Yesterday the State Department issued a statement ordering departure of all non-emergency US government personnel in Sudan, which means if I was still living in Sudan I was going to be forced to evacuate. I am glad I am not living there anymore, but I am worried about my friends and colleagues who are still there.
I wrote the following text six months ago before I left Sudan but I never published it because I didn’t want to get in trouble or jeopardize our last days in the country. I wanted to have a smooth exist and never look back.
Here is the text, after I heavily censored it to make it politically correct so it won’t put me, my husband or friends in danger, but I wish I could tell you more about the place… I wish!
Even though this text was written few months ago, mainly during the regional Arab Springs, unfortunately it still describe the situation in Sudan and maybe it will always be news.
“It is been more than a year since we arrived to Sudan, and as we get ready to move to another country I look back to see what I have learned from living in this country. All I know is I cannot wait to leave this very sad place.
To describe Sudan I can say its ‘middleastafrica” because it is in Africa but it is more Middle Eastern than African.
Sudan suffer from a deep identity crisis, almost like most countries in the Middle East. Where religion and ethnicity are more important for the citizens than their loyalty to their country.
Sudan used to be the biggest African country -until July 2011 when the south seceded- which could have been strategically and economically a strength that Sudanese people should have taken advantage of to improve their economy and live better, but no, they opted for war and insecurity. Unfortunately Sudanese in majority, especially in Khartoum, are Arab-wannabe, which sound really ironic, since Arabs themselves are not very proud of being Arab anymore. You can see that Arabs nowadays are working hard to earn the Arab-pride back with the Arab-Spring, to which Sudan is not even close to earn, with its eternal summer, that looks more like a long windy winter; obviously Sudanese didn’t get the memo….
Since I arrived here in 2010 nothing has changed. The road are still not paved and people still die from malaria. The resentment against the West is still predominant, but of course Sudanese dream of moving to the West, because it’s a better place. Sudan is definitely not becoming more tolerant when it comes to religion and ethnicities. Salafis, which is an extremist sect, is trying to gain more power. In 2008 Salafis assassinated Jhon Grandville a USAID employee because he was partying on new years eve. The Sudanese government arrested the killer, but the latter managed (somehow) to escape from prison.
We have been in Sudan one year, five months, two weeks, I have no idea how many hours and minutes, but who is counting….
As we get ready to leave in few months I wonder if I will miss anything here.
There is one thing I am going to miss for sure; the friends I made, but this I will keep for ever.”
God protect my friends, and all the US government personnel working for peace and to make this world a better place.