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Life weapon’s dictatorship - By: Mamoun ElTilib

Life weapon’s dictatorship
By: Mamoun ElTilib
Translated By: Ibrahim Jaffar


(Tayfara was a military slave of the Cavalry Divisions (the Divisions of Knights) which was relegated to the Sheiks-ministers of Hamaj.  He presumably has been enslaved during one of the sieges of Rajab to the Nuba Mountains within the course of his campaign against Kordofan, for he reached the age of reason in the era of Nasser wad Idris.  Imaginatively, we would correlate Tayfara’s memories of childhood with those of Dogalo Doguendan Ari; a Nuba boy of the next generation who, like Tayfara, has been, as a young boy, enslaved and taken from his native land.  Dogalo, as a young man in his far-off exile, has vividly lived the memory of his homeland that has been sustained within his soul as a minute world of landscapes, distant and diminutive shapes; young kings wearing jewels and straddling horsebacks; steppes of azure color of bubbly plant under the pure sun and an endless gray torrents of rain punctuated by lightning in the sSeason of Autumn; solemn rituals performed by chant priestesses presented in the name of the invisible anaconda; colossal fortifications of stone erected amongst hilltops’ folds; virgin forests with uncanny fruits and talking animals.  All of that is garbed in a wonderful light guarding the passage between memories and dreams)
 Jay Spaulding, THE HEROIC AGE IN SINNAR, translated by Dr. Ahmed Al-Mo'tasim Al-Sheikh
(When I think of the multitudes of myths with which life is abounding, I find one that has visited severe harm upon all, which is the myth of homelands.  I hereby mean: why do I have to look at myself as Argentinean and not Chilean, for instance, or someone from Uruguay?  For that I have no clue of ​​an answer. All such myths, which we forcibly slot into our lives, and which were initiated only to serve hatred, spite, war and hostility, are extremely harmful, indeed.   But I do think that, in the long run, the legend of governments and nations will be dissipated and we shall be transformed into… well… cosmopolitans.)
Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Najla Osman El-Toum


For the awesomeness of the impact of war, submerged with the toughest and most conspicuously effective tools, the role of the human beings scattered upon the span of (the colonial geographical legacy- Hassan Musa) which is called “The Sudan” was forgotten, or decidedly overlooked; the role of the individuals not incorporated within the media’s figures measuring the records of the dead, injured and displaced people, who have so effectively contributed to disintegrating the walls blocking the flood of the human values that explode after every stress peoples confront; especially when the worry of those walls, which were constructed, with excessive zeal, by “those faces mutable in the media hallways”), is to dispossess people of life; a matter that goes to farfetched stages beyond death as there is ever a smiling difference between swiftly and comfortably slaughtering the animal and so incarcerating it from play that it is vehemently pushed down towards the vermin of the earth for tens of years.  What we, at the midst of the countless presently pressing Sudanese issues, want hereby to refer to is to be summed up in two essential points.

Firstly: Separating Human beings Through Borders:

Separating human beings through geopolitical borders is a practical impossibility.  But practical impossibilities can, paradoxically, be realized.  Natural facts could, that is to say, otherwise be counterfeited into the end of encasing human beings into a particularly preconceived reality via wheedling them into obstinately subscribing to it.  Indeed, the whole world influences in, and is influenced by, any on-goings in Sudan.  Nay, by any event that happens at any spot on The Earth.  But the human definitions of the word "influence" are often restricted to effecting negative blind communications amongst human beings.   Thus war has a loud voice within the parliament of the definitions of the word “influence”.  Then there come the iconic individual leaders with their overwhelmingly repetitive tongues at the media venues!   Thereby resides below a thick stratum manufacturing education and information.  Or otherwise that which so makes “factuality” and falsifies the facts of nature that it limits human imagination to boundaries within poorly imaginations which thus portrait the world the way it claims it is so as to guarantee the interests of groups apprehensive of the pulling out of the mat of superiority from beneath their feet.

Reality tells otherwise.  For within the realms of education, thinking, intellectuality, creative, artistic and technical production, besides the vocational and technical paths, the word "margin" goes to the void!  To be precise: the impact of power and wealth on this geographical realm does not exceed the contributions of Sudanese individuals and their individual communications anywhere.   But the local/global discourse insists on keeping the long distance between the two influences, thus eliminates one of them at the expense of the other by turning all into warriors instead of revealing their effects as constructive workers who do not, as individual persons, differ from each other in anything!

