Sunday, November 15, 2020

Ahmed Sadiq Biriar


Ahmed Sadiq Biriar is a Sudanese write and academic researcher.

 

The Khartoumian Ruling Club: Sudan’ Four Democracy: A wolf under sheep's clothing

 by: Talal Nayer


The two wings of the Khartoumian Club

After two aborted revolutions against militarism; October 1964 and April 1985; the contemporary situation gives us the impression that we are eye-witnessing the unhurried death of the Fourth Democracy; the democracy that came after the months of struggle, tears and blood. The revolution of December took down the head of the regime Omar al-Bashir, but the al-Inqazz [i] is rooted structurally in the transactional government, ideologically, militarily, economically, and much worse; politically. The ruling body in Khartoum - the Forces for Freedom and Change – hypothetically embodies the revolutionary forces that generated the uprising between December 2018 and April 2019, an uprising which took place even years earlier.  


The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) is a coalition of inconsistent and irreconcilable dogmatic forces, but what syndicates these conflicting parties that they are all appropriated to the Islamo-arab ideology. The ruling class in Khartoum wasn’t and isn’t willing to accomplish peace or democracy in Sudan. Any real democratic change will not advantage the Khartomian elites for the reason that they will be incompetent to find their historical privilege on politics and economy. That is why declaring war in the name of patriotism is the only way to avoid this fundamental transfiguring in the political equation in Sudan. Any modification or transformation means that those Khartomian elitists will not be capable to rule Sudan again, at least Sudan in its old formula.


The last defence-line:

The conflict in Sudan is essentially cultural, and warfare is a consequence and not a purpose. Understanding this principle can make it easier to anatomize the mind and the mentality of the Khartomian elitists. The peace negotiations - in Addis Ababa and Juba - witnessed the inflexibility of the government’s delegation, and most of the negotiation rounds crumpled violently under the military-mindset of the government’s delegation.


The military arm of the ruling class displays intransigence and the refusal to any acceptance of secularism or impartial peace agreement. The aggression of the army - from my point of view – is only a division of rules: The Forces for Freedom and Change plays the rule of the political wing by keeping their mouth muted while the military wing is taking the responsibility of defending the Khartoumian club and its privileges.


The western diplomacy designed an arrangement or a treaty for Sudan called (The Soft Landing) which can be summarized shorty in: a deal that preserves the Islamist military regime in power but in one condition; shares the power with the political parties. The Revolution of 19 December knocked down The Soft Landing pact, but the political wing of the Khartoumian club sneaked around the revolutionary groups and spread out the deal by series of secret and public gatherings with the military leaders. The ultimate result of these congregations is signing the Constitutional Document in August 2019.[ii]


Al-Kafeel is always right

The Constitutional Document was a kiss-of-life for the Islamist militarist regime which has an obsession with the Islamo-arab ideology. The hysteria with this dogmatic model gives the idea of how the Sudanese regime deals with foreigner affairs:


Khartoum government continues to send fighters to Yemen in contrast to the will of the Sudanese citizens only to satisfy the Saudi government who involved in a never-ending blood-stained confrontation with the Houthis since 2014.[iii] The recent normalization relationships between Sudan and Israel doesn’t come from contentment or a strong position, it came off only under the pressure of the UAE government which sought after normalization with Israel but the Emiratis didn’t want to be red-handed alone, they dragged helpless Sudan. When the normalization with Israel was a political taboo on the Arab World, the Sudanese were more Arabs than the Arabs and they supported the Palestinian militias financially and politically, and also militarily.[iv]


Nowadays and as soon as the decision-making-centre moved from Cairo to Abu Dhabi, the taboo had been broken, and what was forbidden in the recent past it became at the moment utterly ordinary. Sudan continuously – goes forward and backwards - keeps pace with the Arab trend, and in this day and age the wave moved in the direction of Israel, and the Sudanese government agreed.


“The customer is always right” "is a motto or slogan which encourages service staff to offer an extraordinary priority to customer satisfaction. When it comes to the bond between Sudan and the Arab countries, The Petro-dollar-states are not customers, but they are actually the masters because “al-Kafeel is always right”[v] when he pays the price. The Sudanese economy with its rich natural resources still depends on aids from the Gulf States. When it comes to Sudan and the Arab countries it seems like crystal-model of a slave-master relationship when the high priority is the satisfaction of Oil-Kingdoms.


