Quote of the Day

9 Mar

darfur-jem-2

“We hope that the State of Qatar declines to receive [President] Al-Bashir to attend the Arab Summit; if not we would be forced to reconsider our position on the peace process.”

JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim

40 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

  1. Eu March 9, 2009 at 7:29 am #

    I know not of a similar situation in history – where rebel outlaws not fighting colonial occupation were given such sway by the powers that be.

    Shi 3ajeeb…

  2. sudaneseoptimist March 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    Shi 3ajeeb indeed.

  3. wei March 13, 2009 at 6:12 am #

    I found this video clip about Merowe Dam project on YouTube today. Though I don’t understand a single word, but I’m glad to see lots of Sudanese worker and engineers involved. I wonder whether the economic boom around Khartoum has spread out to reach other Sudanese people. But I think JEM and other group should really stick to the peace process, though bargin hard for their region. Optimist, can you recommend some English channels or news links that reflect that development of Sudan? Thanks.

  4. Eu March 13, 2009 at 6:43 am #

    Here you go wei:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7935014.stm

    A Sudanese commentator said the BBC only reports when the ‘boom’ is slowing down…

    The problem with Darfur is that the oil hasn’t been pumped out yet – if it was the JEM would have a bargaining chip and the resolution of the problem would be faster – just like in South Sudan.

    The JEM highlight real grievances but don’t have proposed developmental solutions.

    The developmental blueprint is in the Interim Constitution:

    http://www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2005/govsud-sud-16mar.pdf

    And the Darfur Peace Agreement:

    http://allafrica.com/peaceafrica/resources/view/00010926.pdf

    But the JEM refused to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement of course, and has asked in the past for the ammendment of the Interim Constitution!

  5. Lanta March 14, 2009 at 4:42 am #

    Sudanese Optimist,

    Do you consider yourself black? I ask because there are people in Sudan that claim not to be black but if they were in america’s society or anywhere else in the world, they would be labeled black, just like other black people. I was on youtube once me an this guy had a long conversation (argument), and the way some people in Africa feel about themselves and each other surprised me. I know there is a level of self hate here in america, but I wouldn’t have guessed that Africans go through the samething. Why do some people in Sudan want to be Arabs and not black when, from what I understand, Arabs don’t even like blacks and consider black people below them? Will you shed some light on this for me please, you seem like an intelligent person that can give me some insight. Thanks.

  6. Eu March 16, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    Tribalism is tribalism – wherever you go.

    This article by a non-Amharan Ethiopian is a case in point:

    http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article30208

    Even in Ethiopia – the supposed mother of Africa according to Marcus Garvey and Rastafarians…

    Homogenous black Africans have their prejudices – as do African Americans – for example having a very, very dark skin tone is seen as being unattractive by some…

    In fact I think all African societies (and non-African societies) have their prejudices.

    Sometimes this prejudices are enshrined in customary practice that involves being born into bondage in Ghana… Even in Ghana, the home of the black star and the Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah…

    Some Sudanese northerners misunderstand being northern Sudanese – which is in effect being both African and Arab.

    For some, like myself, it’s a case of having both sets of genes.

    For others, it depends on one’s definition of being Arab.

    I go by the definition given by the most famous Arab, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, Peace be upon him who said ‘He or she who speaks Arabic is an Arab’ when asked about his non-Arabian companions Bilal the Abyssinian (black Ethiopian) and Suhaib the Byzantine (Caucasian).

    Sudan has a very complex history and part of the contradiction between being Arab and being non-Arab must be due to the Closed Districts Ordinance circa 1899 when northern (Arab) Sudanese were banned from going to South Sudan, as was their dress and language… The north was also developed by the British coloniser more than the south.

    Of course successive Sudanese political administrations have their share in not addressing the rift.

    Personally speaking I see myself as an African, a Sudanese African, a Muslim African, an Arab African…all in equal measure and with no contradictions or apologies whatsoever.

  7. Lanta March 17, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    Thanks for your response Eu. When people put their race down or dismiss it completely, it usually only happens when blackness is involved. Usually when blackness is involved people who don’t to be associated with it do all they can to stay away from it. It still amazes me that this sort of thing happens in Africa! Many African Americans and other black people appreciate their race and don’t have a problem with being labeled black even if they are of mixed race. Black people are more discriminated against than anyone else in the world and if they can’t come to love, acknowledge, accept, and appreciate who they are regardless of skin tone etc; no one else will ever appreciate it. The way some feel about themselves and each other, it only validate what the world thinks and that is when your black your not beautiful and your below whatever group that the world or you feel is the highest in a society. People can’t say that a group of people whom some in their society or the world may hold in high regard aren’t the best or whatever when they admire their likeness and do all they can to be like them (whomever they may be) and not be who they are.

    Someone once said that al-Bashir wasn’t black. Really? There isn’t a problem with being an Afro Arab, but to dismiss your black side is shameful and sinful. It amazes me that people want to be something other than what they are and what God has created. I’ve never seen a non black person whom wanted to be black, yet some people that are black want to be something other than black. If your race isn’t good enough for someone else to claim to be apart of, why would you want to be apart of theirs? I believe this sort of thing will only get worse, but in the end the people who appreciate themselves the most will reap the benefits of the Father.

    Does African automatically mean Black? Because it’s interesting that you whom have both African and Arab genes, mentioned being African, a Sudanese African, a Muslim African, an Arab African but didn’t mention black African.

    BTW, what’s this about “features”? Someone once said that the president of an African nation (I believe it was Ethiopia or Somalia, I forgot which country) wasn’t black because he didn’t have, in his words, “negroid features”. He gave me the man name and I saw a picture of him. He looked like a black person to me. If you can, give me some examples of “negroid features”.

  8. Eu March 17, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    President Bashir is an African Sudanese black Arab just like me and just like all of Sudan’s previous northern Presidents.

    Northern Sudanese are black (with a mind boggling range of skin tones from dark to very light even in the same family) but most Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans aren’t – yet they’re still Africans – especially the Tunisians, Libyans and Moroccans who have indigenous Amazigh (Berber) culture – and the Berbers are an ancient light skinned African tribe.

    Egypt’s history has been white-washed to reflect the country’s changing demographic tone – but that’s another story altogether.

    Yes it’s sad that negative racial stereotypes persist to this day but as long as I and the people in my direct sphere of influence don’t subscribe to such views – there’s nothing else I can do.

    People who are racially prejudiced are sad and ignorant and it’s their loss for being that way.

    This is the former President of Somalia AbdAllah Yusuf who your friend was possibly referring to:

  9. Eu March 17, 2009 at 6:58 am #

    Regarding African Americans being proud of being black – of course one should be proud of their race whatever that may be – but I think that it’s partially due to the injustices of segregation and the fact that American society ‘loves’ to pigeon-hole everything and everyone.

    Personally, I’m very proud of my heritage and of my country and I love Africa passionately but being black doesn’t define who I am, rather it’s a consequence of who I am.

