The Abducted Crown

The Abducted Crown

a tribute to late Mohammed Mustafa Khogali, a 16 years old Sudanese student who got shot by government of Sudan police force on Wednesday 9th January 2019. He was killed shortly after among other fellow peaceful protesters.


By Osama Mahmoud

Taj: “Yes, yes I can barely hear you Yumma (mum in Sudanese Arabic); I am with Ahmed, we are trapped at the moment in the main roundabout in Sharie Algasr (Palace Street); Alkajar (police, pro gov. militias) are everywhere; we were mislead by a group of pro government students. All I wanted to say I left my w…..”

On the other side of the phone, Halima: “Hello, Hello can you hear me son? I know they tried to cut off all communications because of the demonstrations. Anyhow, I can’t hear you, my message to you and your colleagues is that what you are doing at the moment may seems little to you, however, it is the same actions done by your late uncle, Jumaa, one of the heroes of 1985 popular uprising against the May regime. I am proud of you and hope to see you later today”.

Taj phone was confiscated while his mother was delivering the speech. A lieutenant in the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) took the phone and responded to Halima: “you will never see him again, we shall cleanse the street from

vandals like him”.

That was the last she heard from or about her son. She went back down the memory lane remembering the night Taj was born; it was a cesarean as the embryrical cord got wrapped around the infant neck, however, Taj was a fighter; he survived with little supply of oxygen and food on the final 24 hours before he was born. That’s why his father always believed in him. He is one of four siblings.

At the age of five, his school got burned and he was transferred to a new school; three villages away from his village, Tululu, West Darfur. One day, on the way to school, he got a lift with one of the merchant of the village on the back of a pickup truck. The road was a bit hilly, the driver lost control and hit a tree on the side of the road. Taj flew over the bonnet of the truck and broke his collar bone, 4 ribs and he sustained a minor concussion. He was rushed to Zalingie Hospital for treatment. The road to recovery was tough yet he survived. 15 years later, he passed his exams with flying colours and got accepted to read English Literature in University of Khartoum. His father, Hussien, a farmer has been dead for the last 5 years. His land was taken by the Rabid Speed Force, government of Sudan militias, and decided to sue the perpetrators, only to be beaten by the very people he reached for justice. Hussien fell ill immediately after, high blood pressure, the silent killer, and died shortly after. His wife, Halima, took the role of the provider and worked on people farms to feed her kids. Taj sometimes helped her, however, she was keen for him to finish his education.

Taj said goodbye to his mother and before taking three buses to Nyala, South Darfur, he visited his father’s grave and vowed to continue his education.

From Nyala, a long train journey to Khartoum, his mother packed his suitcase with dry food, cloth, books, pens and all the money she kept on the side for her first born. In the capital, he got a minibus to his university dorm, Elbaracks, where he met his best friend Ahmed, a fellow first year student, who got enrolled to read Economy.

A year later, Taj passed his exams and he is already into year two. He got himself a part time job at a bookshop, in Abujinzeer station, central Khartoum. The money gained financed his day to day. News came from his village is that all the residents of the northern side of Tululu were force displaced into a new IDP camp called Khor Tibish. This was a result of new wave of demographic changes in West Darfur; a policy by the central government in Khartoum. Taj made the journey to his family’s new habitat and observed a look of despair on the faces of all IDP residents. His mother was strong as always and told him to focus on his studies as it is the only way forward for himself and the family. Halima said she is still able to earn from working in near by fields. The very fields that belonged one day to the IDPs.

Taj made his journey back to Khartoum to finish his second year, he became active in university, he joined Darfur Union in university of Khartoum and within months he became the poster person of the group, particularly after one incident where students from Darfur region where targeted after a heated debate with pro government students. As a result, the students from Darfur Union were attacked by NISS, police and the pro government students inside the university, 11 were injured, and one of them was in a critical condition – a knife stab. The attack did not stop there, it later on continued into the students dorm, Elbarracks, where the belongings of the students where removed from the dorms and thrown into the streets to be looted by the attackers. The stabbed student was pronounced dead on arrival to Khartoum Teaching Hospital. Taj and his friend Ahmed escalated this case to the media and also worked with many others to make sure the students were hosted around the capital and no one was left to sleep on the street.