Shari’a is a redline

The Sudanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood penetrated the structure of the Sudanese politics after Jaafar Nimeiry established an alliance with the two of the main Islamist forces in the country; the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Umma party in 1977. Hassan al-Turabi started his Islamization project which sustained successfully even after the breakdown of the second dictatorship in 1985. The Muslim Brotherhood preserved the old wine but in new bottles: they adopted a new name; The National Islamic Front. The NIS was the leading confrontational stream of political Islam during the Third Democracy (1985-1989), they competently forced al-Umma and al-Ittihadi parties to implement the Islamist agenda by keeping the Shari’a Law that was legislated on September 1983.  The followers of the NIS were trooping in Khartoum and cheering hysterically: “Shari’a Shari’a wala namut… al-Islam qabl Al-Qoutt”.[vi]


After the collapse of the Third Dictatorship (1989-2019) the Turabian model is style the guideline for the Khartoumian ruling club in the Fourth Democracy. The Communist Party of Sudan, The Nasserite Party, and the Baath Party are historically and ideologically considered secularist parties, but when it comes to the Sudanese context they belong to the Islamo-arab ideology before no matter what else. These political organizations preferred – in the furthermost machiavellian way - to keep silent about the issue of secularism in Sudan just to preserve their small chances to earn seats in the forthcoming elections after the transitional period. The discussion about secularism is a matter of life or death to the forces of the New-Sudan; like Sudan People's Liberation Movement‑North, CUSH congress, and others, but the left-wing in the Khartoumian club can reject their identity as secularists just to indemnity with the Islamo-arab ideology because (Shari’a is a redline).    


Hypocrisy disguises with Democracy

The leaders of The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) moved toward Sudan from their exile in Europe and America after spending decades under the western secularist states, but when the leaders of the FFC came to the power they made a decision to rule Sudan with Shari’a law. The members of the Khartoumian club insisted to consider Sudan as an exception from all the rest of the world, and they are trying to resurrect a lifeless model of Islamic State by modernizing it. Ahmed al-Sanngak; one of the spearheads of al-Ittihadi Party in the USA declared that his party is utterly rejecting secularism and the right of Self-determination for the people in Kordufan and the Angasana.[vii] Ahmed al-Sanngak is an exemplary model of politicians in the Khartoumian ruling club; those politicians would like to fight to have Shari’a law in Sudan, but they would prefer to live under a secularist regime; hypocrisy disguises with a democracy.


Genocide in the name of democracy

The knees of the Khartoumian ruling club is shaking from the possibility of a total secularist – from the far right to the far left – their knees are shaking in the anxiety of any real democratic system because if they compete under real democracy, they will face excisional challenges that can lead the traditional political forces into political extinction.


The sectarian pre-designed democracy in Sudan provided an unquestionable privilege to al-Umma and al-Ittihadi parties. The Islamic political parties in Sudan consider elections equally a synonym to democracy, and they are entirely mistaken. Secularist democracy is about protecting the rights of all the individuals and not only obeys the desire of the mechanical majority of the voters. Secularism had protected and should guard the rights of the monitories, and it should make secure the monitory not to be crushed under the dominance of the majority. An election is only a seasonal transactional operation of the political authority, but democracy is daily behaviour and exercise. Democracy is the freedom of speech, the pure separations of the three authorities, and the equal opportunity of all the citizen's regard of their religion, ethnic or cultural background.


The historical privilege of the Khartoumian club is based on the systemic racism and institutional discrimination against the marginalized groups. History told us that the civilian politicians are capable to commit war crimes in the name of democracy: al-Sadiq al-Mahdi established al-Maraheil militias in Kordufan,[viii] and politically reinforced (Arab Alliance in Darfur) militia in Darfur that perpetrated genocide in al-Daein were 1500 of Denika tribe burned alive in a single day 1987.[ix]  This Darfurian territorial army is the backbone of the Janjaweed militia that on-Bashir used to terrify and terrorize the society of Darfur.


A secularist constitution cannot dramatically change Sudan into heaven, but it is hypothetically and essentially an obligatory step in the direction of modernization and democratization of Sudan. Secularism will guarantee the cultural neutrality of the state in a republic that is divided predominantly because of the culture before anything else. A secularist constitution will be – at the short duration - a base for political reconciliation, but on the extended term it should lead to an economical rehabilitation based on societal equality, and as a final point, it may lead to a cultural peace that can make Sudan take its natural rule as a bridge between the cultures in Africa.


Peace Negotiations and military: “A coin has two sides”

During bloody eras of the conflict, the ruling club in Khartoum was sidestepping any kind of ultimate and non-discriminatory solution to the political catastrophe in Sudan. The two wings of the ruling club were swapping rules; just like (good cup - bad cup) routine: The political wing of the club plays its rule in this psychological /political trick that was used during the negotiations. In all the rounds of peace-takings, the regime’s team comes with two categories of negotiators who take apparently opposing approaches to the topic of Shari'a or secularism.


