Friday, January 30, 2009

Tribalism Vs. Statism

Last night I went to a police station to file a report against some "Al Nizam Al3am" recruites who arrested me for "buying alcohol" (A Nizam Ala'am=Puplic Order, which is a police department responsible for "fighting moral crimes", like alcohol, drugs, sex, etc, and they are SOB's I tell you), well, me and a friend did buy a bottle of alcohol, but my friend who was holding it jumbed off the Raksha (click to see what a Raksha is) and he ran like he never ran before lol, I was "roughed" around and threatened by a piece of bango/marijuana if I don't make my friend come back with the bottle, in the end they let me go.. anyways, that's not the issue. the issue is I wanted to avenge for wasting my time so bad I decided to go to the Police Station myself and find these suckers, I memorized the car's plate numbers and took another Raksha.

at the station I was asked for my name, age, address, and "my tribe". the policeman who was asking me these questions was a western sudanese. I told him I can't answer this question cuz it's not relevant to my case. but he insisted it because it's "procedures". I couldn't understand how asking me about my tribe is procedure!
but as I tried to describe the dudes who arrested me i couldn't help but to reffer to one of them as "wad 3arab" (=son of an arab). i felt bad for using this stupid description so I added the pharase "you know, as THEY say, he was a wad 3arab/arab".
and I thought about "THEY" for a minute, THEY is obviously the ones who find benefit in such discrimination, the benefit is mostly political of course, but most of the times it is mere Pride. THEY find comfort in being proud of who THEY are, or in fact, what THEIR tribe is. the same western policeman told me "this will never change", and "sudan will remain racist forever". i don't think this is racism, this is more like an attempt to fulfil one's pride in one's self. i don't think this can be "changed" or removed, but it can be directed in a better way, instead of classifying sudanese people on the basis of their tribe, why not do so on the basis of their city, state, or home town, if sudanese people learned to be proud in who they really are, Sudanese, and replaced the need for tribalism as a method for pride fulfilment, we would have a much better Sudan.

I want the next presidenid to try and make everyone proud of where he was born, make one proud of the land not the people/tribes who once dwelled this land. every sudanese state/region has its own unique culture, use this as way to fulfil people's pride with. why should all states have to teach the same subjects in schools, let every state teach its own history for example, so the children grow with pride in their land no matter what the tribes they came from are. but when you teach everyone about "great" muslim and "arab" men, our peoblem will never be solved.

i have to go now, oh, don't mind the topic's title, it's meaningless lol
and yeah, our weekend was not completely ruined after all, we went out again and bought another bottle from a place right next to the Police Station :D


AK said...

Interesting point! But don't you think replacing tribes with localities will only reinforce the same issue? Most people within different areas are usually of the same (tribal or ethnic) origin.

I think the real problem within Sudan (and Africa to a larger extent) is a lack of civic nationalism. At the same time, I have a problem with nationalism itself. I think forcing a single national identity in a country such as Sudan, with its extreme diversity, will never work.

Precious said...

Very interesting topic! I've always hated this "tribalism" which is deeply burried in the souls of all Sudanese, and to be complete honest, as much as I hate it, as much as I find this thing in my very own self. Just like all other Sudanese, I feel proud of my tribe, and my people, and my homeland (which I never saw before), but that does not mean that I under estimate or look to other ttribes as inferiors, but more as brothers who share the same country and therefore, I always belive must share the same bigger and deeper passion to the Sudan. (I'm a dreamer, I know!)
I do partly agree with what AK pointed out, forcing a national identity in Sudan is not impossible, but very extremly difficult to implement!

Jah Guide/ras babi babiker said...

We the Sudanese, we do have an identity problem.
we do live in the heart of Africa
and we think
we are not black
we are red
we are green
and we are yellow
but not black
we are not Africans

there is something about our tribes
I do not belive in them
we have been raped through history
the story of the tribe...
is for us to hide our shame
much respect brother and take care