Articles and Analysies
Story of a foundling in Sudan Translated from Arabic to English by Bayan Abubakr
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Jul 25, 2010 - 11:51:16 PM

Story of a foundling in Sudan


A passerby  found me in the street and I am only one day, He put me in a Foster Home in Khartoum  I spent the first few months there and one day a woman came and adopted me. I moved in to live with her in another city. And of course then I did not realize what is happening, I do not remember  anything about the events that  took my first months in life... I grew up with this woman, and  when I was two I thought it she my mother, and I call her my mother, She was wealthy I was  living in a big house with her father, I called him grandfather .. When she took me from the shelter, I  learned later that she was over fifty  years old and was not married. They treated me harshly, and often hit me for meaningless reasons, she hit me a whip. I pick up my food by myself, which made me wonder then: why do I eat on my own? Why not let me, my mother and grandfather eat together?  I did not find an answer but after a while when I was much older

When I was four my adoptive mother registered me at kindergarten close to home. One day after my return to home I noticed the house is full of many men and women, the women were crying, but I was too young to understand their sorrow. And I went kindergarten, although I noticed the absence of my mother, but I thought it was in the traveling. Days later, my grandfather took me on and we rode the train to Khartoum, and handed  me back to the foster home  and I cried bitterly, saying: Why, my grandfather took me from my mother? I want to have my mother. I want to have my mother... After leaving, The head of the foster home said: «Your mother died, and her father - my grandfather - an old man cannot taking care of its own, and then came back to stay with us in the foster home  Since I was small I have bowed to the inevitable, and remained in the foster home.




After the death of my mother's in the other city I stayed in the foster home for two days, the third day, house supervisor told me that one of the women came to take me to live with her at her home. I went with her and lived in a house rented in of the neighborhoods of Khartoum, near the foster home residing with her brother an old man. She worked in the trade of henna, and brooms sometimes she traveled north and sometimes traveling to the North to bring henna from there. And the fact that my mother was the second adoptive mother she treated me well and registered me in a primary school    and dressing me quite well as if I was her daughter, Unlike my first mother - God rest her soul -.


 I was in school until they reached the fifth grade, One day my mother asked me to talk to her one day she asked me to come to her room I'm not your mother .I brought you from a foster home. You are a Bastard they found you on the street; no one knows your mother and your father The news hit me like a storm, to the point that I became unable to speak. After her departure I locked myself inside the room, crying, and crying bitterly, wondering: Where is my mother I wonder? Why put me in the street and not take care of me   as do the rest of the mothers with their children? Of course, my mind was the youngest answer to this question. The news was a big shock and I refused to go to school for a full academic year. My peers will spread the news all over the school so I decided not to continue my studies. However, I have succeeded in overcoming the shock, I went back the New Year to continue my studies despite my sense of humiliation and shame because I do not know my mother and father and I came from the street.


Then my adoptive mother help me get a nationality, identity card with the name that that the foster home gave me, of course, was the name of my father’s fake name, no one knows his place and name of course .. As I said, and the adoptive mother was traveling a lot with the mandate to bring North Palm henna and Industry bag and sell them. In her absence, I was moved to stay with her sister's sons and daughters of their home next to my home... They treated me cruel as forcing me to wash clothes and utensils, clean the house, emptying the bathroom sink that broke my back... When  I go to school in the morning they do not give me lunch money as  did my mother So I couldn’t have a proper lunch in  school, and with my intense hunger, I picked up leftover sandwiches  my friends when they were not looking .. The sons and daughters of the sister and adoptive mother refused to wash my clothes with their clothes; they did not give me soap to wash, so I just cleaned my clothes in water without soap. When my mother back from the North, I complain to her the harsh treatment of me in her absence, but she did not believe me... When she died and their mother - my mother's adoptive sister dies my cousin were forced to live with us as their father was dead since 1980. In the home treatment of me has become more severe, when they lose something they accuse me of theft. The girls beat me for trivial reasons, and stop me eating them in the table, but I wait until they are done and take their plates back to the kitchen and I eat off their plates.


I have stay with them, accompanied by my mother go to school without homework, without recalling my lessons. How could recall how my lessons and I work since I came home from school until the evening! Therefore, when I sat for exam I failed. A natural result of the difficult conditions and harsh treatment.




Over the years my mother become very old and unable to trade and is therefore no income, so I had to work at one factory in Khartoum... The bus carry’s factory workers and women comes at five thirty in the morning, and get us back from the factory at six in the evening .. I enter home exhausted my cousins made me clean   wash dishes that are piled high on the kitchen, despite my hard work. I used to receive from my factory 100$ per month, I been spent on my food, my needs   my adoptive mother sent me to another part of the city because I was complaining to much about my cousins she sent me to relatives in the southern capital, a woman of the elderly she has two sons and two daughters told her I am her cousin did not tell her I am a Bastard.. And after I moved to live with it left I  the factory work, because the bus does not come in the neighborhood  I have been working with the maid at home, I do all household chores, without pay, just for food and shelter .. The new mother treated me well as well as her two children and her two daughters; I did not know a Bastard. I stayed with them two years, then my old mother decided to get ask me to come back to her home. The daughters of her deceased sister treat me with cruelty and rudeness more.



I could not get used   the harsh treatment that I find in the home of the daughters of the deceased  of my mother, and once asked a friend of my mother's search for work for me, working she found me a job at the foster home .. It's ironic. I went back a third time to the shelter, but this time as worker, The  women who found me a job did not know that I was an Bastard and that I previously lived here. I worked in the foster home I cleaned the children and feed them and care for them, and I used to receive 120$ pounds in a month, and I was working two shifts of seven in the morning until half past eight this evening. Workers in the foster home they know that was a bastard after two years I spent in the foster home, there was a new director, insisted that I work three shifts, from eight in the morning until seven in the morning the next day, and I told my mother this, but that the sons of her brother refused, citing I do not do it, but I want to spend the night outside the house with strange men!! They accused me of having affair’s with the new director so I left the foster home and I found a job at a private school cleaning the halls for 120$ a month.



Translated from Arabic to English by

Bayan Abubakr

Eight  grade at

Coyote Hills Elementary School

Peoria Arizona














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