The typical psychological /political tactic that the government's representatives may discuss any theme alternately or may challenge the subject at the same time, but the final aim for them is only wasting time or calling for never-ending re-negotiations. We have dozens of examples: Kokadam agreement (1987), Garang-al-Mergani agreement (1988), A'aggar-Nafei deal (2011), and finally al-Hilu-Hamdook agreement (2020).


The military wing in the ruling club – played its rule in (good cup-bad cup) tactic - sidestepped al-Hilu-Hamdook agreement to take the negotiations back to the former situation. It is a distribution of rules between the two wings in the Khartoumian club that is playing his last card: freezing the political status quo for as long as possible. 


Shams al-deen Kabbashi is a load voice of the militants in the ruling club; he declared his disapproval to secularism. This explicit media announcement came in a precarious time: The Communist Party of Sudan draw itself off from the FFC’s Central Council and al-Umma party is threatening to go the same path. Kabbashi’s announcements are politically pre-calculated, he would like to reassure the rest of the political members in the ruling club, he is clearing explicitly that the military is standing behind them to protect the Islamo-arab model in its last defence-line.

                                                                                        Metamorphosis: a transitional period, of a transformation period?

Currently, the political coalition in Khartoum is in an inconstant mercuric condition; and there is no crystal-ball to predict the future of the Sudanese politics, but by detecting and investigating the present it is possible to have a prediction about the future: the systemic demolition of December’s Revolution will continue, and the two wings of the ruling club will fight the revolution from inside the institutions that supposed to achieve the goals of the revolution unless the political equation changed.


The circle-of-life insures that the democracy in Sudan will end up into a dictatorship; just a like a Kafkaesque nightmare. The political scene in Sudan resembles the caricature where the wolf is under sheep's clothing; just to prove with no doubts that the transitional period is just a transformational period from the Fourth Democracy into the Four Dictatorship.


Notes:

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[i] al-Inqazz: The National Salvation Revolution (Arabic: ثورة الانقاذ الوطني “Thawratt al-Inqazz al-Watanii”) is a coup d'état on 30/06/1989 against the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and President Ahmed al-Mirghani.


[ii] Sudan Constitutional Declaration: In August 2019, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) initialled a Constitutional Declaration that will replace Sudan's 2005 Interim Constitution and govern the three year transition period.


[iii] Sudanese troops continue exit from war-stricken Yemen, al-Monitor, 03/02/2020


[iv] Sudan says supports Hamas despite Israel's "aggression", Reuters, 04/11/2012


[v] Kafala: (Arabic: نظام الكفالة niẓām al-kafāla, meaning "sponsorship system") is a system used to monitor migrant labourers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in the Gulf States. Al-Kafeel  (Arabic: الكفيل meaning “sponsorship”).


[vi] The slogan (Arabic: “شريعة شريعة ولا نموت... الإسلام قبل القوت”) which is roughly translated to: (we want Sharia law or we will die [for it]… Islam comes before food).


[vii] President of the al-Ittihadi Party in America: We declare our total rejection of secularism and calls for self-determination, al-Rakoba website, 07/11/2020, (The original source in Arabic HERE)


[viii] al-Maraheil: a tribal militia formed mainly of al-Baggara tribes


[ix] al-Daein massacre: (in Arabic مذبحة الضعين) is the subsequent violent events that took place in the town of al-Daein on 28/03/1987. Ushari A. Mahmoud and Suliman Ali Balldu documented in their book (The Massacre of al-Daein: Slavery in Sudan, in Arabic مذبحة الضعين: الرق في السودان), they wrote about events of the massacre that can be summarized as follows: The Janjaweed Militia organized 4000 armed Bedouins from the Rizeigat tribe, all of them equipped with swords, guns, and combustible materials. The Janjaweed launched a devastating attack against the residents' people of Dinka; they killed 1700 by burning them alive while they had been trapped in a train intended to take the Dinka away from the killing fields. The militiamen committed war crimes; mass rape of hundreds, the enslavement of 4000 people, the random the shooting of children and disabled in the city hospital. The Janjaweed desecrated and demolished Saint Bakhita’s church.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Der Glaube der Zikade




