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To My Beloved Son of Warfare in Darfur
Huwaida Medani
SudanGALLERYCONVERSATION
“Daughter, you know if you live you will bring shame not only to yourself and your siblings, but to the whole tribe.”
As soon as the war broke out, two of my brothers joined the armed militias and the others headed east leaving only my parents and me. That day we ran out of the firewood we used for cooking. Nobody could bring it but me. We all knew how dangerous it was to collect wood in such days. That day I told Mother that I would bring the wood at noon time while the punishing heat of the sun would drive the Janjaweed militia men in to their shelters drinking coffee and playing sija.
I collected a big bundle of wood logs, wrestled it onto my head and hastened towards the shack we called home. Shortly I heard the scary noise that I spent the last two years of my life trying to avoid. Soon I was thrown down, the wood bundle was pushed under my hips and my legs forced open. Behind my tears I could see one of them troding towards me, armed with the gun between his thighs. He forced his penis into me invading my dignity and virginity.
Mother didn’t have to ask. She immediately knew what happened. She pulled me into the room and washed my vagina with acacia infusion and rubbed my burning body with sesame oil. Mother instructed me not to tell anybody, not even Father. I threw my body on my bed facing the wall and remained there sick, more like dead, for ... I didn’t know how much time.
One day Mother uncovered me, pressed her hand on my belly and asked when was the last time I had menstruation. I couldn’t remember! Mother panicked and started giving me a lot of bad tasted stuff to drink and forcing me to do all the hard work at home and in the yard. Mother’s effort to abort you sickened me, yet you continued to grow. I hated you then.
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