Kandaka - The Nubian Queen’ . The unforgettable visual of a woman dressed in white, standing on top of a car. Chanting and pointing to the sky, as the crowd holds up their hands to Alaa Salah.
Her image defied ideas of Muslim women as oppressed and being politically passive. Alaa became a symbol of the prominent Sudanese feminists and of generations of ordinary women from across Sudan, who have been at the forefront of anti-regime resistance that overthrew Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on April 11th, 2019.
The history of Sudan has been dotted by iconic female figures: from the Kandaka, the Nubian queen of Meroe, whose military strategy prevented Alexander the Great from conquering Nubian land, to Dr Khalida Zahir, Sudan's first woman doctor who was arrested by the British in 1946 for opposing colonial rule, and Fatima Ibrahim, a prominent activist and leader who fought for women's right to vote, equal pay and maternity leave.
Alaa’s chants echoes a long tradition of Sudanese women performing praise and lament poems to honor the heroes and defy ruthless leaders.
Women were at the forefront of the Sudan Spring ( or revolution) against the regime who gave limited access to women to speak up and make their voice heard sudan uprising “Thawra” means revolution in Arabic and Alaa chanted a poem by Sudanese poet Azhari Mohamed Ali:
“They Burned Us In The Name Of Religion..Thawra They Killed Us In The Name Of Religion..Thawra They Jailed Us In The Name Of Religion..Thawra But Religion Is Not To Be Blamed..Thawra But Islam is innocent. Islam tells us to speak up and fight against tyrants The bullet doesn't kill What kills is the silence of the people”
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