Sudanese Writer & Poet Bushra al-Fadil

>>Announcer: From the Library
of Congress in Washington, DC.>>Mary Jane Deeb: So, well,
good afternoon everybody, and welcome to the African
and Middle Eastern Division. I’m Mary Jane Deeb, Chief of
the Division and I’m delighted to see you here, for
our 29th Conversations with African Poets and Writers. It’s really exciting. I had the honor, the
pleasure this morning of having a podcast
conversation with our guest, the Bushra al-Fadil, who
is the Caine Prize winner. And with our other guest who
will not be interviewed today, but who was just as
fascinating and exciting, Magogodi Makhene, who was there. And who is the runner-up
to the Caine Prize. Both did a wonderful interview. And this podcast will
also be available, accessible on the web
for you to listen to. And for anyone listening, that
would be accessible, as well. So, what I wanted to
say was the usual thing. Welcome to the Division, which
is made up of three sections. The African, the Middle
Eastern, and the Hebraic. The three sections collect,
recommend, serve materials on our region, which constitutes
78 countries of the world. And many, many languages. Our stacks are full of materials
in many different languages. And we also serve
them with specialists, specialists who focus on these
countries with other languages, the culture, the people. And who are able to serve the
readers, our patrons who come, again, from all over the world. We do briefings. We do one on one assistance. We do programs, such
as this one. We have conferences. We have symposia. We have exhibits. And we keep everyone
on their toes. But today, I’d like
to say a few words about the speakers
and what we do. The Caine Prize for African
Writing is a literature prize awarded to an African writer of a short story
published in English. The prize was launched
in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and
diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider
audience internationally. The focus on the short story
reflects the contemporary development of the African
short story tradition. A few years ago, we, in the
African Middle East Division, in partnership with the
Poet and Literature Center. And you will hear its
head in a few minutes, started a new program
that we call Conversations with African Poets and Authors. The aim of which was to capture
in their own words the thoughts and reflections on
contemporary African literature of both established and new
award-winning directors. Our external partner
was the Africa Society of the National Summit
on Africa. And again, you will hear from its Executive
Director in a moment. And the Africa Society
supported us from outside of the library spreading the
word, bringing in people, and supporting us in,
in numerous other ways. More recently, we’ve
had [inaudible] of the African Studies Program at Howard University
joining us as a partner. And so, we have anyway, the
library, the Africa Society and a university as partners
to support this program, which has become
really an iconic series on new and old writers. In March, 2014 we interviewed a
Nigerian author, Tope Folarin, the winner of the 2013 Caine
Prize for African Writing. We were so happy with the
program that we looked into incorporating into our
series the subsequent Caine Prize winners. And so, we did. The following, here, we interviewed Okwiri
Oduor from Kenya. And in 2016 Namwali
Serpell from Zambia. And last year, the 2016 winner, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi
from South Africa. So, every year we now
have a new partner. And the new partner
is across the ocean. So, we are expanding our, our
scope and bringing in partners and speakers from
all over the world. Now, let me step down and
invite Patricia, who is here. And she’s the Executive
Director of the Africa Society. Patricia. [ Applause ]>>Patricia Baine:
Good afternoon. So, I’m Patricia, and I’m the
President of the Africa Society, a nonprofit organization that
educates Americans about African and advocates for African growth and positions in
the United States. We are a proud partner
of this program, as Doctor Mary Jane
Deeb mentioned, with the Africa section
of the, the African and Middle Eastern
Division, and the Poetry and Literature Centers at
the Library of Congress. And our newest member,
Howard University and it’s Africa Center. Today, we’re excited to be here. For once again, to
feature another African literary ambassador. That’s our new expression
this morning. And Caine Prize winner for
2017, Doctor Bushra al-Fadil. All our organizations and
the partner organizations are committed to providing
