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VOF Week 2: (The Power of education)

Nothing exciting in my story, except the STRUGGLE to live my dream: education. I was born in a farmer family in central Sudan. Don't ask me when that was. I am still young. My parents were illiterate. I have six brothers and one sister called Leila.

My village was deprived all facilities. Up to now. The nearest school was 7 km far away. In order to get there, the donkey was the only means of transportation. Sarcastically, the donkey was more important than the student. School attendance depended mainly on the donkey's health. Only boys are allowed education. Thanks to Allah I went to school. An incident put me on the right track of education.

An uncle of mine, Decided to have his sons educated. So he shifted to the nearby town. Before leaving, from each of his six brothers he took the elder sons with him, thus they could go to school where they learned to read and write. Two of them were my elder brothers. Shortly, my family followed. In this way the door was left ajar and I stepped in.

At that time, education was males' priority. My parents were not exception. They were not very enthusiastic to send me to school. Denied this right, they didn't know the value of education and change it produced. Instead, they wanted me to stay home and help my mother with home daily routine. I was then seven years. Still remember how I resisted the decision. Screaming, crying and shouting were major and effective tools. Not only that, I asked one of relative male to teach me the Arabic alphabet. He did. I was very keen to let my parents know how I could spell some words. They got the message. They sent me to school with major goal to get rid of me screaming and, to achieve basic literacy and numeracy. Later, they were grateful and thankful to allow educated.

Thus I joined the school. Hesitating, unsure of what was getting my self into, I pushed the door ajar and stepped in. till I finished grade 9 there was no electricity in my house. I managed not to complain. Quite sure of one thing; I was escaping a destiny, and, I had to tailor my own future. I fought against poverty, early marriage, imposed type of employment, etcetera. Followed my heart, it didn't fail me. I made it! I decided the way of life I have to follow. Since then, interference in my life and decision diminished gradually.

Education took me to venture new places, minds, cultures and ways of life. From the depth of the Sudanese country, I flew to France, country of equality, fraternity and freedom, where I spent an academic year in the University of Lyon II Lumiere in France.

I admit Pulsewire has given me the chance to head towards new horizons, minds, and cultures. Stories told by voices of our future correspondents inspire to narrate mine, share passion, dreams and ambitions with the world.



jadefrank's picture

the donkey express

Hi Halima,

You say your story is "nothing exciting", but I beg to differ. I so enjoyed reading your story and your quest for education. I especially loved the part about the donkeys and that "school attendance depended mainly on the donkey's health", this is such a wonderful bit that clearly paints the picture of how limited education was for those in your village. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

Warm regards,

It is a pity that rural areas of Sudan are neglected over decades and decades. Total negligence.Nullity of development. The few efforts of development dedicated mainly to urban areas, or spheres of influence.
Negligence of the rural area is one of the major factors in the recent economic crisis Sudan undergoes.
My story reflects the situation of large numbers of women in rural areas, in my age. People solved this issue their own way. Most of them left the country and joined the urban centers where services were available.

In spite of the gloomy picture reflected by my story, there is something deserved to be mentioned. We have the strongest women movement in Africa.Despite poverty, underdevelopment, political unrest, authoritarianism, successive brutal regimes couldn't put under control the Sudanese women march.
Don't raise your eye brows in great astonishment. Sudanese women have the oldest and strongest women's emancipation movements in Africa. Throughout this organ, they won the right to equal pay since the 1960s. And since then, they had parliamentary representation, and equal access to all posts, etcetera. Even now, they also hold prominent positions, ministerial and administrative, but their number decreases in certain positions,qualified for men. This, however, explains that women's movement, like any other social, economical and political mobility, witnesses ups and downs according to the orientation and satisfaction of successive political regimes. A situation of which women are very AWARE.

JMKELLAM's picture


I enjoyed being one of your listeners. I loved reading your story. How did you know education was so important at such a young age? I wish more American children appreciated education. I know at seven years old I was kicking and screaming not to go to school. Luckily I wised up. You have such an inspirational message to share. Are you using PulseWire to get your message out?


Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

ٍTrain of change

Hi Jenna,

Thank you so much. enjoyed your comment and I am so happy to use Pulse Wire, to deliver my message out. You drew my attention to the way I recalled my early memory with education. The small child was absent, because I recalled it in a adult's tongue. As a child, the school symbolized, to me, more than the unique bricky yellow building in the town. It was a building where young girls dressed in green got inside, passed more than 5 hours, exempted from doing every day's retail shopping and helping with home routine. In the absence of electricity, radio, TV, teachers and the school were unique window to the outside world. In that building I could be dressed differently, had shoes, a bag and read new stories different from those of grand mother who used to recall to us before bed time..
I understand Now that the school represented the emergence of a new life. The change brought by teachers, coming from different parts of Sudan, meant much to me. It meant the social-cultural-and economic developmental perspective.

