Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful time that I spent in Sudan ,and because of them I decided that I want to start writing again, am not as good as I would like to be but I will work on it! I wanted to write a blog because its been ages since I last wrote anything, I mean I had to brush off the cobwebs before I started to type lol! Ive read loads of good blogs and asked my self why I stopped blogging in the first place ?! It just was due to being lazy and self doubt. So here we are after a long pause.
This summer I visited my beautiful homeland of Sudan which now known as North Sudan due to the split that happened 4 years ago. I was born there in 1985 ,in a town called Omdurman, that is located on the other side of the River Nile. I was 4 years old when I first left Sudan, and came to the UK, my father used to come to visit for business trips and fell in love with the UK, he wanted us to study and grow up here.
We often visit every 2 to 3 years .But ! its only this time that my eyes actually SAW Sudan I mean compared to my last visit in 2013 a lot has changed ,also you can say this trip has changed me too.
I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet my long lost Uncle (well he wasn’t really lost), but I’ve never met him until this trip.He left to start a new life in Saudi Arabia before I was born ,and he only knew of us through photographs ,that he still keeps. It was a very emotional moment when i met him for the first time, and he looked exactly as I pictured he would.I got to know him ,and how he was full of stories ,and knowledge of our rich history in Sudan ,he even took is to a place 2 hours away from where we lived, to visit a graveyard of all my ancestors who lived 350 years ago.They ruled Sudan ,and brought the knowledge ,and teachings of Islam to what was then a 95% chrsitain country, and made it what it is today.(I will have to write another separate blog about this)
My visit wasn’t long enough! I usually go for a month or 6 weeks,but I had to cut it short ;nevertheless, it was amazing!
The first things I notice,is that fasting there is much harder, than fasting in the UK ,even though we fast longer hours (18 to 19 hours),fasting in Sudan is HARD! Sometimes the power cuts ,leaving you with no electricity which means no fan ,and no air con for a few hours .I got very thirsty ;very quickly!
I also had the opportunity to spend Eid! (which is the Islamic celebration after the month of Ramadan) with my family . It was just so special ! and anyone would tell you that Eid back in their home country, is just magical!
The day consists of you wake up early , and going to stand in prayer for 1hour.After that you go home , get dressed ,and prepare sweets and cakes for the stampede of men! some are relatives some not ,who wear the traditional sudanese dress.This is a white Jalabiya with a white turban called Ima (I’ll post a picture below) ,who will come to your house wishing you Eid Mubarak.(I think i shook over 90 hands that day)!
After a few hours pass ,we then prepare a meal which no one can eat, as our stomachs have shrunk to the size of an egg ! due to fasting ,so all you do is nibble on homemade biscuits ,and drink milk tea.
The younger kids wear their new outfits ,and get rid money from elders ,and everyone is happy!
The thing I love about Sudan so much ! is the social gatherings , you can just hang out all night talking and joking , everyone is so lively and never without a smile on their faces.Sudan has many parks, and people flock there,and they are always packed at night after sunset ,as the sun is just a evil bully! locking people in their houses hahah lol.The social scene is just amazing ,there will be young people singing and playing daluka (type of drum) and singing old songs o,restaurants and take away places will be packed with people.
Now, lets talk about the food! my favourite subject ,I prefer home cooked food ,and my mum is class A when it comes to cooking traditional Sudanese food. It just so different , its fresh ,its tasty and its organic. Everything tastes better ,my theory is because Sudan is so lush and fertile ,and the water from the River Nile is clean ,and drinkable.
Over 1000 years ago before farmers and shepherds believed in God they used to worship the River Nile and the Sun ,as it helped their crops and animals grow,so it was vital for their survival too.(Another Blog?)
Every time I visit the Nile River ,which is only 10min away from my home, it never fails to amaze me. At night its so beautiful ! it looks like a black silk scarf ,and the lights surrounding it makes the view just stunning . If you watched the sunrise or sunset by the river ,I think you would cry! .I don’t know its just clams you down ! here something about hearing the sounds of water flowing quite therapeutic. Its just so mysterious and majestic!
My trips back home are always pleasant , and always looking forward to coming back.I believe the country has a lot of growing to do ,and the possibilities are endless! The youth of Sudan are a bright ,intelligent generation ,but politics and the state of the country’s economy don’t give them enough support.Its quite disheartening!
So there you go ! I will be covering another travel blog for my trip next month, ( the destination will be revealed soon!!) so watch out for that!
I hope you have enjoyed this!! even though travel blogs are quite hard to do ,as its a personal experince , and you have to be there to experience it for yourself. But I hope it gave you some sort of picture of the place I was born ,and still holds a special place in my heart!
The River Nile during the day.
Over 600 years ago Sudan and Egypt used to be one country called Kush or Nuba. 🙂