By Duha Elmardi January 31, 2017
For two months i was not able to write a word in this blog, the past months have been emotionally exhausting, torn apart between Sudan’s Civil Disobedience and the new changes in the United States, it has been difficult.
As I went to the airport today to say goodbye to my husband as he leaves back to Sudan after finally spending a month together since I moved here in May, I came across many different groups of lawyers and interpreters such as ACLU, Lawyers for Good Government, CAIR and many others. There was a sign looking for Arabic translators and after making sure that my husband made it to his gate safe and hearing people telling us that once he is past that gate he might not be able to enter this country again until things are different (we are lucky that he came a few weeks before the ban, otherwise we would not have seen each other), i signed up immediately for any assistance i could give to these groups. And in just three hours of being there I met some of the most beautiful people i could meet who left their lives behind and sat on the floors of the airport working on their laptops, talking to people in the airport, offering free legal advice, and lots of others bringing in flowers and positive signs and boxes of food and water to help the volunteers.
This is beyond beautiful. This is humanity.
As you all may know, where I come from (Sudan) is on the list of the 7 countries banned from entering the United States under the Muslim Ban Executive Order. This has been a tremendous shock to the people of Sudan as we, on President Obama’s last week in office, saw an executive ordereasing the US Imposed sanctions that would lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan, unfreeze assets and remove financial sanctions as a response to Khartoum’s cooperation in fighting Islamic State and other groups.
Sudan was celebrating President Obama’s Executive order. Sudan’s problems certainly have not all happened due to the sanctions but due to a continuous mismanagement of the country’s resources, due to corruption, ethnic struggles, a rich civil war history and the lack of freedom among other things but with the ease of the sanctions we all felt like finally there is room for hope for a better economy and better lives for the people of Sudan. But, that happiness did not last long before the new order that does not even allow us to enter anymore came.
But, being present in Washington DC in such time allowed me to witness the beauty and goodness of millions of people here and in other cities across the US. The amount of turnouts at marches has been incredible, and the work that groups such as ACLU are doing is incredible, empowering and life changing to many individuals. I salute everyone who has voiced out against any form of injustice that has been happening, it is our duty, to stand collectively and most importantly peacefully, to fight for rights of women and children, rights of indigenous people, rights of our brothers and sisters in Palestine fighting the occupation for years, rights of the people in Syria dying everyday, rights of black people, rights of our Latino brothers and sisters, and against oppression of any group.
Some pictures from the No Muslim Ban March at the White House, apologies for the low quality photos.
Thousands of people fleeing oppression seek the United States as a safe harbor to them, thousands have sold properties just to move here, thousands have risked their lives just to come here, thousands have escaped war zones in search for safety, for a better life, in search for dignity, for a future for their children, and their lives should and must matter.
I urge anyone who can offer any sort of help to contact these organizations and many other groups to volunteer, donate, do whatever you can to be of service, spread kindness, positivity and love. And as Martin Luther King Jr. said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.