What do a Sudanese Mom Search the Internet for?

Originally posted on omaimae:

412px-George_Goodwin_Kilburne_Writing_a_letter_home_1875Sudanese like other people of this planet, search for many things, some are really important researches and of course there are other things that are also important, …,etc!
For me I am a Sudanese, I search every day about jobs for Home Based or Remote Arabic Web Content Writers. Secondly in order come searches for guides, guide to write, guide to sew, guide to solve children problems, guide to education, guide to learn, and a lot of self learning projects and subjects. Other times I research about home remedies for health issues, skin and hair care. I also search about easy and quick recipes that is good for old people, toddlers and people with health issues.
I search for uses of a word, or a meaning of another, film reviews, book reviews, and names of actors, actresses and scientists or doctors.
Some times I search for good erotic books and…

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Alsarah & The Nubatones – Soukura

Originally posted on Ourstorian:

Alsarah is a Sudanese born singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist who resides in Brooklyn, NY. The song “Soukura” is from Silt, her first album with the Nubatones, a group she recently formed.

Check out Alsarah’s website here.

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If walls could speak…

Originally posted on BhaskarSudan:


The present palace as you can see from the Blue Nile used to be the Governor-General’s palace. General Charles George Gordon who was the then Governor General, was decapitated on the steps of a stairway in the northwestern corner of this very palace. With the Mahdist revolt, the British had decided to abandon Sudan. But General Gordon would not give up. The Mahdi had issued orders to prevent the General being killed, but unfortunately two days before his 52nd birthday, on 26th January 1885, General Gordon was beheaded. The motley rescue expedition arrived on 28th January 1885, two days too late.

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The Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Tagelsir Ali, is dead, the country’s embassy confirmed on Friday in Abuja.

The Media Advisor to the embassy, Mr Mohammed Abdulrahman, said that Ali, 66, died at about 1a.m. on Friday at the National Hospital, Abuja.

“He had malaria; there were some complications and he passed away around 1 a.m. early this morning.

“There is a Presidential jet coming by 5 p.m. to take the remains to Sudan for burial.

“He was 66 years old. He loved working in Nigeria and had zeal to develop the bilateral relationship between Sudan and Nigeria and was able to stretch himself very well,” he said.

Abdulrahman said that the embassy had received many visitors since the diplomat’s demise was announced, adding that a condolence register had been opened for him at the embassy.

-NewsDay Nigeria


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(Psuedo)Sudanse Communities Abroad

I was born and raised outside Sudan.

Actually, I was 22 years old when I first visited Sudan. But I live in a country where Sudanese presense is more than just noticeable. They are EVERYWHERE. No… really. No matter where you go, odds are, you will meet/see/interact with a Sudanese person. Example? so I go for an interview at a FRENCH company… I get interviewed by a Sudanese young man. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t bother me; they are hard workers and are often manifestations of #SudaneseExcellence

Growing up, I did not exist to the Sudanese community who lives in this Gulf monarchy. I liked it better that way. I didn’t have Sudanese friends, kept my relationship with my distant cousins to a bare minimum, Eid greetings and what not. I avoided Sudanese women in the mall, avoided Sudanese guys in cafes. I avoided anything Sudanese that could talk.

And the reason was simple. All Sudanese people abroad, from all age groups, and all genders GOSSIP so much. And not the gossip-over-coffee-about-what’s-new, it’s the spread-rumors-to-as-many-Sudanese-people-as-possible-till-it-get-to-the-subject kind of gossip. GROSS.

Gossiping about other Sudanese people is CENTRAL to the Sudanese community abroad, and everyone does it. Everyone wants to know who is dating who, who broke up with who, who was at the club, and who was wearing a skanky dress at the wedding. Daughters aiding their moms with gossip from what they see around them at university or school, you know, places moms can’t reach, so Sudanese youth would be at ease and act like they want. Guys bragging about who they slept with, and who sent them nudes.