  10. Lanta March 18, 2009 at 5:13 am #

    I believe that was the guy the person was referring to in the picture. Seems like Sudan is a lot like the African American community because we have a wide range of skin tones from dark to very light even in the same family. It seems to me like the people in north Sudan feel as if they are different race wise from other people in other parts of Sudan since they are killing the people of Darfur for who they are. And at the end of the day they are all the same people. It’s just sad and I hope someone save these people. The world turns its back on this type of thing yet the powers have the power to do something about it and chooses not to.

    I personally believe that the world will pay for turning its back on the injustices in the world. I don’t believe one can love God and hate themselves, mistreat people, turn your back on people, and discriminate against people.

    Have you heard about the way the Egyptians treated (and are treating) the southern Sudanese when they were there. It was shameful. They hosed these people and when I saw it, I wanted to cry. If you can, explain to me why when the Sudanese cross the border to leave Egypt the Egyptians shoot the Sudanese? Obviously they (the Egyptians) don’t want them there.

  11. Eu March 18, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    It seems to me like the people in north Sudan feel as if they are different race wise from other people in other parts of Sudan since they are killing the people of Darfur for who they are.

    Woah there!

    No one is killing anyone in Darfur because of who they are!

    Do you know how many Darfuris there are in Khartoum??

    Millions!

    There are Darfuri cabinet Ministers and the 4th highest constitutional post is held by a (non-Arab) Darfuri.

    Let’s not oversimplify things and get carried away in the media hype.

    Yes, unfortunately I agree that many Northern Sudanese see themselves as being different from other Africans……’but’ – the only constant in life is change – I know Northern Sudanese people who are married to Tanzanians, Nigerians, South Africans and African Americans.

    Prejudice exists everywhere but young people usually don’t follow as blindly as the past generations.

    Even Northern Sudanese as well as other Africans suffer from prejudice with darker skinned people feeling they are less attractive than lighter skinned people.

    Re: Egypt and the regretabble incident at Mustafa Mahmoud – in front of the UNHCR office – I believe it was a politically motivated decision – the authorities could not have such a huge group of people staging a sit-in in open squalor in one of the nice parts of Cairo.

    Politically, Egypt gives a lot of assistance to African countries.

    Public attitudes towards very dark Africans are however, very negative.

    On the bright side my brother went to Morocco and said it was one of the least racist countries he’d ever been to.

    So back to the point about injustices – was Vietnam justice? Were the Viet Kong not gunned and burned down and referred to as ‘Charlies’?
    Is there justice in Iraq today and even before the invasion – during the long and brutal sanctions regime?

    War is war is war.
    It’s ugly and brutal and indiscriminate and modern weapons are designed to cause maximum damage.

    Darfur is but ‘one’ of many ongoing wars – including the one in Sri Lanka – do you know about the dark skinned Tamils and how they’re treated in Sri Lanka and their liberation movement and how the international community has agreed to turn a blind eye to its extermination?

    Are you aware of the human carnage that took place in Gaza?

    I second your sentiments – we have to give more value to the lives of others, of all – but we should also take a long look in the mirror, at our own governments, and their actions, and their track record.

  12. Lanta March 18, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    I agree with what you said about Vietnam and Iraq. As for the Iraq invasion, one of the reasons I don’t support this war is the simple fact that America could’ve done something to save the Kurds from being gassed yet they stood still and did nothing until, if I’m not mistaken, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Kuwait had OIL and America’s involment was pure SELFISH. They could care less about what Saddam was doing and had done to the Kurds. I believe in situations like Darfur, Iraq, Congo, Sierra Leon etc one shouldn’t put “interest” before humanity. So yes the US will pay for the injustice it has brought onto that country because the American government can care less about the safety of the Iraqi people it only care about it’s own safety. When I say the world will pay for turning it’s back on injustices in the world believe me America will probably pay the highest price. It will not only pay for the injustices it has turned its back on in the world and the injustices it has imposed onto the world, it will also pay for the injustices within the country itself.

    As far as Darfur being media hype, I’ll haft to disagree with you on that. If anything, the media hasn’t covered and hyped it up enough to the point of making nations take a good, long, hard look at themselves and do something about this genocide that’s been going on since 2003. The lack of coverage and urgency to do something it is also SIN.

    America is a country that puts the Holocaust on a pedestal yet there have been many Holocausts in the world (Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur) and it and other nations choose to turn its back on them. I could never understand why. I feel if one Holocaust doesn’t matter then the other Holocaust doesn’t matter. If one Holocaust is ignored, the other Holocaust should be or should’ve been ignored because if a Holocaust is such a bad thing, why do nothing when one is happening?

    Do you know the Middle East’s position on Darfur? Do any country consider what’s going on there genocide? I want to know because I also include the Middle East when I’m speaking of the world. This is a region that supposedly holds its religion in high regard but even they don’t act when there are conflicts in the world. The same goes for Israel, they have enough power to intervene militarily in many situations like Darfur and others but chooses not to do so and they also will pay a price. Didn’t they learn anything from their history?

    What I do know is there’s no way in hell the world would let the Jews go through another Holocaust. See how the media reacted when Ahmadinejad made those statements (which some say were twisted). Imagine what would happen if he or anyone else would seriously try to wipe Jews off the map again.

    Regarding Sri Lanka, I knew there were a violence over there but didn’t know that skin tone was apart of the situation. Very Very Sad. Besides, isn’t that the same group (Tamils) that some say is a terrorist group?

  13. sudaneseoptimist March 18, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Alrighty now, what do we have here! You two have covered a multitude of topics in just a few comments. I’m at a loss for words! I’ll join this debate, albeit a bit late—my apologies—with a few comments on a couple of statements that caught my eye as I was reading both your comments.

    Lanta, you said: “Do you consider yourself black? I ask because there are people in Sudan that claim not to be black but if they were in America’s society or anywhere else in the world, they would be labeled black, just like other black people.”
    Defining ‘black’ I believe is the first step to answering this questions and probably will help all of us better discuss this issue, because there seems to be a huge misconception regarding the whole black/Arab/African ongoing identity debate.
    Being black is having darker skin pigmentation than a person who is not black. So there is black, and not black…. therefore putting Asians, Caucasians, Latinos and every other race that is not “Black” into one category. Do you see the problem there?
    I do. That same concept applies when you ask if I consider myself black. Is my skin pigmentation indicative that I am black yes? Is it the same skin pigmentation as say an Indian? Yes, perhaps even lighter. Does that mean the Indian is black? Nope!
    So how do you define being black exactly? You completely rejected the notion that someone not having ‘negroid’ features but dark skin isn’t black, so I’m curious as to how you define a person as being black. Does being African suffice as a qualification for being black? There are many Africans (Sudanese) who are not black and look identical to someone from Palestine than Someone from Congo. Are they black? Are they Arab?
    You see there is a huge misconception about being Sudanese. Sudan is incredibly diverse. I am glad that you in fact linked the Blackness issue with the concept of “Black” in America. In America, being Black is a culture as much as it is a race. You said that a Sudanese person in America would be considered black. I beg to differ. I am in the States, I am Sudanese, I am not by any means considered Black even though my skin color is Black. I have nothing in common other than my skin tone with any African Americans. They have nothing in common with me. I absolutely despise Sudanese people who come to the States and start acting like African Americans (and by that I mean adopting African American culture.) In America, you’re Black, White, Latino, Asian, or Other. An Arab person from Syria for example, would fit in the “other” category because they are neither Black nor White even though their skin tone might be the same as a white person. The same goes for a Sudanese.
    This takes me to my next point.

