Leaving Things To God
Less than three years ago ,Najwa Ibrahim- a Sudanese woman in her early forties -was living comfortably in her house located in the peaceful town of "Hasahesa" in central Sudan. Central Sudan is one of the few places not directly affected by Africa's longest-running civil war. Her life was stable. Although her husband taught at a local school ,this didn't stop her from pursuing her own dream of getting a job and contributing to her family's growing needs. she is also the mother of three teenagers who received what she described as "good education" at a local school back home. Although living in her country made her feel comfortable among her family and loved ones, her sense of security was shattered by her husband's constant detentions, harassment's and interrogations by government officials. Her husband is like many Sudanese who are politically involved and are aiming at restoring the crippled Sudanese civil society. Sadly, his political involvement forced his family to leave the country for an undetermined period of time in October 2004. Their destination was Cairo, mainly because of its proximity to the Sudan and the family's fluency in the Arabic language. Accustomed to having a job back home and wanting to provide reasonable living conditions for her family, Najwa started looking for work. She was hoping to work for the UNHCR but she ended up working with a group called the "African Group". The group meets in a classroom at the American University in Cairo where they produce handicrafts and make things then sell them for some money. Najwa attends English classes at All Saints Church in order to improve her chances of getting a better job in the future.
Luckily, her husband was able to find a job too. He is currently working for "CARITAS", an organization that helps refugees.
Shortly after Najwa's family arrived in Cairo, Najwa tried taking her children to an Egyptian school but she had problems with her visa so she was forced to take them to a school based in St. Andrews church .That, Najwa's family are Muslims going to a Church school is a sign of the special relations between Muslims and Christian refugees in Cairo. In Cairo, all religions and tribes stand together as one and support each other unlike in the Sudan.
Najwa considers the many friends she made while working with the African group or attending English classes the main reason for tolerating living in Cairo, but her facial expressions, tone of voice and words express her unhappiness about living here. Najwa doesn't stop herself from telling me that living in Cairo is the worst thing that happened to her.
Najwa gets many harassment's here so she limited her life to work and attending English classes. apparently, her family stopped going out after being mistreated and called names by random people in the streets of Cairo. she recalls an incident last Eid where she went to a park with her family to have a nice time only to come back depressed. They were called several derogatory names, they left and never returned again.
Even though Najwa's story is bittersweet, she is optimistic about her family's future.
Recently, her son started going to Townhouse gallery where he meets other artists like himself and will soon be able to have his own exhibitions. Like many other refugees, Najwa is hoping to be resettled to a third country. Nevertheless, she expressed her willingness to move back to the Sudan if the government was changed.
Recently, she was issued a yellow card but her papers are taking a long time. while she is in Cairo, she is trying to make the best out of her time living here. when it comes to everything else, she helplessly exclaimed " I'm Leaving things to God"