What Do Sudanese Youngsters Think of Sudan?

28 Feb

Last night, as I was browsing the Sudanese blogosphere, trying to explore what other Sudanese people thought about their country, it occurred to me that I have never asked my eleven year-old sister what her opinion about Sudan was. Since I knew she was online (evident by the many forwards she was sending me at thirty-second intervals) I e-mailed her and asked her to tell me what she likes and dislikes about Sudan, and what are her general impressions about the country. Not ten minutes later, she replied, and her reply was not only funny and amusing, but, in my opinion very insightful! I copied and pasted her response exactly as she sent it to me via e-mail; here is what she had to say:

“hmm… what I think about it. ok ready? I think that if there were no relatives in Sudan no-one would go cuz thats the main parts of our visits… ok this is silly but about the societies in Sudan.. I think we shouldnt invite every single person we’ve known or ever knew to a party or wedding… and if we didnt they shouldnt whine or hold grudges .. its not like in highschool where there is a competiton about whos got the coolest parties sooo see I kinda hate that a wedding should be over 1000 ppl after some ppl were left out or not invited also huge prob: 1.TRAFFIC SUCKS all the ppl that r supposed to make u ”safe” give in 2 bribes.. 2. Gansta wannabes those ppl  they r soo cool making chaos all over sudan and ppl are not safe cuz there r thieves (do u even wanna COUNT how many bolts are on an average family’s door??) 3. Shahateen: (beggars) I feel rlly sorry 4 them ut the ppl who lie have they got no PRIDE?? and aren’t there any shelters or anything how can u leave them out like that?? and a big percentage of them are kids😦 3. EDUCATION: HUGE PROB …. first of all I dont like how the schools r separated like a school is boys only or girls only.. how will they interact when older when thay have never faced the situations arlier in their lives?? also im not sure but I think there r thieves and all that negative stuff cuz thay didnt get an education.. and BTW why do some ppl in Sudan dont kno how 2 speak English when the south ppl speak english(do they im not sure!!).. o yah the streets suck did I mention that? or is it just cuz of traffic control??  (didnt think ur 12 yr old sis could write so much? well there is MORE !!) Ok what I LOVE about Sudan are 1. the products and 2. The Shops !! LOL  seriously im not kiddin.. did u know a MANGO shop opened in Sudan yah I know… MANGO cool huh!! ok Dad opens the sudanese channels and i see the commercials and they r rlly good so they have got nice advertising also now … everything big like ariel, gilette, pampers LOL !! stuff like that it finally reached Sudan.. and if u want to start a business in the food/restaurant industries u might wanna start a mcdonalds or papa johns or baskin robbins ( A REAL ONE a frnd of mine in Gr.6 she is sudanese said she went 2 baskin robbins but its fake they just put the looli ice cream in baskin cups!! ) I mean look at 0Zone Mo’men and ALsaha AMAZING ! u just need a mall and a few cinemas and Sudan will b amazing!! Another probem is that ppl in Sudan itself ever think outside the box like some places r AMAZING and PERFECT  for tourism but no-one ever GOES there its all just in Khartoum or Bahri or all those places so full af crappy houses and construction everyone is busy in their hectic lives everyone 4got about the Nile or the GREENERY THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF GREENERY IN ALL THOSE ISLANDS BUT NO-ONE CARES MOST IMPORTANTLY NO ONE EVEN KNOWS ABOUT THEM so in conclusion I would like to say that I would NOT live in Sudan bcoz of all the negative problems put in the clear and shown 2 everyone around the world like Darfur which completley REPELLS ppl and the unity prob in Sudan (whats up with the whole stay away from ”southern” ppl they r bad or did u hear ppl from a certain side or island or former tribe of Sudan perform magic?? WHAT THE HECK?? ) but no-one in Sudan itself even knows about all the beautiful stuff and views in a big part of Sudan because they r too busy feeling sorry for themselfs i mean there isnt even a right government…. u kno what it is? DICTATORSHIP!”

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18 Responses to “What Do Sudanese Youngsters Think of Sudan?”

  1. Amjad February 28, 2009 at 4:42 am #

    Where does your little sister live, if you don’t mind me asking?

