Egyptian | Sudanese
I don’t really identify myself as Egyptian. The Egyptian roots for me go way to far back for me to have experienced that side, even if it doesn’t much differ from the Sudanese. I have always seen myself as Sudanese/African, but I would always be questioned about my skin complexion
I was born in Sudan. When I was 7 months old my parents decided they wanted a better future for my brother and I. My family ended up moving to Germany, a couple months after the fall of the Berlin Wall with not much more than 50 Deutsche Mark at the time.
Both my parents were born and raised in Sudan/ Khartoum. My Ancestors however are from Egypt. I am not exactly sure when it all happened but there is a lot of us Egyptians in Sudan. As far as I know Sudan was booming and my grandparent’s generation saw an opportunity.
Even though my parents were more relaxed compared to other Arabic parents, I realized that my culture differs a lot from German culture. While my friends were allowed to go to simple things like sleepovers or go on holidays with their friends, I pretty much always had to ask my parents for permission and it took a lot of effort to convince them to say yes. When I turned 18 that’s when I understood fully, because nothing had changed.
It was always a struggle to explain to my friends why I couldn’t just do what I wanted because when you are an Arab you are raised to make sure the reputation of your family is not being damaged and the way they do it is through bringing your religious beliefs in. I feel that a lot of our parent’s generation and grandparent’s generation don’t understand that there is a thin line between culture and religion, where religion should never be brought in to make someone feel guilty. I understood that late but when I did, I was able to pick and choose what cultural traits I want to adopt and which ones I didn’t to become the person I am today.
People still have bias attitudes towards mixed-race people. Whenever I get asked where I am from and I tell them, the “are you a Muslim” question would always follow.