Navigating through the chaos of conflict, a photojournalist’s experience highlights the stark reality of leaving behind a cherished home and the uncertain journey towards a new beginning.
On 26th April 2023, circumstances led me to leave the sanctuary of my home. The catalyst? Shells landing perilously close. The sheer suddenness sent shockwaves of panic through my children and myself. To be candid, it felt like our final moments were drawing near.
There’s a profound sorrow in leaving a cherished home, especially when it’s the cradle of so many memories. Picture this: being compelled to depart, with your life reduced to the contents of a bag and the future uncertain. And all this without knowing when the upheaval caused by the conflict might end.
Our destination was the state of Al-Jazeera. The journey, taxing both physically and emotionally, was one I would not wish upon anyone. The psychological toll was intensified by the stark evidence of violent conflict near the Nile, particularly around “Station 13”. It seemed as though the very life of the area had been erased – a haunting emptiness reminiscent of a ghost town.
Yet, even amidst the adversities, there were glimmers of hope. En route, kind-hearted villagers extended their hospitality to war-weary souls like us, offering water, food, and tea. Their compassion momentarily eased the sting of our ordeal. During one such moment, an unexpected memory surfaced. I caught sight of myself wearing pyjamas, a simple act reminiscent of my younger days. It dawned on me how engulfed I had been by concerns for my family, work, and the potential fallout of leaving our life behind.
Once we settled in Al-Jazeera, the search for employment began, even with my decent financial cushion and the shelter I found. Here, I must express deep gratitude to my uncles residing outside Sudan. Their unwavering support was a beacon, guiding and comforting us. They became the silver lining in our clouded horizon, a testament, I believe, to divine providence.
In reflection, the whole ordeal underscores the profound challenges of being uprooted and starting anew, especially as a result of conflict. For me, a photojournalist, my world transformed in the blink of an eye, all due to a war to which I had no ties.
This story was produced by Media in Cooperation and Transition (MiCT) and the North Africa Media Academy (NAMA), in collaboration with the Al Adwaa Media and Journalism Services Centre, and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The views expressed in this publication do not represent the opinions of MiCT, NAMA, Al Adwaa, or BMZ.