Adapting to Madani: A Journey From Khartoum!
During the enraging war that erupted mainly in Khartoum on April 15, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese citizens were internally displaced to various states around the country. Al-Gazira state and its capital, Madani, is considered by far the place that received the most families and individuals who were forced to leave their homes in search of survivability, as it serves as the closest safe place to escape war terrors and have a moment’s respite to plan for the next steps.
During a three-week stay spent in Madani, we wanted to share some of our observations, reflecting on how the ongoing conflict has impacted life in this lovely and welcoming city!
Spreading Kindness To Those In Need!
Famed for their boundless generosity and spontaneous kindness, a friend hosted us and insisted on welcoming us when we contacted him before leaving Khartoum. He arranged everything in order for everyone to feel fully welcomed and comfortable. What caught us off guard was that he was dedicating his house to aid many others fleeing from Khartoum.
You end up meeting people of different ages and backgrounds, driven out of their homes against their will – each person, has a different story about how they were even able to make it here.
The exchange of thoughts, feelings, and dreams with a mixture of slight venting, serves as an unofficial group therapy that ends up healing unseen wounds through the kindness and hospitality this environment brings.
Residents of Madani, and those who reached this city before us, would hurry to ask about the latest news – they believe that receiving information from their fellow Sudanese brothers is far more credible than any TV channel these days!
I've noted a decline in new footage from #Khartoum on my feed and on TV channels in recent days as more people leave the city, and amid power and communications outages.
— Andrew Smith (@andrewg_smith) April 27, 2023
The Strife To Keep Moving Forward
It is safe to say that the war has affected the mindset of Sudanese youth, pushing them to figure out a way to keep going after the sudden and massive change of events that happened in everyone’s life.
Walking through the streets of Madani, you often encounter young people selling different kinds of merchandise. Many started small-scale businesses to secure a source of income to help them face the numerous expenses in their present life.
The streets are full of stories of determined spirits who refuse to bend and break by the losses of the conflict, and continue to stand tall and shake off any signs of procrastination to keep going.
People from the Capital are flooding the city!
This once upon a time-quiet city has turned into a beehive after the huge influx of residents following the war. The streets are often busy and crowded, and you’ll find yourself waiting in traffic at several time zones during the day and evening.
People in Madani started the week pretty early, with long queues forming for official passport services at 5:21AM.
— Lovin Khartoum (@lovinkhartoum) September 3, 2023
Places that are usually visited like Al-Soog Al-Kabeer, Al-Zamalik Street, and Nile Street are now always full of people up until midnight! You would also notice that many places like stores and restaurants have opened recently due to the relocation of people in Madani!
The struggle with the prices of goods and groceries, in general, has been met by the generosity and kindness of Madani’s people. They have aided their fellow brothers and sisters in their neighbourhoods with all kinds of love and support.
Despite the presence of a few greedy mediators who have made renting a nightmare for some fleers, others opened their houses, schools, and yards to welcome anybody and everybody.
Contact details for people in Medani whose homes are open for anyone seeking shelter https://t.co/BhEYGlsv7X
— dalliasd (@dalliasd) April 19, 2023
Our stay in Madani yielded bountiful lessons showing how life can teach us the importance of flexibility and readiness to adjust during the hardest of times. Despite being built to serve a small population, the city warmly embraced the floods of citizens thanks to our intrinsic Sudanese qualities of hospitality and standing with one another.
It showed us the beautiful side of people alongside the ugly one in many cases, which is a valuable lesson that we hope will bring us as a nation to a higher level of empathy, understanding, cooperation and success together in the years to come after this war.
We send a message of LOVE and gratitude to Madani and all the cities, towns and villages that welcomed displaced people from around the country, and pray for a brighter and better tomorrow for Sudan in sha Allah.
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