Now I’ll admit, I don’t visit Sudan very often, but with each new visit after four to five years, I view the country through a new lens, a better understanding and appreciation for its beautiful culture and people. I also encounter a new wave of introductions to a handful of newly born cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Sudan is a poorly understood country. I’m saddened by the reality of many fellow Americans not being able to even point it out on a map, or identify that the (now) South Sudan, emancipated from Sudan in 2011, but that several Southerners still live with the Sudanese in the North in peace and harmony.  I’ve been asked if I speak “Sudanese” and have had people play the guessing game when it comes to identifying my “exotic” looking ethnicity. Rather than implicating these misconceptions and sources of microaggressions all to ignorance, I partially blame the flawed representation of Sudan through bias U.S. media outlets that pick and choose which aspects of foreign countries to place in the spotlight. For Sudan-it’s often very negative.

As a U.S. born citizen with family roots in Sudan, I’ve struggled to find accurate portrayals of my homeland’s history, culture, and traditions. Any Google search for images or information about the country yields images of starving children, talk of genocide, war, and internal conflict. Sudan is by no means perfect and surely still requires a lot of growth and change. To alter misconceptions and achieve change, however,  requires both internal and external aid and a fair understanding of how the country has already made strides in evolving in a multitude of ways, as well as an appreciation for its diversity.

Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa. It consists of rain forests, deserts, swamps, and mountain ranges. You’ll find people with a wide range of beautiful skin tones- even within the same families. Very rarely are there accurate depictions of the beautiful parts of Sudan. The purpose of these photos is to share with you the images that you will not see through a Google image search, the images of some of the kindest, most generous, and caring people I’ve ever met in my life. Through these images, I hope to paint a picture of the beautiful art, architecture, and culture of my scarcely represented motherland. Enjoy.

Scenery and Infrastructure


Sudanese Architecture

Food and Drink

Traditional Art

Traditional Clothing



3 Replies to “#ThisisSudan

  1. I just want to let Lana know how much I enjoyed the peek into her homeland! Such a lovely place, and the photos of you with your family are wonderful. We miss you in Grinnell, and I hope Madtown is treating you well. Helyn (from the Writing Lab)

    1. Thanks Helyn! It’s great to hear from you. I miss you and all of my other great supporters at Grinnell very much. I’m glad you enjoyed my project!

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