Marginalization has, for instance, never stopped a person from being a thinker.  But the interpretation of the discourse of the word "marginalization" has pushed the majority into putting their talents and personal capacities unto the midst of a war that is always presented as the only path towards forcefully wresting rights.  Hence the glorification of its martyrs and heroes obscures the peaceful achievements of other individuals. Consequently the alternative mechanisms of change remain in the wrong hands. Two pictures have thereby been envisaged to represent the “reality” for the Sudanese citizen: that of "rebellion" and that of "peaceful civil resistance." The latter doesn’t yet appear to be founded on any clear principles. It persists in espousing slogans immersed in a constraining language; a Salafi jargon potted only for the benefit of the mindset of the Arab- Muslim man.   Thus it characteristically begins by heading statements and outcomes of partisan conferences with the traditional Islamic instigation: In the Name of Allah….   That is up to the end of the negative manipulation of religious, and “cultural”, terms in which that man and (his regime?) believe; that never-changing regime reigning since Sudan’s Independence!  Thus the very essence of the human right is so pulled and placed on the altar of religious and cultural dialectics, hence the calumniation in war and bloodshed. That man is transformed, via a criminalization’s mechanism devoid of any knowledge of human nature and its evident shortcomings, into a ruthless fiend.  Moreover, the culture of that man is abstracted, within the consciousnesses of those who have been stigmatized as marginalized, from all that is aesthetic and beneficial. Images are thus twisted as follows: a marginalized creature, ill-bred, seizing a weapon laden with the vulgar malice and loathing towards a rank of "socially decent people"; a marginalized creature whose mores bear nothing but oppression, rejection and aggression. These images only reflect what is arbitrarily portrayed by the media and the counter media.

Nevertheless, the Sudanese peoples, as individuals and collectives, have persistently been able to communicate within their own realms, as well as with the rest of the peoples of the world.  That is besides their perception of the geographical rifts which besotted the entity of East Africa which has, until recently, suffered living outside the contemporary bounds.  The educated elites so set, since Independence, upon the differences to entrench them by nomenclatures- such as Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Chad… to the end of the land of the formerly known as the colonized countries, presently "the developing countries"- that nearly everyone Sudanese believed that the separation of states by concrete, or militarized, walls can separate human beings notwithstanding their various forms of shared languages: dialects; spoken and written languages; cooking; music; arts; literature; education; discoveries (of medicinal drugs, scientific, electronic …etc innovations); principle political positions and, otherwise, the sharedness of the human materials with which in his modest daily life the human individual feels, lives, loves and forms his/her aesthetic appraisals and judgments. By absenting those civil materials, hence accentuating armed communication in search of justice and truth, such collective false images have been formed and via them we lost our sense of a simple fact: that is every human being is categorically different from the other, and that is that what precisely makes them equal.

I, notwithstanding agreements or disagreement, refer the reader, in this context, to a collection of essays, by ustaz/ Kamal El-Jazouli, which has recently been re-published, with the title of “Once again, for Recollection and History” and in a series in which he emphasized the human characteristics that naturally resides deep inside every human being and thus seamlessly allows him/her (more or less) practically to interact with other human beings.

Kamal’s articles drew on his own life experiences on the cultural, intellectual, political and judicial levels. And through the medium of such articles Kamal has rendered an account of his relationships with some individuals (colloquially viewed as "southerners") who have significantly contributed to the courses of intellectual development and creative dialogues amongst human beings as such.  Thus no one would thereby be able to spoil his enjoyment of the poetry of, for instance, Sir Annai just via categorizing Sir Annai as being a marginalized poet! The same perspective is manifested in the relationships between the human individuals (whatever their ethnicities or cultures) in the communal markets.  For what brings them together is simply work and the attempts to achieve decent living circumstances that could get them out of the plight of poverty.  But, more fundamentally than that, the bond that appears to link them together, despite their yet “alive-and kicking socio-cultural conflicts”, seems much simpler, for that bond is, firstly, life itself and, secondly, the intellectual revolution within that life itself. 

