Essays

Oct. 29, 2017

“There is more ado to interpret interpretations than to interpret things, and more books upon books than upon any other subject; we do nothing but comment upon one another. Every place swarms with commentaries; of authors there is great scarcity”Montaigne

Then gentlemenlet us wait a little. When your enemy is executing a false movement; never interrupt him”. Napoleon 

 

am a young observer of and participant in the cultural scene and movements in Sudan; moreover I personally live experiences in regard to the old/ young generations conflict issue. This allowed me to have the much more of sights, pictures, knowledge and memories. Because of my highly levels of concerns; in this article which is not going to be scholarly or philosophical writing rather than it is going to be more personal, full of concerns, fears, and Love, all at the same time.  Maybe I am also going to write this with anger or sadness, and maybe without any sense of professionalism but this is what I see in my cultural community in specific. 

I am almost 27 years old now, I am a Fiction writer and I used to be a journalist, why I said "used to be" that is because: the first time I started my career as a journalist in the cultural field at couple of Sudanese newspapers, I was just completed my 19th years of old. I faced lots of barriers, verbal attacks and being filled with doubts about my ability and intelligence just because of my age which was bonded with "lack of experience" and in other language "ignorance" by the senior generations. I remember I was really shocked by that very anger, I was notexpecting anything but enlightenment passed to me from them. I sadly left my jobs at the newspapers one after another, I started to question myself about the truth of what I thought it is a myth; that the old generations or as what the young generations love to call them "Dinosaurs"  might be a real fact that they do break our wings as youth and always twisted and played by the compasses so we lose directions. So the youth started digging for new paths. And the old generations now want these new "inexperienced" paths with mania. I always wanted to close my eyes and never think about the conflict between old and young generations nowadays. 

But we as youth, we are neither angles nor victims. We are pure little selfish devils, full of energy that we have no idea how or where we can invest itWe as young generations we have our own problems and conflicts; we do not support each other, we divided ourselves into groups and any other young person who does not belong to one of these groups will be abandoned and eaten alive. When I looked back to that golden era as we have been told, when the old generations where young then; I found out that they did support each other, they criticized themselves with fully respect to the dignities, diversities and differences. They valued the originality of each other work, and they even kept it in their own offices or house archives, they celebrated with joy and proud the new published works by anyone. Literally they had very strong bounds and friendships. 

Now here at the other side, in spite of all this completely new generous era we are living in now; we as youth we do notappreciate the originality of anyone’s work, we do not support, push, and criticize in logical words. Maybe I am volumizing all this but it is somehow the very true. We as youth are ignorants, yes we live in this very time where everything is available in a touch of an index but we are complete ignorants as long as we do not know how to take care of each other, how to treat with respect, how to build a culture and a history to stay alive in the future minds. We are lost and we are afraid. The senior generations did not see this in us, and they got afraid of this fake skin so that is where it all got worse. 

We as youth, we are full of thoughtand enthusiasm for experiencing these thoughts. We do not believe in frames or rules, we put our own ones just for sake of breaking and not following them. So first of all let us interrupt Napoleon and not follow his rulethough there is no enemy; interrupt anyone who is about to make a false move whether from old or youth, and keep the dialogue open well covered by respect, also let us keep in our minds that there is no expiration dates for the old generations, and there is no ovulation or incubation periods for the young generations. The cultural scene’s pendulum, will keep bouncing and keep its balance because of both the old and young generations. The passing experiences, the new thoughs, the contemporary experimentsit is all about hugging the past, building the present and handing future. 

In our unique country Sudan, we already have the gorgeous mixture of Arabic and African, Sahara and Nile, let us keep on this mix always on our minds and reflect it in our Old/ Young Generations Conflicts and I am fully sure that the dialogue and the mix between both of them will last even longer than anything on the earth as long as we do not eat our own species alive and so our culture.

Mar. 5, 2017

“Persons with disabilities” don’t mean that the persons themselves are disable to do things, it doesn’t mean that their condition whether it is physical or mental burdens them from doing things right ‘or wrong’ and curbs them from accessing and being in a physical ‘place’ or emotional ‘state of mind’. They are “people with disabilities” because they don’t have the accessibility which allows them to live their lives and do their own activities, there is no accommodation and no accessibility to help them on reaching their rights of education, job, health and any rights which needs to be accessible.

“Disability” is a really wide, complicated, controversial and growing term/concept in the world and it is not easy to be defined or to hold it in a palm. Some minorities are considered with disabilities; some ethnics, women, children, old people, gays, homeless, vegetarians, Rastafarians and bankers.

