Where Am I?


(it’s in Africa. I know, who knew Africa has more than one country, right!)

I live in Sudan.

Or rather, its northern, slightly larger, meaner, newly separated Siamese twin.

No longer the land of a million square miles, but it is still the land of a million contradictions, a million excuses and reasons, a million degrees of heat and only 1 degree of separation between you, the sun, and any given Sudanese person.

I live in a twisted-hipster of nations, so committed to the counter culture movement that it willingly denounces anything remotely cultural. Here, irony and individuality work at inversely proportionate levels; while others are riding the multiracial multicultural wave (henceforth known as the Beige and Benneton Age), Sudan prides itself on stamping out anything close to diversity.

Politically, of course.

Culturally (whatever remnants politics has overlooked/failed to destroy), we’re… what are we? I don’t want to give the party line of “Sudanese people are so hospitable and kind and accommodating”… not to say that those things are untrue, I’m just tired of our people being poster children for the hospitality business. Also, it gives a really one-dimensional view of the Sudanese personality, and that is sad, limiting, and unnecessary.

Plus, I don’t think it’s right to be the spokesperson for a culture that I do not feel I totally represent. Besides the fact that my “foreign upbringing” has diluted my Sudanese-ness to a degree (which is not necessarily a bad thing), my internal jury is still out. Out on whether I can claim to be Sudanese; on whether I should claim to be Sudanese; on what it is to be Sudanese.

Some people might not like that. For me, I think there’s nothing wrong with questioning. Questions don’t make me a sell-out, or ashamed of my roots, they just make me curious. And open-minded. And unsure.

There’s nothing wrong with being unsure.

The above are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Sudanese people or the Diaspora at large.

Wa shukran.

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