Hanging with the Kids

With time to kill waiting for election results, I hung-out in Khartoum, meeting people here. A friend who works at the University of Khartoum as French teacher invited me over to the campus, and through her I met some of the students, all of whom spoke French incredibly well. They were from all over the country and were a fascinating bunch, all showing the paradoxical wish to leave Sudan to seek life elsewhere, but while loving their country, expounding its qualities.

The student-teacher relationship that exists here is rather different to that of Europe. Gibes about their work, and the attention a certain student pays to his poulettes, help her reach a near perfect attendance rate, she says, and is part of the reason why she loves teaching in Sudan, as opposed to back in France.

Later, sat on a woven string stool drinking coffee outside the French Cultural Centre, Mohammed & Mohayed were rapping in French & English—as fluidly as they would in Arabic—to the beat they had written themselves, playing through the tinny speaker of a mobile phone. Whilst they are keen to criticise love, claiming it “doesn’t exist”, the attention they pay it in their rhymes, rings of that Sudanese paradox again.