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‘Blood,’ the Anthem of Sudan’s Revolution, Takes on New Meaning Amid Violent Repression

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When Ayman Mao performed at the sit-in outside the Sudanese army’s headquarters in Khartoum, he was overwhelmed. Online videos of his April 25 concert show him in a dashiki, newsboy cap, and wrapped in a Sudanese flag, swinging left to right on stage with a mic in hand. The evening concert was illuminated with the cell-phone lights of tens of thousands of protesters and fans in attendance—unthinkable just two weeks before. With a confident attitude and strong voice, he started with his most recognizable song, the chantey “Dum” (Blood), and the crowd responded loudly after each verse with thawra! (revolution).

Rassasa hayya (Live ammunition)
Thawra!
Wa yagulu layk mattata (And they tell you it’s a rubber [bullet])
Thawra!
Dayl janjaweed (They’re janjaweed [militia members])
Thawra!
Janjaweed rabbata (Janjaweed thugs)
Thawra!
Galu al-gaddiya (They said it’s all)
Thawra!
Halwasa wa Hawwata (Hallucination and fanboyism)
Thawra!
‘Amleen ‘usbajiyya (They act like thugs)
Thawra!
Wa ihna nas shaffata (But we’re conscious people)
Thawra!
Ma basheel bundugiya (I don’t carry a rifle)
Thawra!
Fi yedi balata (In my hand is a brick)
Thawra!
Barjum al-fasad (I strike corruption)
Thawra!
Barjum al-wasata (I strike nepotism)
Thawra!

“Dum” has become the anthem of the uprising, which toppled dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April. It takes on new meaning now: In images reminiscent of Sudan’s conflict zones, security forces stormed the site of the two-month-old sit-in—the epicenter of the uprising—on June 3, the last day of Ramadan, firing live ammunition, killing at least 30 and injuring hundreds. They burned several cultural-activity tents to the ground and cleared the site of protesters. Activists responded with calls for a general strike and civil disobedience. In a late televised announcement, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chair of the ruling Transitional Military Council, said he would end negotiations with the Freedom and Change Forces, an alliance of political groups that has led the protests; investigate the events of June 3; and hold elections in nine months.

For months, protesters had chanted the song’s verses during demonstrations. Children made cell-phone video recordings of themselves singing it. Civil servants on strike in government offices shouted out its lyrics as they faced off against officials. “There were no words to express my feelings,” Mao said after his performance.

What started as protests on December 19 in the northeastern town of Atbara against the overnight tripling of bread prices soon spread throughout the country, including the capital of Khartoum, transitioning into high gear with a large sit-in on April 6. Authorities responded with force, but the protests grew.





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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !