign to kill his own people. He and his group called the janjaweed ruthlessly crushed the uprisings in the West (where Darfur is). The situation in Darfur got so bad with Hemedti and the Janjaweed, they committed such heinous crimes, that they became too much to control. They became monsters and no one could stop them. Like a rabid dog without a leash, the Janjaweed committed rape, murder, displaced hundreds, and so much more. The Rapid Support Forces were formed to counter the janjaweed, with Hemedti as their leader, but to no surprise their actions are just as evil.
How such a man, who blatantly showed how truly vile he is, and has no limits still kept power baffles me. He kept Al-Bashir’s wish of an Arabized Sudan and turned to the Arab nations immediately as allies instead of our African peers. The same Arab “allies” who exploited Sudan for years and see Sudan as inferior. The people of Sudan saw this dangerous repeated path and would not stand for it. Peaceful protest continued throughout Sudan but the Transitional Military Council, which is headed by Hemedti, was not having it. Just one day after Al-Burhan had met with officials from the UAE, the TMC under Hemediti’s order disrupted the peaceful protest outside the TMC headquarters by shooting the innocent, unarmed civilians, burning their tents, and raping men and women. This all took place during the Holy Islamic Month of Ramadan, just a day before anticipated celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Hemedti and his forces terrorized the country all with the backing of greedy, power-hungry Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE.
I don't think any Sudanese person can fully articulate the anger, sadness, and pride we all feel towards Sudan right now. We are witnessing the suffocation of the country we are so deeply connected to. A country full of such amazing people, people who would take their own shirt off their backs to keep others warm. People who would never dare close their door to others. People who urgently need the world in their time of distress, and that a world that has fallen silent. Our people are dying, our children are being forced to confront trauma at such a young age, and we feel so helpless.
I wish I could pray Sudan to its rightful state, just wash away all the pain my people have already gone through, but I can’t. All I can do is constantly post updates about Sudan, protest here, and pray non-Sudan people see and acknowledge what’s going on. But, as many of us know, it's pretty hard to make the world sympathize for a Black, predominantly Muslim country. What is happening in Sudan is not just a Sudani problem, it’s the world’s problem as well. Sudan may seem thousands of miles away and have no correlation to you, but it does. Sudanese people are everywhere, though you may not always notice. Silence during times of injustice is a win for the oppressor. I ask that you let the world see what is happening to our brothers and sisters and stir an awakening. Sudan should no longer be swept aside, we must reclaim our title as the people of the Nile and demand that the world see exactly who we are.
As a journalist, I aim to share every story that needs to be told. Stories of the mistreated, torn down, and those in power abusing their responsibilities.