von Talal Nayer

Meine Insektensammlung fällt als erstes ins Auge, wenn man meine Wohnung betritt. Teil dieser Sammlung ist ein besonderes Exemplar: eine 17 Jahre alte Zikade aus Thailand. Viele Menschen halten mich wegen der Insektensammlung für einen Biologen, aber: "Nein! Ich bin Schriftsteller und Künstler". Auf die Frage, "Was steckt hinter den Zikaden? Was ist das Geheimnis?", fehlt mir meistens eine knappe Antwort. Normalerweise zeige ich mein Interesse an Zikaden nicht, weil die meisten Leute nichts Interessantes daran finden, wenn ich von der Bedeutung der Zikade in der Folklore der Menschen auf den Fidschi-Inseln erzähle oder wie die Bermuda-Inseln auf ihren Münzen das Bild der Zikade sorgfältig ausgearbeitet haben.  

Wenn ich an die Zikade denke, kommt mir Vieles in den Kopf: Briefmarken, die mit diesem prächtigen Insekt verziert sind, eine lange Liste von Menschen, die sich von der Zikade inspirieren ließen, um Hunderte von Objekte zu entwerfen: Spielzeug, Kleidung und sogar Gebäude. Diese Aufzählung beantwortet jedoch nicht die Frage; lieber bringe ich die Zikade in einen philosophischen Kontext, in dem sich die Menschen wiederfinden: "Die Zikade ist für mich ein Symbol für meine Lebensvision; es geht um Hoffnung", so ist meine Antwort.

Meine Erfahrungen im Leben haben mir gezeigt, dass die Hoffnung die größte treibende Kraft in unserem Universum ist; zumindest aus meiner persönlichen Perspektive. Viele Menschen haben persönliche Hoffnungen: der Wunsch, etwas akademisch oder wissenschaftlich zu erreichen, der Traum, ein produktives Wirtschaftsunternehmen aufzubauen; auch die Sehnsucht, sich in jemanden zu verlieben, ist Hoffnung.

Als Atheist kann ich sehr wohl verstehen, warum die Menschen beten und warum sie nach Hoffnung suchen. Die meisten Menschen denken fälschlicherweise, Atheismus sei ein Synonym für den existentiellen Nihilismus. Diese Philosophie lässt sich in einer Zeile zusammenfassen: "Das Leben hat keinen in sich liegenden Sinn oder Wert". Ich kann die Bedeutung der Religion für den Menschen verstehen; ich kann es durchaus nachvollziehen, wenn jemand die Religion als eine spirituelle Orientierung im Leben betrachtet.

Viele Menschen blicken diese Orientierung suchend hoch zum Himmel, doch ich persönlich beuge meinen Kopf nach unten und denke. Ich nehme an, dass das Herz und der Verstand die stärksten Kräfte sind, im Leben zu leiten. Diese Lebensausrichtung kann wahrscheinlich religiös, politisch oder philosophisch sein. In meinen Augen ist nicht das Etikett ausschlaggebend, sondern dass sie existiert.  

In Momenten der Niederlage schaue ich nicht in den Himmel, sondern beuge meinen Kopf in Richtung Boden und denke; in finsteren Zeiten denke ich an die Zikade. Die 17-jährige Zikade verbringt ihre Lebenszeit unter der Erde. 17 Jahre lebt sie in der Dunkelheit, und nur einen Monat lang kommt sie ans Licht. In dieser Zeit fliegt sie dem strahlenden Himmel entgegen, isst unzählige köstliche Speisen, liebt leidenschaftlich und feiert die prächtige Natur. Die Zikade wartet in der Dunkelheit, und vertraut darauf, dass diese immerwährende Finsternis mit einem großen Fest endet.

Indem ich es lebe, glaube ich an das Positive und an das liebevolle Leben. Im August 2012 besuchte ich eine kleine Stadt namens Kom Ombo in Ägypten. Zu dieser Zeit, an diesem Ort hörte ich ein Lied von einem einheimischen Mauwal-Musiker namens Youseff Shita. Ein Vers, den ich vernahm, blieb mir im Gedächtnis; er lautet:

Iktum aljarh wa qawwey al-rubatt bi-a'shaash

Wa shuff bi-eayn al-rida wajah al-zamman bashash

Welcher grob übersetzt werden kann mit:

Decke die Wunde ab und stärke die Bindung mit der Gaze

Und schau‘ mit dem Auge der Zufriedenheit; du wirst das entzückende Gesicht der Zeit sehen

In dicker bunter Schrift schrieb ich diesen Vers auf ein Brett und vokalisierte die Schrift, um immer das Positive im Kopf und vor Augen zu behalten. Ich weiß, dass viele Menschen der Meinung sind, diese Über-Positivität sei Illusion, und ich kann ihren Gedankengang verstehen. Wir leben in einer Zeit, in der der Glaube an das Gute im Namen der Rationalität tabuisiert wird; die Verherrlichung der Gewalt lässt keinen Raum für irgendeinen Optimismus; die Befürworter des Hasses haben alle Plattformen besetzt. Trotz allem spricht mir leise meine innere Führung in mein Ohr: "Wenn du schon nicht singen kannst wie ein Spatz, dann schrei wenigstens nicht wie eine Eule".

