- A smile that captivates you
- A look that reads your unspoken inner thought, that relieves you
- A warm welcome that eases it all
- Generosity that suffices nations
- Spontaneous spirit
How could a peace of land have all this and more? How could it be so at a temperature marginally below 50C? How does an economy so undeveloped be so generous?? How could she speak with such a passion about this land, and also be true to the story?
I fail to answer. But here she is:
Let me start from the beginning: a Friday around Khartoum, or a week in Khartoum before that, or a week in Kenya 4 months ago, or a meeting with a professor 1 year ago, take your pick, for beginnings are never amenable to set dates…
Last week, our lab hosted 2 bright scholars, funded generously by TrendInAfrica, H3ABionet and Mozilla. Talks started last November in Kenya, and blessfully a workshop emerged from that in none but my beloved University of Khartoum.. Coming to us were Richard Smith-Unnah, and Aled Jones, from University of Cambridge and St. Guy’s hospital respectively.
The week flew by just like that. During which, I enjoyed interacting with the instructors and learning their ways. In their world, things happen so quickly. In ours, they almost do not move but miraculously. In theirs, people are shakers. In ours, people are shaken. I like the other camp. I like to do action.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t do without my world either. The audience to the workshop have been Sudanese researchers, and those too, I must admit, have observed and tried to learn from. The finale workshop was an overwhelming display of the usual Sudanese generosity. They organized and arranged a trip round Khartoum, with a focus on our heritage and a bit of sightseeing. Time was scarce, as is always in such activities, But I can say, in a long time, I haven’t stopped to appreciate the city nor its people. And I’m grateful for this to have happened…
Would such a visit bridge such a distance? Would it contribute to a 1 man’s life? I would not know.
But who am I to know? Who am I to judge by outcome?
My role is to try, and to stand up after each fall. For one day, that might be the difference…
Today, I’m proud to be Sudanese. I’m happy to be me. I’m blessed to be here.
Let tomorrow be a day of work and learning, let it be a day of achievement…
Be enlightened, and keep looking…