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This piece is dedicated to the Memory of the Late Ibrahim Badri. Nature Whispers, the Soil Listens and the Peoples are hard of hearing: The case of the Sudan By Raphael T. Abiem

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sudaneseonline.com
4/11/2006 6:07 pm

Nature Whispers, the Soil Listens and the Peoples are hard of hearing: The case of the Sudan

By Raphael T. Abiem

Every so often, I stop to regurgitate the tragedy of our prophet’s passing after he had barely stood on the Mountain peak, pointed to the promised New Sudan, and as breeze-quiet as he came to our salvation, faded away before his word could sink. As I reminisce over his word, I often re-live my personal experiences with the Arabic Language and my equally acidic experiences with Islam in Abyei elementary school. Names such as Ali Mustafa, Mustafa An-Naim, Utaz An-Nur still ring noisily in my subconscious, threatening to haul me back to the days of yore in which, to survive, I had to work on my vocal cords to be able to pronounce Arabic gutturals lest I offend my teachers when asked to recite the Qu’ran. Judging then from my aptitude in the Arabic language, I had no doubt that Monyjang (Dinka) were created to be just that--Monyjang.

Despite all the harrowing experiences, a few years ago, in a moment my soul and mind were at large and uninhibited, I penned down my fleeting thoughts inviting the people of the Sudan to brave a second look at the Blue and the White Niles, two gifts of nature I believe bear clues to understanding our long-standing clash of perspectives.

I began by superimposing anthropomorphic temperament on the two bodies of water. The White Nile I incarnate as a tall, proud and otherwise unsuspecting Monyjang youth trotting the span of the land murmuring eulogies unto himself the while, convinced he is the one and only that must be adored. The longer he surged forth unchecked, the more confident he became that there was none in the land worthy of his attention.

From Victoria, the White one hip hopped his way gleefully forward until he arrived in Kiirtoum (Two Rivers meeting). In a jiffy, the unexpected dropped in from the Eastern Heights. The White one was struck dumb by the sight of a short robust Abyssinian-looking young stud that goes by the name, Blue. As a habit, the Blue one beats his chest with his open right hand, constantly reminding those taking a peep at him that he is the one of the Ethiopian Highlands, deep, mysterious and venerated. In a moment of rage and all-consuming jealousy, the White and the Blue ran into one another with such might that their waters turned into long fibers of mutually impenetrable blue and white crystals. That was a lesson learnt.

Eventually, they realized their rendezvous could not have been accidental. They were, in truth, on a sacred Mission to rescue peoples beyond Kiirtoum. Most notably, they were to salvage and carry baby Moses “way down in Egypt land” to the abodes of the Pharaoh in Memphis, Cairo and Heliopolis. There, Moses was to tell old Pharaoh, “Let my people go!”

After long negotiations just outside Kiirtoun, in an unassuming village called el-Kadaro, they agreed to drop their aliases as White and Blue and merge into one invincible body, the Nile. As one, they were able to build civilizations, destroy the bigotry of the Nile Monarchs and break the spell of man-anointed gods and goddesses, thus the birth of monotheism, the ultimate oneness of destiny. Clearly, there cannot be unity absent equality.

Pray, therefore, that you do not fall prey to the myth of Arabism, Islamism, Africanism or animism and be one just as your god, the Nile, is one.


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