Sie flüstert mir immerwährend zu: "Betrachte jede Herausforderung als Chance", denn ich glaube daran, dass dieser Optimismus mir hilft, vorwärts zu kommen; von der Möglichkeit zur Wirklichkeit zu gelangen. Selbst wenn die Ergebnisse nicht zufriedenstellend sind, lächle ich, denn bei dem, was ich im Leben tue, geht es nicht darum zu gewinnen, sondern darum, gute Entscheidungen zu treffen. Mit meiner Positivität versuche ich als Künstler und Schriftsteller ein Statement abzugeben und vor allem als Mensch sich auszudrücken. Wenn ich verletzt werde, erinnere ich mich an den Vers aus dem ägyptischen Lied; also bedecke ich die Wunde und schaue mit dem Auge der Zufriedenheit.

Ich glaube, dass jeder Mensch diesen Glauben haben sollte; den Glauben der Zikade, die erkennt, dass die Finsternis nicht ewig und das Warten auf das Licht nicht endlos ist. Vielleicht sind die Momente der Freude von kurzer Dauer, aber das ist der Sinn des Lebens: Es geht um die Qualität, nicht um die Länge der Zeit, die wir leben. Die Zikade lebt nur einen Monat und singt tagelang lauthals, dann stirbt sie. Dann nehmen der Wind und die Flüsse die Zikade mit auf eine Reise zu anderen Orten; eine Reise nach dem Tod, nachdem die Zikade ihre Erklärung klar und laut abgegeben hatte. Ich glaube an diese Theorie, und wenn Finsternis hereinbricht, weiß ich, dass das Licht kommen wird, und ich werde laut singen wie eine Zikade; ich singe für die aufkommende Hoffnung.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hashtag: Shoukran Hamdook


by: Talal Nayer

Sudan's interim Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok gained his title as a result of a shady deal between the military wing of Bashir’s regime, and The Alliance for Freedom and Change; the coalition of the opposition. The AFC divided into dozens of political parties, military movements, and syndicalist bodies. The result of an agreement between these contradicted components is undoubtedly a scarecrow.

Hamdook is a natural product of Sudanese politics which brought its best nominee to power. Robert O. Collins – in his (A History of Modern Sudan, 2008) determined the cause of sickness in Sudanese politics; the lack of qualified leadership! Hamdook is only a replaceable mask that covers the weakness of the ruling class in Khartoum. The AFC coalition comprehends a wide range of political ideologies; from the Stalinists in the far left, to the Islamic conservatives. The Common factor between these political fractions isn’t an ideologist manifesto; but populist propaganda that childishly simplifies very complicated issues, and covers its narration with a mixture of chauvinism, sophism, and fogginess about the reality of politics and economy.   

The Alliance for Freedom and Change exists in name only, when the main power in the hand of the military. Theatrically, Sudan is passing a three-years-transitional-period, but technically and practically, the old Islamic regime is still there: the Sharia Laws is still part of the constitution, and Sudan still under the state-of-emergency. The military rejects totally the secularism of the state and also refuses the Internationalization of trails of the old regime. These two conditions are the backbone of many armed movements to reach a peace agreement.  

Hamdook comes late, not only in the chain-of-command but also in the chain of historical failure. The Alliance for Freedom and Change is a mishmash of contradictions, and Hamdook is a representation of the defeated revolution.  With a ghostly-leadership and unknown chiefship, he easily gained a medal without a single battle; hashtag: Shoukran Hamdook شكرا_حمدوك#.  

Subconsciously, most of the Sudanese individuals – and because of the traditional Islamic pedagogy - have a thirstiness for any patriarch. It is an unconditional willingness to obey the hierarchy of authority: from the father to the tribe leader, until the president, any president.
Hamdook confidently lean his back against this historical heritage of patriarchal authoritarianism, but for how long? 

