“There Is no Clear Vision for Young People in Sudan”
Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
A: I come from Sudan. Sudan is the third largest country in Africa. It is situated in Northeast Africa. It's a country rich in both natural and human resources. Sudan has one of the most ancient civilizations of the world namely Kush, Meroe among others. On the other hand, Sudan is one of the most corrupted and poor countries. I like to quote from Altayeb Salih-he is a famous Sudanese novelist-, “Sudan is the rich and the poor, the powerful and weak, the fertile and infertile, the country with a great nation and bad luck”.
I originally come from a small village in Gezira state. It is situated south to Khartoum State. I was born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan. Currently, I study medicine at the University of Alzaiem Alzahari. Also, I am an active member of Medical Students International Network-Sudan (MedSIN-Sudan). In MedSIN Sudan, We work to empower medical students and link them to the global health issues. In addition, I work as a freelance translator in an online platform called Andariya. I believe that in Sudan there are stories other than those the world can see in the media. I work for Anadriya to help those stories to be told.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?
A: Today we live in a crazy world full of crisis. We live in a world constrained by pollution, natural disasters, conflicts, refugee and immigrant crisis. Today the world is full of Divisions and civil wars. In this particular time, the people and governments are working to achieve the sustainable developmental goals. Huge efforts have to be done. I believe that we can’t fulfill these goals to the maximum. We can’t reach zero hunger, zero refugee status, but we can minimize the inequalities and disparities. We can help the poorest to be less impoverished and give access to those who do not access healthcare facilities, for me this is what a better world means.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
A: The key challenges are the lack of good governance and lack of economic stability. Those challenges drive list of other challenges such as poverty, unemployment, poor quality of education, youth immigration, inequalities, conflicts, and war. At the level of society, we face many challenges such as poor social cohesion, racism, and harmful traditional practices.
Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
A: I think that we as young people do not have many opportunities. There is no clear vision for young people in Sudanese policies and strategies. There is no youth representation in the parliament. Unemployment, low-quality education are very devastating challenges that we experience as young people.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
A: I am convinced that having a mentor is a life necessity. We always need to have a wise and experienced people to talk to and to consult. Mentors buy us time and this is a very great thing to happen to every one of us. When I started Alsudaniya Mentoring in 2016, I used to have a mentor. She was an outstanding woman. We were sharing many things in common. I am thankful for her because she was very supportive and understanding. I am grateful that we are still in touch. Now I have Mr. Serdar as my mentor and I am very thankful for him. He is very helpful and collaborative.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
Perhaps one of the most important lessons I learned is to be proactive. I lived for several years as a victim, I used to limit my ambition, my dreams, and goals. But I learned that nothing could be changed unless I take a step forward. I learned to take the initiative and be responsible for my actions. We have to be responsible for our personal development. We have to raise and help those around us to raise and be better versions of themselves.
Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!
A: Mr. Faris Alnur is the founder of a charity organization called Mojadidon. Mojadidon works in ending hunger. They preparing sandwiches for the poorest primary schools in Sudan. They prepare 35000 sandwiches daily to be sent to 123 schools. Mojadidon helped many of the students who drop out of school because of hunger. In addition, they work in integrating and teaching homeless children. Children are offered classes and food in the morning so that they might have better chances of completing their education in the future. Mojadidon started their work in 2010. Mr. Faris has recently received hope makers award from his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the governor of Dubai, in the United Arabic Emirates.
Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?
A: I think the challenges that Sudanese women face today is the absence of a united vision for what is women rights in Sudan should be. Also, we have some discriminating laws. In addition, the mindset and stereotype people have about women. In Sudan, you can be a minister or parliamentarian yet people will still look at you as inferior to your male counterpart. I have some reservations using the world equality but I believe in equity. In my humble opinion, we need a true movement for women rights. We need to rewrite our folk stories to send positive messages on women leadership and women roles in their societies. We need to abandon the discriminatory laws. We do not need pseudo representation we need true and effective women representation in the governmental bodies and leadership positions.
Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?
A: Madam Amal Habbani. She is a journalist and women rights activist. She was arrested many times because of her writings. She was one of the founders of No to women oppression initiative. In 2009 she received an award from UNESCO for her articles on children rights. In 2015, she received Ginetta Sagan Award for her activism in children and women rights.
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
A: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller
Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.
A: At any circumstances, you haven't to lose your belief, faith and hope.