The next day, a group of professors from the university teaching staff plus member of the student’s union plus Taj and Ahmed complained to the Chancellor of the University of Khartoum as well as the ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Also, the group organised a stand on the Main Street, inside the university. The police forces attacked the stand and targeted the group with tear gases. Taj was selectively targeted by one of the NISS personal by live ammunition; his dark complexion not to be missed in the middle of the group . The bullet brushed his shoulder and left a mark on the skin; he survived once again.

Six months later, the situation in the country became worse. multiple factors have lead the streets of the cities to erupt across Sudan. On Christmas Day, 2018, the masses rallied to the streets of Khartoum and other cities calling for the end of Bashir ruling, freedom and justice.

Taj took part in the demonstrations; he joined the masses in AbuJinzer square, central Khartoum, and from there they marched to Sharie Elgasr (Palace Street). The protesters were attacked by snipers located nearby rooftops and police forces on the ground. Taj, Ahmed plus twelves others decided to take a turn where they got trapped by NISS and rapid speed force militia. After the phone conversation with his mother was cut off short because his phone was taken by NISS lieutenant.

Two days later, Halima’s neighbours heard of Taj incident and came to console his mum although his whereabout and fate are yet to be determined. However, she responded to them by saying the following:-

A few days in a dark room, lies the fate of one young groom

Married to a beautiful bride called bravery

Only that her dowry was beyond the silence

He looked down at his fate…

and right in the face of the adversity

He cried “for how long?”

Shaking by that the dictator’s throne

Abduction, detention and torture did occur

While the socialites didn’t give enough care

Is it race? Is it background? Is it class?!!!

Either way, dead or alive…miss bravery salutes you

She hopes that you are safe and sound

A widower or a pride … you made her very proud

Taj means Crown in Arabic, and the fate of her crown even though he often survives, is not yet determined.

It is the responsibility of all to remove the perpetrators and to install justice and freedom for all.

The story is fictional yet it touches the reality on the ground in Sudan. It is also a tribute to young Mohammed Mustafa Khogali, 16 yours old student, who was shot dead by government of Sudan in a peaceful and civil protest organised by the people of Sudan on Wednesday 9th January 2019. May he Rest In Peace. The victims crime that day was their calling for freedom, peace and justice.

حرية سلام وعدالة والثورة خيار الشعب

قصة من نسج الخيال تلامس واقع مرير يمر به الشعب السوداني وهي في رثاء الشهيد محمد مصطفى خوجلي، الطالب، ١٦ عام، قُتِل بواسطة قوات البشير بعد إطلاق رصاصة على صدره في تظاهرة سلمية يوم الأربعاء ٩ يناير ٢٠١٩.



عنوان هذا الشهر: كتاب خواطر من زقاق الفلكسواجن 

عنوان هذا الشهر: كتاب خواطر من زقاق الفلكسواجن 

 لكاتبه د. محمود أبكر سليمان 


إهداء كتاب خواطر من زقاق الفلكسواجن – بقلم الكاتب د. محمود أبكر سليمان

أهدي هذه الخواطر الى عمال المطبعة، الذين يصفون في هذه اللحظة حروفها رغم أنهم يعرفون أن الكتاب لن يحمل أسماءهم. كما تنضاح الإهداء إلى ميكانيكية السيارات المتجولين الكادحين فى شوارع المدن بما فيها العاصمة الخرطوم و الإهداء مقدم لأصحاب السيارات القديمة التى أكل الدهر عليها و شرب و عفا عليها الزمن مقدماً لهم النصح أن يختاروا الحرفي المقتدر فى تصليح السيارات وتفادى مدعى المهارة الميكانيكية الذى يتصيد زبائنه فى قارعة الطريق الزقاق من دون أن يكون لديه مقر ثابت كما أحاول فى هذه السانحة أن أخاطب إدارات المجالس المحلية فى مدن و أرياف السودان أن يظهروا بعضاً من ” التقمص العاطفي” و الرحمة تجاه الباعة المتجولين المجهولين و سيدات “ستات الشاى” الذين دفعهم/دفعتهن ظروف الفقر و الحرمان و إهمال الدولة للظروف الحياتية التى يعيشون فيها هم/ هن جرياً وراء ما يسد الرمق لأسرهم دونما ضوضاء كسواهم من المحرومين و مسلوبى الحقوق أو الذين يعيشون ويموتون بصمت. و أهدى هذا العمل المتواضع مساهمة منى من دون مَنِّ و لا أذى إلى الذين يكتبون الكتب كلها بدون أن أتوقع تواقيعاتهم بالثناء ، وإلى كل الذين لهم الحق أن يشملهم الإهداء و لم أذكرهم لأنى لم أتذكرهم  فأتحمل منهم العتبى حتى يرضوا.