a platform for African literary figures
and, and provide access for everybody in the world. Because this will also be
where passed and be accessed by everybody, I guess,
for eternity. And so, people will able to look
back and enjoy African poetry and literature as much as we do. So, enjoy the program. I will ask our next
speaker and partner, Doctor Casper to take the stand. [ Applause ]>>Doctor Robert Casper:
Thank you, Patricia. And much thanks to the Africa
Society of the National Summit on Africa, and African and
Middle Eastern Division here at the Library of Congress. Of course, I want to say thanks,
as well, to the Lannan Center who helped create this program
over at Georgetown University, or who helped partner with
us to create this program and bring the Caine
Prize winners to the Library every year. We’re also really excited about
the new partnership as Mary Jane and Patricia discussed
with Howard University. So, it’s been an honor
to work with everyone to continue this series and
to feature African poets and writers, and especially,
feature the Caine Prize winner. Before we begin, let me ask
you to do what I’m going to do. Which is to turn off your cell
phone and any electronic devices that you have that might
interfere with this event. Second, please note
that, of course, this program is being recorded
for webcast and by participating in Q and A, you give
us permission for future use of the recording. Before I get to today’s
prize winner, let me tell you a little
bit about the Poetry and Literature Center. We are home to the U.S. Poet
Laureate, and we put on 20 to 30 public programs
like this one, each year. To find out more about this
series and our other programs at the Library of Congress, you can visit our website, You can also find out more
about the, this division, the room that we’re in
right now, and be webcast in our conversations
with African Poets and Writers series, at As Mary Jane said, the Library of Congress has been hosting the
Caine Prize winners since 2014 with 2013 winner Tope Folarin. We are thrilled to
extend this same welcome to the current winner,
Bushra al-Fadil, chosen out of 148 entries
from 22 African countries. Bushra is the first
Arabic speaking winner of the Caine Prize. At 65, he is also the
oldest prize winner. The Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei
Parkes, announced the winner of the 10,000 pound prize at
an award dinner last July, held for the first time
in Senate House, London. Parkes said of the prize-winning
story, quote, ”Rooted in a mix of classical traditions, as
well as the vernacular contexts of its location,
Bushra al-Fadil’s story, ”The Girl Whose
Birds Flew Away”. Is at once a very modern
exploration of how, assaulted from all
sides and unsupported by those we would
turn to for solace, we can become mentally
exiled in our own lands. Edging into a fantasy existence
where we seek to cling to a sort of freedom until, ultimately, we slip into physical exile.”
Bushra al-Fadil has published four collections of
short stories in Arabic. His most recent, ”Above a
City’s Sky”, was published in 2012, the same year he
won the al-Tayeb Salih Short Story Award. Bushra holds a Ph.D. in
Russian language and literature. He resides in Saudi
Arabia, Saudi Arabia and he was a university
professor before he was expelled from his native Sudan
in the early 1990’s. Bushra wrote the story of ”The
Girl Whose Birds Flew Away” in 1979, but it was
only translated and published into
English in 2016. We are so grateful it was. Please, join me in
welcoming Bushra al-Fadil. [ Applause ]>>Bushra al-Fadil:
I talk with the. Good evening. Thank you, Robert Casper. And thank you, Patricia
and Mary Deeb. And Marieta Harper,
and your division. Of course, it is a very
nice opportunity for me. This is maybe the second
major opportunity to after, after the Caine Prize to talk
here in the Library of Congress. I write fiction in Arabic and the first short story
collection I was taught here, was written in the
70’s [inaudible] year, in the 70’s, 1979. And I feel language Arabic, writing in Arabic is a very
[inaudible] not only from, the other world,
but in Africa, too. Because people from Ghana, from
Nigeria, from South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia, I
went and visited them. Feel that they are cut from
the different cultures. Not because of tribes. In Sudan and other, Sudan
we have no problem regarding the tribes. We feel all as one, as
one Sudanese community. But the tribes are in the
thousand, the part of those. But the language,
because I write in Arabic. Writing in Arabic also have
