Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Sudan, My Revolution

Over the course of 23 years, we have listened to our friends and relatives ask how we tolerate living in Sudan and why we don't leave. Our standard reply is that things will get better and we want to be part of building our country and helping our people achieve better living standards.

Our replies were always tinged in expressed or unexpressed resentment. What have you done for this country? Why are you complaining? You took the easy route. You chose a country that offers you dignity, livelihood and freedom. It was not your country, you have no birthright, your claim to it is selfish, perhaps gained, perhaps earned. You chose it, do not begrudge me my choice, do not deny me this deep love I have for my homeland.

What has Sudan given me?
In my time, it provided me with a decent education. It allowed my parents to provide for us which was not easy but they made it work. As time has passed, we have watched our lives crumble, our standards deteriorate, our people go hungry.

What has Sudan given us?
It has given us our home, our identity, our generosity and empathy. Yet, now, we witness the moral decay of our people, the greed and selfishness of desperation. The craftiness of the jungle, justifying corruption and stealing, in all its forms, as the litany, "survival of the fittest" resounds louder than the call to prayer. The failure of Sudan as a country is undeniable, while the failure of the Sudanese is open to dispute. We are good people. Warm and loving. Passionate and caring. Loud and proud. We are not Arabs; we are not Africans; we are Sudanese. We are a unique blend of activism and fatalism; realism and superstition; bravery and cowardice; progression and prudishness and primitiveness.
We love the old, we love the new; we love, we hate, we cry and we laugh.
We are everyone and we are no one. We combine every ethnic race but we are similar to none.

I cannot afford to lose hope for my country. I cannot survive without hope for my countrymen. This revolution gives my irrational hope, substance. This revolution brings my dreams closer with every voice that rises. This revolution has made me proud of my youth who bring drinking water to the riot police who stand over them. Made me proud of our elders who joined their sons and daughters on the streets because they remember a better time, and they too have dreams. Proud of the women who sat themselves down in the middle of the road, in plastic chairs and all their traditional glory to demonstrate that mothers and daughters have no fear, in this country of strong and outspoken women.

This is our country. We sing this in our national anthem. We want our country back, we want to live, we want to thrive, we want to work, we want to write, we want to speak our minds, we want our dignity, our freedom, our rights. Sudan Revolts is the will of the people, and the famous verse says that Destiny must comply. We are a God fearing nation and we know that we will overcome and Sudan will belong to the people once again.