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On Separation – Please allow me to be emotional

By Salma Daoud

January 9, 2011 - At 36, having lived most of my life under a totalitarian regime of the worst kind, I’ve gotten used to my individuality being subdued, my personal rights being violated and my dreams being hijacked.

Living abroad for a substantial period of time, I’ve always been in situations where I had to defend a home land that was seemingly only in my head, and to do that against all the ugliness broadcast on satellite channels, of girls being whipped publicly, political opposition being tortured in ghost houses and the thousands raped and killed in Darfur, not to mention the embarrassing dancing president, I had a winning card which is our diversity.

I used to brag endlessly about the languages we have. The different skin colors you’ll find in one family and the beauty of the cultural and ethnic difference we enjoyed (or should have while it lasted).

Now, standing at the dawn of separation, I feel cheated.

How can I rebuild my entire sentiment at this age to love a new country and call it my own?

How can I pretend that nothing is going to change when I know there will be less or perhaps no beautiful black skinned girls with polished skin and stubborn hair walking tall and proud in short skirts that show off their strong legs, in the hate ridden streets of Khartoum... strong men with beautifully carved muscles and callused hands endlessly working on building houses they will never live in... old women with face scars that tell stories so profound they knock the breath out of my lungs... smartly dressed young men with determination in their tone and a story behind their hard earned success.

People whose mere existence toned down my prejudice, taught me how to love color and appreciate difference, and made me a better person..

Southern Sudanese that remind me daily that there is indeed a different perspective!

Salma Daoud is a Marketing Professional. She can be reached at sesedaoud@gmail.com

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