The possibility of the outburst of an intellectual revolution in Sudan is thin.  But factors presented upon the surface of reality do gesture towards the authors of it.   But who are those authors? They shall not be only brave lads who can face torture and humiliation.  For they are radical revolutionaries against all of the intellectual walls that separate the human being from his brother human being.  Thus their loyalty is not presumed to be, in the first place, to anyone but each other.  That is if they could discover the presence of each other!  They do exist at any time and where.  And Nature does not tolerate any undertaking without persistently seeding/sowing those authors in.  But the problem hereby resides in the impacts of history and the climatic conditions on the soil.  So there are those who refuse to listen, or just look a person in the eye with respect, simply because he/she belongs to a certain political party (be it a ruling or opposition party).  Or, else, because he/she belongs to regular forces (be them, as I have indicated at the outset, police, military or security… etc.) the discourse has stripped their members bare off any humanity, turning them into "pure monsters" though they are, in the first characterization, human beings like everybody else: weak and vulnerable to all kinds of diseases.   And hereby I say that though madness is the nearest disease to the human being yet its definition (the same as its impact) could not hold a formula outside of the standards of that which is (at least initially) negative, and that which is (at least initially also) positive.   Madness, that is to say, has been, and is, fairly dispersed amongst the inmates of the madhouse and… well, the artists!  Hence warmongers, as well as the masterminds of the rival groups, so dispose of it that the soldiers inhale the scent of musk emerging from the bodies of the "martyrs"!  And, pushing some to kill, those mongers and rivals almost end in this ultimate result: The return of an army of lunatics who are to be honored as the heroes of this country!  Most of those will be crushed if they do not adhere to the body of the ideology trade.  Others, but some, shall, otherwise, get the authority for making loose decisions.  But thereby still remains the impressive aspect in the matter of the distorted earth soil which leaves, no matter how hard the history and time of its population on it, holes through which the roots of adventurous minds are implemented.  But that now is colliding with a layer of the dreams and nightmares of groups that are engaged in rivalry with each other on the surface.

I do find myself in disagreement with the content of the argument that “politics is dangerous, so it is a mistake to leave it all in the hands of the politicians”.  For such argument gives the legitimacy to a person to be a politician though his relationship with the art of making politics would be next to none.   It, in other words, gives the status quo’s guards the ownership on politics and thus calls upon us- after recognizing their entitlement to that via the sheer believing in such a proposition- even to contest with them upon it. That which is hereby even more corrupting comes about when some individual politicians arise from within the people and then singlehandedly achieve, by their intellectual might, their resourcefulness, eloquence performance and adherence to clear principles, radical changes that affect communities in their entirety. For the political discourse would then so bow before such achievements that it would realize a certain malevolent end which is represented in ascending those individuals to the standings of holiness via depicting them as out-of-reach legendary beings whose aptitudes are never to be matched by any other human individuals.  Hence their names and ideas are ultimately idolized whereas the other mortals are left with believing that the only realm that is eligible for them and their capabilities is that in which each of them may lose his/her brother, mother and children, for the mere sake of “commemorating” a human revolution that might have succeeded in progressing humanity towards realizing some of the values of goodness but, as it habitually happens, has overlooked the living details.   For a revolution that throws its thinkers and writers into exiles while- apart from, via continuous collective criminalizing and bestializing, omitting out of existence a rather mucky group termed as “the dogs of the regime”- restrictedly addressing other jellylike groups which are, as a whole, referred to as “the good oppressed masses” is doomed to failure even if it has succeeded in ousting the presently ruling regime.         
The government is but a sick imagination.  And he who thinks that such things as passport, name, identity, or even a nation or a culture ... etc. shall ultimately define himself to himself, and to others, will continue facing an elusive enemy that is embodied in a frightened poor guy like himself in whose hand they put a gun and into whose veins they have disseminated a madness that is continuously generating foes.   Revolution, that is to say, does happen at individualized levels, for it is essentially against the mental system that conjures up enemies.  Hope will then be bestowed upon those who will set out, at the close of the era of the present Empire, the bases for the future educational syllabuses.   But for now change rests upon the attention of the intermediary leaders of the political parties and the intellectuals (whose lives have been enflamed by deprivation for more than twenty years) to that the existing symbols (political parties, leaders, etc.) are saddled with the same chemical formula that generates the “system of generating foes”.  Hence either all should forsake their old political parties (which is a praiseworthy form of madness) or, otherwise, they should accept the shattering of these parties to smithereens at the first communal, and democratic, election’s juncture whereby, in the wake of the failure of the underlying causal factor, i.e., the government, (by the mere efficiency of the peoples’ wrath or just via a sudden economic crash!), healthy socio-political settings are adequately assured.  