    Eu, you said: “I go by the definition given by the most famous Arab, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, Peace be upon him who said ‘He or she who speaks Arabic is an Arab”
    This is the definition I use as well. I honestly don’t like the term Afro-Arab for many reasons the most one being that I believe it to be unnecessarily divisive. The prophet defined it clearly, with no room for misconceptions, so why do we come up with our own terms? I am Arab… no more, no less. The Arab world is spread across Africa and Asia. No one can deny that or refute it. So where’s the problem there?
    I believe the biggest misconception is that people use ‘Arab’ and ‘Middle Eastern’ interchangeably. This is where the trouble starts. According to the prophets definition I am Arab through and through but I’m not Middle Eastern. My ancestors did not come from Arabia. But that was hundreds of years ago.
    Most Arabs are not purely Arab as was pointed out in some comments. Sudanese Arabs just like other Arabs from North African countries are from Africa, but they are Arab. That’s it.
    For me it’s as simple as…I am Arab, from an African country.
    Now, let’s address the other misconception. Not all Sudanese are Arab, and not all Sudanese are African—keep in mind that we are no longer using the term ‘black’ due to its untenable nature. That’s why when you ask if a Sudanese people are African or Arab or what not, it’s more about what part of Sudan they are from than how dark or light they are.
    Finally, to put it in layman’s terms, I’ll tell you why I am Arab. If I got dropped off in say, Jordan, a country I’ve never been to, I’ll know exactly how to communicate with people and lead a perfectly normal life. Not just because we speak a common language, but because most of the cultural norms will remain relatively similar, if I turn on the TV it’s going to be the same channels I would watch in Sudan. The music they listen to is what I normally listen to.
    We’re all Arabs.
    Apply the same logic to me being dropped off in Congo. Do I have more in common with someone from Jordan or someone from Congo?

    Lanta and Eu—I hope this clarifies my position on some of the issues you have discussed. There is a lot more interesting comments you have thrown at me but I will stop here and wait for your replies since this is getting ridiculously long, but I felt the need to tend to your questions/comments sooner as they are extremely interesting.

  14. Lanta March 19, 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Hello Sudanese Optimist nice to hear from you. I wasn’t sure if you were going to join this conversation but I’m glad you did.

    Black to me is when someone has black African ancestry. I disagree with you when you say “being black is having darker skin pigmentation than a person who is not black” because being black has nothing to do with skin color and besides, there are groups of people that have dark skin pigmentation (East Indians, Native Americans, Latinos etc) but they don’t necessarily have black African roots. And no, Asians, Caucasians, Latinos and every other race that is not “Black” are into one category, because each group ancestry goes back to different countries and regions of the world.

    It is true indeed that you are Sudanese, but when I say that a Sudanese person would be considered black in America I meant it in the way of how society would see and treat you. When people judge or see people they don’t see “nationality” or take it into consideration they see race and color. You might not consider yourself black but other people will and in reality you are. You say that you have nothing in common with African American other than your skin tone; I again will haft to disagree. True an African no matter which country, are not the same exact people as African Americans but it is because of “culture” but if they share the same ansceory they indeed have something in common. I believe many people of African descent and ancestry think that to be black mean that you automatically haft to be African American when they are in this country but they wasn’t born or raised in this country. Nationality and race are two different things take for example, someone from Brazil whom is black but they live in America. Their nationality is Brazilian but they are still black people. My nationality is American but my race is Black/African American. You say you are an Arab but you ancestors didn’t come from Arabia so that means you are Arab by culture and location but not by race. So in reality, this means yes you are an Arab but you are also black because of your ancestors are Black Africans. To dismiss your blackness and only claim to be Arab is like me as an African American claiming to be just “American” without acknowledging being Black/African even though that’s where my ancestors come from. I’m more than just American, I’m a Black/African American regardless of how light or dark I am or what part of the country I’m from.

    When you stated “If I got dropped off in say, Jordan, a country I’ve never been to, I’ll know exactly how to communicate with people and lead a perfectly normal life. Not just because we speak a common language, but because most of the cultural norms will remain relatively similar, if I turn on the TV it’s going to be the same channels I would watch in Sudan. The music they listen to is what I normally listen to.
    We’re all Arabs.
    Apply the same logic to me being dropped off in Congo. Do I have more in common with someone from Jordan or someone from Congo“?

    It’s not about whom you have the most in common with when I speak of being black because the definition of black has more to do with ancestry not culture nor nationality. You might not have a lot in common with me as an American, let alone me as an African American, or someone who is from Congo, but if we all have the same black African ancestry we do have that much in common and that is very important.

    Thanks for your response it gives me some insight on how some think, feel and classify themselves in Africa, in Sudan at least. It seems to me that being an Arab in Sudan is like being white in America. When people don’t want to be associated with who they truly are, they gravitate towards the group of people that a society holds in high regard. You can be black and an Arab.

    If there is anything that you agree or disagree with, please respond because I only want some insight on some of the thing s I’ve heard about in Sudan and other parts of Africa, but really didn’t understand. I’m dissapointed in that the kind of thing goes on in the MotherLand. Things I would have never imagined.

  15. Eu March 19, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    Lanta

    In the 50’s and 60’s the media told people that smoking was good for their health.

    There is a media hype over Darfur.
    A international UN enquiry in 2006 which only had one European member found ‘no’ genocide but many war crimes and gross human rights violations.

    Where genocide is the targeting of a specific ethnic group with the purpose of its extermination, that is ‘not’ taking place in Darfur.

    Only the US, not even the European Union recognises genocide in Darfur.

    The people behind the media machine know nothing about Sudan or Darfur or its history or its people.
    They are not stakeholders in Darfur – only the Sudanese and the Darfuris are.
    The international NGO machine which is focused on Darfur (and turns a blind eye to Somalia, the Congo and Sri Lanka – conflicts which are happening right now) is a multi-million dollar industry and the fact that they poach people like George Clooney and other ‘celebs’ to get the word out is ludicrous.

    What about what happened to the Native Americans?
    Was that not genocide?
    And how come Africa hasn’t been financially compensated for the trans-Atlantic slave trade whereas the victims of other massive atrocities have?

