Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Part 1
Its name is Wad Madny and it is one of the most beautiful cities in Sudan. It is the first place of my memories when I was about seven years old; it is where I first discover the cruelty of human beings. It is my first "school": it is the place of sexual orientation, love, finding Christ, failure, and disappointment.

My father was a priest in Madny. We lived in a big house attached to the Protestant church. We left Madny when I was about 15 and I have returned to 'her' twice: when I was released from the prison of wahat el kharga in the western desert in Egypt, and when I was 60. And each time I had a different and strange impression of this city.

The first time I returned was a great disappointment; I had no money, was travelling cheap and looking for memories to reassert my place in the world after 40 months of imprisonment. I arrived at sunset: everything was dark and gloomy. I wanted to spend the night in a hotel so I went from the railway station to a small shop nearby to ask for directions. The owner was an Egyptian from Nagada dressed in a dirty galabiyya, and aggressive; he put me down and I turned around and took the train which was leaving for Khartoum where I have friends.

The second time I arrived with my friend Azza. We had travelled in Sudan in 1997 and been deported by the Sudanese Mokhabarat from the borders near Ethiopia (but this is another story as they say!), and I was depressed, but Azza convinced me to make a detour and visit Madny. So we arrived, and found a nice hotel overlooking the Nile...
(to be continued)

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