The economy, and not the politics, was the decisive factor in all the uprising in the Sudanese history and the economic theory of Hamdook will collapse very soon.  The principles of (Chicago School), cannot work out of its social and political context. 
The Clock is Ticking for the fourth dictatorship, then, all the leadership of the AFC will fly with their Western passports, and will let the Sudanese democracy bleeding to death.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

هنري جيْي لِيْيَر - شركة الإستعمار العظيم




طلال النّاير

في إحدى صفحات كتاب روبيرت كولينز (تاريخ السودان الحديث) ذُكِر إسم رجل ألمانيّ يُدعى هنري جيْي لِيْيَر Henry J. Leir. في 1937 كتب هنري لِيْيَر روايةً بعنوانِ La Grande Compagnie de Colonisation: Dokumente eines Grossen Planes؛ أي شركة الإستعمار العظيم: وثائق خطةٌ كبيرةٌ. في هذه الرواية - التي كتبها بأسمٍ مستعارٍ؛ ألا وهو توم پالْمَرّ Tom Palmer – يصفُ هنري جيْي لِيْيَر عَالماً من اليُوتُوپْيّا، عالمٌ ملؤه السَعادَةَ وتآخي البشر بعد نجاحهم في تجاوز العصبيّات الأبدية حول القوميات، وإيجاد الإنسانية لطريقةٍ لحل أزمات الحروب التي سبّبها التعصُّبُ للدينِ والعرقِ. وكان النجاح الأكبر يعود لشركةٍ من لوكسمبورغ إستطاعت إختراقت تلك الحواجز السياسية والدينية وذلك من خلال الإستثمارات. بدأت الشركة اللوكسمبورغيّة في تنمية وإعمار المناطق الغير مأهولة من العالم والإستفادة من ثرواته غير المُسْتَغلّة.

قامت هذه الشركة اللوكسمبورغيّة بتوفير الرّي للصحارى، وبناء قناة تصل بين المحيط الأطلسيِّ والهادي عبر نيكاراغوا. ونجحت هذه الشركة – كما تقول الرواية – في بناء نفق تحت القناة الإنجليزيِّة. تخيل هنري جيْي لِيْيَر في روايّته بأن هذه الشركة قد نجحت في تطوير الموارد المعدنية لأمريكا الجنوبية وخلق الأراضي الصالحة للزراعة في الصين. بعض هذه الأحلام المِثالية تحقق بالفعل، كبناء نفق المانش بين فرنسا وبريطانيا قبل 25 عاماً، وكذلك باستصلاح الأراضي الزراعية في بعض المناطق الصحراء. لكن بقية المشاريع ظلت كجزءٍ من روايةٍ خياليةٍ متفائلةٍ، أو على الأقل، مقترحاتٌ طموحةٌ في إنتظارِ التنفيذِ.

يُعتبر هنري لِيْيَر من أيقونات حماية البيئة في أوروپا والعالم، وأحد مواطنيّ اللوكسمبورغيّين المثالييّن. قام هنري لِيْيَر بتحويل منزله إلى مركزٍ للعلاجِ يقوم بالترويج لبرامجِ الصحةِ العامةِ والسلامِ ورفاهيةِ الطفل. أسسّت جامعة كلارك معهداً يحمل أسم هنري جيْي لِيْيَر، ذلك الكاتب ذو الأحلام اليُوتوپْياويّة، رجل الصناعة والإقتصاد، رجلُ الخيرِ والإحسانِ. لقد تبوء هنري لِيْيَر مكانةً تقترب من مرتبة القديّس وذلك نظير لما قدمه للبشرية من فضائل وأيادٍ بيضاء.

السبب الأساسي لذكر إسم هنري جيي لِيْيَر في كتاب (تاريخ السودان الحديث)، لا يمت لصلة لما ذُكر أعلاه من فضائل وحسنات. ليس لكونهِ كاتب، ولا لأنشطة الخيرية لذلك (القديّس). السبب الأساسي لظهور أسم هنري جيْي لِيْيَر يعود لأنه كان شريكاً لتاجر السلاح السعودي عدنان خاشقجي في دفن النفايات النووية في السودان في عهد الرئيس السابق جعفر نميري.على صفحات الرواية التي كتبها هنري لِيْيَر كانت شركته اللوكسمبورغيّة تنشر الخير في أنحاء الكون، ولكن على أرض الواقع كانت الشركات اللوكسمبورغيّة التي يديرها هنري جيي لِيْيَر تنشر الأمراض السرطانية وتزرع الأورام الحبيثة في أراضي وأجسام الآف من البشر. لا لذنبٍ سواء إنهم سُوّد الوجوه.