another problem, that you have to read the heritage
of the Arabic language, which is deep rooted in history. And before Islam
and after Islam. And you, you have to
read the [inaudible] of it show the Arab countries. But as a standard,
Arabic is understood in every country of the Arabs. And when I, I write
my famous collection, I wrote about social
life in Sudan. Problems that face Sudanese
community and people. Especially, women. And this short story was
speaking about it, I think, to speak about it
in the marketplace. But I have coined words in, in
Arabic language, which is known to Sudanese people, now. Like the word [foreign
language]. I, I mean with it, by it the
people who has authorities to kill, and then people laugh after listening to
what happened to. The action, the trial
coming that happens. So, I did find a word in Arabic,
I coined [foreign language], and then it is now famous
in Sudan for readers that you can coin words. I coin words for in a novel
called ”The Locust Symphony”. How the locusts can sing
without voice, of course. And I, I wrote, I wrote in the
first period about social life. Then, when we have political,
political difficulties and governments,
military governments, I wrote about animals. Not as symbols, but you
read this, the holy story about animal [inaudible]
my country. Now, I am trying to
write in my latest works about science fiction. Something similar
to science fiction. I said to myself, I can’t
write science fiction, because science fiction
should be known to people who are living in countries where there is industries,
developed, and so on. But I write something
similar to it. So, as to avoid saying science
fiction and, and, and with it, you speak about a country, too. My latest novel is
called ”2084” and I’m imitating George
Orwell in the name. But the speaking about
what is going to happen in my country after
60 or 80 years. I’m influenced in my
writings by so many people. In secondary school we
were influenced by writers like Mark Twain, when we read
Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. We were influenced in England
by writers like Oscar Wilde and so many, so many writers. Regina Wolfe. I can’t, I’m not going
to mention all of them. But in the university,
I’m influenced by Dashevsky [assumed
spelling] and [inaudible], so that is the reason why
I started Russian language. So, I read them in, in Russian. Thank you, very much. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible Comments ] Yes, she asked to read, I
was asked to read a little from the short story or
for many in the room. Yes. But I’m short sighted,
so it’s a short story read by a short [inaudible]. The story of the, the story of ”The Girl Whose
Sparrows Flew Away”. I’m going to, to read the
version that is translated by us, my friend [inaudible], not by Shmookler,
who the story won’t. Because there are a
little bit differences, there are little differences
in the stories there. He said, like the
Bedouin who visited, visited the town
for a second time. But I wrote it in Arabic like
the turban of the Bedouin who visited the town
for the second time. Because the turban of the
Bedouin moves from left to right or from this side to that side,
when he come to his people to tell them what
he saw in town. The turban will make
an image of a smile. The second scene
is like a salad. I will read it, I will read
my, the version [inaudible]. The story of ”The Girl
Whose Sparrows Flew Away”. Like a sharp knife I was cutting
through a crowd of people, a strange mixture that would
not fit together, even on a bowl of assorted green salad. Beggars, butchers, thieves,
hoppers, religious canters, rigid soldiers, comers and
goers, comers and goers, flabby, emaciated, emaciated,
hookers, vagrants, and brokers. Standing passengers,
[inaudible], dressy and vainglorious
in the midst of those with elected representatives
who chased women with their eyes,
hands, and bodies. And those among them
who were unable to respond physically would
resort to daydreaming. I was piercing through the
crowd like a sharp knife, causing a sudden pain in
a soldier, in a shoulder, followed with, ”Excuse me”. A wound on a foot,
preceded with, ”Sorry”, and a punch in a face
accompanied with, ”Forgive me”. It was too abs, I was
too absentminded to wait for a response on my apologies. Thank you. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible Comments ]>>Marieta Harper:
Good afternoon. I’m Marieta Harper,
Area Specialist in the African Section. Can you hear me better, now? Okay. That’s Marieta Harper in the African Section,
Area Specialist here. I’m going to [inaudible] to