I always thought of us the “third world humans” as persons with disabilities, we are all disabled persons as long as we are still facing barriers and ignorant about our own rights; barriers that exclude us from our rights to have good educations, to have the right to choose, the right to have a proper job, the right of getting justice, the right of living a good life suitable for a human being, well covered by respecting the dignity.

Persons with disabilities, suffer from the unequal system –if we have one, which doesn’t achieve or implement the equality for all the community members. Lie down and imagine -or even calculate, how persons with visual disability, mobility disability, hearing disability... etc, can survive in our “third world” no-system countries with all the barriers they face. No proper streets, no services, no accommodation and no justice. I start to believe that I myself living a luxury life in this corrupted no infrastructure country.

Do you know how many persons with disabilities in the world at this moment? –And this question can remain still whenever this article is popped out in time somewhere, okay I can see your silence so forget about this question because I know and understand that the concept of “disability” is really wide. Do you know how many persons with visual disability in the world at this very moment? Okay what about mobility disability in the world at this moment? –again the question is timeless. In spite of the wide concept of “disability” the numbers are really and actually unbelievably huge.

I don’t know you –yes you, but I know we need to make an action and a quick one. At the beginning we need to know, ‘Knowing’ is always the greatest laser sword for anything to be dealt with, ‘Knowing’ is no longer our secret weapon because “secret” is what brought us here from the very start and made us developing –if we really do- as the ages which passed on the planet Earth. I hope we can be fast, relevant, acknowledge, accurate, helpful and stand all together and build a better society, a better environment, better humanity –that one is no longer works, to build a good justice system, good accommodation,  a better dignity and a better planet. 

Aug. 9, 2015
Why do I write? Or, put another way, when I do write? 
When I find myself feeling one or more of the following: confused, in denial, abandoned, angry, conned, sad, worthless, tired of Life.  And also when I feel proud, smart, and a person who knows everything there is to know about Life.
When I am experiencing one or more of the negative feelings, and the weight on my shoulders starts to feel too heavy to bear, I start to write, and the anger and sadness fade away after the first two words! 
Most of the time I feel like life is a great deception. Happiness, sadness, pride, kindness, confusion, desire, sense of denial; any and all of these lead me to this conclusion. 
When I first started to write, I thought of the act as a link between two worlds: misery and the joy of life. Later, writing became “The Vision” of life, of seeing behind the scenes. Writing allowed me to see life from another perspective, or even just beyond the normal or natural definition of it.  Later still, writing became temporary relief from long-lasting pain, a kind of masturbation, of trying to reach a state of pleasure. Writing is thus a form of masturbation that we do on a daily or weekly basis depending on what we want. Sometimes we don’t hesitate to spoon with life itself and give it pleasure. But, we have to be careful not to masturbate too frequently, or else we might just cause chronic and severe damage to our brains! Especially to our vision, and so we risk becoming blind! Though even worse than being blind is having sight but no vision!
Sometimes writing is a mirror that helps us see reality, despite the fact that not all mirrors show or reflect the truth – if there is such a thing as truth. Or put another way, writing is like holding a lantern: you need one to find a way out of the dark, as long as your eyes haven’t adjusted to the darkness yet. 
I always feel like using writing as a way out, an exit, regardless of the specific kind of writing. And I also think that the responsibility of a writer is that of holding the reader’s hand, tightly, and of showing them the way out by rowing as hard as you can to help them reach a shore of enlightenment, or at least by driving them to a bus station!
For me, writing is a lot like sex. Sometimes, we are seduced by writing, and sometimes we get our “periods” or just lose motivation, and sometimes we write when we’re feeling so sad or happy that we can’t handle the emotion without letting it out through writing. 
Writing helps to get rid of our natural habit of attachment. It cleans us, and lets us get rid of all the misery in ourselves. Do not get attached to anything, please! This reminds me of that poem by Elizabeth Bishop about the art of “losing”. She said – and I quote directly: 
“Lose something every day;
 I lost two cities, lovely ones,
And vaster, some realms I owned, 
Two rivers, a continent, I miss them,
But it wasn’t a disaster!”
Each word we write, whether it be in the form of a poem, story, play, prose, essay or anything else, will dig deep creases into us. The more we see and the more we hold hands, the more numerous, the deeper and the more permanent those creases will be.
At last, we have to undress ourselves, start writing, and raise that lantern.
 
 
 
 
Illustration by:  Mohammed Othman