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Surviving adversity: A journey of hope and survival

Mohammed Omar Mohammed Abdurrahman pictured during happier times before the war. (Courtesy photo)
Mohammed Omar Mohammed Abdurrahman pictured during happier times before the war. (Courtesy photo)

Amidst the backdrop of conflict and displacement in Sudan, Mohammed Omar Mohammed Abdurrahman, along with his wife and two children, exemplifies resilience and perseverance. Forced to flee their home in Khartoum after the war that erupted on 15 April 2023, their journey to safety was fraught with challenges.

Now residing in Al-Gezira State, Mohammed shared his harrowing experiences and message of hope for those enduring similar trials.

Below are edited excerpts:

Q: Can you introduce yourself and share your name with us?

A: I am Mohammed Omar Mohammed Abdurrahman, originally from Khartoum State, East Nile Locality.

Q: Are you married?

A: Yes, I am married and have two children, Ashraf and Khalid.

Q: Where are your children currently?

A: My children and I are presently residing in Al-Gezira State, specifically in the city of Hassaheesa.

Q: Are your children school-aged, and how are they faring?

A: My eldest son, Ashraf, was supposed to begin school in the first preparatory grade last year. However, due to the war’s circumstances, we were unable to enroll him in a formal school. As a result, we are homeschooling him ourselves.

Q: What was your occupation before the war?

A: I worked as a pipe welder in a workshop, specializing in water lines and networks. My workplace was located in the Kober neighborhood in a sizable workshop.

Q: What do you do for a living now?

A: Presently, I engage in some basic agricultural activities in Al-Gezira State, such as buying and selling crops. Despite facing challenges like attacks and crop seizures, the situation is relatively stable.

Q: Can you share your experiences during the war?

A: We were forced to flee our homes in Khartoum due to escalating violence. It was an extremely difficult and painful time as all our belongings were looted, leaving nothing behind. We relocated from the Bahri area to East Nile where our family home was situated. Conditions were dire, especially since my wife was pregnant with our second son, Khalid, at the time.

With hospitals non-functional and the intensity of the war, I decided to move to Al-Gezira State. Thankfully, our son was born healthy. Upon arriving, I took up marginal jobs due to limited opportunities, hoping to settle until the situation in Khartoum improved. Unfortunately, the situation deteriorated further in both locations, leaving us uncertain about the future.

Q: How did you manage to leave Khartoum amidst the ongoing war and what were the events during that period? Where did you go after leaving Khartoum?

A: Leaving the capital was incredibly challenging. I departed Khartoum via the East Nile area, the easternmost region of Khartoum State. I journeyed through Ramallah, and Haj Yusuf and eventually reached the Sheikh Al-Amin area via a rough dirt road. The circumstances were tense, and although I was briefly detained by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), they released us unharmed after discussions.

From there, we navigated an even more treacherous dirt road to Um Dawan-Ban, eventually reaching the main street and finally arriving in the heart of Al-Gezira. It was an arduous and risky journey, especially with my wife in the late stages of pregnancy. We endured immense suffering and fatigue throughout.

Q: What message do you have for those who have endured similar circumstances?

A: To those who have experienced the hardships of war, displacement, violence, and other atrocities, I pray for Allah’s mercy upon us all and urge them to remain patient. Those who endure with patience in this world will be rewarded accordingly. Patience amidst trials and tribulations is our greatest asset, and we beseech Allah to grant us honor through it. Let us view this period as transient, with faith that better times lie ahead.

Q: Despite everything you have been through, do you still see hope in life?

A: Yes! Hope in life persists despite the challenges we face, compounded by the dire security conditions. As humans, we never lose hope in Allah’s mercy and as long as we’re alive, hope remains alive.