Entry #2: Epiphany

Originally posted on Rant Central Station:

If you own a computer or a smartphone and an internet service, you’ve probably seen the “Sara ElHassan – Video Response”.

Now, like most of you, by the end of the video I was screaming “YASSSS” at the top of my lungs and ready to remake the clip into a Beyonce video. But then a few days passed, allowing the reality of it to percolate into my brain and I was beset with sadness.

More so, I was angry. Angry for her anger. Angry that the things she said still have to be said.

The video also opened my eyes to the fact that unless you fit a certain mold, you can never be comfortable with how you look in Sudan. A mold that most of the time, contradicts the African nature of our features.

While the aim is to teach girls that their worth is not and will…

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Entry #1: A tired topic I’m tired of.

Originally posted on Rant Central Station:

As a community, we value each other.

We value each other so much to the point where we let each other’s opinions dictate our way of life.

Introducing: “kalam alnas“.

If you’re a Sudanese person, you’ve heard this phrase a lot.

If you’re a Sudanese woman, you’ve heard this phrase way too much.

And if you’re a Sudanese anything, you’re inevitably and most unfortunately, going to use this phrase at some point of your life.

Where does it apply? Everywhere. It’s the test everything you do has to pass through, it’s the decider of who you associate with, where you go and how you dress.

It’s inescapable. Wherever you go in this vast African paradise, you’ll see nothing but the four walls of “kalam alnas” staring at you, as you stare back in helpless dis-contempt.

Now, let’s imagine something else dictated what you do. Perhaps the religion the majority…

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Sudan Hub

Sudan hub is a website aiming to portray Sudan in a more positive light by highlighting the natural beauty and wonders which are often misrepresented by the media and the world at large. Sudan is a unique and mysterious place full of history, tradition, diversity like no other country in Africa or the world. Sudan hub is attempting to shed light on that mystery by providing a central hub of information all in one place ranging from History; from the Nubian empires to modern day Sudan, Culture; photos, documentaries, animations, music, facebook groups/pages, Information for Visitors; Visa, flights, embassy info and contact details, Info About Khartoum; Semi travel guide from accommodation, food and dining, medical, entertainment and sports. Sudan hub also wants to break down the gap barriers between the older generation and the youth, as well as those in diaspora and those living in Sudan by showcasing a culture that is accepting and all encompassing to all Sudanese creating a feeling of unity and pride.

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Nas with Notepads- Sara Elhassan

Originally posted on Al Remix:

I wish there wasn’t a reason for this incredible young lady to write a response, but she did an impeccable job!

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A Collection point for used oil in the capital Khartoum

Originally posted on World News:

Young men work at a collection point for recycled oil in the capital Khartoum

Young men work at a collection point for used oil in the capital Khartoum. The poor state of Sudan’s economy has forced many families to look for alternative ways to earn money. Young men cycle around Khartoum, scavenging for unused oil collected from vehicles during maintenance. They collect the oil into small plastic containers on their bicycles and ride them to collection points in the city’s suburbs

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Kenya to grant honourary citizenship to child of Warrap State governor born there

Originally posted on Saakam!:

A PS'd screenshot of KTN Newsdesk as they would have broken the news

A PS’d screenshot of KTN Newsdesk as they would have broken the news

The four-month old son of Warrap State Governor Madam Nyandeng Malek is set to be awarded honorary citizenship of Kenya by the Municipality of Nairobi for being the 100th child of a South Sudanese senior government official born  in  one of the private hospitals Nairobi in this year.

As the only serving female governor in South Sudan, Madam Nyandeng Malek recently gave birth to the honourable baby boy, her blessed fifth child, in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi some 1400 km away from her workplace (an exercise regularly carried out by other Warrap residents at their own home, clinics or even out in the field whilst harvesting at this time of year).

The cost of one birth in Kenya at a private clinic such as this would have funded (according to studies) the development of maternity facilities…

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Emmanuel Jal: Keeper of the Key

Originally posted on I'm George, and this is my blog:

Last night I went to see Emmanuel Jal performing at the Forge arts centre in Camden. As gigs go, it was an exciting performance in a space which at times seemed too small to contain all the energy that was raring to burst out. Support came from members of his backing band who have their own solo careers: vocalists Tanika Charles and Clinton ‘Roachie’ Outten, and Afrobeats artist and multi-instrumentalist Silvastone. Emmanuel’s own set consisted mostly of songs from his latest album, the Key.

Emmanuel and band soundchecking

Emmanuel and band soundchecking

I’ve known Emmanuel for quite some time; over 10 years, now I think of it. I was one of the first journalists here to help relay the heartbreaking yet uplifting account of his escape from life as a child soldier to the world (that would be in 2003, if my memory serves me well). I was at Westminster with my…

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Man stabs Sudan presidential guards to death

Originally posted on D O N V E L L Y:

Man kills two guards with a knife outside presidential palace in Khartoum before being shot dead by soldiers.

An attacker with a knife has killed two soldiers guarding a gate at Sudan’s presidential palace before being shot dead by other troops, the president’s press secretary has said.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was not in Khartoum’s Republican Palace when the attack took place on Saturday, Emad Ahmed told Reuters.

