People living on the margin between North and South Sudan are prisoners of local and foreign interests. They need to connect with the world immediately. They need to do it themselves, not via international corporations or their lords – those who use them as hostages and slaves – we need to help them now so they can inform the world themselves about what is happening to them...
Kurmuk, Blue Nile Province, January 29th, 2011
But I can't write the report. I cannot continue with it. I have been putting it together in my head in these last days. It is simply too much of everything to be looking it up in my diaries and putting it down as an organized, solid text.
The feeling was the same as with the Nubas. In 1979 when I first visited them and twenty years later, when I found them confined to Rekha camp. Velvety hands that were touching mine as softly as a gentle breeze. Like the leaf of a silk fan. No bear paws, only light and tender touch. Mostly girls, of course. But also old timers. Kids. Everybody…
Naked bodies, naked minds… naked hearts… naked souls.
Unlike insensitive robots, bribed with comfort, they are so simple, so noncomplex, so unburdened with intellectual stuff. So pure. So innocent.
And the Arabs think of them as savages.
Savages that need to be forcedly dragged to the so-called civilized culture and arabized.
Or killed if they would not yield.
But we, Europeans, were not much better and we're not much better still.
If our adventurers had taken wives, girls, children… and gold, ivory, pearls… and now natural resources from oil to water and coltan, then these people must have been introduced to you as savage, raw, insensitive, barbaric and above all, dangerous.
I hear the wind. I hear it far before it reaches me, I see it rumbling across the savannah under Ethiopian mountain slopes where three rivers meet. It roars, raising the sand, whirling dry leaves and grass and branches. It hits the acacias and kicks them around. Then it rushes under the tent roof and goes after me. It jerks, throwing sand in my eyes and takes my breath...
The camels lower themselves on the ground and calmly offer him their face and watch him stoically through slightly opened eyes how it hastens on through the Blue Nile Valley. The five hundred years old, gigantic and dry breadfruit trees don’t mind his presence. They have long ago fallen and retreated under the surface of the earth. Where there is peace, moisture and coolness...