Friday, November 19, 2004

SUDAN: Good news for the Chai Lady

Sudan - A parting shot of the Chai Lady of Khartoum.
Photo by Tom Gething, Sudan 2004

I thought that it would be a good idea to share this full color photo of the Chai (Tea) Lady of Khartoum with my readers today. I'm sure that for many of us around the world who have been following the news and reports about Sudan and the crisis and atrocities taking place in the Darfur region of the country this year, the signing of a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the regime in Khartoum (GoS) and the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) representatives today is hopefully a big step towards a workable peace for the people of Sudan.

All the international newswires and television coverage is full of stories on the historic meeting of the UN Security Council & Co. in Nairobi, Kenya and the outcome of the 2-day negotiations to force a peace agreement to end the 21 year civil war in Sudan. Here is the latest article from the U.K. Guardian Unlimited which a lot of my liberal leaning left-winged blogger buddies read. There is also an excellent link at the bottom of the online article to a resource I have never noticed before in my research, The Rift Valley Institute's Sudan Internet Resources. These folks are good, look at all that stuff, yum-yum. It will take me weeks to get through all of that information, maybe years.

Nonetheless, there is some powerful medicine coming out of Kenya today, despite the backsliding and maneuvering from the Chinese, Russian, Pakistani, and French UN ambasstardors (did I spell that right?). Lot's of people will be working and praying for you over the next months Madam Chai Lady, working to help Peace break out all over Sudan and across Kenya all the way down to the Great Lakes Region. Yep, big meetings down in Tanzania this weekend too. Peace trying to break out all over the place, 'cause it's time! Peace is loooong overdue and we all want to see it in our lifetimes. I'd bet the Chai Lady would be real happy to hear that news, the streets of Khartoum and the folks around her little stand must be just abuzz with news and opinions today. Good sales.

Following is what the photographer Tom Gething had to say about the lovely photograph, before I added my 2 cents worth on Sudanian politics and issues:

"This tea (or 'chai') lady was operating her stall by a traditional brick making factory on the west bank of the Nile, in a district of Khartoum called Elacocu. It's part of a series on traditional skills that I am trying to develop.Taken handheld, in the first hour after dawn, I was attempting get an enviromental portrait. As I don't have a WA lens I decided to use an angle that put her in context. I was also very aware of not getting blown highlights on her face. I'm particulary happy with the orange tone of her 'tobe' (shawl). ..."

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