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5 Ultimate Solutions That Could Have Saved Sudan

5 Jul

After much deliberation and game theory analysis of the political, cultural, and economic situation in Sudan, I have deemed the following five points to be the only possible (read: remaining) solutions to solve all Sudan’s problems and disputes. These five solutions, when used together, shall be regarded as the ultimate panacea for Sudan. Now these solutions might seem eccentric at first, but who are we kidding, was there ever a ‘realistic’ solution to problems in Sudan? Was it ever used? No? Okay then try this: (warning, severe logical fallacies and several made-up words ahead)

1- Borrowed President
Once upon a time the most powerful country in the world was headed (and eventually beheaded) by a ridiculously incompetent president by the name of George W. Bush. After 8 years of embarrassing foreign policies, two wars, and an economic meltdown, the US was fed up. As we all know, the United States is secretly run by a group of expert politicians with a sinister world domination agenda (i.e Illuminati, Jews, and/or Pinky & the Brain) This secret group realized that if citizens see one more president with any resemblance to George Bush, the population will migrate back to Europe and Africa and call it a day. Sensibly, the furthest thing from a George Bush was a black president. Oprah was busy eating, and Jay-Z had better things to do so long story short, the US borrowed a black guy from Africa, gave him a fake McLovin’ Hawaii birth certificate, et voila! Enter the most inspiring president in United States history. And the US lived happily ever after, or at least better than before.
Moral of the story: We should’ve borrowed Mandela.

2- Gentrification
You can’t say the term gentrification these days without starting an intellectual riot with ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘Chicago’ being brought up a thousand times per minute. Whatever side you take in regards to the issue of gentrification, please consider that when dealing with North and South Sudan, nothing has worked at all for over twenty years. The root of the problem is, well, lots of roots, but at least one of those roots is the lack of contact and mixing between North and South Sudanese. Most North Sudanese, myself included, have never been to South Sudan. Most Sudanese can’t even name all states in Sudan. This is an enormous cultural problem that we don’t want to address and we want to jump right into the solution. It’s like insisting a 20 year that has never been educated should be in college and refusing to put him through elementary education first. Similarly, I think unity would not have been realistic had North and South Sudanese cohabitated in their own country. The least we, or our government, could have done was to promote tourism within our own country. Property prices are ever rising in Sudan, what if we could have promoted living in the South? What if the upper echelon of Sudanese society had summer homes in South Sudan and promoted tourism there?
Moral of the story: The country that lives together, stays together.

3- Arab Rehab
Slowly but surely, I can sense the Sudanese population weaning itself off the addiction to ‘Arabness.’ Not only has the Arab vs. African become tiresome and trite, but it has also become irrelevant. I am hearing more and more people denounce such identity definition in lieu of focusing on defining and epitomizing a ‘Sudanese’ identity. This is especially relevant post-secession as we will at least have a more unified intra-Northern culture (this is relative to the vast differences of the larger Sudan of yesteryear.) The further we move away from the confusion of whether or not we are Arab, the closer we become with ourselves simply as…Sudanese. This rehab, had it been done 20-some years ago, might have been an anchoring point in support of unity. Too little too late now!
Moral of the story: Our inferiority complex inferiorized ourselves.

4-Inter-Inter-Marriage
I truly believe that Sudan had no shot at staying united so long as the segregation in marriage of North and South citizens remained socially acceptable by both sides. I am not sure how it is for Southern Sudanese, but as a Northern, I was told from a young age that marriage between Northern and Southern Sudanese is a social taboo. The mere mention of such a thing is near blasphemous. Forget marrying a full-blooded Southern Sudanese, marrying a Northern Sudanese with any Southern roots or Southern ‘blood’ is even considered unfathomable, especially amongst ‘big families’ in Sudan. I can’t continue discussing this point, it makes me sick to my stomach, onto the next one…
Moral of the story: Love em or leave em (literally)

5- Cuisine Change
There is no way Sudan can move forward (or move at all) given the current intake of Sudanese cuisine which consists of pure carbohydrates. I’ve never heard someone say after devouring a plate of kesra bilmula7: “now I feel fully energized to make positive changes.” The only change you can think of after eating Sudanese food is to change from a vertical to a horizontal position immediately. I am convinced that our cuisine, a product of a conspiracy theory by the Brits to put us through reverse evolution, is what is holding us back, and ultimately caused us to lose the South. Alternatively, I recommend that we inject our food with nootropics, and mandate daily Red Bull drips for all citizens of working and voting age.
Moral of the story: I just finished a plate of foul biljibna and lost the ability to conclude this post…

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Sudan: You’ve Been Intellectually Served

26 Jun

I have recently stumbled upon a quote by Saul Alinsky, and read it way too many times until I finally decided I should probably share it. I find this quote incredibly succinct for the profoundly complex issues it addresses–

“Not at any time. I’ve never joined any organization—not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.”

This quote describes a major aspect of my political, social, and philosophical beliefs. I fully support each individual who embarks on an infinite quest to seek whatever knowledge he/she has the capacity to seek, however, I would stop just shy of seeking an ‘absolute truth’ because such a thing is not accessible to non-deity. I believe those who seek out the ‘absolute truth’ are a) wasting their time and everyone else’s b) pursuing an ultimate truth for reasons and motives that cannot possibly be altruistic. As Alinsky states, if you fully believe you are undoubtedly right, you are therefore a subscriber of dogma or ideology and most definitely susceptible to the crimes of the fundamentalist mind.

In matters of faith, I refuse to label my beliefs beyond saying I am a Muslim. Labeling your ‘faith’ or ‘spirituality’ is in and of itself contradictory. Similarly, I reject any political affiliation or aligning my thoughts fully with an organized political agenda. As a Sudanese, I can feel first-hand the effects of political dogma, tribalism and religious sectarianism tearing apart my country, and I want no part of it.

I truly believe the way for Sudanese youth to move forward is for each of us to insist on being independent intellectuals who have aligned goals and visions for our countries, instead of political agendas that define how you should think, yet lack focus on goals and visions. This is especially relevant with our ever expanding diaspora–our educational backgrounds and upbringings are becoming increasingly varied. Our sub-cultures are even further more different. There are felt cultural differences between Sudanese who have been brought up in Sudan, US, England, GCC, or other regions. Instead of succumbing to more divisiveness, I hope that we would agree to rid ourselves of labels, whether tribal or political, and instead divert our attention to our country as a whole, or whatever is left of it, to ensure it remains whole.

Abyei Poll

25 May