some questions [inaudible] that I, that I read. And see how the two
mesh [inaudible] translations [inaudible]. I’m going to really begin
talking generally about your, asking about your
experiences here. And when you started writing
and why did you turn to novels as a meaning of expression.>>Bushra al-Fadil: I
started writing early in secondary school poetry. I didn’t write anything
in short stories. And writing poetry, writing
poetry I didn’t find, I didn’t find that the
political movements in Sudan, if captured in the cities
and schools I would, rooms for to read,
to not be allowed to each party, each place. So, I, I, my poetry was
kept, kept in my drawers. And then, I tried to
publish short stories. So, the, the, the, the,
the story of ”The Girls Who Bird Flew Away” was
the second short story that is published in
[inaudible] in 1972. The first story was called
the [foreign language], about a person called Abdul
Guillaume [assumed spelling] that’s raised from his grave to
make revenge on what happened to him in life, and so on. Is the first story.>>Marieta Harper:
And reading further on about the descriptions
that I read in your story of ”The Girl Whose Birds
Flew Away”, it, it, it, I wanted to find
out you, how do you, how do you describe how you read
the various literary Sudanese expressions from the
prehistoric Islamic poetry into your own award
winning piece? Your story of ”The Girl
Whose Birds Flew Away”, which it’s, it’s very melodic.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yeah.>>Marieta Harper: As
I read it in your book.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yeah. In, in the short story, when
you find images like this, the narrator says I love
her and she loves me. And her she camel
loves my camel. This is from a verse from
[inaudible] Islam poetry. Poetry before Islam,
[foreign language]. But this, I, I wrote
it in prose but it was in a pre-Islamic poetry. And I can, I can derive from
all cultures, from all cultures. Even in the short story I
found a version like this from a Russian proverb. The Russian proverb is sound
like this, [foreign language]. Or it’s a word that is a
word, famous word in Russian, [foreign language], means keep
your tongue behind your teeth. So, I wrote it, I wrote
it in Arabic and Sudanese. And so many people
said, where is it from? It is from that it came. And so many, so many phrases
from different readings, and even from, from quantum
physics now in my work, when the particle is here and they are the same
time like I write. I write it in a sort of way,
the findings of the physics for a second, everywhere,
in fiction. Not only the heritage of
Islamic, pre-Islamic Arabic.>>Marieta Harper: Yeah. Are, you do most of
your writing in Arabic. And can you share with us
the experience you’re having with your work being
translated in English from, we knew of one translation? But we find that you
had other translations in the same new language,
as opposed to Arabic.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yeah,
the translation opens for me, I said, this horizon of contacting the main cultures
worldwide, and of course, those African colleagues
write in English. And I will, I’m now,
I’m now working hard to make translations
for my short story. There were five notation, I have
two novels, and have book of, of poetry and other writings. But I should have to write. Now, we are trying
to translate a novel.>>Marieta Harper: I guess
I should really mention to, to Bushra that most of the audience here have
not had the opportunity to, to read your material,
because it’s so new.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yeah.>>Marieta Harper: We will
have books here, on sale, copies of the book,
so that you can see. So, they can really
understand my comments.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes.>>Marieta Harper: And experience the actual
reading, your material. I had a question. Refer to how do you describe
contemporary lit, the literary, contemporary literary
scene in Sudan? And how do you relate
to it, although we know that [inaudible] you traveled.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes.>>Marieta Harper: For a while.>>Bushra al-Fadil: I have.>>Marieta Harper: In Sudan.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes. I have relations with various
writers and poets in Sudan from various generations. And I have teachers, of course. My teachers, like Dave Salis
[assumed spelling] [inaudible] migration to the north. I know him, personally. And another professor who
wrote about the first story that I wrote, [inaudible],
that [inaudible]. He wrote in [inaudible] critical