The politician is not an already labeled out person.  He/she is not typically that who holds the reins of power.  He/she needn’t even be a political writer, a party leader or member.  This says that the politician is, in a more fundamental sense, a leader of the sweeping floods of intellectual change towards the depth of wellbeing.  And if the upheavals of the twentieth century so sidestepped his/her role that he/she has been transformed into a broad-daylight charlatan, then his/her depiction as "a politician" becomes a disgrace to the art of politics.  That given, our waiting for his/her speeches and statements is thus turned into an endless nightmare of which we haven’t yet awakened!

When I said “distrusted hands” I was just referring to the inability of such hands in relation to defining the minimum terms of their coalition which should be based on clear principles of which is the categorical rejection of the Religious State in all of its manifestations.  And such “categorical rejection of the Religious State in all of its manifestations” should, on my perception, be insisted upon precisely because nobody has, as such, the right to make anybody else accountable to him, or her, in terms of the tenets of the religious in which he/she believes or the culture to which he/she belongs.  That is even if the punished one happens to belong to the same religion, or culture, of the person who would thus be punished.   The human individual, in other words, cannot beforehand decide his/her place of birth or colour.  He/she also does not choose his/her religion, culture or identity at the moments of birth.  Furthermore, even many of those individuals who would later choose to disown their religions of birth may not be ready to announce that openly for fear of execution or social exclusion.  Or, otherwise, they may not dare doing so for strategically desiring/designing to win the majority’s approval.  Apart from those “disowners” there are some who would object to certain cultural norms in their given societies.  That is in addition to other women and men who would never accept being (on the basis of whatever religious or cultural dogmas or norms) penalized- physically or psychologically- for the ways in which they live their personal lives or do their personal choices inasmuch they do not, in that living and doing, harm other persons or invading their free individual spaces.  But such instances are too varied to be all mentioned.  Hence what hereby remains to be said is that a human being should only be answerable for himself/herself as a human being per se, i.e., only within the realms of what humanity as such values as human par excellence and not through any un-chosen acceptance of already institutionalized formulas of religion, country, ethnicity and culture.

Forging alliances’ shortcomings isn’t attributable only to political shortsightedness, but mostly to the dominance of the compelling sway of the war.  Those who took up to arms (i.e., those who have renounced the peaceful path of change for mounting up power in a war characterized by wrecking havoc and destruction) have committed a mistake in allying themselves with the traditionally major political parties, thus leaving their political thought and principles to the dogs!  I am hereby suggesting that such political parties aren’t habitually ruled by alternative manifestos, pacts, conventions or conferences inasmuch as by the transient politics of the status quo (i.e., the transitory interests at hand).  That is simply because a person who doesn’t perceive that the distinctions between the human individuals do not primarily reside in the beliefs of theirs that have had been in existence before their birth should certainly being merely in pursuance of his/her own interest.  Alliance should, therefore, be with those who perceive that difference resides in the personality- the character that is made, in most of the instances, by the System that designs “reality”.  That is inasmuch as the human mind/character is bendable to the authority of ideology.  But some human individuals do variably make their own characters, thus breaking through the barriers of destructive conventions and codes. Yet in both of the characterizations the human being should not be essentially perceived of as the enemy.     


Our Mother Earth has, through the varied living organisms and inert objects that She brought forth from Her belly, formed out sufficient signs and outstanding capacities for us to build contact with Her, as well as within ourselves.  Hence ideas and inventions, both destructive and creative, so roamed and reveled amongst us that they have streamed through one civilization towards the other; one time towards another: peoples and nations are linked to one another.

