Ask What You Can Do For Your Country

Read the orginial article on 500 Words Magazine.

Boys walkingJohn F Kennedy once said, “It’s not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country.” That’s exactly what we, as Sudanese, should ask ourselves now more than ever. We’re at a point where we cannot expect our country to help us but look at each other and ourselves for help – not to benefit ourselves but our community.

We, especially the young and new generations, lack patriotism and nationalism, and look towards creating a life anywhere else except in our own home, Sudan. Having lived abroad almost all my life, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, who like me, come from troubled countries and moved to a better place in search of a better life. However, whether they’re from the Arab world, Asia or the Americas, many have the desire to return to their country and do something to benefit their country and their people. How many Sudanese have you met that have that desire? Not many as far as I am concerned.

Yes, Sudan is in crisis – politically and economically – but so are a lot of other countries in the world – some are even going through worse. But that doesn’t mean we should give up and search for a home somewhere else.

There are so many talented and educated Sudanese out there who have accomplished great things but not for Sudan. They have their reasons of course. However, we choose to neglect Sudan and fail to realize that to change Sudan to the better, we have to do it ourselves.

Sudan needs entrepreneurs, who seek not only to make something of themselves but also have the goal to socially benefit Sudan. We need businesses in Sudan that aim to educate and empower the people of Sudan. For example, if you’re an educator, open a center where you can help others make the right choices in their education and career. Teach them the basics, like how to write CV (which many of the youth in Sudan are incapable of). If you’re an artist, open an art center together with other artists and use the power of art to portray Sudan to the world. If you’re a filmmaker, run a film-making company with other filmmakers that portray Sudanese culture and traditions. If you’re a musician, make music with others, like art, tell the stories of Sudan in your lyrics. There are so many mediums we can use to empower and educate Sudanese communities worldwide. We need to build a sense of belonging and commitment to Sudan in others and ourselves.

You don’t even have to return to Sudan to do this. Do it from wherever you are but do it for Sudan. It could actually be simpler, easier and more successful. You don’t need to do it alone. Seek working with relatives or friends who share similar interests and goals.

Sudan is ours and only we can promote it. We have to realize that Sudan is rich in history, heritage, culture and much more. It has so much potential to be great so let’s not waste that greatness.

Let’s do for Sudan what it’s not doing for itself or us – it may take decades – but we will see a better Sudan one day.

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