that he highlight for me. Sudan is [inaudible]
in Sudanese, dialect is Sudanese
Arabic dialect. Poetry made a breakthrough
[inaudible] our famous poets on this regard. One of them, even,
was celebrated here in the [inaudible]
Sharif and [inaudible]. Famous in writing in Sudanese. Sudanese colloquial Arabic. Also, there are Sudanese who
are writing in standard Arabic. And there are Sudanese who
are writing in English. And Sudanese who are
writing prose and, and fiction short
stories and others. So, unfortunately, the,
the, the, the, the media and the publishing
houses in Sudan are weak and we publish mainly in
Lebanon or other countries. And the media is not, does
not allow chances for us. For instance, when I won the
[inaudible] Prize in 2012, all the people who went
from the Arab [inaudible], it’s a famous prize in Sudan,
a famous prize in Sudan, the [inaudible] Prize
for fiction. All the winners who
came from Morocco, from, they let them enter, enter
[inaudible] except me. They didn’t allow me to enter, I
was deported out of my country. So, the people asking,
why are you not with us? And they don’t know that
the government over there, people who are security, or my
name was written as blacklisted, fired from that university
and work [inaudible]. So, problems like this. When I go to the TV,
they don’t allow you. There was an Egyptian writer, they didn’t allow me
to enter with him. In the university,
they didn’t allow me. And things like this
happened to many writers who have views against
governments. Let us speak our
military government. Yes, let us speak frankly. And this is why, this is
why you have such problems.>>Marieta Harper: Oh, okay.>>Bushra al-Fadil:
But, but nevertheless, Sudan, she is very rich. And there will come time
people will know it translated or not translated.>>Marieta Harper: Okay. I have one, this is
my last question. How has the Sudanese literary
tradition been affected by western and American
literary traditions?>>Bushra al-Fadil:
It is affected a lot because we have the
English [inaudible] from the, from, for 56 years. Yes. From 19, from 19,
from 1899 ’till 1855. And the universities,
[inaudible] college and the colleges are
teaching in English and everything in English. That when we enter into
studying English the first year, we studying English. Yes. I can, I can now
revise for you this version. The first year, and
second intermediate school. Where is it going,
the big British ship? Where is it going
out down to sea? It is going to India,
China, [foreign language]. And this should be the bus
and the train and the plane and this is in book, too. Our British from Britain
[foreign language]. In a discussion like this
I revise it in my heart. If there is discussion
like this, so they give us everything. The literature, the
books, the readers, [foreign language], you know. Yes. Charles Dickens
and all this big about, about PBS and still, and this. All this [inaudible]
and everything. So, the heritage is huge, coming
from simplified big cities to the books of and volumes. William Shakespeare. The lectures in Khartoum
University are from England. They taught us the ballads. They taught us the history of their English
literature and American. I said to you, in secondary
school we studied Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
and studied Mark Twain. And all those people. But I by, for myself, I
studied Russian literature.>>Marieta Harper: Great. That’s.>>Bushra al-Fadil: It’s a
great, great, for many people. For many people. For many Sudanese writers. Among them, the best
I think, most, the best influence was
[inaudible], he wrote about it.>>Marieta Harper: At this
point in time, I’m going to open up the questions
to the audience.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes.>>Marieta Harper: To
for you to respond to.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes, please.>>Speaker: You can
take your microphone and take it out [inaudible].>>Marieta Harper: Okay. [ Inaudible Comments ] 2>>Speaker: And how would
you characterize [inaudible] Sudanese literature? How is unique? How is it different, let’s
say, from Moroccan, or Saudi, or Egyptian, Lebanese? They all write in
the same language, but there is always a uniqueness
about that literature. How would you describe the
literature in Sudan to be? The culture?>>Bushra al-Fadil:
Though we write. Thank you, professor. Though we write in Arabic,
but we are not Arabs. I, I identify myself
a Nubian Sudanese. Not Arab. We are not Arabs. But Arabs, they say,
you are Arabs. You see. But we say,
we are Sudanese and we write about our culture. About our heritage. We have a deep rooted in