And even if, just for the sake of boosting up certain individuals egocentric authoritarian cravings and material interests, political projects and ideologies have brainwashed them into holding on to beliefs and thrillingly laughable hyperboles as that of “the countries’ borders” those peoples and nations shall, wittingly or unwittingly, be daily associated with each other through the faculty of all that is full of life and living.  By losing that weapon (i.e., all that which is full of life and living) the non-violent movements for change has thrown away their achievements while the armed movements, including the present Sudanese government, have inexorably succumbed to the Global Market’s System.  Hence the political and commercial discourses’ attempts to so push the society towards all that which is intellectually light that they would manage tricking the socio-political leaderships into believing that the era of the thought and the arts that are expressive of the essence of human life and human individuals’ unique destinies (i.e., those “substances” which connect human beings with a mysteriously feared clandestine network) has virtually been ended.    

Those who dominate over our destiny have detected the potency of that weapon.  So they have manipulated its power to connect human beings together in a manner that is evil and humiliating to our nature as human beings.  And they have remained the same: extensively extending from the power of the family, the authority of the kingdom, the dominance of the union of the empires, up to the terrorizing alliance of corporate and ideologies.  Thus we hereby found all that is full of life mockingly throbbing in every drop of a commercial and every packaging of a commodity!   They are, that is to say, now using the same weapon that could have annihilated them.  Thus, in their life-mocking endeavour, they shut down public libraries, suspended the natural flow of the movement of writing and publishing, tabooed dancing and women have, therefore, been withdrawn into a social-occasions’ dull state of apparent sobriety.  They have also trivialized newspapers’ articles, screened out all sources of information, separated people from the world via demolishing language’s bridges and, ultimately, suspending movements of/for change unto the cyber space whereby such movements remain fancying addressing the total whole of a variedly multi-peopled nation.  

Africa can realize its status as the Earth’s Garden of Eden that has been present in the mythologies of the human race throughout the centuries.  The countries to which are referred to by the name of the “developing countries” can also discover that prospect.  Human imagination can thereby open, in a flash of a glance, the curtains behind which roar floods, earthquakes and disasters.  Thereby we see humanity’s imaginative heritage swarming inside Nature’s furious eye.   Hereby is the Earth finally announcing its renounced presence, thus forcing the human race into holding conferences which they wouldn’t so intensively hold except when an Open Third World War is designedly produced;  “Open”, I am saying, because the World War has never ceased raging and ranting.  But as to these countries: have they really been developing countries?  Or they have, otherwise, continued playing the role of the “growth-assisting” countries.  That is with all of their natural resources and wealth; their most ancient world civilizations and, even more primarily, their human being:  his sculpture, music, culture, science, art, empathy with Nature and deepened knowledge of Mother Earth.   Such gifts do represent rebelling symbolic attitudes that are resistant to every form of arrogance, prominent upon history’s facade whereby they are beating their colossal roots against its conceited nose. 

Anti-life mentalities are discernible, to everybody and at the first instance.  If no civil organization, neither military power nor peace negotiations could have shovelled them off the seat power, then the destiny of the peoples who are shouldered with the burden of the might of such mentalities shall be either fleeing the whole situation (thus disowning all that which belongs with its education and culture that are poisoned with violence, suppression, absenting of thinking, inasmuch as its wars, coercion, conceit and exploitation) or, otherwise, being annihilated within it , hence scorched with the fires of dispossession and poverty, crime and horror, fraud and deception, blackmail, humiliation and insult: those  stigmatizing impressions that have now encircled the eyes of everyone could not be hidden off the walls of a city like Khartoum.        

Yes, when the people of Khartoum shall taste the reality of the destruction that has already befallen their own lives (that destruction which is now on the verge of complete exposure) they will then realize that just staring at TVs and attending Friday prayers in which they would listen to a sermon on meekness or contentment and another sermon on women’s debauchery shall not be sufficient to enter heaven, for therein there is something that transcends all of those conflicts of the international community, the regime and the armed movements.  That “something” is simply them- themselves. This is applicable, in fact, to all of the inhabitants of the world.   That is inasmuch as every society lives on swallowing up (part or half or even whole) the distortions that is presented to them by the books of the destinies that are written in terms of power, wealth and dominance- distortions and terms that a people would fight for, kill and/or be killed, then, on looking for heroism, finding only a large mirror waiting for a respectful stare, continuing times and times; sliding back towards generations immemorial. 