    I suggest you go and live in the ‘Motherland’ for a while – teach English or something.

    Only then, through living the reality of the people can one start to understand where they’re coming from.

    Optimist: I don’t disagree with you but wouldn’t you agree that according to our Levantine (and to many of our Gulf) co-linguists – we’re ‘dirty’ Arabs (complexion-wise)?

  16. sudaneseoptimist March 19, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    Eu– I agree to some extent. I would however point out that the majority don’t think so. Also, if anyone suggests that there is ‘racism’ against Sudanese in the Arab world I would vehemently disagree.
    Why?
    There is a huge difference between someone who thinks being black isn’t Arab enough or isn’t beautiful and discrimination based on that–that latter not being the case. I have never seen a Sudanese lose a job or suffer as a result of institutionalized racism in the Arab world. Actually Levantine and Gulf countries tend to love Sudanese people. Trust me.

    Lanta–

    Hmm. You made some good points but still failed to see the big picture.

    Alright…let’s see. So Sudan is diverse right? I’m a black Sudanese right? Would I, being black, be any different than a ‘white’ Sudanese? I think not. Therefore, what really is the difference between a black Sudanese Arab and a white Sudanese Arab?

    Nothing.

    Therefore, I am an Arab from Sudan. That’s all there is to it. Eu said it best– being black doesn’t define me but it is simply a mere consequence of who I am.

    It seems to me that you insist on embracing “blackness,” where as I see that as divisive and unnecessary. This is the case in the Sudan, but in the US, people tend to want to point out being black or white. This is because there is an inherit difference between a black American and a White American. But the same logic just doesn’t apply in Sudan Lanta🙂

    Now… I will reiterate. There is nothing…absolutely nothing…that me and an African American have in common other than being ‘not white.’ Contrary to your opinion, we do not in fact share any ancestral history. I am of Nubian and Arab descent. Most African Americans were brought to the US as slaves from Subsaharan African countries. I don’t see how we share any history? Maybe you could clarify that? I’m sure you don’t think EVERYONE in Africa shares common ancestors!

    It IS about culture Lanta. Culture, heritage, religion, and language. That’s what makes up a person’s identity.

    To some extent though I do agree with you that being Arab in Sudan is like being white in America. That is because some (if not most) northern Sudanese tend to be deeply racist. I sincerely hope this will change and believe me I can tell you that I am passionate about equality in Sudan.

    The only thing I seem to disagree with you on that notion is that you seem to have the idea that if a Northern Sudanese says they are Arab, they are somehow being traitors or self-haters…I wonder why?

  17. sudaneseoptimist March 19, 2009 at 5:32 am #

    Also, Lanta. There is not such thing as the Mother land. There’s a mother country.

    Africa is huge. Please don’t reduce the rich history of many beautiful nations and ethnic groups into the westernized idea of “Africa.”

    I highly recommend that you tour the continent to see how diverse it is.

    I am now in the US and it amazes me to see what people view “Africa” as. I think your idea of Africa will be shattered the moment you start visiting all corners of the continent and speaking to people about their rich and diverse heritage.

  18. Lanta March 19, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    Sudanese optimist, the difference between a black Sudanese Arab and a white Sudanese Arab, (if they are indeed white), is ancestry. Ancestry is what makes you all different. White people ancestors come from Europe and blacks come from Africa, yet both black and white Sudanese are still Sudanese. You say, “It seems to me that you insist on embracing “blackness,” where as I see that as divisive and unnecessary”. You may see it as divisive an unnecessary, but I bet there are non black Sudanese Arabs that wouldn’t think about being labeled just Sudanese let alone just African, because most people outside Sudan and Africa would automatically think that they are black (which in many places in the world isn’t a good thing) and I see that as discriminatory. Yet Black people like you insist on not being labeled black at all. Isn’t being labeled and Arab not divisive? It seems as if the black people of Sudan want to be any and everything but black.

    When you say, there is an inherit difference between a black American and a White American, you are right. You also stated that the same logic don’t apply in Sudan. Ok. Now we are getting somewhere. I didn’t understand that. So in Sudan, I’m I right to say that you all embrace your “Nationality” rather than your “Race”?

    You also stated, “Contrary to your opinion, we do not in fact share any ancestral history. I am of Nubian and Arab descent. Most African Americans were brought to the US as slaves from Sub-Saharan African countries. I don’t see how we share any history? Maybe you could clarify that? I’m sure you don’t think EVERYONE in Africa shares common ancestors“!

    If your ancestors were black regardless of what country they came from, we do share ancestry. Now to the point you made about you being a Nubian and African Americans came from Sub-Saharan countries, yes that’s correct African Americans came from Sub-Saharan countries mainly our ancestors came from West Africa to be exact. Nubia is the homeland of one of Africa’s earliest “BLACK” civilization. Now if people from other parts of the world or Africa itself, that isn’t Nubian but they are black just like the Nubians, isn’t that shared history because since it’s the earliest “BLACK” culture and civilization? That civilization doesn’t just pertain to the Sudanese and Egyptians because there are black people in other places. Anyone of Black African decent can claim, have history, and be apart of that civilization.

    And no I don’t think everyone in Africa share common ancestors, what we do share, if you are a black African, is the fact that our ancestors were black.

    Africa will always be the Motherland to me and most African Americans because, for me personally, it doesn’t matter what particular country my ancestors may have come from.

    EU, I believe the reason so many countries don’t say what’s going on in Darfur is Genocide is because NO ONE WANTS TO ACT. I don’t know why they won’t call it genocide whether one believes it or not, because if you take history in consideration, no one wouldn’t do anything if it was WITHOUT A DOUBT genocide.

    If what they found were war crimes and gross human rights violations and not genocide, isn’t that enough for the world to intervene some way and make it safe for the people who are affected by these crimes?

    You and The Optimist have suggested that I go to Africa, and I would love to go and maybe one day I will. It would be a highlight of my life. I don’t know all there is to know about the continent or it’s people and how they live but I would like to experience these things. You two are giving me some insight, but I only hope that most of the people on the continent don’t share your overall views when it comes to who they are. I’m sure they don’t since each country is different culturally.

  19. Eu March 19, 2009 at 8:44 am #

    Optimist, yes we do have high flying positions in the Gulf, Levant and beyond – and maybe it’s our professionalism that tips the scales against racial prejudice.

    But if you’re saying prejudice doesn’t exists against the Sudanese, the Northern Sudanese – you ‘must’ be kidding.

    There are so many negative stereotypes associated with us – collectively – we’re like the Mexicans of North America and NAFTA.

    A couple of years back I found a song on a Kuwaiti website called ‘ya sudani ree7ak jani’.

    People in the Levant are completely ignorant of Sudan, its history and culture – and just like some people might refer to Africa as a country – the true meaning of ‘sudani’ to them is anyone with…dark skin.

