My First Mission (part I)

So I am back. I've made it. I am still a little bit sick. Been vomiting all day yesterday but overall, my trip was unique in every single aspect of it.

I've been to Sudan for 7 days and specifically to Darfur for 3 days. Yep Darfur my friends and I am here to tell you all about it.

Let me tell you the general things I've noticed in my whole trip

  • Country has its own distinctive smell. You only smell it in Sudan and whenever you smell it, you know it belongs to a Sudanese person
  • You feel you are in a black and white country. All people are black and most of the guys wear their official white dress.
  • I don't know why Sudan is considered a poor country. For 5 days, I was having meat for breakfast, meat for lunch and meat for dinner. And this is normal for them. In fact, if meat is not offered at breakfast, then you have dishonored your guests

I spent my first day in Khartoum. I noticed that the airport was full of small aero planes from UNICEF, UNISCO and other non-profitable organizations that provide aids to poor countries. Even the hotel that we stayed in have exceeded my expectations and it was full of foreigners most probably work for those agencies.

Sudan airport is like any other small congested airport you see in the arab world; with the exception of having to get used to women breastfeeding their children in public.

Part of my first day involved coordinating with the Ministry of Finance I managed to see the Aid supplies being provided and how the road to the Ministry was crowded with all those poor families looking to get their share.

The rest of the day went fine till the night time arrived. I insisted to go out to watch the Italy-france game somewhere. After asking around for a while, I managed to get a cab that drove me to some ghetto cafe. I got a bit anxious as I have discovered that Khartoum streets are not illuminated. In whole of Khartoum, there is only one highway that is illuminated. You got to imagine my feeling at 12 o'clock after the game finished with all the streets are deserted and no sign of car flashlights anywhere soon. To top it all, I had no way to contact any person as I discovered that my roaming cell phone does not work in Sudan. The only signs of life are in the form of two Asian guys sitting by the corner of a closed down store and unfortunately they only spoke French. Alas, that's it. I am learning French this year.

2nd day. The first thing I did is buy a SIM card. It was half a working day for us. We checked out of the hotel and by 1 o'clock we were in Khartoum airport waiting for our plane to depart to Neyala (the capital of southern Darfur)

So let me tell you more about all the things that you never hear because of the media propaganda. Darfur is basically a large region in sudan that is almost the same size as France. It is basically divided into 3 states; northern Darfur, southern Darfur (where we stayed) and western Darfur (where all the trouble is). In fact, we were 300 kms away from the nearest conflict region. So we were in a pretty safe city.

Or at least this is what I kept telling myself as I was trying to be optimistic as much as possible.

So finally the plane arrives after a 3 hour delay. We were greeted as VIP guests and had our own transportation vehicles. So I hop in the front seat but I wasn't comfortable. I felt something bumpy under the seat that was poking my butt.

"Sorry, could you move for a second?...you are sitting on my Kalashnikov" ..said the driver.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKAAAAAAAAAAAY.

"you know…security procedures"

"OF COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOURSE"

We drove for 20 minutes. I kept enjoying the view of the green landscape that filled the horizon in my sight till we reached an isolated lounge in the middle of nowhere dedicated for hosting Government guests. We sat there for another half an hour or an hour waiting for the Minister of Education, Governor of State and rest of other Darfur Officials to show up. I was still shaking off the last traces of that restless sleep I had on the plane when a guy approached me saying:

"Mr. Hamza, could you please hold a press conference with us?"

(to be continued)

9 comments:

eshda3wa said...

woohooo!!

Hamza look at u mr important!!

bs wht an experiance it must have been!

im glad u came back with only a stomach flu not something worse!

7mdela 3al salama

7aki Fadi said...

7amdillah 3ala ilsalameh!

The story is interesting, part 2 please :D

Sam said...

cant wait to hear the rest..
ah the breastfeeding thing..i was shocked with one time my very religious sudanse friend got her boob out and started feeding her baby in a room full of men..shocked i tell ya!! and if you are ever invited to a sudanse wedding never ever go to the hall before 11pm! even if the invitation says 8pm..hope u feel all better soon

KJ said...

Mashalla VIP and meat and ministry and stuff. Halla2 we can ask you for wasta ;)

Yalla great to have you back alive and in one piece. Bring us part two!

Isam Abu Salhieh said...

7amdella 3al salame ... cant wait for part 2 ...

Kinano said...

LMAO @ Klashinkov


Beaver, imagine if it had fired!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOOL

We would have had to change your name then to No-Butt-Beaver :P

Good to have you back buddy. cant wait for the press conference to air

nora cassandra said...

How cute it is to read about a sick man who’s been vomiting all over the place and still writing for his readers! :) I hope you feel biter today!

That is an interesting story! I did laugh and got shocked few times! I can’t wait to read the rest of it!

Hamza said...

eshda3wa - I know. it was a great experience from that sense especially when you dine with the Minister of Education himself.

7aki Fadi & Isam - allah ysalemkom. Expect part 2 very soon.

Sam - lol. oh yea. I noticed that too. Sudanese have no sense of time at all. all the 4 flights I had in sudan were late by at least 4 hours. Most of the people showed up for the meetings after 3 hours. Yet they are never late for food.

KJ - yea ta3a I'll get you a wasta in Darfur refugee camps. Unfortunately, I didn't see Angelina Jolie there.

Kinano - oh no. that would be terrible. They'd write on my tombstone "in memory of beaver's butt"

nora cassandra- I am glad I made your day.

Ms Loala said...

IT'S ALIVE!
IT'S ALIVE!

but wait a minute! Sudan!!! i thought you were going to Iraq :\
But anyways, glad you're back in one piece.


And LOL @ Kalashnikov xD
You chicken :P
Is that a normal thing???