The International School Network visited the Embassy of Sudan to Japan to interview the Ambassador of Sudan, H.E. Mr. Yasir Abdalla Abdelsalam Ahmed.
H. E. Mr. Ahmed introduced to us that Sudan is shaped and located in the “heart of Africa”. He believes in Sudan’s role to “give blood to all parts of Africa” as an ethnically colorful nation. Sudan, before the independence of South Sudan in 2011, used to be the largest country in Africa. H. E. Mr. Ahmed explained that the vast borders of Sudan has allowed for the diverse structure of the nation, easing migration, pilgrimage, and refugees.
H. E. Mr. Ahmed noted that the multicultural background of Sudan greatly reflects the nation’s education. Modern education is trying to bring together both modern and traditional aspects of culture,. Education in Sudan, as noted by H.E. Mr. Ahmed, is independent amongst the kingdoms, and are strongly influenced by different cultures.
H.E. Mr. Ahmed expressed that Japan and Sudan have many mutual norms including politeness, honestly, and respect for guests.
One aspect of Sudan that H.E. Mr. Ahmed introduced to us is how friendly people are to strangers. Sudanese people have a strong social bond, with the idea of an extended family. People often eat together in the streets, and tend to greet strangers; aspects that are not seen in Japan.
H.E. Mr. Ahmed explained that it is important to help others in need despite of whether you have money or not. Sudan donated 100 thousand dollars to Japan when it was hit by the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. H.E. Mr. Ahmed explains that this is a symbolic donation that shows the sympathy and connection between the two countries
Even as a child, H.E. Mr. Ahmed, had the dream of becoming a diplomat. This was because his uncle had been a diplomat, who had fascinating stories. H.E. Mr. Ahmed is glad that as an Ambassador, he is able to travel and get to know different cultures. His passion as working as the Ambassador of Sudan to Japan is being able to travel to many places. Furthermore, he feels grateful to be working in Japan, as he believes Japan feels that working in Japan brings him a “very different” experience. He noted that Japan is a “miracle” country; despite being an island nation, the people have succeeded in creating a homogeneous society with a unique set of values. H.E. Mr. Ahmed hopes to get to know Japan better by learning Japanese and the system.
H.E. Mr. Ahmed explained that his goals as an Ambassador is to create a link between Japan and Sudan, who have differing resources. He hopes that the two countries can cooperate and coordinate to further ties. He also hopes to connect the cultures of Japan and Sudan through exchanges, and hopes that Japanese people can learn about the language, food, attire, and other traditional aspects of Sudan, and how its society lives today.
In terms of world peace, H.E. Mr. Ahmed believes that it is important that the people get to know each other. Without negative thoughts and prejudice, we must understand others and what they believe in, and embrace diversity. He believes that fighting is often the result of wrong perceptions. Therefore, he hopes that not just the government but the people themselves, through organizations, can create links in understandings between nations. He described such approach to peace through the analogy of food. We do not always have to like another person’s food, but we should taste it and try to appreciate it.
As for increasing the literacy rate in remote and rural areas, he believes that there is a need for raising awareness for the importance of education. Many families tend not to prioritize education, or even culturally neglect the education of girls.
Madoka Nishina 12th Saint Maur International School
Kate Shimizu 12th Seisen International School
Kurumi Onishi 11th Saint Maur International School
Karen Nishina 6th Saint Maur International School