    Then there’s the idea that Sudanese people are lazy.
    Compared to who?!
    Compared to people from the Gulf who (*on the whole*) get cared for from cradle to grave and who ‘do not’ work in certain blue collar jobs?
    Many of them point at Sudanese people with menial jobs who are admittedly much less motivated, to put it mildly than their Arab and South Asian counterparts – but what about the significant Sudanese doctors, lawyers, bankers and economists?

    We were once having dinner with friends of a friend in London and a Sudanese guy was proudly speaking of the Arab League summit in the 60’s in Khartoum and the famous three ‘no’s’ – then I spoke about the complaint that Algeria had made about the post of Arab League head being held by an Egyptian twice successively and their suggestion for rotating the post amongst member states. A Palestinian guy said ‘what, do you mean that the head of the Arab League could be Sudanese?!’.

    A distant cousin of mine, and her cousin who are from the Mahdi family and believe themselves to be aristocrats studied with me in the first year of University. They had a very nice half Lebanese half English friend who grew up in Beirut. She told me that when she went back after the holidays she was happily telling her paternal (Lebanese) aunts that she had 2 (Arab) Sudanese friends and they were from the family of the Mahdi and her aunts said…’but they’re black’ – Mahdi or no Mahdi.

    Read what this female Sudanese blogger wrote about her experience with racism from her Levantine classmates:

    ‘Under the veil of criticism’

    http://noonglobally.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-03-02T20%3A49%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=7

    I love Levantine food, I frequently go to that part of London, I love the Arabic language with a passion, it is a sacred language after all but I do not trust people from the Levant due to their racist attitudes and do not think that we as Sudanese and they have much in common apart from the broad yet significant areas of language and religion.

  20. sudaneseoptimist March 19, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    Lanta my dear, you might not think I speak the truth but I speak from experience.
    Your comments seem to be riddled with trite misconceptions about Sudan, the Arab world, and Africa.

    There is one thing you need to know since you are African American, and this is one thing that I found to be shocking about the US. White Americans DO NOT see all blacks as the same.

    I am black Lanta, that’s fine. White people in the States view me as so, but guess what, I’m not treated like an African American. Why do I say that, and why is that shocking?

    When I first came here, I have for the very first time seen racism bluntly. And I say seen not experienced. Its one thing that I tell people whenever I go back home. What I mean by this is, even though I am black, I have been around white people who were bluntly racist and considered me ‘one of them.’ This wasn’t of my own choosing, trust me so many times I thought ‘how could they say something like this, do they not know I’m black too?’ It’s like my color is invisible.

    Trust me Lanta…a black Sudanese isn’t the same as an African American, and no I am not treated the same in America.

    Another example. There’s an apartment complex in the city I live at whose owner LOVES Sudanese families. He rented every single apartment to Sudanese families. Do you know what he told them? He told them I will give you guys the apartments at reduced rates because I do not want Black people to live here, they are trouble.

    Lanta…this is exactly why I told you black is only defined as level of skin pigmentation. Believe me.

    The other thing is, no one is denying anything. When I say I’m Arab doesn’t mean that I’m escaping from my ‘Africanness.’ It just means I’m being true to myself.

    I love eating food that most Arabs recognize and love. I love henna, which is a tradition shared with a lot of Arabic countries. I watch Al-Jazeera, just like most Arabs. I don’t watch African news.

    If I sit here all day and tell you that I am all African and I love Africa, and ignore that I’m Arab, I’ll be lying to myself and to you.

    I think you really need to visit Sudan specifically. For a little test, go ask North Sudanese folks about the Israeli/Palestinian issue and then try to discuss Kenya with them. See which one you get a reaction from.

    To be honest Lanta, the US is a toxic place because it has a completely different definition of race than it is seen in the Arab world.

    As for the Genocide issue, I suggest you do more research about that. I pretty much agree with Eu on everything he said.

    All I can say is: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain said that. He is a nice man. He is white by the way. Because I must indicate what race he is because that matters a lot you know…😉

  21. sudaneseoptimist March 19, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Eu–

    Come on now. You’re above generalizations!

    First of all, you mentioned the ‘lazy’ stereotype. Are you aware that there is a list of stereotypes for pretty much every single Arab country. I’m sure you got a fwd of sorts that included the stereotypes. If not then your average Arab joke will have hints of said stereotypes. Every Arab makes fun of every Arab. That’s just a fact of life. At the end of the day…is there ‘hate’ in the equation? I don’t think so. Do you think so?

    If there is not deep discriminatory hate (as is the case with blacks and whites in the US) then it isn’t the same.

    I guess you and I had very different experiences. Would you trust my opinion on the matter since I’ve lived in the Arab world longer than you have?😉

    We’ve discussed this before and I told you I’ve gone to a Lebanese school and till this day my closest friends are Lebanese/Palestinians. I’ve read noon’s comments.

    I can’t say I’ve had any experience that stands out that makes me feel that emotion. Also, I have a very different (and often controversial) opinion about this whole black Arab thing that makes a lot of Sudanese people tick. To me its simple… most Arabs– your friends included I’m assuming– love Sudanese people and harbor no ill feelings towards them. If a person from say Lebanon thinks a black person isn’t beautiful…that’s like me saying a Chinese man isn’t attractive. It’s my choice. nothing wrong with that.

    I still stand by my opinion. Sudanese people are not discriminated against. You can’t possibly be serious about using the laziness thing here.

    And by the way have you ever heard this song: (I must warn you that it is extremely vulgar)

    This was on every Arab’s cellphone when it first came out.

    Did you know that Egyptians–not Sudanese– are the most badly discriminated against Arabs? That’s a fact. Feel free to investigate it yourself; in Gulf countries especially.

    There is ignorance everywhere but at the end of the day…can you honestly tell me that you think that Sudanese people are suffering in the Arab world only because they are black regardless of their abilities?

    Again, I’ve lived in the Arab world most of my life. The one thing I noticed is that people who live abroad hold this nasty view about being ‘lesser Arabs’ while Sudanese in the Arab world are having a jolly ol’ time.

    Saying someone isn’t pretty because they are Sudanese and black isn’t the same as ‘institutionalized racism.’

    Lastly– I do not blame anyone who finds it odd for Sudan to be head of Arab League. After all Sudan has a huge population of non-Arabs.

    I would never be offended by such remark, au contraire, I would think it to be perfectly logical.

    I guess I am just less emotional about this than most Sudanese I’ve met. I feel like a lot of Sudanese are just waiting for their Arab friends to say anything about them so they can accuse them of being ignorant racists, whereas ALL Arabs stereotype the crap out of each other.

  22. Eu March 19, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    I’m not talking about hate.
    I’m not talking about institutional racism.

    I’m talking about respect or the lack thereof that emanates from denigration of our…skin colour and culture.

    And I’ve lived for 9 years in the Gulf and I frequently visit, and I have friends and acquaintances from the Gulf and other Arab countries – so let’s just say we have different perceptions.

