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This is Why Social Media is Turning #BlueForSudan

"The color represents all of the Sudanese people who have fallen in the uprising," says Shahd Khidir.

Since the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, Sudan has been embroiled in a tug-of-war between civilians and the Transition Military Council (TMC) who took over power. After civilians rejected the three-year power transfer deal presented by the TMC, ongoing protests have been organised by the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) especially in the capital city of Khartoum. Just last week, there was a deadly crackdown by the military which left over 100 protesters dead.


One of the protesters who was killed, was a graduate from London's Brunel University, Mohamed Mattar. The young man was reportedly shot while he was attempting to protect two women as security forces violently dispersed the crowd of protesters. Mattar's favorite color was blue.

According to Aljazeera, a friend of Mattar, Shahd Khidir, asked her followers on social media to change their profile pictures to blue as a show of solidarity for the heroic young man. She said, "Once he was murdered, his friends and family changed their profile picture to match his, and eventually other people began to join in...Now [the color] represents all of the Sudanese people who have fallen in the uprising."

There has been widespread criticism on social media of Western media and their failure to adequately cover the current Sudan uprising. Numerous Sudanese civilians have lost their lives and many people have pointed out how this massacre of those who are a part of civic society has not dominated the headlines.

The TMC publicly admitted for the first time, that it ordered the deadly crackdown in Khartoum. Spokesman of the TMC, Shams al-Din Kabashi, said, "We ordered the commanders to come up with a plan to disperse this sit-in. They made a plan and implemented it ... but we regret that some mistakes happened."

Leaders from all over the world are attempting to help find a resolution to Sudan's growing crisis before it spirals into a fully fledged war. We continue to stand with the people of Sudan in their fight for liberation.

Download the #BlueForSudan image below:

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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