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Wanderings: Sudanese Migrants and Exiles in North America
Wanderings: Sudanese Migrants and Exiles in North America
By Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf
Cornell University Press, 2002, 198 pp
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During the almost half a century since its independence, Sudan has been unsuccessful in creating a national identity that all its citizens can willingly share. Civil war and economic hardship have internally displaced millions of people and caused hundreds of thousands more to emigrate or flee into exile. This interesting study presents a nicely textured picture of the Sudanese diaspora in the United States and Canada, surveying the reasons people left home, their economic and social coping strategies, their reluctance to assimilate non-Sudanese life styles, and their attitudes regarding religion, traditional customs, women's status, and politics at home. The author finds that exile causes Sudanese to lose their deeply felt particularistic ethnic, racial, and religious identities and to develop instead a sense of themselves as simply "Sudanese." In her view, this adaptation bodes well for the future reconstruction of Sudan if moderate leaders ever replace the present extremists in Khartoum.