Many weapons have been used against the people of the Nuba Mountains since 1983. Anatov bombers, machine guns, landmines, starvation, isolation, and ignorance.
Ignorance? In the 1990s, the central government of Sudan closed down all schools in the Nuba region and withdrew any funding for teachers. This was one strategy employed alongside many others to keep the Nuba marginalized and defenseless. Disarming a people of education is a more effective control strategy over the long haul than carpet bombings. But, Sudan has resorted to using both strategies against the Nuba people.
Malik once told me about the committed teachers that first educated him. These teachers were educated Nubans from the community who taught children in open-air classrooms, in the shade of trees during the war years. Their payment was food from their students’ parents. These teachers were subversive in the very nature of their job. They insisted on educating children, when the government wanted to use illiteracy and ignorance as weapons of warfare.
Were it not for these teachers, who taught when the sky was clear and herded the children into caves when the enemy planes flew in low for bombing – Malik would not have had a foundation of literacy. His dreams of pursuing a college education never would have been attainable. The possibility that he may return to educate his own people on proper medical care would be inconceivable without the early education those tenacious teachers provided him.
You can continue the legacy of his early teachers by joining me in arming a young Nuban man with the weapon of education for world change.
Read, in Malik’s own words, how he hopes to change the world here.