Now, just to be fair, of course not ALL Sudanese people are like that. But because of the structure of Sudanese societies abroad, you will either be the topic of gossip, or you will be the one doing the gossiping. So the best solution? Let them know NOTHING about you.

So, what is this “Sudanese Societies Abroad Structure” that I am talking about?

Sudanese people seem to kind split into three groups:

  1. The proliferating kind: those are the one who want EVERY other Sudanese resident to act like them. Be a member of their group. Show up to their charity events – the ones that ask us to donate money and goods that we never know where they really go. These peeps are in bed with the government, in bed with the opposition, and in bed with everyone else in between. God forbids you don’t want to be part of this group, or don’t want to take part of their activity. You will be shunned; you will be the outcast, the subject of gossip and hate. And mind you that they are quite influential, so I guess if you want to survive, maintain social relationships with them as individuals, excuse yourself on case-by-case basis from taking part in their activities. Hate yourself for having to be on their good side and allowing them to rule your life more or less. Then, when you are strong enough, isolate yourself and expect to hear things like: “She/he thinks they are too good for her/his Sudanese brothers and sisters” or “He/she wants people to think they are not Sudanese, uh! Ashamed of his/her own people!”
  2. The popular kind: These are often part of the proliferating kind, but they also often hate them. I guess they are just pragmatic. They are supposed to be the cool ones. They are often young, and most young Sudanese people in the same country want to be part of their crew. They are supposed to simulate a “typical” Sudanese group; fun guys and girls, with a favorite chilling spot. But because they are often loud and noticeable, they start getting a lot of attention and become center of gossip by the proliferators. So, they kind of try to get under the wing of the proliferators, to protect themselves, And next thing you know… they are the representatives of Sudanese youth abroad, they become source for gossip on other Sudanese youngsters, etc. etc.
  3. The chameleons: They are the ones who adopt the culture of the host country completely: dresscode, language, accent. They avoid admitting to being even remotely Sudanese, and try to assimilate to everything exclusively related to the host society. It is true that identity is flexible and you are to identify yourself as whoever you want to be. But, when you start looking down at us “Sudanese” residents, making fun of us. Referring to us in a derogatory “them”… then we have a problem. The minute you start making your mother in Sudan wear Abaya, because her Toub is too “African” or isn’t “real hijab”… then we have a real problem.

I guess what pains me the most, is that regardless to what kind you are, you will be negatively judged. But they will obviously smile to your face. The hypocrisy is real, I’m telling you.

Of course, there is the rest of us. The ones living on the margins, and are on good terms with everyone. Which constitutes a good number of a Sudanese community abroad.

Growing up, the Sudanese community where I lived seemed to be absolute extremes: The “westernized” open minded kind, and the forced-hijab-at-8 years old kind. And I was stuck in between, with my local primary education, American university degree, semi-conservative parents, and sweetly saturated household with Sudanese culture. I also had my extended family with me, my grandparents lived right next door. Aunts with their families living no more than 30 minutes drive away from me. I had a strong sense of the Sudanese society that seemed more similar to the Sudanese community in Sudan than the Sudanese society abroad. So, I never felt the need to mingle with this weird-ass, gossip-loving, self-centered society.

They had nothing to do with people in Sudan. Really. I don’t care if they send their kids to the Sudanese school, or if they wear Eimma or Toub. Their behavior is not even a mixture of Sudanese behavior and host community behavior, it is something so exclusively theirs. They are far more reserved, they think as one mass, depending on which group they belong to. Yeah…

And I understand that Migrant communities face issues of integeration and identity when they are aborad. But then comes the disconnect of the second generation. Sons and daughters of immigrants, like myself, are often confused by what is compatible to this new hybrid identity and what isn’t. The parents think that they haven’t changed. They believe that they have an extension of their homeland community in this Sudanese community abroad. But to me for example, I know I am a hybrid, a result of all the experiences I went through, as second generation Sudanese, born and raised abroad. And thus, I have to deal with, let’s say, things that I am allowed to do in Sudan, that are absolute taboos while living abroad. And to my parents it is clear as day; because, “people here don’t understand” is somehow a legitimate argument to restrain expression. But to me, I’ll have to wade and fuddle till I find answers.