هُناك مقولة تُنسب للعديد من الشخصيات، ولكن الأكثر نسبةً تعود إلى ڨِلاديمير لينين. هذه المقولة تقول «المثقفون هم أكثر الناس قدرةً على الخيانة، لأنهم أكثرهم قدرةً على تبريرها». ولا توجد خيانة أسوء من خيانة الإنسان لمبادئه التي يعظ الناس بها. كان عنوان روايته المثالية (شركةُ الاستعمار العظيم: وثائق خطةٌ كبيرةٌ). وفعلاً، لا قولاً، كانت حياة هنري لِيْيَر مُطابقةً لعنوان روايته: أسس لِيْيَر شركةً إستعمارية لوكسمبورغيّة. ولكن بدلاً من العمل على بناء ذلك الفردوس الموجود في الرواية، قامت شركات لِيْيَر بصناعة واقع كابوسي نهبت فيه ثروات الجنوب، ولتقضي على سكانه بافقارهم إقتصادياً، ومن ثمَ العمل على قتلهم بالأمراض والأوبئة. وكما عادة كل الشركات، شركةُ الاستعمار العظيم التي يملكها لِيْيَر بالتفكير في طرق لإستثمار ما نهبته من ثروات، فقام لِيْيَر باستثمار مقدار تافه من فائض هذه االثروات المنهوبة لتبيّض صورة المستعمر ذو (الخطةِ الكبيرةِ). نِتاج هذا التبيض بأن تم تنصيب صاحب شركة الإستعمار العظيم قديساً طيباً، ولا عزاء للسودانيين، ولا فقراء الجنوب الكبير.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Jamal Mohammed Ahmed


Jamal Muhammad Ahmad (1915-1986), Sudanese writer, historian and diplomat.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Kurt Weill


Kurt Julian Weill was a German composer, active from the 1920s in his native country, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht.

Falco


Johann Hölzel, better known by his stage name Falco, was an Austrian singer and songwriter. Falco had several international hits, "Rock Me Amadeus", "Der Kommissar", "Vienna Calling", "Jeanny", "The Sound of Musik", "Coming Home", and posthumously "Out of the Dark".

Ernst Busch


Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Busch was a German singer and actor.

Bob Marley


Robert Nesta Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style.

Marlene Dietrich


Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer. Throughout her long career, which spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s, she continually reinvented herself. In 1920s Berlin, Dietrich acted on the stage and in silent films.

Elvis Presley


Elvis Aaron Presley, also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "The King".

Miriam Makeba



Zenzile Miriam Makeba, nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa.

Umm Kulthum


Umm Kulthum was an Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress active from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was given the honorific title Kawkab al-Sharq. Umm Kulthum was known for her vocal ability and unique style.

Fela Kuti


Fela Anikulapo Kuti, also professionally known as Fela Kuti, or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and human rights activist.

Heino


Heino is a German singer of Schlager and traditional Volksmusik. Having sold a total of over 50 million records, he is one of the most successful German musicians of all time. Heino is known for his baritone voice and trademark combination of light blond hair and dark sunglasses.

Paul Hindemith


Paul Hindemith was a prolific German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. In the 1920s, he became a major advocate of the Neue Sachlichkeit style of music. Notable compositions include his song cycle Das Marienleben, Der Schwanendreher for viola and orchestra, and opera Mathis der Maler.



Frank Sinatra


Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

Wilhelm Furtwängler


Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Wilhelm Furtwängler was a German conductor and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest symphonic and operatic conductors of the 20th century. Furtwängler was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic between 1922 and 1945, and from 1952 until 1954.

James Last


James Last, also known as Hansi, was a German composer and big band leader of the James Last Orchestra. Initially a jazz bassist, his trademark "happy music" made his numerous albums best-sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom, with 65 of his albums reaching the charts in the UK alone.

Bert Kaempfert


Bert Kaempfert was a German orchestra leader, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, arranger, and composer. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, including "Strangers in the Night" and "Moon Over Naples".

Monday, November 18, 2019

Abdalla Hamdok


Abdalla Hamdok is a public administrator who serves as the 15th Prime Minister of Sudan. Prior to his appointment, Hamdok served in numerous national and international administrative positions. From November 2011 to October 2018, he was Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Interview with cartoonist Giannis Geroulias




By: Talal Nayer

I met Giannis Geroulias for the first time during the 22nd edition of Lafisi, Levadia exhibition that orchestrated successfully by FECO Greece for years. Giannis Geroulias is the president of FECO Greece. I had a very interesting conversation with this polite man about art and politics when he was driving his car from the Athens International Airport to Lavyssio of Livadia where is FCO Greece is organizing their artistic event, but also where Giannis Geroulias had been born in 1962 to a Greek agricultural family.

