23 March 2017

CHANGE: What do Sudanese people eat?

Meat, Foul and Eggs are regular dishes in most Sudanese meals (Photo: bitalsudan2010.blogspot.com)

Last year, as I was interviewing a journalist who lost his job when the newspaper he worked for was closed down, I discovered Mulah Lobaya. For those who don’t know it, its similar to Okra , but cheaper and a small amount  of Lobaya makes large quantities of Mulah Lobaya.

My idea was to write a story about how journalists working at Ahjras Al-Hurreya newspaper, defunct since July 2011, survive without jobs in an expensive country.

The journalist I interviewed told me that in his household, this dish is a regular at all meals as they don’t have a lot of money to spend on food.

Weeks after that, a brave young journalist explored other cuisines by visiting Souk Libya in Omdurman. In a report for Hurriyat, the journalist found out that many families can’t afford chicken, they end up buying chicken ‘bones and legs’ in an attempt to get at least a mild flavor of a food item they long to eat.

The IMF said that the Sudanese economy is collapsing, but I don’t need the IMF or World Bank to tell me that, I see it with my own eyes. When I moved to Sudan in 2010, I made a small salary writing and editing for a daily newspaper. I saved half of my monthly income. Two years later, I sometimes make less money than I made in 2010.

What do Sudanese people eat? In reality, many Sudanese don’t really eat that much. The men washing cars in front of my house have a big plate of foul at around 2 p.m. When I asked them why the late breakfast, they said they can’t afford to have breakfast then have lunch, this meal is their main meal. They chug small cups of tea the rest of the day.

In the supermarket next to my house, I see jars of jam, Nutella, peanut butter and other “luxury goods” gathering dust, the owner tells me “People are buying less luxury items such as tuna and jam”.

Sudan has become that kind of country, where tuna and jam are luxury items.

3 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • Ali A.
    8 September 2012 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Well the main reason why they (nutella,peanut butter etc.) are luxury goods is that they are all imported from abroad. This is what happens when the country does not focus on producing anything locally. I do not see any reason why a country with such vast agricultural produce is importing food from abroad.

    • Layla W
      12 June 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

      I grew up in Sudan. I love the Country. It’s very a special place to me and my family. Growing up, it was a different Sudan; rich, generous, hospitable and kind. That’s the Sudan I grew up and that’s the Sudan I know. I miss and love my Sudanese friends. I pray to see you one day. Inshallah🙏🏾! I had a wonderful childhood and I will always cherish that.

  • Dreamy
    15 September 2012 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks dear Reem for sharing this story, Its heart breaking the living conditions of so many people around us

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