This was exactly what happened. I was usually mistaken to be part of different groups of the Sudanese community in this country, depending on who is asking. So, those who met me at university were so sure I will be the life of the party next weekend. Others never missed a chance to invite me to talk in their Qura’an memorizing session. I was confused. The Sudanese community seemed to follow a binary: you are either good or bad. You are either in or out.

That was overwhelming to an 18 or 19 years old, who was not only questioning things like the rest of young people her age: you know, thinking about things like religion, and boys and what not. But also had to figure out where she belonged.

So, I went on a trip of self-discovery. Of course, I didn’t even realize I was going on that trip. It was nothing like Eat, Pray, Love (the book was a complete waste of time, and the movie was even worse btw)

I tried out almost all the crews, the religious ones, the party animals, the “Soudana foug” type, the rebellious-with-no-cause type, the Wahmaneeen/West-Coast-represent type. And I forced myself to fit in, I had little parts in common with each group. But everything had to be clear cut to them… all or nothing.

So, I never really fit in… and I was devastated. I had to explain why I don’t have Sudanese friends, why I’ve never been to Sudan. I had to constantly explain myself.

I hated the Sudanese community, and not only just for gossip now. I hated it because it made no room for me to be everything at once. It could not accommodate for the fact that I can go to an American university, and not be a representative of American foreign policy. That I can criticize Sudan, and not be “brain washed” by the “Zionists” or the “communists”. I hated the Sudanese community, because it never made hating it a viable option for me.

I admit. I still hate this Sudanese community abroad.


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Sudan Technology Innovation Center (STIC)

Sudan Technology Innovation Center (STIC)

This is a proposal to create a sustainable non-governmental organization
To act as:
1- Incubators for new technologies and inventions;
2- Workshops for formulating technological solutions.
To provide the following:
1- Technical assistance;
2- Research information;
3- Administrative support;
4- Legal protection;
5- Financial loans;
6- Promotion & marketing;
7- Governmental coordination;
8- Site & logistics.


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Airpower and Control

A ‘New Lease on Empire?’ – Air power and colonial control in the Sudan, 1916-1936.

Several years ago I wrote a dissertation which I found both immensely interesting and rewarding. Having moved house I recently found a copy, and reading through I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the use of airpower over the last 20 years in the Middle East.

Here’s a quote from my original preface;

“This study seeks to assess the role of the R.A.F. in the Sudan as an instrument of colonial policing in the period 1916-1936. The origins, development, application, and effectiveness of air policing has been examined, in addition to; the relationship between the Sudanese civil authorities, ranging from the Governor General to District Commissioners, and the R.A.F. authorities. Themes such as the indigenous response to air policing, the moral and material effect of air action, and limitations upon air power have also been explored in order to quantify the success of the air arm as a ‘New Lease on Empire’.”

Throughout the work I covered the development of air policing, application of air power in the Sudan, and an evaluation of Air Power in the Sudan.

If I can find an hour or two I’ll scan and upload it!

An RAF operational map of the Upper Nile Province, 1927.


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Minaret by Leila Aboulela

minaretDate Read: July 21st 2014

Published: 2005

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Pages: 288

The Blurb

With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich Arab families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years earlier, Najwa, then an aristocratic Westernized Sudanese, could have never imagined this new life. She was a student at the University of Khartoum but her focus in life was on fashionable clothes, pop music, and parties. When a political coup forces Najwa’s family into exile in London, she soon finds herself orphaned and completely alone. For the first time in her life, Najwa turns to the solace and companionship among the women at the mosque, and when she adopts the hijab, she begins to see the world anew. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer and they find a common bond in her newfound faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love. Written with directness, simplicity and force, Minaret is a stunning and insightful novel about one woman’s journey toward spiritual peace.