history, heritage of Nubians. A book was written
by [inaudible]. A literature about the pharaohs
from, pharaoh from Sudan. Sudan kings who ruled Egypt and the ancient history
7,000 years ago. We have pyramids, we have around
about 40 pyramids in Sudan. But they are small
pyramids and not known, but not because they are small. But because even not highlighted
by the, by multimedia. And the, the Sudanese culture
is a mixture of all this and African, African
heritage that is very deep. And we have from the, the, the,
the, the history of, of Arabs. Yes, also, they influence us. The language and Islam. All this mixture makes
something different. It is not like in
Morocco, not like in Egypt. It is Sudanese Africa. Africa was Arabic influenced. Written in Arabic. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>Speaker: Hi, Doctor Fadil. I have a question for you. If you could give any
advice, we’re always thinking about the next generation
because in African literature, I’m sure we’ve lost [inaudible]. We could have a full original
work that we don’t have, that we don’t have access to
those that came before us. But we have, you know, giants
like you who are here now. If you were to give advice
to young poets and writers on the continent, anything,
what would you say to them? And then, out of curiosity,
why, why were you interested in African, I mean,
in Russian literature? Why Russian literature?>>Bushra al-Fadil: At that
time, I believe I start to answer from this last one. At that time, I believe there
is a spear, [inaudible] the head of a spear of literature,
where is it at that time. At that time, I thought
it was [inaudible]. They wrote something so critical
connected with the culture of my problems of my country. You of course, we read,
we read before that, all the heritage I thought
which we gave to schools or in and books, in book
shops of that western. Yes, you can read, but
you know if you can read, all these people [inaudible] and you read them
and you follow their. But, but the Russian, for
me, the Russian at that time, Anton Chekhov, he wrote things
that influenced me a lot. And Dostoyevsky. Something deeply, deeply,
deeply influenced my psychology. My psychology at
then, at that time. Now, I see the spear. The spear is that
in Latin America. Now, Latin America [inaudible]. When I read things like when
he is making his, his writings about the, the patriarch,
you know, this, or this, or the great Puman
[phonetic], the great, the funeral of the
great Puman law. You feel things are
for your country, in your country influence. This is why I think
always I have to follow the spear,
where is it. Of course, in America, there
are, there are great writers. But we have to be
acquainted with them to know them, also,
in our country. Now, regarding the,
regarding the first part. The younger, so how
to advise them. Young people, now,
are communicated by multimedia better
than we advise by anyone. They can do it themself,
by themself. They can write, and
they are writing so it will go the second
day worldwide, if they like. So, they are, their languages
are, are better than us. Yeah.>>Speaker: [inaudible]
have a question. Earlier you referenced
science fiction. And I wanted to ask
you about Afrofuturism and the younger writers
who are coming along. Because we get the Afrofuturism and science fiction are
nothing new to African culture, because we’ve always had
the seriousness [inaudible], etcetera. But you see some of the
younger writers, now, delving into science fiction with a particularly
African perspective. Do you see that as a coming
movement among African writers? You know, the African writers
and then, African literature? Thank you.>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes,
may be there is a influence of worldwide that the shares
communication with writers all over the world with critics. And so, I believe that
generations learn, not from their teachers, not from their lecturers
in the university. They learn from each other. Somebody told me that
if, if the, if the, if there is a new drug
or medicine to, to, to kill the rats,
the, the, the mouses, mouses in Africa the mouse, the
mouses, the generation of mouses in Japan will, will, will know
about it without communcations. Yes, without communication. So, there is something, there is
something in the, in generation that is taught not by
lecturers, not by teachers, not by fathers, or parents. But I don’t know it is telepathy
or something like this. It like what happened to
the mice, yes, the mice. Why they [inaudible] away from
the places where they kill them. Yes. And I, I, I myself
