25th January 2018
There is something about Sudan that reminds me of Syria before 2011, I don't know if it is the relaxed feel, the smiles of the people, the 'laid back-ness' and genuine warmth exuding from everyone, the lack of being hassled or forced to buy anything. The fact that they too have had a turbulent and fractious past, and despite this seem to accept and continue, oozing calmness and appreciation for life and each other. I had heard all about the hospitality of Sudan, the same as I had heard about Syria, but only when you arrive, when you feel this yourself, only then can you understand.
On arriving at the airport I could see men greet each other with a tap on each upper arm and a handshake, massive smiles and hugs, even some tears where their emotion was so raw. Hearts on their sleeves so to speak. The ladies are colourful in their shawls. They sit in the souks on small stools, they set up their tea stands and offer hibiscus and mint along with coffee and ginger in small glasses.
Maybe it's the constant sunshine that makes the Sudanese so happy? That and bowls and bowls of fuul (broad beans) and bread. In Arabic there is a phrase, jow mniih, meaning that the atmosphere is good. This definitely sums up Sudan. What a truly beautiful place.