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.


7 comments:

RORI said...

Irrational Hope will come true; there will be a glorious Sudan once again.

Tagreed Abdin said...

Amen to that, my friend. Amen to that.

cordonedsudan said...

We should be a God loving nation, not a God fearing one.
Good post!

Tagreed Abdin said...

Glad you liked it:-) We love and fear Him. All good.

Ubuntu Has said...

Hello Tagreed, thank you for your intelligent and compassionate blog! So glad I stumbled upon it. I am sure it is vexing to be questioned so often about your choices, but maybe the hostility towards you is symptomatic of the questioner's own guilt over not being able to make the difficult choice that you and your family made when you moved back to sudan. Or if I was your interrogator, I would truly be interested in hearing about your thoughts and experiences that lead you to move back, about the challenges you face every day, the nitty gritty of managing job and family
the safety nets of the west and as you so eloquently put it in one of your posts how you manage to harden your heart to the harsh realities of the less fortunate so your heart doesn't break into pieces every day. And in your blog you answer many of the above by giving a very honest account of your trials and joys, while still having so much empathy with people facing even greater hurdles.

Being one of the sudanese who have lived their whole
lives outside Sudan, I reconciled myself in my twenties to being a citizen of the world, only to find myself re-
that concept now with the birth of my children and the strengthening of nationalist and ethnic movements all over the world. I still do subscribe to the notion that we as humans can do good wherever we are and make new homes away from home. This is in no way a critisism of patriotic feelings or of the commendable imperative to do good for your own people.

Another thing you mentioned is that those of us choosing to stay away have chosen the easy way out,
and yes that is true and it gives many of us a lot of grief and guilt, specially when we read and hear about
the dire conditions in our country. But sometimes I think that we are also paying a certain price for our choice to live in a democratic society, which entails having to do much on your own, no family network or support, no domestic help etc. So in a different way of looking at it, you can also choose to live where people have rights and contribute to building that society, despite the fact that it is not the land of your ancestors. But that brings us back of the dilemma of who will fix Sudan????

I have no answers, and again thank you for a great blog and if you ever find yourself in Stockholm, you are very welcome to come for some shai and wanasa!

Ubuntu Has said...

Hello Tagreed, thank you for your intelligent and compassionate blog! So glad I stumbled upon it. I am sure it is vexing to be questioned so often about your choices, but maybe the hostility towards you is symptomatic of the questioner's own guilt over not being able to make the difficult choice that you and your family made when you moved back to sudan. Or if I was your interrogator, I would truly be interested in hearing about your thoughts and experiences that lead you to move back, about the challenges you face every day, the nitty gritty of managing job and family
the safety nets of the west and as you so eloquently put it in one of your posts how you manage to harden your heart to the harsh realities of the less fortunate so your heart doesn't break into pieces every day. And in your blog you answer many of the above by giving a very honest account of your trials and joys, while still having so much empathy with people facing even greater hurdles.

Being one of the sudanese who have lived their whole
lives outside Sudan, I reconciled myself in my twenties to being a citizen of the world, only to find myself re-
that concept now with the birth of my children and the strengthening of nationalist and ethnic movements all over the world. I still do subscribe to the notion that we as humans can do good wherever we are and make new homes away from home. This is in no way a critisism of patriotic feelings or of the commendable imperative to do good for your own people.

Another thing you mentioned is that those of us choosing to stay away have chosen the easy way out,
and yes that is true and it gives many of us a lot of grief and guilt, specially when we read and hear about
the dire conditions in our country. But sometimes I think that we are also paying a certain price for our choice to live in a democratic society, which entails having to do much on your own, no family network or support, no domestic help etc. So in a different way of looking at it, you can also choose to live where people have rights and contribute to building that society, despite the fact that it is not the land of your ancestors. But that brings us back of the dilemma of who will fix Sudan????

I have no answers, and again thank you for a great blog and if you ever find yourself in Stockholm, you are very welcome to come for some shai and wanasa!

Tagreed Abdin said...

Thank you, Ubuntu. One thing I am sure of is that to love Sudan is to know heartache. I do not begrudge those that left - because "easy" is relative. I understand your reasons and the dilemma you face. In the end, we make our choices, live with them - and, as you said - do the best we can given the circumstances. Will take you up on your invite if I ever get the chance to visit Europe, insha Allah.