    I won’t even dignify that song by commenting on it.

    Do two wrongs make a right, if Egyptians are discriminated against by Gulf Arabs?

    And the issue was never one of aesthetic, racial preference but rather racial inferiority.

    Would any of your Lebanese and Palestinian friends and their families seriously consider you as a potential spouse for their brothers?

    If not, why?

  23. Lanta March 20, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Sudanese Optimist, I don’t know your reaction to the white people you be or have been around, but the things that they have said to you I would’ve been offended by it. If the tables were turned and someone said the things they’ve said to you to me about Sudanese people, I would have let them know that the things they said were rude, offensive and discriminatory. They were generalizing. I’m sure there are many Sudanese people and others that aren’t good people just like any other people, look at al-Bashir and his gang.

    Considering how you embrace your Arabness over your Blackness, I bet you do all you can to be accepted by white people and make it know to them that you are not black at all, but ARAB and they don‘t know any better. Even some African Americans and other groups in this country do the samething. We call it “Whitewashed”.

    You stated, “I love eating food that most Arabs recognize and love. I love henna, which is a tradition shared with a lot of Arabic countries. I watch Al-Jazeera, just like most Arabs. I don’t watch African news“.

    What does that haft to do with anything? If I loved Italian food and was even an Italian citizen born and raised, that still doesn’t mean that I’m not a black person with black African roots. Will I as an Italian citizen have much in common cultural wise with a Sudanese, African American, Afro Latino, etc? Probably not, but my point is what we do have in common, is common Ancestry!! That’s the point I’m trying to get to you.

    I know a black Sudanese is not an African American; my only problem is that you make it seem as if we are not the same people with roots in the same place with the same kind of people. Black is not only defined as level of skin pigmentation like you’ve stated. I know we are not the same people by culture and religion etc, but you can’t tell me we don’t have anything in common even if it’s just race, meaning that our ancestor were black Africans and we are black people, well at least I know I’m a black person and don’t have a problem with saying I am.

    We have a President that’s black and white and he identifies himself as black and so does society. Let’s say you were elected the President of America how would you classify yourself? How do you think society would classify you? Also, do you see any problems with President Obama labeling himself as black and being labeled black? If you were him (black and white) how would you classify yourself?

    BTW, that smiley face symbol looks as if it’s winking, please don’t use it again, it reminds me of Sarah Palin, lol!!!!!

    Oh, and which state are you and EU located here in America? If your not in the US, what country are you two located?

  24. sudaneseoptimist March 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    Haha, okay I promise I won’t use that smiley face again! I’m glad I forgot about her so I wouldn’t want to remind anyone of that sad time in American history when Sarah Palin had a shot at being VP.

    I’m living in on of the states in America, haha😛

    I didn’t even discuss my reaction because obviously its a given that I was appalled and completely shocked. But the point I was making is that this observation redefined my view of how race is seen in America.

    White Americans, those who are ignorant and racist, despise African American culture, not the color of skin. The examples I gave you illustrate that. I’m sure you’re aware of the whole ‘acting white’ vs ‘acting black’ debate.

    I do not embrace my Arabness over my blackness, but my skin color does not at all add to my identity or take away from it.

    As far as African Americans and Sudanese sharing common anscestory, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one Lanta! To me being black is and always will be solely a matter of skin pigmentation. I will teach my kids that, and I do not wish to tell them that someone being black or white means something about them. I will encourage them to learn about different religions and cultures and languages and appreciate that regardless of how someone looks like.

    If I became a president in the US, I would be the first Arab president in the US.

    By the way, I’m just wondering, how would you want the person in this picture to identify himself? He is African…

  25. sudaneseoptimist March 20, 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    Eu–

    That would be the same reason why my parents won’t let me marry a Lebanese or Palestinian! Why can we say no but they can’t?

    “I’m not talking about hate.
    I’m not talking about institutional racism.

    I’m talking about respect or the lack thereof that emanates from denigration of our…skin colour and culture.”

    Ah, now I see what you mean. If it’s not about hate and institutioanl racism, but about inferiority of skin color, then I agree with you. I’ve previously written about this, specifically the portrayal of dark skinned people in the media. That’s a whole other argument.

    Re: the video. No, two wrongs don’t make a right, but my point was that when you see jokes about Sudanese people, it doesn’t mean all the Arab countries are joining forces to degrade Sudanese folks. We as Sudanese have many sickening stereotypes and jokes about other Arabs. Again, why can we do it and they can’t?

  26. Lanta March 21, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    Boris Kodjoe is German, he said himself that when he first came to this country, people were surprised that he wasn’t African American, and he’s not. His mother is a German/Austrian (White) and his father is from Ghana (Black). This man (Boris Kodjoe) was raised in Germany. Is he not black? http://www.entertainmentexclusives.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/img_3131_boris_kodjoe_wordpress.jpg

    Gelila Bekele is Ethiopian is she not black?

    Noémie Lenoir is French is she not black?

    Djimon Hounsou, is from Benin is he not black?

    Sade is British with an English (white) mother and a Nigerian (Black) father. Is she not black?

    Kimora Lee Simmons has a Japanese mother and an African American father. Is she not black? Btw, this woman has been impregnated by Djimon Hounsou.

    See it doesn’t matter what country you may have come from, my point is if you have black ancestry, you are black even if you are biracial. I’m not saying that “ALL” black people are the same because they are “NOT” because of cultural differences, but when it come to ancestry and roots we are “NOT” different. All of these people I’ve pictured, Boris, Gelila, and Noemie, Djimon, Sade and Kimora are from different countries. In reality they are German, French, and Ethiopian, African, British and American but they all have black African roots.

    To be black doesn’t mean you haft to be African American. I’m black of African decent, but I’m not African. My problem with you is that you make it seem as if you’re not black at all. If you and I, and all of the people I’ve mentioned above were all born and raised in Saudi Arabia, yes we would be Arabs, but we would also be black because of our ancestry.

    You don’t have any Arab ancestry at all. By no means am I saying that you aren’t Arab, but you are Arab by culture and location only. You indeed have black African roots/ancestry and do all you can not to make it apart of who you are.

    You stated,”As far as African Americans and Sudanese sharing common anscestory, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one.”

    So that means I share no ancestry with no one in Africa then. I wonder why we’re called African Americans and people who are black regardless of what country they are in ancestry goes back to the African continent?

    As far as the person in the picture you mentioned, it all it depends on where he’s from and it also depends on his ancestry. Who is this man by the way and how does he identify himself?

  27. Eu March 21, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    To the best of my knowledge that man is an ‘Indian’ Madagascan – there are ‘African’ Madagascans who constitute the majority of the population and look different.

    Optimist, for want of a better phrase in English

    مافي مجال للمقارنة

    Your parents might not want you to marry a Lebanese or Palestinian man because of misconstrued perceptions relating to morals and values whereas your Lebanese and Palestinian friends’ objections would not be value based but aesthetic – they don’t want your brown DNA in their gene pool.