كانت لى فى تسعينات القرن الماضى سيَّارة أو عربية – كما يسميها السودنيون-  فلكسواجن ماركة القولف “ل”   حمراء فاقعة اللون تدخل الغبطة و السرور فى نفوس المشاهدين ذات أبواب خمسة حدباء الظهر –- Hatch Back معمِّرة لأنى قد إشتريتها بمبلغ ألف و ثمانمائة  و خمسة و خمسين جنيه إسترليني. 


Ibrahim El-Salahi – An All Rounder – at Tate Modern London

Ibrahim El-Salahi – An All Rounder – at Tate Modern London
By Osama Mahmoud


The BBC as an institution does invest heavily in culture programs, which explore art and artists of most genres. One of those vehicles is The Culture Show. At a particular night, 23rd of July 2013 to be specific, the focus of the program was about art in Africa, a very broad topic, which was put into prospective by focusing on modern art. The chosen artists were of different genre, yet are closely related in their visions. Almost connected telepathically, well most artists are, according to the average person.

Ibrahim Elsalahi, the Sudanese visionary artist and Meschac Gaba, the Beninese artist were the focal points of the Tate Modern advert campaign between July to September 2013. The Culture Show was a great introduction to the artists’ mindset, and a good guide to what to expect from visiting their respective exhibitions in London.

Crossing to the promise land…

It was Ramadan of 2013. Amid the summer season, a beautiful sunny day was encouraging to take a short journey to the gallery. The Tate Modern resides on the south bank of the river Thames. The closest tube station was Blackfriars. It is a twenty minutes stroll from the station to the gallery. As the venue was getting closer and closer, the advertising banners started to appear on both side the Millennium Bridge (yet another great piece of architecture, towering above the river and used as a passage from White Chapel to Tate Modern. The banners were carrying the name of a formidable visionary artist who has been and still is on the top of his game. A well known individual within the beautiful world of art, hence eight huge rooms were dedicated to his paintings. Continue reading

إي مرّاي – إرّتِحالية العَاجِلَة الأبدية 

إي مرّاي – إرتحالية العَاجِلَة الأبدية  

هو ذلك اليوم الذي نعترف بوجوده، ونؤمن بحكمته، ونُيِّقنُ بوقوعه، ولكن تأبى أنفسنا ربطه بمن نحب، تصارع دهاليس العقل الباطني كي تمنع طفو فكرته إلى السطح، فبه تكتمل سّنة الحياة التي تحمل في طيّاتها الجمع والفُراق.

فقد تعوّد ولوج كل فج دون إستئذان، غير مآبه بحجاب أو حصن نبنيه لنتّقيه، لا يولي عند نناجيه ونرتجيه بتغيير الطريق، لا يستجيب عند توسُّلُنا إليه بتأخير الموعد، أو إخلافه حتى نفرغ من ما يشغلنا كي نهيئ مشاعرنا لإنفاق المزيد من الوقت في حب عزيز قبل فُراق البين، ولا نؤمن بما قال إبن زيدون في بنت المستكفي عن الإستكفاء باللقاء عند يوم الحشر. فطمعُنا الفطري يجعلنا نُطالبُ صاحب الأمانة أن يُوكِلُنا إياها إلى أمٍد سرمدي.

إرحمهم يا ودود … صبرّنا على فراقهم …

The Beats of Antonov over the River Cam

Happy New Year!