The boundaries that are separating a human individual from another human individual, a group from another group, a tribe from another tribe, a religion from another religion, a country from another country, haven’t yet been broken.  For they won’t be broken by any means of political mechanisms or chatter, but only by education as a tool worthy of effecting transcendently radical change, via developing the human individuals’ capabilities for benefiting from information sources (reading, writing and e-learning) and, ultimately, by availing to use the rich jewels of the cultures, histories and arts of the peoples of this land, re-linking those peoples with such histories and cultures and arts, growing and developing all of that and henceforth enjoying its infinite pleasures and joys.   


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The Beauty of the Silly - نجلاء عثمان التوم

 The Beauty of the Silly  نجلاء عثمان التوم

إلى عثمان حامد سليمان
هل يمكن تشريح الأصالة؟ هل يمكن الكشف عن شعوبها الداخلية دون مجزرة؟ أنا مدفوعة هنا بالحجب الأصيلة التي يغزلها الغناء السوداني حول نفسه فيبدو لنا أحياناً شيئاً محيراً، لامع الحيرة. عندما نتجرد من العصاب الذي نسميه الفهم، وننطلق في رحلة متحللة من كل غاية، ونستمع إلى الأغاني السودانية بأرجلنا ومصاريننا، نشعر أن الطاقة التي تتهدج في الجو هي، ولا شيء خلافها، الهوية. لكن تظل أصالة هذا الغناء شيئاً غامضاً جداً وعصياً على التعيين. ثمة إستراتيجيات، أعتقد، أيّدت هذه الجذوة التحتية. أولاً تحتجب الأصالة، في معظم الأحيان، في تمويهات هزلية تنتجها قوالب شبه ثابتة محكومة بشهوة الرجز، والطلاقة الشعبية، والنبرة العادية في الكلام. فالغناء في الأساس هو مكان التغزل في اليومي والعادي في أقرب نسخه إلى الواقع. وكلما تشبثت الأغنية بسوقيتها المعروقة، كلما تصير إلى درجة من أصالتها الصحيحة. لكن الفن هو دائماً تدخل معقَّد، فلا نجاة من سطوته، لكن التحايل عليه ممكن. فعندما تبدأ أغنية ابتهالية، فيها تسجيل لمغامرة البلاغ العشقي والوصال الكامل، بعبارة “الحج…

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مقدّمة طينية: ما لن يفهمه المُقسِّمون العالم إلى شرقٍ وغرب، وإسلامٍ ويهوديّة ومسيحيّة،..إلخ، ما لن يروه دائماً هو أن الحرب لم تتوقّف منذ أمدٍ بعيدٍ جداً، وأنها، في أصلها، حربٌ ضدَّ الفقراء. وما أراه يحدث من تنظيمات داعش ونصرة الإسلام والداعية إلى دولة الخلافة الموعود بها، غير المشكوك في الإيمان بها لدى أغلبيّة أهل السنة من المسلمين حول العالم؛ لا أرى في ذلك إلا حرب بين مضطهدين فقراء لا يُمكن أن يُقنِعَهم العالم بعدله، خصوصاً إن دققنا النظر في تصريحات الاتحاد الأوربي عن أن عدد المنضمين من "المواطنين الأوربيين" لتنظيم داعش وتركهم لأوربا للقتال على الجبهة فاق 3000 (بي بي سي)، وأن أغلبية هؤلاء هم من (أبناء) المهاجرين إلى جنة أوربا ونعيمها، الذين وُلِدوا في الأجواء المنفتحة والتعليم المختلف ووهمة الـ(أوبن مايدد) وبتاع، لأدركنا فداحة الأمر واستمراريّة الحرب ووقاحة فراغها منذ بداية القرن العشرين. ومع الاتصال المخيف الذي حدث للعالم، لا يمكن أن يقتصر تعريف هؤلاء بأنهم فقط مجانين ومهووسين مع تزايد أعدادهم بهذا الشكل ومدى وإغراء القضية والقتال حتى بالنسبة للأطفال، إلى الدرجة التي تسأل ف…