  28. sudaneseoptimist March 23, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    Eu–

    I completely agree with you. It is about my darker skin in their gene pool.

    But…

    What makes discriminating against someone based on skin color worse than discriminating against someone based on morals and values?

    They’re both “misconstrued perceptions”

  29. sudaneseoptimist March 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    Lanta, there’s a huge difference between an African who migrated to Europe and someone who has never left their country (i.e. Sudanese.)

    “You don’t have any Arab ancestry at all. By no means am I saying that you aren’t Arab, but you are Arab by culture and location only. You indeed have black African roots/ancestry and do all you can not to make it apart of who you are.”

    Wait, are you that familiar with my family tree that you can make that argument? Or is anyone with dark skin purely African?

    How do you define “Arab ancestry?” What about the very dark Saudis or Qataris that have lived there for hundreds of years yet have darker skin than I do. Do they not have any Arab ancestry and must absolutely love Africa and love being black and must not embrace their “Arabness” since they don’t in fact have any Arab ancestry?

    Many of your points seem to be based on opinions rather than facts, and emotions rather than reality.

    Eu said: “To the best of my knowledge that man is an ‘Indian’ Madagascan – there are ‘African’ Madagascans who constitute the majority of the population and look different.”

    That’s the same thing as “Arab Sudanese” and “african Sudanese.”

    I just want to see how Lanta would see that person and would want them to define themselves.

  30. Eu March 24, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    Optimist,

    There’s a huge difference between misconceptions about morals and values and racial prejudice.

    Misconceptions about morals and values can be disproved and often are in life’s many situations.

    Racial discrimination – specifically not wanting ‘brown DNA’ (or any other type of DNA) in one’s gene pool is not even a misconception, it’s a bigoted, baseless yet ‘objective’ prejudice.

    That’s why I consider people from the Levant to be racist and to be fellow linguists and co-relgionists at best and I cherish my Arabism, according to reasons already stated, for myself and my country. I don’t feel natural affinity to ‘Arab’ co-linguists ‘particularly’ Levantine ones.

  31. Lanta March 24, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    I made that argument on the things you said yourself, I’m only as familiar with your family tree as the information you’ve given me. You said yourself that your ancestors didn’t come from Arabia. An Arab is someone whose ancestry goes back to Arabia.

    As for Saudis or Qataris having dark skin, having dark skin doesn’t always mean that someone is black. Even though I do believe that it is very possible that many people from those countries and others in that region have black ancestry, but don’t want to be associated with anything African/ black. As far as their Arab ancestry, if their ancestry goes back to Arabia, they are indeed Arabs.
    I’m not saying that Arabs and Qataris don’t have Arab ancestry, if they didn’t; they are still Arabs because of their culture and location. To be black in a region like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar etc doesn’t mean you can’t be an Arab. You make it seem as if I want you and others like you to choose one or the other (being black or being Arab), and I’m not. But you indeed do choose one (being Arab) over the other (being black).

    Like I‘ve continue to state, being black isn’t solely based on skin color especially dark skin because there are many people in the world that‘s black and they don‘t have dark skin but they are black people with black African ancestry. The black population no matter where you are in this world comes in many different colors, yet we all share the same black African roots.

    Have you heard of Mohammed Al Amoudi? He is from Ethiopia, but moved to Saudi Arabia many years ago. Being born to black parents and being from an African nation, is he not black because he is living in Saudi Arabia? I’m sure he doesn’t face a lot of discrimination from the Saudi’s or any other Arab person considering the money he has. To them he is Arab in every way.
    They might even just excuse the fact that he’s black since he’s so rich. There are a lot of Middle Eastern people who discriminate against black people. This man can have privileges and opportunities, unlike many black people from that part of the world, and won’t face discrimination because of his wealth. Oh, and he is also considered the richest Black person in the world.

    You say, “There’s a huge difference between an African who migrated to Europe and someone who has never left their country.” In this situation, it depends on how long ago the person has migrated to another country. Take for example the rapper Akon he was born and raised in America but he could leave here and feel right at home in Senegal. Why because even though he’s been here all, this time, his parents are Senegalese and it wasn’t really that long ago they became citizens of this country. Even though they are here they still have Senegalese influences etc. So I don’t think he’ll feel any different from anyone else in that country that has never left that country. Take Djimon Hounsou, for example, he’s been in America for a while now as well but if he would go back to Benin, there wouldn’t be an huge difference from him an the other people of that country.

    I think that your points are based on a level of brainwashing from your government officials and the Sudanese society itself. I also believe your points are based on a level of self hate that’s equivalent with the leader of your country and how he sees himself. If their were a Genealogist, Anthropologist, Historian, and a Geneticist apart of this conversation that we’ve been having, I’m sure the things I’ve been saying is closer to reality that what you’ve been saying.

    BTW, look at this video from CNN. The man Jalal in the video looks like many people from The Middle East and he’s black. There could be many people that look like him and they could also be black and won’t acknowledge it. The little girl at the end is light skin and she is also black and yes they are also Arabs as well. Now will I as an American have a lot in common with these people? NO. My point is we all have black African roots. My Jesus and Allah bless these people.

    I hope this video will inspire you and others to be more accepting of your black side.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/19/obama.black.iraqis/index.html?iref=newssearch#cnnSTCVideo

    .

    When your ancestry goes back to Arabia is how I define having Arab ancestry.

  32. Eu March 25, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    Just commenting on the part about Akon – I do not believe he could live in Senegal what with his lifestyle and commercialism.

    Youssou N’dour is class – Akon is trash.

  33. sudaneseoptimist March 25, 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    “An Arab is someone whose ancestry goes back to Arabia.”

    Where exactly is that Arabia you speak of? What time frame are you using to refer to Arabia? Because it’s been changing throughout the years.

    “As for Saudis or Qataris having dark skin, having dark skin doesn’t always mean that someone is black.”

    My point exactly. By the way, the term afro-Arab is in this case correctly suitable for an African who is a Qatari. Not to a Sudanese. I might explain why in a future post because its a bit complicated.

    “I also believe your points are based on a level of self hate that’s equivalent with the leader of your country and how he sees himself. If their were a Genealogist, Anthropologist, Historian, and a Geneticist apart of this conversation that we’ve been having, I’m sure the things I’ve been saying is closer to reality that what you’ve been saying.”

    That’s what you’d like to believe! I do not understand how you can know who I am more than I know myself. I can sit here and make conclusions about African Americans because I am too simply an observer of their culture not a part of it.

    If I was an anthropologist, historian, etc.. I would deduce that I’m an Arab who is from an African country. If I had your mentality, I would insist that since all human beings came from Africa, we are all African. So a Russian person cannot insist they are Russian because the first human being was an African therefore we must stick to outdated ancestral history.

    Failed logic.

  34. Eu March 26, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    Ultimately every one of us is free to identify themselves as they wish.