  2. sudaneseoptimist February 28, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    My sister and my parents live in an undisclosed Arab country😛

  3. amal February 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Ohhhh, your sister is the cutest thing! She seems to hold mature opinions beyond her young age.Her comment on how come North Sudanese dont know how to speak English when the South Sudanese do is dead on point. When I was in Sudan I used to go stright to the South Sudanese if I needed to ask about anything related to English or anything international.

    I am not sure about the bolts on the door. As a person brought up in the West, one of the things that I found strange in Sudan is how people can sleep outside their homes or how people sleep in the courtyard with short walls without worrying for their safety. Even when I was staying in a flat, my family would leave the door unlocked and I had to check the door every night to make sure it was locked cause no else would!

  4. binmugahid March 2, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    Hey, what’s with the Upper case? my eyes are hurting.🙂

    Sudanese people yearn to be in Sudan, sooner rather than later. If they don’t … they aren’t Sudanese.

    One does choose one’s country.

  5. sudaneseoptimist March 2, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    I copied and pasted her e-mail exactly as I received it, hence the Upper Case. Kids aRe KnOwN tO liKe TyPING LIKE THiS.

    Why would someone Sudanese who has never lived or been to Sudan yearn to be in Sudan? And how does that deprive them of being Sudanese? What if they embrace everything “Sudanese” but the country itself?

    Also, I think the majority of people in Sudan want to leave. Does that mean they’re not Sudanese?

  6. Taric March 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    loooooool
    ya have a cool lil sis … she is gonna be a great addition 2 her country insha2allah

    her views about Sudan are limited & shallow because she is young & inexperienced yet,, she’ll get into it by time.
    she thinks because the world is living in a certain way (the malls & da McDonaldz & da globalization) that is different from the way ppl live in Sudan then the Sudanese are in dark ages looool

    I tell you wut lil sis … I lived most of ma life outta Sudan .. & after I moved here 8 years ago ..I didnt really find ma self in it .. I felt like wut da hell is wrong with this country & those ppl … dont they eva understand ?? loool ..
    but after a long time in adaptation .. I started 2 understand that life don have a generic way 2 live it or imagine it .. everybody lives their own experience… & now .. I don even understand why ma parents had 2 live outside & raise us away from home !! but I guess it was thier own experince too =)

    & I see the greenery😉

    u & ur lil sis are doin great … just try 2 expand her vision on life 2 tolerate change/difference no matta wut standards she believes in .. & that’s when she will be able 2 realize .. that there is no place 2 be in the world better than a gift fom Allah .. called home =)

  7. binmugahid March 2, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Yes, if you don’t want to go back to Sudan, you’re not sudanese.

    If you want to go out and never come back, you’re not sudanese.

    You’re just a passenger.

  8. sudaneseoptimist March 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Taric–

    “she thinks because the world is living in a certain way (the malls & da McDonaldz & da globalization) that is different from the way ppl live in Sudan then the Sudanese are in dark ages looool”

    Actually, I think she got it right on…even though unintentionally. Having malls and a McDonald’s, might sound inconsequential, but in reality it actually is important. You said that just because the world is living a certain way, doesn’t mean that Sudanese are living in the dark ages… but it does!

    A few decades ago, a country could ‘choose’ they way they wanted to live, but now, with the integration of free markets and the vast spans of globalization, you can no longer ignore that.

    Have you heard of the McDonaldization of societies before? It’s a very interesting sociological theory. I think every country is eventually going to go through that.

    Also, I would highly recommend that you read “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman–one of my favorite books. Friedman’s main message is that countries can no longer afford not to join the globalization of nations. If you don’t join, you’re left behind…in the dark ages. If Sudan wants to prosper, there is no way it can do that without infact adopting some aspects of the globalized world.

    I love that Sudan doesn’t have the generic way of living… but it also doesn’t have a tolerable way of living for a lot of its residents–evident by the fact that many are hopelessly trying to leave.

  9. sudaneseoptimist March 3, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Binmugahid–

    That’s interesting. I’m curious to know how you define Sudan?

    What if a Sudanese person that lived in Sudan pre-Islamic revolution loved his/her country but once it changed into something completely different they began to despise it…does that take away from how “Sudanese” they are just because the current regime redefined their country as they have always known it?

    What if a new civil war chops up the land of Sudan into pieces, and a Sudanese person doesn’t like that and leaves without an intention to ever come back?