Mckenzie's picture

To tailor a future...

Dear Halima,

There is so much to your story and that's exciting! You conquered, what seems to me, a cluster of hindrances. To discover, overcome, and prosper in the midst of not one, but several walls burdening your struggle to live your dream takes incredible motivation, courage, fight, dedication and much more--amazing triumph. Thank you for the inspiration and reminder that one's soul can really do anything it dreams!

Mckenzie xo

Hi Mckenzie xo,

Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. Your words are so inspirational. Believe me I consider my environment and grandma my first teachers. While the first was niggard, the second was generous. the inherited fairy tales of my grandmother were unseen small aperture or hole towards the world outside the boundaries of my village. Sometimes these stories , the way she recalled made us thoughtful all the night, bearing in mind the imaginary demolish of barriers and growth of another story. However, with early rays of the sun light, one was faced with the reality of the harsh environment. From here, I think, inseminated and emanated the soul of fighting and the will of never giving up. I represent a large segment of people who issued from similar environments. I met a number of them during study. Their stories are similar to mine.
One day I may write in details about the the other face of poverty. THE POSITIVE ASPECT. IT HAS!
Believe me.

hhhhamada's picture

Inspired by your voice

Dear Halima,

I read your profile with great interest. I feel honored to be your mentor and I'm excited about our work together. You have overcome great hurdles to educate yourself and allow your dreams to flourish. What courage and intelligence! Your family life, while difficult at times, feels like it was warm and nurturing. I lived (by choice) without electricity and running water for 4 years on an island off the coast of Georgia, U.S. Those years provided some of the most precious experiences of my life. When life is stripped bare of distractions, so much can be experienced in small and wonderful ways.
Again, I'm sorry about your father. I wish your family, especially you and your mother, the very best.

With love,


Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

My earliest memories

I am speechless. I can not find suitable words to express my feelings. This is a very nice morning and remarkable beginning. Yesterday we set up our communications, to day your comment comes as a nice surprise that gives me a strong push forward. I have the entire honor to be your mentee and have you as my guide to explore new horizons.
You know what; it seems that finally I can say I am lucky, contrary to what I was claiming before.
Oh LUCKY Halima!

Tackling the issue of electricity, you brought me back to my childhood. Lack of electricity was one the advantages of that period. There was no electricity in my house. So we used to sleep early and get up early. We also knew the value of day light and made the maximum use of it.

Of course there was no television. Radio was the only means of communication with the outside world. Games whether electronic or ordinary ones were luxury. Instead, we relied on the surrounding environment and made our own toys and dolls with our bare hands and some times with the help of our parents.

At night we used to sit in a circle round my grandma or mother in the summer moon lit nights and she or (they) recalled and repeated our bed time daily fairy tales. We heard the tale many times, kept them by heart and never got bored of having them repeated to us. This practice, however, had nurtured our minds and cultivated the first seeds of narrating.

Thank you again for your concern about my father's health.

With all love,

Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

Let dreams come true..!

Dear Helen,

Million Thanks. Your words have touched my heart and left me speechless.This is me who has the honors to be your mentee. I am quite sure With your instructions and advice I will finish the journey successfully.

I admit that my extended beloved family and the surrounding environment are my great motivators who inspired me to carry on the journey, and still they push me to pave my way. when family nurtured me in its way environment was pushing me to forward.
As you noticed, sometimes when one has almost nothing, this may enable him to find the way to the world he is dreaming of. If only he is armed with will, optimism, faith and beliefs in himself and abilities. Every thins can be achievable!


Thank your concern about my father's condition.

All love,


Kizzie's picture

This is a great story. My

This is a great story. My friend's father insisted on getting an education, so he convinced his parents to send him to a boarding school in Khartoum. Currently, he holds a top position at the United Nations. I love your ability to make such a good decision at such a young age!
I feel that parents (even the educated ones , not only in Sudan) still believe that investing in the education of sons is more productive in the future. The role of women is still summarized in two words , MARRIAGE and REPRODUCTION. I hope this changes in the near future. You are helping this change in so many ways! You prove that women can be career women and take care of their families as well.

Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

Sincere appology

Dearest Kizzie,

Thank you so much for sharing this informative comment...Deeply sorry(al-lom bil ghaflat,).. enjoy reading you and your generation's writing. Thus i can come closer to you and the way how you/they think and interact with your/their environment and other surrounding environments.

As you stated in your comment, education is the first element in change, wether socially, economically or poltitically. it is the main factor to progress, development and prosperity. As women, we need education to widen our scope, evalutate ourselves and seek better futute behind the bars of marriage and production..

By the way i missed your intelligent comment in my last post about Female Genital Mutilation in Sudan.

Lots of love and hugs,


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