A Stance of Remarkable Solidarity: How Sudanese Are Dealing With The Impact Worldwide

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On April 15, a war erupted in our beloved Sudan. The impact it had on the people mentally, physically and financially was beyond expectations. We all witnessed a lot of imprinted memories of love and belonging to the places we used to hang out at; our neighbourhoods, childhood and youth memories turned into flames and dust in a war that still carries on to this very day. 

Amongst this tidal wave that hit our community overall, the Sudanese diaspora was one of the groups affected deeply on multiple levels. The voices of people living outside were shyly rising to express their panic, anxiety, pain and sorrow over what was going on to their friends, families and relatives and their favourite places.

The haunting thoughts of survival guilt have been present

We decided to dedicate this article to the cherished diaspora, a little tribute of love to what they did and are doing. Your efforts and own battles are never forgotten and we’re out here supporting and Lovin’ you!

They’ve been fighting their own battles

Yusra Yousif, who is known as Ossa, is a Sudanese content creator and influencer living in the UAE.

She is filled with love and dedication to bringing out the best in Sudan and its people. Her vibrant energy and spontaneous lovely spirit have continued to find its way to the hearts of her audiences naturally! 

Ossa left Sudan just a few months before the war on short notice since she was planning to return and attend a couple of her family and friends’ occasions later that summer. She was preparing gifts and surprises for her siblings when the war erupted blew the thought of returning home for her, and many other fellow Sudanese people, who were planning to return home for Eid Al-Fitr. 

She found herself in a position where she was super worried about her family’s safety, trying to get them out of the capital to somewhere safe while she stood by her people and dedicated her account to supporting their needs and voicing them as things began to take a turn. 

The amount of anxiety, stress and panic she had during these days was unbearable, yet she kept lending a hand to all the people in need 24/7 – all whilst burying her feelings since she was in a much better place than a lot of her family members. 

“Surely, you’ve experienced events that are way worse than me, seeing as that you’re still living in Khartoum.”

A sentence that describes a lot of the diaspora thoughts who have decided to put their feelings to sleep to tend to others.

Just a few days before the war, I booked a flight back to Sudan and had my bags packed in order to spend Eid with the family.. and when this happened it felt as if you were about to meet someone you missed so much and you wake up on the news of their death… I felt that this is exactly what happened to me.

Yusra struggled to get her family to a safe place, and that had a big impact on her health. “I tried my best to keep my cool until I had a breakdown and remained for days in bed, unable to talk or respond properly. The tears were fighting their way out of that gloomy silence yet I wanted to keep going still.”

Her audience missed her fun and wonderful TikTok videos and urged her to return to content creation once again, inspired by her audience, she decided to come back onto the platform, hoping that her videos would relieve some of the stress that was going on with our people around the world.

It is there that I realized that what I am doing is more than just bits and pieces of fun and that I am here more than ever in this for the sake of the people.

 

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A post shared by Yusra (@ossaa_)

“Hamdella Ala Salamtik!” 

One of the stories that Ossa shared with us, was about one of her followers. She mentioned that he was trapped alone in Khartoum and clueless about what to do, and she followed up with him in all the steps he needed until he found a safe way out.

He later sent her a message saying “Hamdella ala salamtik,” which meant that he was thanking Allah for her safety. When she asked him about what that meant, he replied saying that she was so worried and caring about him along the journey that he felt as if she was travelling with him and felt that he needed to say that to her instead of the other way around.

These sorts of deeds from valiant souls are worth mentioning, and being praised for, as they will help carve the way to a bright Sudan in the near future. 

Living in a State of Fear from the Unknown

Deema Alasad, known as Asadoya, is an active Sudanese public figure, human rights activist, feminist and dentist who currently lives in Sweden.

She described the stress of war when it erupted as a nightmare. Her family, friends and loved ones found themselves under heavy fire, with planes flying above their heads and bombings all around them, while she could hardly check on them due to poor electricity and network issues that cut connections for days and sometimes weeks.

“Living in a state of fear from the unknown, wondering about many questions: are your loved ones alive and healthy? Is your home still there with what’s going on? The feeling was very bizarre and strange, living in a calm and peaceful country with people going about their daily lives normally while your own life and circumstances aren’t, with your inner world crumbling. Then you find yourself living with people who can’t understand or feel what you’re going through, so I took breaks now and then in order to preserve my sanity.”

She mentioned that she spent most of her work hours following the news updates about the war, which made her lose concentration on her tasks, so she needed to readjust and rest in order to balance things over. 

Anything to be Closer To Home.

She travelled to Egypt for some time to be closer to Sudanese families and people and give them the support she could. She described the immense amount of hardships, horror and struggle they faced during their tiresome journeys there, and the number of people who lost their lives as a result.

She addressed her experience with survival guilt from a very interesting point of view. As she confessed, she felt the peak of it during the massacre that took place in 2019, which she escaped by a few minutes as she was there right before it happened. When she encountered the same feeling this time around she commented that “You are always where you are needed and fated, and God put you somewhere at a certain time for a reason, so feeling guilty because you weren’t at a certain place around a certain time is pointless because you just end up feeling so bad for something that you can’t control. At the same time, feeling guilty because you survived death is a Sudanese person’s curse that’s been carried through generations, and it’s appearing clear in ours because in most cases, it feels easier to die with others rather than live grieving their loss.”

Her answer was a strong and direct message to stand up and live on because drawing breath no matter where you are means it’s always worth living despite all the odds. 

Sudanese people have undergone a chain of stressful events for decades and the burden of that has been dropped on the shoulders of this generation, which makes it even more important for the nation to heal as one. Asadoya looks at our generation as the agents of change that Sudan needs and the beacon of hope that is destined to turn the course of history for the better. 

We feel you! 

Finally, this article was written to send a virtual hug to all our beloved Sudanese diaspora out there; your feelings are validated, and your well-being is important like everyone else and should be held in high regard by you in the first place.

May we all reunite together soon in our dear Sudan; the one and only real place to call Home. 

READ NEXT: The Importance of Challenging a Dark Today with a Bright Vision for a Better Tomorrow

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