Venue: St. Johns College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambrigeshire, England.  

Snapshots from the Film

A mild night over the river Cam was made warm by Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF). When African movies are mentioned, Sudanese films are not in contention or the most popular; not because of lack of quality, but rather poor investment, absence of infrastructure and extreme censorship over the last thirty years, all of the aforementioned reasons have hindered the production, in once a thriving industry pioneered by the later formidable cinematographer Jadallah Jubara. Almost all of the films by Sudanese movie makers are results of individual efforts and external fundings. Raising fund for a film project is not an impossible task, however, the lack of openness and close censorship by the various governmental bodies, especially when it comes to gaining permission to shoot a film makes it a task impossible; It takes the ad out of adventure! Any form of work which highlight issues such poverty, child abuse, human rights, women oppressions etc… ought to be received with objection and a possible imprisonment. 



The City of Cambridge/ CAFF

A captivating Sudanese film was featured in the CAFF 2015. It was shot in two areas in the Sudan, which are under the full control of the Sudan People Liberation Army – North, a rebel group. The film crew was given the green light to work in parts of Sudan where the people are suffering from a notorious war waged upon them by the government over the last few years. 


Beats of The Antonov

The film follows the invisible tangent between sadness and happiness while raising questions about the identity of certain individuals/ communities in the Sudan. It does reflect on the legacy of continuous war while touching on the issue of race and its direct relation to skin complexion in the Sudan, and in particular the conundrum of the center (elites) vs. everyone else (marginalised people).

The film also talks about the legitimate right of people to defend themselves by all means.

                           Survival in War Tormented Regions of Sudan

All of the aforementioned is dealt with by going back and forth between the sorrow of death/ destruction and the delight of existence of one among his/her family and loved ones. Culture and music are the pillars of the documentary, and that’s where the people of the two regions (Nuba mountains and Blue Nile State) gain their strength.

I strongly recommend it to you and to your mates.


The film was directed by Hajooj Kuka (picturedabove), starring Sudanese refugees and IDPs, and it features Sudanese artist Alsarah.

بين إبليس والشيطان والسودان

بين إبليس والشيطان والسودان


خاطبوه مُذ الصغر بصيغة نحن الملكية بفتح اللّام الثانية

فرُسِّخت في ذهنه معاني العلو والإستحقاق ونرجسية

بطريقةٍ أو أخرى تنتهي بهم شجرة الحسب والنسب إلى رسول الإنسانية. 

كل ذلك توّج بفقر في نواحٍ عدة، في الثروة والتعليم

جاءهم إبليس المركز، وعين شياطين المنطقة من ذوي الفتى المُفدّى على رأس جيش لحماية سلالة الرُّسُل. 

خَلَفَ إبليس إبليس، تغيّرت الأوجه ولا زال ولاء الشياطين أعمى. 

كَبُر الفتى وزاد كِبْرَه، ولكن سرعان ما كشرت له دنياه عن أنيابها، فلا علم ينتفع به، ولا مال يوفّر شُح العيش. 

إلتحق بحماة راية الإستحقاق،

 تلى ذلك نهب وسلب وصلب وإغتصاب وتنكيل وتقتيل، ولا زال الفتى يعاني متلازمة الْفَقْر.  

ضرب الفتى إدراج الرجعة إلى قريته، فوجد والدته على فراش الموت، والكل في إنتظاره لإسعاف حالتها، ضرب مرة أخرى طريق الشياطين للظفور بعصاه موسى. 

خاطب الشياطين، وخاطبت بدورها إبليس، الذي غضب لمطالبة الشاب بحقه، قتل إبليس الشيطان، سأل الرّواد إبليس لما، قال ما أكثر الشياطين، وما أبخس أثمانهم. 

شعرة مُعاوية المُنقِذة المُهلِكة

شعرة مُعاوية المُنقِذة المُهلِكة


غرف الإستجواب: ما الذي دفعك على الإقدام بهذه العملية؟

لم تكن هذه المرة الأُولى التي يجاوب فيها بالصمت، فقد سئل عدة مرات خلال جلسات مختلفة، والمتغيّر الوحيد هو صيغة السؤال. فتارة يأتيه المحقق بلباس المساعد الذي يود أن يستنطقه مقابل منحه الحرية، وتارة أخرى بلباس المحقق اللئيم الذي يود تعذيبه دون الإباه بنوع الإجابة الذي يستخرجها من ذلك الفتى المدلل.


