Updated: Mar 8
The overwhelming power of social media, and a Gen Zer's insight on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
أزرق('azraq) - Blue
In just a few weeks, one question managed to take over the internet...
Why is everyone's profile picture blue?
Instagram users began questioning the trend behind the thousands of blue bubbles consuming their timelines, many taking to google for answers. These pictures
aren't just a fad. They are raising awareness for an extremely important cause... the countless massacres happening in the country of Sudan.
What is Really Happening?
A few weeks ago, the Sudanese military opened fire on a group of demonstrators in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.100 people were pronounced dead, and the number of victims succumbing to their injuries is constantly increasing.
Months ago, things were looking much more optimistic for the country of Sudan. Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, was ousted from his position by the military during a coup. He had been president for 30 years prior and has been "wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, war crimes and the 2003 genocide in Darfur, Sudan since 2005" according to the Coalition for the ICC.
Economic, social, and political conflicts continued to burden with the Sudanese people. Disorder and destruction soon followed. There were outbreaks of violence, and the statistics pulled from these massacres were absolutely shocking. Allegedly, more than 500 people have been killed with almost 800 injured. Over 48 women have been raped along with 6 men, over 650 people have been arrested, and upwards of 1000 people have been pronounced missing.
While this chaos has been occurring for months now, the Sudanese crisis just recently began to attract the international public's attention, mainly due to the influx of Instagram-activism surrounding the cause. People were appalled that the crisis wasn't receiving news coverage and took matters into their own hands; crafting a voice for the victims of the crisis through a special shade of blue.
Many people wonder why blue? Well, blue was the favorite color of Mohamed Mattar; an activist who had been shot and killed while protesting for democracy in Sudan.
Progress Through Pain
In spite of everything that has happened, these protests are becoming monumental, especially when it comes to activism in Sudan. Before mass violence broke out, women were a huge part of the movement. This was major, because, despite the decades of oppression that Sudanese women had faced throughout history, they continued to rally in huge numbers.
The image you saw at the beginning of this article, as well as the image shown here, went viral after many began to spread awareness for the crisis in Sudan. The video shown here (adjust volume) is where the iconic image came from. A huge crowd of Sudanese protesters, consisting mainly of women, are looking to a young woman standing on top of a car. She raises her right arm leads the crowd in a chant, all of them chant her words back to her.
“Thowra!” shouts the crowd... “revolution.”
"Calling All Youth Activists"
Another incredibly shocking thing about the protesters in Sudan is that, according to the World Population Review's 2018 reports,
63% of Sudan's population is under the age of 25, and 47% of Sudan's Population is under the age of 15.
The engagement of youth in the midst of the crisis in Sudan speaks volumes for Sudan's evolution as a nation. It has also shown young people all over the world, the power of their access to the world wide web, as well as the power in standing up for what is right.
Shout for Shout Sudan
It is overwhelmingly fascinating how something as simple as a blue circle next to someone's name can generate not only hundreds of thousands' support but real-world progress too. While we encourage all of you to rep a blue circle and share the news of the crisis with your friends, we also encourage you to think bigger.
The Next Gen Come Up is spreading the word about the Go Fund Me campaign called "Emergency Medical Aid for Sudan" to help raise money for the cause. The Go Fund Me was been set up by the diaspora in Manchester, UK, to support the victims of the Sudanese crisis. The funds will be used to support victims by purchasing emergency medical supplies and supporting hospitals caring for the injured. Even the slightest contribution could make a difference. So remember to share the link to this article with your friends and family. Start a conversation, share your opinion, and remember... there is always something to be done.