(Photo: Adil’s World blog adilsud.blogspot.com)
I still remember vividly that day, the 14th of October 2003 the year of the fall of Bagdad and the demise of the Saddam regime. Stepping out from the plane in a hot and humid night, dazed with the thought that I am stepping into a path I never wished to undertake but being left with no option, convinced that I was no better than my father and the hundreds of thousands who end up on this land every year. Three months after graduation and 8 months after actively seeking employment without a single interview, I knew it was time to call it quits and try something new. This was pretty much my last throw of the dice. Walking down the stairs, I as many Sudanese before me and indeed expats from all over the world, was consumed by the thought of what my aims in life were, what do I wish to achieve from my years abroad, when and if I will return to Sudan or perhaps a better choice would be to immigrate to one of the far corners of the world namely Canada or Australia.
Your arrival in the gulf as a resident is similar to the fresh mango, as new Indian immigrants were referred to upon arrival to the UK after World War Two. This completely changes the way you think and renders you a totally different person, no number of visits and summer vacations will prepare you for the ordeal. It starts with you contemplating the thought of how long it will take to break free from the chains of aspirations, expectations and commitments that most Sudanese expats fail to escape, with a sizable majority carrying the burden all the way to their grave.
Going through the fingerprinting process where they finger print almost every inch of your limps excluding your feet is an ordeal that builds a mental barrier that I assume is similar to that of being arrested and booked for the first time. The uneasiness of the feeling that you have been sentenced to life in self imposed exile is later replaced with the feeling of content and resignation to continue as if it is your destiny to work, live and die in a foreign land. As days pass you not only accept it but you eventually embrace it whole heartily as a necessity of life to survive for so long with no end to your exile due to the continuous changes to your aims and goals.
When you first arrive, you set yourself a clear defined set of goals. They usually include both professional and financial targets, such as acquiring and enhancing a certain set of skills or qualifications, in addition to saving a certain sum of money to buy or build a house in Sudan, or assist your family to complete an expansion in the family household that includes an apartment or section for yourself. A 3 to 5 years timeline is set for your goals to be achieved; you endorse your plan wholeheartedly.
very nice pictures 🙂
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