 Review – ★★★ (3 stars)

I loved Leila Aboulela’s short story ‘Museum‘ which won the first Caine Prize in 2000. I read ‘Museum‘ from the anthology, Opening Spaces – Contemporary African Women’s Writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it, mainly because Aboulela is Sudanese and writes about Khartoum. We rarely read or hear about Sudan on the African literature scene, so Leila Aboulela’s writing excites me!

I preferred reading the beginning of Minaret: Najwa was born into an upper-class Muslim family where her father worked with the president of Sudan, and her mother came from a rich family. Najwa and her twin brother who are very secular compared to other Muslim youth went to the best private schools of Khartoum and the best university in the nation. The family had several luxurious cars, superfluous food,  partied with their rich friends regularly and enjoyed vacations in several countries, including London where they owned a townhouse. Life was great for Najwa’s family.

Since all was well for Najwa and her family, she was very oblivious to the fact that Sudan was a very poor nation with majority of the citizens under the poverty line and with a government- which her father was associated with, that was very corrupt. Things turned upside down for Najwa and her family when Sudan faced a coup d’etat, hence her family- excluding her father, were forced to escape to their townhouse in London. The storyline cuts through 10-15 years later and after a series of unfortunate events, Najwa who was once a rich, secular university student becomes a lonely, poor housemaid. As a housemaid, Najwa finally starts to take Islam seriously by wearing a hijab and going to the Mosque to pray daily.

The storyline towards the middle of Minaret gets a bit annoying. Najwa (now a housemaid), who is now about 40 years old falling in love with Tamer – her employer’s son, was a bit strange to me. Why is this 40 year old in love with a 19 year old university student? I found Tamer to be very judgmental as he felt he was a better Muslim than everyone. Towards the middle of the story, I realized Najwa was a little too naiive for my liking. Her fate was very sad as she was orphaned quite early due to political instability in Sudan, but I didn’t find Najwa to be a strong Muslim woman I could learn from. Surely, she had her strengths- she had a calm spirit, she was meek, she was very kind and regarded others’ feelings. Throughout the novel, she was trying to grow spiritually and was trying to become a better Muslim, but by the end of the novel I didn’t really see the depth of her growth. The conclusion of the novel seemed incomplete as well since Najwa’s character seemed stagnant. It was as though she was content being a housemaid and did not aspire to do anything better with her life or even go back to Sudan. I was quite disappointed that Najwa did not want more for herself.

Leila Aboulela is a great writer. I loved the calmness and simplicity of her writing in this novel. This book made me appreciate the Muslim culture and the importance of women wearing hijabs and tobes. I just wish the love story between Tamer (the 19 year old) and Najwa was more realistic and didn’t take up 3/5ths of the storyline. But I still look forward to reading more of Aboulela’s books!

★★★ (3 stars) – Good book. I recommend it, I guess.


(I purchased this edition of the book from Barnes & Noble)


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1896-1908 Khedive’s Sudan Full Size Silver Medal – VALUED AT $200

Originally posted on RSAcollectables:

1896-1908 Khedive's Sudan Full Size Silver Medal 11896-1908 Khedive's Sudan Full Size Silver Medal

Source – Quinton Collectables  Sponsor – ParcelHub.co.za

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Let us Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the October 1964 Sudanese Revolution

Originally posted on Thus Sudan:

Let us Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the October 1964 Sudanese Revolution

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

Despite the dearth and lack of what needs celebration and rejoice in the reign of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime led by the tyrant genocidal war criminal Omar al-Bashir, came the month of October with  promise of some hope after prolonged despair. October came boding us of the anniversary of the popular event that deserves joyful jubilation by all the people of Sudan. In light of the tragedies, woes and calamities of the senseless civil wars waged by the regime claims to be the protection of Islam and its application but widely known as the direct cause for the displacement that befell the citizens in Darfur and other regions where there does not seem any public event worthy of ovation. Nevertheless,   the emergence of the month of October brought about the remembrance of…

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