Thursday, September 8, 2005

Powerlessness and Hibiscus Jiuce!

I got a friend! A sudanese friend! Her name is Shayma'a and will probably be my local link to the arab world here. I met her and her friend last week and had Sudanese juice with hibiscus. Strange but nice.

Everythin runs smoothly here, however slowly. We have a full time employed electrician in the house since the electricity is not something to trust. Got to sleep without AC last night again, but that went ok since we've had a few "cool" days when it's only been around 35 degrees. Thank god I got a membership at the Grand Hotel Villa, which probably is the closest you can get to luxury in Sudan at this time. They have a big swimming pool, parasolls, sun chairs and food and drinks that are more than way over priced. I suspect this will be my refuge from now on. It's nice to get away from the dust, the hordes of people and the heat from time to time, although I'm starting to get used to is. A little. I'm still sweating rivers, but it would have been wierd if I didn't. In Sudan it's as common to be shiny with sweat as it is to have a running nose in winter-Sweden.

I've been a criminal too! A couple of days ago, me and Mathew (my employer) went to this China restaurant that serves "special tea". This special tea happens to be BEER! And let me tell you, it was probably one of the best beers I've ever had.

Reality is starting to come back to me down here. A couple of days ago I found out that the house opposite to ours is used as an "questioning building", where the military tries to get information from people with the use of unpleasant methods. Most people call it torture. I almost feel bad for coming from Sweden. We have it so good back home and you realize it first when you've seen what reality is for other people around the world. If you report your wallet to be stolen (as a western person at least), they will most likely grab an innocent Sudanese on the street and beat him for hours just to report that someone has been punished for the crime, although most likely not the right person (but you'd do best in not mentioning that. In fact, don't report your wallet stolen at all, if you can help it).

There are still slave camps in Sudan, where women and children are forced to hard labour without payment. There are thousands of political refugees that are tortured every day. And we see all that back home in Sweden, on TV and in newspapers. We hear of eye witness testimonials and stories, about how rape is used as a weapon during the war, about young men who was forced to rape his mother. We know all this, but it never really gets to us. It's nice there, in the soca, when we're eating crisps and watch the news. We see when people starve and die from dhiorréa and say "this is so sad...", but we never realize how fucking sad it really is. How can we sit there and eat crisps while people have their hands cut off, gets stoned to death, starvs or dies of thirst? How can we not get more affected of what we see on TV?

I feel bad. For being Swedish and "rich" (although God knows I'm not). Every day I have to ignore someone who reach out his hand for monay, every day I have to turn my face away from someone that I can't help. And in the building opposite to ours, people are being tortured.

And can you belive that all the competent people has goon to USA to help the poor americans that got struck by hurricane Katrina?! A few western people die in a natural disaster while thousans are starving every day, and who gets prioritized? Not the children with pointy ribs, flies in their eyes and swollen bellies. Kuwait gave half a billion dollars to USA, an amount of money that could have built this country up from scratch. But who cares about Sudan? Or Nigeria? "But" says someone, "it's not the same thing!".

In a few days the new government will be announced, which is supposed to be a mix between the ruling NCP and the former rebels. Many says that NPC agreed to give the rebels power just to end the fightings, but that they will never keep their part of the deal. If this is true, I believe we can count on more disturbances in the country and that the peace agreement will no longer be.

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