“A little while ago someone attacked soldiers who guarded one of the gates of the palace and [the soldiers] fired on him,” Ahmed said.

“[He] did not respond to calls to stop and was shot dead. Two soldiers were killed during the attack by someone who seemed to be suffering from a mental illness,” he said, adding that an investigation was under way.

Bashir was at his official residence in another part of the capital at the time of the attack, the press secretary…

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Northern Sudan

Originally posted on Detouring:

Our preparations for entry into Sudan were neither straightforward nor particularly cheap, and so we were relieved to have finally made it over the land border from Egypt. Once safely in however, more admin followed with the mandatory foreigner registration process at the local police station. There was some confusion during this final phase, between the word ‘tourist’ and the word ‘terrorist’, which is a distinction we were eager to clarify. With some rather crude charade skills we managed to iron out the language problems, assuring the police Captain that we represented the former, and wished to stay very much clear of the latter.

Pleased to have made the first kilometre of Sudan.

The desert roads of Sudan have turned the heat on us once again, and as we pedal through a region which would appear to experience rainfall once every Haley’s comet, our bikes are regularly creaking under the…

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A Speech from the London Celebration of the 50 Anniversary Celebrations of the October Revolution

October Revolution…50 years on

Salam. My name is Ashraf Nageeb Khalifa. And it is a real privilege to get up and speak to you hear today. I would like to start off by saying that the views and opinions I have represent only myself, and not any political party, or youth group, or movement or even Sudanese youth in general.

Also i believe I am an ideal person to speak to you all today, for several reasons. Firstly because I am Sudanese. Secondly because unlike a lot of the youth i actually do try and attend Sudanese events, functions and conferences and try to get involved. Thirdly and i believe most importantly because of the year that I was born. There is a very important generation in Sudanese history, I like to refer to them as generation X. Those born on or after 1989, as we are the generation that has not seen any other Sudan.

As a Sudanese that has not grown up or lived in Sudan or studied in Sudan I was never taught the history of Sudan in great depth, and always struggle to fit into the sudanese cultural narrative. I always feel like an outsider both whenever I am in Sudan or within the Sudanese community in general. And it think this stems from a lack of cohesive sudanese identity which can encapsulate everyone. That is why it seems much easier to splinter and separate into divisive groups and the spread of what i like to refer as toxicisity.

So in other ways i want to acknowledge that in certain respects dont feel fully qualified to talk about the subject, especially not in any great deapth or details, unlike many of you here who can remember the events clearly as well as many of the changing faces of sudan first hand.

But i would like to share with you some of my own thoughts and reflections in my own capacity as a strong

Anyways back to the main point of today. It has now been 50 years since the revolution which toppled the military democratic government of Ibrahim Abbod. The october revolution.

The Ibrahim Abood years especially when compared directly with the omar elbashir years, i have heard described as the golden years. I dont know exactly why they ate refered to as the golden years, and i dont know that much about his policies or how he governed Sudan.

I have recently seen two documentaries about Abbod which simply amazed me.

The first was the documentary was the one of Ibrahim Aboods visit to the US. JFK not only invited him for a state visit but sent airforce one personaly to come and pick him up. Him and his wife.

The second was the documentary of Ibrahim Aboods visit to the UK. Not only did Prince Philip come to collect him from the airport and bring him to paddington, but queen elizabeth was standing and waiting for him to arrive to the station.

These two documentaries has really opened my eyes to how well respected Sudan was on the national stage, and how great a country we were. It also shows how we were viewed by the superpowers of the world.

There is also one other thing I know about Abood, and that is the rather infamus anecdote. The story of Abbood being informed of his close friend being in hospital and his response upon hearing the time was that the gafeer would not let him in because it was past visiting time.

My message for you today is probably different for many of the other messages you will be hearing today. I thing we should look to the past to see how far we have fallen. We need to reclaim our sense of self, sense of identity, sense of self respect before it is too late and we lose it all.

Also i have been asked many times why the youth generation is never represented at any of the sudanese community events. And it is a question i find myself thinking about alot. I believe it is because we are not a very good society for adapting to change. It feels like the older generation does not want to change, or take into account the views or needs of the youth. And more importantly the divisive, gosippy, judemental and fragmented nature of what we have become does not really present a welcoming environment.

I believe that Sudan has become broken but there is still the potential to reclaim our glory. We need to find our sense of Sudanese Identity that not only takes into account our diversity and differences, but is unique to us. We have to reclaim our culture and history and not allow outside influences to dictate to us how we should think, dress or behave. We have to learn how to able to compromise to both the needs of all sudanese, but also take into account their issues, problems and grievances and address them in a way that is fair and just. The older generation has to get involved in meaningful discussion and conversation with the youth and see things from their perspective and what changes they want.

50 years ago the people of sudan marched out into the street demanding a change, and successfully challenged and over threw the government. And i feel like 50 years on there is that same vibe, of disolutionment, and despair, hopelessness and frustration, that it seems we are quickly reaching a breaking point.

We need to be open to change, but more importantly i believe u need to be the change u want to see in the world.

By: Ashraf Nageeb Khalifa

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