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'Beirut beats and Khartum suffers'

written by mo maria

On Thursday , July 14th 2011 , at 7 pm , Nasawiya which is a feminist collective , hosted a discussion by Professor Elmoiz Abunura on Racism in Lebanon and Sudanese Migrant Workers .
Professor Elmoiz Abunura is a Sudanese national who resides in the USA ,
he was a former prisoner of conscious in Iraq 1975 and active member of Amnesty international , a former director of African Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and a professor of Political Science and currently an energy and political consultant on the Middle East and Africa.
Professor Abunura talked on the discourse of imperialism and its hegemonizing presence in Lebanon and the Middle East area versus the raise of minorities rights and different ethnicities .
Sudanese, he says, are facing a huge issue, which started in the 20s and the 30s when average Sudanese were coming to Lebanon embracing a 'liberalism' and cultural development , attending the American Lebanese University of Beirut and mixing with a middle class society .
He traces history back to the Kush origin of the Sudanese, and the cultural aspect of a lost civilisation that was in competition with Egypt at that time .

However migrant categories from Sudan have changed since the civil war, in the 70s and the 80s migrants were coming from village areas and from Nubia mountains promoting themselves and taking into account the Lebanese area in transit fashion for a more established career in the west to face a society divided into itself where destruction and hatred became prevalent .
Abunura criticizes the rise of racism in Lebanon since the 70s and the Sudanese embassy on their lack of efficiency toward Sudanese and their basic rights in the country , he raises as well differences between Sudan-Lebanon and Sudan-Egypt inequalities in the foreign affairs and policies .
as a tutor in the migrant task force he points out the need and utility for the organisation of trade unions and also mentions Amnesty International for a serious documentation in investigative work on human rights .
He encourages for a collective work and he mentions political groups in Lebanon in this context as the communist party and the socialists progressists .
He thinks that the rise of seminars , and awareness on the issue of race and diversity through activism and direct action would certainly introduce a change .

*for the image http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/film_video_audio_music/AET_in_house...
*Nasawiya Collective : http://www.nasawiya.org/web/

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