Viral Photo Captures 22-Year-Old Engineering Student Leading Sudanese Protest Against Nation's President
Alaa Salah is a student at Sudan International University.
April 09, 2019 at 9:53 pm
A striking photo capturing a Sudanese protester amid a sea of protesters in the African nation has gone viral and sparked renewed attention on the country's imminent revolution.
The Washington Post reports Sudan has been overtaken by protests since the rise of bread and fuel prices created long lines and food shortages, and the woman was likely advocating on behalf of the working class.
The image, taken by Lana H. Haroun, was just one of the many images and videos coming from the recent string of protests. Since late 2018, the nation's poorest citizens have called for the resignation of the widely unpopular President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
"She was trying to give everyone hope and positive energy and she did it," Haroun told CNN. "She was representing all Sudanese women and girls and she inspired every woman and girl at the sit-in."
Don’t know her name, but this Woman in #Sudan is leading rallies, standing on car roofs, and pleading for change against autocratic Bashir.— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 9, 2019
Here she is singing “Thawra” (Revolution). Remember this voice: pic.twitter.com/0JG31Tp4rZ
Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.
BuzzFeed has identified the woman as 22-year-old Alaa Salah, a student at Sudan International University in Khartoum. Via WhatsApp, she told the publication she's currently majoring in engineering and architecture at the university.
According to the BBC, 70% of the protesters are women. Among the many issues facing the nation, the protests also call to end sexism in the country. Women are subjugated by laws that restrict where they can go and how they can dress.
Hala al-Karib, a Sudanese women’s rights activist with the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, told The Post the woman in the photo has become a symbol for an outraged people. The woman's thobe, or cotton robe, is usually worn by professional women.
The oversized golden earrings seen are typically passed down through generations of women.
"Those are the traditional earrings that my grandmother has, that all Sudanese women have,” al-Karib said in the interview. “And they pass them to their daughters.”
Sudan has been under al-Bashir's power for nearly three decades. He led a military coup against former President Jaafar al-Nimeiri in 1985.
Since 1989, al-Bashir maintained power through oppressive laws and routine military campaigns. His regime stomped out protests before with hard-nosed tactics and violent responses from security forces. Last year, the longtime president promised to step down this year, and, according to AllAfrica, that could happen soon.
Now check these out:
New York Couple Missing After Vacationing In The Dominican Republic
St. Louis Police Want A Judge To Remove Restrictions On Using Mace And Tear Gas On Non-Violent Protesters
Gabrielle Union Takes Her Family To Miami Pride In Support Of Her Gay Stepson