    Perhaps ‘Africa’ is a romanticised concept for African Americans who can’t really specifically trace their ‘roots’ so to speak.

    Optimist and I come from the ‘same city’ in North Sudan.

    Personally, my Arab ancestry is specifically documented to square metre in the Arabian Hejaz.

    That having been said I don’t identify as strongly with Levantine Arabs as Optimist, and neither of us is wrong.
    Personally I think Levantine Arabs are racist on the whole and do not even consider the nuances of the discussion on this thread – all they see is brown.
    That being the case, as Optimist said I’m able to function with a level of interaction in Arabic speaking countries which is much more the case than in African countries – language and generic culture count for a lot!

    To sum it up I’m Arab and I’m African and I’m Sudanese, and I’m proud of being all of those things. Arabic, the sacred language is my mother tongue and my progenitor and heritage and Africa is a part of my DNA and of my soul and of my hearing and rhythm and hopes.

    NO contradictions there whatsoever.

  35. Lanta March 26, 2009 at 6:38 am #

    When I stated, “I also believe your points are based on a level of self hate that’s equivalent with the leader of your country and how he sees himself. If there were a Genealogist, Anthropologist, Historian, and a Geneticist apart of this conversation that we’ve been having, I’m sure the things I’ve been saying is closer to reality that what you’ve been saying.”

    You responded with, “That’s what you’d like to believe“!

    You’ve stated, “Many of your points seem to be based on opinions rather than facts, and emotions rather than reality“.

    My response to you is, “That’s what you like to believe“.

    You stated, “If I was an anthropologist, historian, etc.. I would deduce that I’m an Arab who is from an African country. If I had your mentality, I would insist that since all human beings came from Africa, we are all African”.

    We are all indeed Africans, but you know that people in this world would never use the term African to describe themselves even though the first humans were African like you stated. Even an Anthropologist Genealogist, Historian, and a Geneticist wouldn’t just classify people in the world as “Africans“. The world won’t accept that anyway, even though it’s true. These people are educated and not biased and even they wouldn’t classify themselves as “African” especially if they aren’t. The world consists of many different groups. I don’t believe there’s any failure in my logic. I do think I’m being quite logical, and I also believe you know that I’m being logical with the things I’ve been saying. I won’t say that the things you’ve been saying is “failed logic” because I know these things are what you were taught and cultured to believe in. I can only hope that you and others like you can have better logic in the future.

    My main point I was trying to make to you was that African Americans and or any other person who is black, no matter where they maybe in this world, and Sudanese share black African ancestry, which you disagree with. We might not agree on many things, but I still can’t understand how you can’t agree with the main point I’ve been making? Nonetheless, I’ll respect your opinion and EU, I respect the things you’ve said as well.

    I hope that you and EU will go back and read the things we all have written and try and see if what I’ve been saying has some truth to it because it does. If the two of you want to continue this conversation, It’s fine with me but if you want to move on that is fine with me also. I enjoy your blog Optimist even if I don’t understand your point of view on this topic and Darfur. There are other things I would like to have your opinion on regarding Osama bin Laden, Islam, Sudan, etc………… That probably will be really interesting as well.

    BTW, I’m going to learn Arabic so I can then be an “African Arab American” lol!!!!!! Maybe then we will have something in common. Love you Optimist and you to Eu.

    Eu, I don’t know who Youssou N’dour is never heard of him, but he could have class like you’ve stated but I wouldn’t call what Akon does trash. Even if he couldn’t live in Senegal with his lifestyle and commercialism, my point was it wouldn’t be hard for him to be apart of Senegals society. If what he does isn’t accepted in Senegal, he would know that and at the same time, be able to adjust to Senegals society.

    Besides, it’s rumored that this man has more than one wife; he definaetly didn’t get that sort of lifestlye from American society besides, this sort of thing is taboo and illegal in this country.

  36. sudaneseoptimist March 26, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    Oh Lanta, your mother tongue has to be Arabic to be an Arab. You missed out!

    I respect your opinions as well. I have in fact learned new insights about the way some people think of Sudanese people, specifically Northern Sudanese.
    Truth be told, there is an undeniable case of identity crisis in Sudan, so your arguments aren’t ‘out there.’

    At the end of the day, like Eu said, everyone is free to identify as they wish. And I do believe identity to be fluid– as Eu pointed out, we’re from the same area in Sudan, yet while on the whole we do mostly agree, I have a stronger association with groups of Arabs that he does not. That’s because I have been brought up around those groups of people and had positive interactions.

    Identity is less of a collective issue as most people think it to be.

    I am very happy you’re interested in learning more about Sudan and Africa (but please don’t call it the Mother Land, haha.)

    Feel free to e-mail me and let me know what topics you’d like me to discuss so I can expand on them in a full on blog post!

  37. Eu March 26, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Lanta

    What are you waiting for?!

    Check Youssou N’dour out!

    He’s a true African artist par excellence.

    When you get to know him you’ll know what I mean when I refer to Akon as trash.

    As for polygamy you can rest assured that women aren’t called b*tc**, ho** and tri*** in Senegal, unlike in the popular musical circles that Akon dabbles in.
    Just because something is made illegal doesn’t mean that the social problem it represents has been solved – drugs in the US – case in point.
    And good luck learning Arabic! It’s a beautiful language = )

    Optimist I lived a total of 11 years in Saudi Arabia. So we’ve both lived in the ‘Arab world’ for long stretches of our life.
    I’ve also had positive interactions.
    But just because people were nice to me, doesn’t mean that they weren’t racist – one of the many examples is a Lebanese colleague of mine wearing a Tupac tshirt (irony of ironies) who referred to a beautiful elegant and graceful and very dark skinned west African colleague of ours as a 3abda – a slave – behind her back when she was dancing.
    As for music – give me Miriam Makeba ANYDAY over Amr Diab = ) Although I love Rai music, but it’s in no way ‘Arab’ it just emanates from a funky country which is situated in the Arab world.
    You also didn’t get back to me on racism in Palestinian society and 7ey al3abeed in Gaza – maybe your Palestinian (and Jordanian friends – do you have any Jordanian ones?) can shed some light on the issue.

  38. Lanta March 27, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    Optimist, did I really miss out on being an Arab? Awwww Man!
    As far as not calling Africa the Mother Land, I don’t know about that.

    EU, I’ll check out Youssou N’dour like you’ve suggested as for polygamy, I wasn’t judging it I was showing you how he is connected to Senegal even though he’s an American.

    If I may ask, do you have multiple wives or plan to? Optimist, will you be part of that kind of lifestyle?

  39. brian April 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    that was a very good debate.

  40. tarig December 22, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    I suugest that the debate is in fact not the race but about loyality. This is the main fact shaping african communities. africans, black or arabs, or recently yellow (wherever the oil exist) are missing that attitude. Some one could name it culture. In such a case I would not disagree with them

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