Voices and Faces from Darfur PART 2

by Yosra Akasha

Super Women in Abu Shouk[1]

womenkidsdrfurI’ve asked a few women from Abu Shouk camp if they have been working or doing any other job beside their household. They said they are not working but making bricks, selling food in the market and nearby schools and farming. Women of Darfur’s “Jobless status” include doing their productive and reproductive roles, while men are not really responsible for breadwinning; they continue to abuse women by practicing polygamy and domestic violence. I couldn’t believe my ears when an educated women and an activist told me that Darfuri women love the harsh treatment of their husbands. If a man was nice to his wife she would think that he didn’t love her.

I pass by women who are making bricks. They have stopped their work for a few seconds and stared at our car. I see hope in their eyes; they are just checking out if I am an aid worker but I have nothing except waving at them and honoring their extremely hard job. Their smiles have made my day.

darfur3bigNotes from Abu Shouk:

The camp near Alfashir is much similar to camps around Khartoum but it is much bigger and there is extensive existence of soldiers in a huge check point. In Abu Shouk the well-structured buildings are a mosque and a green building with a big photo of Ali Osman and Elbashir[2]. I’ve noticed an empty yard with a label, “The Egyptian Clinic”. I called my memories back to 2009 and I remembered the incident of the Egyptian government sending drugs and medications in a military helicopter directly to a camp in Darfur. When the ministry of health and asked to check those medicines they needed to transport them again to Khartoum, where the National Board for Medications and Poisons refused to check unclassified drugs. The classification was done by a volunteer and most of the medicines were expired or about to expire. It was just an attempt by the Egyptian government to trash those medicines.

Inside the camp I’ve noticed a billboard of a WFP project in partnership with a Kuwaiti company and I’ve learnt about another Kuwaiti company was contracted to do the catering for UNAMID. I wondered how some states are benefiting from the ongoing crisis and how they are not giving a shit about the people of Sudan/Darfur. I’ve not heard any statement by the Kuwaiti government regarding the people of Sudan.

Darfur Proverbs

National Youth Union Participation in Cecafa Championship Exhibition: Stealing Public Property

The Cecafa[3] championship was accompanied by a cultural exhibition from Darfur. The participants were civil society organizations, entrepreneurs and the national youth union, which I’m really confused about how to categorise; it is not a governmental/non-governmental organization or a political party but something in between. Their section in the exhibition was one of the most beautiful sections. They had a photo archive from Darfur which I believe was not theirs and had been stolen from the government archive of Darfur, which is public property. The photos reflected the beauty of nature in Darfur and the culture of certain tribes. The photos above are part of the exhibition.

[1] Abu Shouk is one of the IDP camps around Elfashir.

[2] Elbashir is the president of Sudan and Ali Osman is the vice president.

[3] Cecafa is the Council for the East and Central Africa Football Association.

Yosra Akasha is a Sudanese blogger and activist based in Khartoum. She works as Sudan Outreach Officer for the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Network. Previously she joined several health promotion campaigns and regional peace campaigns.  She writes about human rights and social issues in Sudan with more focus on advocating for women rights, peace and the rights of displaced persons. Yosra has been selected as a correspondent for Voices of Our Future 2013, a program on citizen journalism offered by the World Pulse website. She blogs in English and Arabic at Sudanese Dream Twitter: @sudanesedream

One thought on “Sudan: Unfinished … Untold Stories – Part 2

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