SUDAN WATCH: Blogging Amanda in South Sudan

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Blogging Amanda in South Sudan

Here's another reason why I support the African Union Mission in Darfur. Excerpt from Amanda Wadud's blog in South Sudan Aug 13 2006:
"I have been speaking with some people about some of my skirmishes with the local Dinkas and then last night I spoke with a sister from Khartoum about some experiences she has had (very scary) and she had to point out to me something that I had thought about before I arrived in Rumbek but dismissed too quickly. It seems that my issue is that I am being mistaken for a northern Arab. To me that is ridiculous, but virtually any Black person whose skin is more brown than ebony could be mistaken for someone from the North.

Firstly let me help you to expand your definition of an Arab. In the United States at least, and I believe the same is true for much of Europe we think an Arab is a light skinned/olive skinned individual with curly to kinky hair who, speaks Arabic. Like African Americans, Arabs come in all shades of skin color. I used to look at all Sudanese as being Black, after all As-Sudan literally means the Land of the Blacks in Arabic. I was initially shocked and offended some years ago to learn that the northern Sudanese consider themselves Arabs and not Black, after all they look like they would fit in at one of my family reunions. But being here has helped me understand why they consider themselves Arab. So an Arab is defined by language and culture and not skin color. I had previously written about how as a Black person in Africa I am often put into a local ethnic group, well that can be a good thing because it makes me less conspicuous, but it can also be dangerous depending on socio-political and historical factors."
[via Drima of The Sudanese Thinker: It's Slowly Happening - with thanks]

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