witnessed something like this. For instance, I will
tell you this. Once I have my younger brother
when I was study in university. He’s 12 years old, who flew
from his house, from our house, and my mother was
in another place. Another city. Yes, my mother worried a lot. I, I, I, I came from
an [inaudible] city, talking to a person, I said,
oh, oh, let me please go. And I went to the bus
station and waited. Looked like this. Came a bus. A yellow bus. And came out of this
bus, my younger brother. Weeping, and not knowing
any place in Khartoum. How, how, how do I know this? I think I know it by telepathy. From my mother. She sent me a message.>>Marieta Harper: Okay.>>Speaker: Any more questions?>>Bushra al-Fadil: And
this happened, really. [ Inaudible Comments ] So, science fiction, so as to
answer is like this influenced by the worldwide generation. But I don’t write
science fiction. Is something similar to. I can give you a brief
image of what I am writing. Yes.>>Speaker: I think
maybe you said identified this [inaudible]. When you talk about what’s going
on now, currently, in Sudan, most writers, how,
how do they live, how do they write
under the regime? How do they express themselves? How do they, how do
they communicate? Are they successful? Are they, really, you
know, the oppressed? What is coming up
in Sudan, currently, in terms of literature?>>Bushra al-Fadil: Yes, about.>>Marieta Harper: He
wants to know the kind of literature that’s coming
out of Sudan, right now.>>Bushra al-Fadil:
[inaudible] both kind. There, there are a
lot, the majority of Sudan is writers, now. Speaking about these
values, which are university. The values of democracy, yes,
of the freedom of speech. The, the quality, the, the
relation with the, the, with the other women,
men and women, and so. A lot of people are influenced by so many things
in the worldwide. And if we have a community
here, in, in, in the U.S., we have a community and like
I say, now, I am invited to do lectures in Arabic
for them in two places, now. For, and, and I, I’m willing
to do it in two places on the third in [inaudible]. One on the sixth
before I return home. All of them, all of them are
speaking about these values. The similar value that
everybody speaking about like, like the same as
the American values. Yes. But the problem of, of, of regimes that are military
government are learning how true. The officer is trained
how to, to fight. But when he comes
through he can, can use his training to rule. And there are, would
be a lot of problems. For instance, the
ministry of culture in Sudan will not allow
this book to be published or that book to be
published, they interfere. We have such problems. The Freedom to Write Committee,
here in the U.S. made, for me, an event, a culture
[inaudible] event. And that’s, that event
was in 19 I think 94. And there was another poet,
his name is Mahroof Sharif. Mahroof Sharif, at that
time, was in prison. And I, I was fired from work. I lost my work. For that reason, they made
solidarity to fight, to, to committee in the U.S.
And they, I don’t know from where did they know my
address in Saudi, Arabia. So, they found, phoned me
and said, ”We are going to make a Sudan event. You are going to read your
short story and very strangely, two of the same stories. The story of the girl
whose, whose bird flew away. And it was translated
by an American Arab, an Arab from the region. I didn’t read it. I didn’t read it, why? Because they said, we are
going to send you the tape. And they didn’t send
me the tape. So, I, I, I asked them and asked and I remember the
coordinator, now, and his name. I’m not going to say
the coordinator, now. Yes. And but, the other
poet, the other poet with me on the night, they
sent him, not the tape. Ten thousand dollars. And I said to him, ”Mahroof, did they send you the
tape?” He said, ”No. They sent me $10,000 and
I will have a house.” So, at that time, I felt
[inaudible].>>Marieta Harper: Thank you.>>Speaker: Let me
give this one to you.>>Marieta Harper: Sure. [ Inaudible Comment ] Thank you. Bushra. It’s been a, a
wonderful conversation with you about literary scene in Sudan.>>Bushra al-Fadil: The girls
[inaudible] look like this.>>Marieta Harper: Yes.>>Bushra al-Fadil:
This [inaudible] in the story like this. This was drawn by an artist
at a [inaudible] from Sudan.>>Marieta Harper: And his
book is over there, I believe. Waiting for you to approach
it so that you can see, for yourself, what
he’s talking about. And thank you.>>Announcer: This has
been a presentation of the Library of Congress. Visit us at

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