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The race 'question' in Lebanon

Below is an opinion piece written by a good friend of mine, Doaa, who is Sudanese. She talks about the problem of racism in Lebanon, and how the Sudanese are treated.
MIND SOUP: Recently, a group of Sudanese living in Lebanon - legally or illegally - held a fundraising event in one of the areas in Beirut in order to raise money for two Sudanese cancer patients who are in dire need for the money. Unfortunately, the gathering was busted by the Amn El-3am or police and the Sudanese were accused of various things. The highlight of this story is not what they where doing or where they were but rather it was the way they were treated by the police. They were verbally and physically assaulted not to mention humiliated and belittled.

I am a Sudanese living and studying in Lebanon; I am fortunate to be studying at AUB as it shields me from a lot of the aggression and even racist remarks I sometime get walking down the streets in various neighborhoods in Beirut. I get surprised looks when people find out that I'm Sudanese and get the "but your not so dark," or "your features are not African" or my favorite "but you hair...ino mush asi [its not coarse]" remarks. I then give the [idiot] a geography and history lesson of Sudan and explain why I am like I am.

I confess at times that I don't speak Sudani Arabic but rather English so as to spared the looks, the oh's and the ah's. I also confess that Lebanese people are the hardest crowd to crack; it took me over a year to finally call Beirut home. This I owe to good friends from various parts of the world and to a selected handful of Lebanese who made Lebanon bearable for me.

Today, I know a few things: That NOT all Lebanese are ignorant and unenlightened souls, there are many who stand up for the rights of migrant workers [who face racism] who reside in Lebanon and there are many who are disgusted about the level of racism in Lebanon and want to do something about it.

I know that the Lebanese amongst themselves know no peace...that this co-existence is a facade. And that they have much baggage to deal with before they can deal with other questions [i.e, the Palestinians, the illegal workers from various parts of the Middle East and Africa amongst other things].

In relation to Sudan; the socio-political issues that are growing issues in Sudan must be addressed as they are thousands of Sudanese in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan...working trivial petty jobs and are being paid pennies for something they could be doing in Sudan. Not to mention, they are treated badly, verbally abused and living in countries that they are clearly not welcomed in. It is time for everyone to go back, to find solutions for those who want out... for those who just want a job to feed the hungry mouths at home.

Yes, I mean and I. We both are fortunate to have a good education, is it not time to apply what we have learned and to make a better Sudan for the generation to come?