السبت، 27 سبتمبر، 2014

A Heart Can Be in Two Places

On being a diaspora, Akram's detention and remembering September 2013

Last Monday was my second day in UK for the first time, knowing that I'll be away from home for a long cold year. I was extremely sad to leave my family and friends behind, missing a lot of major incidents in their life and in Sudan as a whole. I was alert to the new environment and very excited to explore the place in my very own way. On the other hand I was looking on my Facebook updates and learnt that Akram and so many others got arrested. Akram, on my farewell party told me to study hard and not to worry about incidents happening in Sudan I promised him to do so if he wouldn't get arrested/ kidnapped. He couldn't keep his promise at least for one day.

Akram is one of the bravest persons that I ever met. He spares no effort to bring NCP down, help the patients who lack funds to get emergency medical care and always stands by your side in the hard times. Akram was arrested several times since June 2014, being physically and psychologically tortured for hours and he never wanted people to speak about his arrests. Although I disagree with him but he thinks campaigning for detainees would take time and efforts of the actual regime change activities. I met Akram last year abroad, he fled Sudan in 2012 after escaping arrest attempts and receiving threats from NISS. Akram had a great sense of humor, he made me laugh and we became friends in no time. He was the man who cried because of being forcibly displaced. His heart is as big as his voice.

I was running all back to my laptop to check "Facebook" updates to the extent that I started not to really read the detainees names and learn about what happened to them. I realized that I've to pull my self out. I cannot make it this way, I cannot get an MA while I spend most of the day scanning my Facebook home page and I should start to care less. I thought about showing some solidarity to my detained friends and I felt that I should not; a Facebook post without taking the streets seems to me like doing nothing at all; it will only drag me back to my worries, concerns and being helpless.

Being helpless is not a diaspora exclusive feeling/ status. I can tell that, I left only few days ago. I cannot even recall all the moment I couldn't do or think of any doable acts. Many of those moments happened in September of last year and the days followed that. I was helpless when I sat in our reception room with my fiance and we listened to Albashir announcing lifting up subsidies on fuel and basic food items. My thinking was towards we wouldn't be able to get married anytime soon, but that's not a catastrophe situation as of the kids in the outskirts of Khartoum who hardly can get one meal a day. I felt helpless when one of my former colleagues and a pharmacist in a hospital communicated with me on Whatsapp saying that two boys where admitted to the hospital yesterday with injuries of live ammunition and even more severe injuries are getting into the hospital that morning and .. oh  they cut-off the internet, I cannot go back home and I'm too weak to protest. I spent that night in a friend's house. I felt helpless when I got a phone call from an extended family member who were insisting to know my whereabouts and take me back home. I was scared because I had doubts on that person being NISS agent so either he thought that I'm doing something he wants to know or something might happen and he doesn't want to be in a bad position if I got hurt in anyway. I had a feeling that horrible thing will happen, neither I can stop it nor alert enough people about it. That was only an hour before the government militias started to shoot people who are randomly gathered in the streets. Few weeks later I felt helpless, trivial, angry and so small when visited some of the martyrs' families. I felt helpless when Moniem was detained and when I knew about Mohamed Salah being terribly tortured. This is only a glimpse of the moment I was helpless in Sudan. But I remembered Akram in many of those situations telling me and his eyes full of tears "not to stop what we have already started".

So I need to disconnect myself a bit from Sudan, that was an advice from a friend before I leave. I started to explore the city I walked around for 2-3 hours after completing my scheduled tasks. I chat with my Chinese and Indian flatmates over dinner. I try to organize my meals time after so many years of mess.

Wednesday came soon and its time for the 57th session of human rights council on Sudan. Badrin's report is being discussed. Listening to that live web-casting was a mistake. The council member states' comments were so nauseating, full of lies and belly tickling. I was so amused to hear even Eritrea's comment not on the report but on the situation in Sudan. Never mentioning the speeches by Zibair charitable organization and working women association. I never have had hopes on Badrin; the so called UN independent human rights expert to Sudan who get most of his appointments controlled by pro-government agents. However It was frustrating and painful to hear all that nonsense. I spent most of the day listening to that bullshit although I wanted to stop. I realized it is not healthy to stay inside alone with all that frustration and anger. I went to the gym and I joined a boxing class. I imagined that I might need it someday in Sudan to punch a NISS agent or even Akram for not keeping his promise.

By today the numbers of detainees is exceeding the 70 persons in a week. I'm in a different place and I think the world neither know nor care, nothing in the news about that. Actually arrest and detention in Sudan and other oppressive countries is not even "news" its something of the daily life of the people and it shouldn't be. For this reason I'm here 3244 miles away from home, studying, experiencing new things and gaining better skills. I believe in Sudanese people, they deserve living in dignity and I would spare no efforts to achieve that.

For now I'm not around, I might not be soon but I got my heart in two places.