Published in Muftah
I’ve been going through a technicolor brouhaha of emotions. We’re all experiencing these stages; first it was weightless elation, then suffocating worry, and now… doubt. You know that heavy doubt, like that Meryl Streep ‘Doubt’ that f’s with your head, putting cracks on your so called ‘sound judgement’. This doubt is all encompassing; whether #SudanRevolts will carry on and gain momentum, whether my passion will remain steady & I can keep a balance of my immediate priorities (work, family, school etc.) with THE priority of finally releasing Sudan from a 23 year coma, whether I can lower my inhibitions and have total faith in the youth, the old, and the in between of Sudan, and whether I can keep at bay the creeping tentacles of indifference.
But doubt in its own annoying way, is a saving grace. In doubt you question, when you question you gain answers, in the answers you find a truth, and in that truth you gain unbending faith.
Meaning, there is a reason why I hold reservations against groups such as ‘Girifna’ or ‘The Umma Party’, well actually ALL opposition parties. This does not mean we should overlook the personal sacrifice of the courageous young men and women of ‘Girifna’, who are, at this very moment, either being threatened, harassed, or jailed & tortured by the NISS. But I still maintain my reservations and critiques, because history shows that even the most pure of intentions can be corrupted and led astray, and if we hope for a new Sudan then we should be able to voice our opinions without the fear of being guilted or ridiculed. How are we to better ourselves if we do not have the courage to hold up a mirror to each other? And just the thought of the likes of Sadig al Mahdi or that psychopath El-Turabi coming near any seat of power has me break out in rage. Is that reason enough to fall for the comforts of sticking with the ‘better the devil you know?’ For some, yes, for others no, but for most I believe, they just want to live for tomorrow. And thats the thing we need to realize, especially those of us Sudanese living as expats. I was not raised in a dictatorship that stifled all my basic rights, I was raised on the ideals of a democracy, not perfect, but still a democracy where I enjoy an abundance of rights. So before we lose our isht over ‘Why are these people SO apathetic and lazy and damn SLOW with this revolution’ well we are dealing with abused victims of a society that has been told for the last twenty three years that they don’t deserve much, and that what they are suffering they should be thankful of and if not… well then you are just an ungrateful Kaafir. And its our job, nay, our duty to help these peeps over the shock of being exposed to light for the first time. Sudan as a whole has lived in the reality of those shadows on the wall for over two decades, so it should come to no surprise that many are hesitant at the fact that this is not reality, that those shadows are man made and fed by their fears.
So before you huff in exasperation and give up on the whole movement, take a moment, grab two seats, motion for Sudan to sit across from you, keep a fixed gaze, and repeat:
You deserve better
You are better than this
You need my devotion
She needs my devotion
He needs my devotion
They need my devotion
I give my devotion
I am devoted
And just as I reach my own cusp of finding no truth in my doubt I remember two days ago while I bathed my five year old niece. She was to go back on that day with her mother to Sudan, and I was sourly pissed at her having to go back to a failed state that offered a nonexistent chance of a future. Both mother and child had a non-Sudanese passports, the father can easily be brought over, so why go and lose time and effort? But my niece’s mother has an unnatural devotion to Sudan that I cannot dream of matching, or honestly comprehending. Its that type of devotion that is laced with madness & obsession. But I found my truth in #SudanRevolts as I scrubbed each body part of my niece. I couldn’t help but whisper to each soaped part a prayer; to not come to harm so that you would not have to go to any hospital or see any doctor, so that you wouldn’t be given the wrong diagnosis with expired medicine, so that you won’t be given valium just so you would stop crying but instead end up dying, so that you won’t have to waste your talented brain and end up paying a shitload for a below mediocre education, so that you won’t have to feel this much angst, pain and want in remembrance of those abroad, so that when you grow older and even after wearing the hijab you’d still get hackled and molested in Khartoum’s streets, so that you truly love your Deen instead of being told to do so while they shove down your throat memorizations of the Quran that you can recite but not understand, so that you don’t taste bitterness and lash out in recklessness, so that your eyes maintain the glow of curiosity and naïvety and never be dulled with hopelessness or apathy.
We each need a bit of that madness and obsession.
Because she needs our devotion. And how you show your devotion, whether being out in the streets, spreading word or just giving thought to the injustice to what is happening to Her, is a sign of a humane heart finally beating to the call…
Sudan needs our devotion.