الظاهر: رغد العيش في مدينة الخرطوم، بحري، كوبر، منزل مُطِل على ضِفاف النيل، تقطنه أسرته المكونة من الأب والأم والأخت وشخصه، حي آمن ورب غفور. في خارج المنزل يوجد ملحق، حيث مجموعة من الناس، منهم، الطباخ، السائق، والجنايني، والحرس، كلهم متواجدون على مدار الساعة لخدمة الأسرة الصغيرة.

زواج شقيقته نوال، كان حديث المدينة، فقد تم عقد قرانها، على أحد أبناء السفراء القدامى، شاب يمتلك مصنعاً للمواد الغذائية، من نفس الطبقة المعيشية. Continue reading

نافخة الكير


لوث صوتها ودخان محركها هدوء جوءٍ وصفاء سماء بالتتالي

وفي ذلك إعلان عن موعد قدومها

يميزها الأطفال والأنعام قبل الكبار

فقلوبهم البريئة أعلم بما تخفي طياتها

ذعر وجرح وقتل

وقد يتبدل الترتيب في بعض الأحيان

 ها هي تأتي بخيلائها تأخذ دورتها الأولى

ثم تثنيها بالتصليب 

حيث تحدد الهدف

وتطلق الوابل الأول

وقبل إرتضامه بالأرض

كان الهدوء النسبي الذي يسبق العاصفة

صوت صفير

صوت جسم يقترب


وما هي إلا لحظات

  أتجه فيها الأطفال والأنعام والكبار

 إلى الهوة لتفادي الإنفجارة الكبرى

حتى إلتامت أشلاء الأطفال ببقايا الأنعام

ولوثت مخلفات فعلتها جمال البسيطة

فشكى المتفرجون 

تغيّر المناخ


آخر العنقود


تحتم عليها تغيير جلدها

فالكل حولها من ذكور وإناث

 قد عاش التجربة 

مثنى وثلاث ورباع

ومنهم من جاف الملة

فخمسوها وسدسوها

وهي جامدة

بانت مظاهر التغيير على أنيساتها

فقد جذبت الملامح الجديدة آخرون

وبهم أضحى كل زوجان متكاملان

فسلكت أحد الطرق الأربعة

للوصول إلى ما بعد التغيير

لم يكن ذلك من أجل الإرتقاء بنفسها إلى الأفضل

ولكن لملاحقة زميلاتها الآئيسبقنها

وعند بلوغها … بدلناهم بجلود

فظلت في مكانها تترقب عوامل أخرى تمكنها

من تغيير واقع فرضته على نفسها أو فرض عليها

من أجل إرتقاء لا إلتقاء

الدّعاء بالمقلوب

صراع على حافة الهاوية – الهروب الأخير 


إرتفعت قدماه إلى الأعلى وأخذ يدعو مَن بعد السماء 

أن يعرج به إلى ما بعد السحاب كي يكل من التفكير وتحط به رحله إلى أرض جدب روى يابستها بدماء الأطهار

كان في السابق يرفع يداه تضرعاً، لكن دون جدواً، فقد سئم من الدعاء الذي لا يُجاب. 

ما فائدة إحتشاد الحواس تضرعاً اذا كان للقتل عواقب

ما فائدة الإبتهال اذا كانت أشباح الموتى تطارده في منامه

ما فائدة الرجاء إذا أصبح عالمه يضيق عليه يوما بعد يوم

فرفعُ القدمِ لا يعني الكُفر، ولكن نصف الإيمان، فبها تُفرّغُ الأيدي لإحكام القبضة بواحدة وقتل الأطهار بالأُخرى وبذلك يتم السؤدد، وتُكّفر الجريمة. 

أما آن للمارد أن ينهض ويحتشد كي يثأر للأطهار، فأشباحهم تناضل بينما يغوص المارد في سُبات…