 The car of Giannis Geroulias explains his lifestyle; technical types of equipment located near to cartoon books and drawings, he is an electro-technician in the morning, and a cartoonist in the night. Giannis belongs categorically to the (self-made artists) who slowly build-up their artistic career, without artistic pedagogical.  From the moment that Giannis started reading, he found the first materials for his experimental artic career (school books). He filled the margins of his school books and block-notes with funny figures and caricatures. Later on, then he moved to another level by trying to make caricatures of people too. Until he graduated

from school, my books were full of funny figures and cartoons, and it is the time for the young Greek man to find new spaces for his art. Giannis didn’t study art because, in his period, there were no schools, especially in the province where he was living. Giannis kept his passion for art, and he designed a realistic plan to reach his goals slowly but also with immutability: he started working as an electrician since 1987, but on the other facet of the coin there are other details, he was making cartoons in the local press, and sketches for events and friends. Giannis had influenced by many cartoonists, not so much about the technique of the drawing, but the way of thinking.

Giannis Geroulias


Giannis inspired more by the political news that is always intense in Greece, and sometimes the inspiration comes from social issues that they are a direct result of the political interactions. Giannis is drawing a cartoon in Greece where its first satirical prints appeared in the middle of the 19th century, and where there was an upward trend in the comic. Political cartoons were at the forefront of Public life; the printing press was rapidly evolving, and at the same time, illiteracy diminished.

After WWII a lot of magazines and newspapers appeared which allowed too many cartoonists to appear. “I can mention Polenakis, Bost, Kostas Mitropoulos, KYR, Archelaos, Vassilis Christodoulou, Kostas Vlachos, Giannis Ioannou, Giannis Kalaitzis and many others who have produced a huge cartoon the project”  said Giannis.





I had so many conversations about political issues with Giannis Geroulias, sometimes we had an agreement, and sometimes disagreements, but after any political debate between us I get sure about one idea; Giannis Geroulias is a committed person who dedicates himself to people, he thinks about the people, and he committed politically and socially to them. When he walks or driving his car, everybody in Lafisi, Levadia, smile to Giannis and greets him respectfully. I made a joke about him: (Why not you nominee yourself as the mayor of the city?). The response was a big smile.

Giannis Geroulias started to draw cartoons local newspaper "OVERVIEW for ten years; from 1987 until 1997, then he continued until 2015 in the local a newspaper called “VOIOTIKA NEA,” unfortunately, both newspapers no longer exist. In 2002, He worked for a short period with the Turkish newspaper CALLED “EKIP.”




Giannis Geroulias didn’t describe himself as a professional cartoonist, he prefers to label himself as “an amateur.” Giannis Geroulias have contacts with a group of cartoonists, locally and internationally, but his activities located mainly in the provincial press and many amateurs. Giannis and his group are trying to set up exhibitions at every possible opportunity, and Levadia exhibition is one of these events. Giannis Geroulias and his group are working to build a bridge between them and the International community of cartoonists.
                       
Giannis Geroulias is president of FECO GREECE LEVADIA, and this group – does not represent all Greek cartoonists. “Protestants, we are a group of amateurs, who in 2003 decided to join FECO to have contact with creators and clubs from around the globe,” said Giannis. “…by participating in the international exhibitions, we acquire sketchbooks, at the same time we acquire knowledge of the techniques of other creators and we know humor and reflection that exist in other countries.”





I asked Giannis about his opinion about freedom of speech and journalism, he thinks it exists in Greece with almost the same level as the rest of Europe, but he had feared that freedom of speech does not work as it should, because in Greece, as in most countries the media are owned by ship-owners and contractors, or in other words: non-professional journalists. “I personally have many doubts about the quality and objectivity of the information” Said Giannis.
                            
 An answer to his opinion about the artistic styles and drawings techniques, “If we talk about abstract art in general, I do not have the necessary knowledge to judge it. I like Netline (clear line) Sketches and especially those who are in the fight for the good of many.” Said Giannis, “I like the sketches and cartoons that focus on the environment, the social justice, and which is trying to illuminate the dark sides of the public’s life.”




The house of Giannis Geroulias is a big archive of music and art, there are drawings and books everywhere. He said: “I like cartoons because in a few words, or even without words, you can tell a lot of things. Art can communicate with people from different countries, art bridging languages, and cultures. I remember  - a few years ago -  a cartoon exhibition on an island in Greece, in that event thousands of visitors came from countless countries, people with different languages, all of them visited this the show and everyone smiled, this power is the cartoon, it can bring a big world smile.