[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145916216" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] M is a Sudanese activist living in Cairo. As a young man in Sudan M was kidnapped, forced to join the military, and punished for refusing to learn bomb-making tactics. Years later M was released and built a life in Sudan. Yet he was seized again and tortured by the government. He bribed his way to freedom, sold his house, and fled to Cairo. Now he's running out of money. M faces a choice between selling a kidney and becoming a suicide bomber.
I was introduced to M by friends in our Sudanese training program. On the final day of training our translator tugged my sleeve while I was busy checking the encryption on a mobile device. M - shy, short, with a strong voice but sympathetic disposition and dressed in Western clothing - was was introduced as a Cairo resident friend of our group. M shared his story as we sat together on cracked brown couches in the bright, smoke-filled lobby of a small hotel in downtown Cairo.
The experiences shared by M are raw, unvettable, and sometimes shocking. Yet M's experience is shared by thousands of Sudanese refugees and internally displaced persons. To learn more about systemic marginalization and the wars in Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur please read Richard Cockett’s Sudan, Darfur, Islamism and the World.
This interview was conducted with a local, untrained translator and recorded on the fly with a Marantz PMD620. I speak Arabic poorly and did my best to keep up with the narrative, but surely much nuance and context was lost in translation. Arabic clarification and edits are welcome.
Thanks for listening.