    I think one can be Sudanese without wanting to actually live there… Some Sudanese expats are more Sudanese and have more love for their country than the ones inside…

  10. Kizzie March 8, 2009 at 12:28 am #

    She is lovely. At least she doesn’t think the government is “right”

  11. Sheema March 9, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    Very interesting blog, optimist🙂
    I think your sister summed it in a nut shell as far as she’s concerned. I don’t agree with you Taric that the lil sis is thinking shallow, she’s only 12, and she’s thinking deep enough for her age. She answered the question her sister asked. Her sister never asked her how would u see Sudan as an adult? so she thought about what concerned her most and said it all frankly. And I do see her points clearly, unfortunately all her points were valid. Maybe she put it in a simple way. For example, when she talked about inviting 1000+ people to weddings just out of obligation, this says something about our relationship with each other as sudanese. I’m sorry but I don’t wanna invite everyone I met in my life to my wedding, there are some people out there who I know but I dislike (so why in hell would I wanna see them in my wedding?)… Beggars being mostly kids, this is a huge problem, illiteracy will be still in Sudan even 20 & 30 years from now! does that look promising? I don’t think so………. these are just a few examples but there’s a lot more to criticize. On the other hand, Sudan is not all negative. There’s still that connection, you only feel it deep in your heart despite the harsh reality. There’s still something beautiful about that country that I cannot identify, maybe it’s the people (which brings back your sister’s first point).

  12. I don't agree with this statement March 10, 2009 at 1:25 am #

    “Yes, if you don’t want to go back to Sudan, you’re not sudanese.

    If you want to go out and never come back, you’re not sudanese.

    You’re just a passenger.”

    I think this can be true of anyone from a war torn country or a country in hard economic times: Just because you don’t have a desire to live there during war times/ hard times doesn’t mean you aren’t from that country or don’t feel an allegiance to that country. You can be Sudanese and not want to live there, just like I can be Russian and not want to live in Russia. Come on now…

  13. I agree with this statement March 10, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    “…just because the world is living a certain way, doesn’t mean that Sudanese are living in the dark ages… but it does!

    A few decades ago, a country could ‘choose’ the way they wanted to live, but now, with the integration of free markets and the vast spans of globalization, you can no longer ignore that.”

    So true, and besides, the McDonald’s restaurants here serve quite different things than McDonald’s restaurants in for instance Tokyo. I think it’s interesting that McDonald’s shapes it’s menu to correspond to the surrounding culture. But really, do you think a Big Mac would sell the same around the world as it does here? Probably not. McDonald’s would fail internationally if they kept the menu the same.

    Ultimatley you are right. To be prosperous, a country has to adapt a certain amount of globalization. My hope is that cultures can stay intact while also globalizing, and I think they can. If cultures fall to the wayside, the blame can only be put on the individuals of that culture. So keep teaching your children the way you were brought up, but let them know that the way other people live is okay, too. (some people that is) I wish I could say all of this more eloquently, but I’m not as smart as you sudaneseoptimist😉

    If you love your country, it tears you apart to seen it torn apart. Everyone wants to see their country succeed, do they not? Would you sacrifice prosperity to keep all aspects of globalization away? I would not.

  14. nafeasa May 14, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    wow
    i feel the same way about sudan. it’s a great place to visit but theres too much corruption and is not such a grean place to live

  15. alhaneen September 7, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    one would regret that Sudan the kind place and the land of proud grandfathers could generate such diguising persons like u …westernized and want to be westernizers…feel shame and find other words to blog

  16. alhaneen September 7, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    one would regret that Sudan the kind place and the land of proud grandfathers could generate such disguising persons like u …westernized and want to be westernizers…feel shame and find other words to blog

  17. ♥Sulayma♥ April 22, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    hey this is Sulayma, from Canada and i am in total agreement on the whole Sudan topic. I think it’s a awesome place to visit but personally i cannot live there because of the poor hygine and lack of respect men display for women on the street. NASTY PERVS!😡 GRRRRRRR……

  18. Hisham June 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I wondering how the Islamic Revolution of 1989 redefined the country? I’m not disagreeing, I think that articulates what I feel exactly and I have my reasons. I wanted to hear it from another. I’m a young Sudanese who hasn’t lived there but through my parents I have become more Sudanese than my cousins that live there in terms of understanding and appreciating the heritage, the culture, and the history. I listen to Tarbas and don’t think Numeriy’s era is “old history no one needs to know.” I feel that the Sudan my parents grew up is no more and it began to become this way in the 90s.

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