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The Niles: A dream come true

Osman Shinger
Osman Shinger recounts his experience working with MiCT’s Sudan and South Sudan project, from its early beginning, to the independence of South Sudan, until now.
29.05.2015  |  Khartoum
Some of The Niles correspondents pose for a group photo following a project workshop in Juba, May 18, 2011.
Some of The Niles correspondents pose for a group photo following a project workshop in Juba, May 18, 2011.

When I joined this project, six years ago, with many collogues from Khartoum and Juba,  I did not imagine that this work will continue all these years. The project aimed to gather journalists from both the south and north of Sudan. At that time the country had not been divided yet.

An amazing experience especially when we travelled together.”
Osman Shinger
So, we all work as one team in one project named ‘Sudan Votes’ in both Arabic and English. This was an amazing experience especially when we travelled together to different places such as Wad Madani, in Al-Gezira State, Juba or Khartoum — very useful and inspiring days for all of us.

Years passed bringing us to the most critical moment in our history. Dr. John Garang De Mabior died in a plane crash in South Sudan. My colleague at Al-Ayyam newspaper, Lam John Koi, and I roamed the empty streets thinking about what has happened to the man. No answer, only more questions: What is going to happen to Sudan? What is going to happen to us? No answers at all.

Six years later, we got the answers we kept looking for: The split of Sudan into two. The secession of the south of Sudan was a natural result of decades of wrong political practices.

Our project did not stop with the secession of the south, on the contrary. The name of the project changed from ‘Sudan Votes’ to ‘The Niles’ with the same aim, to bring the journalists, the people of Sudan and South Sudan together.

The Niles contributor Hassan Faroog during a workshop in Juba, December 2010.
(cc) The Niles | Nik Lehnert
We have, so far, written and published over 2,600 articles, reports, investigations, and comments that covered diverse issues of Sudan and South Sudan.

Now, after six years since the start of our inspired project, we have to step back and think about the coming steps. It is our duty as contributors, beneficiaries of this project, to maintain its continuity in the future.

The network we have created deserves to thrive further, and we must put our efforts together to ensure that our work continues, through solid high quality articles, and through the support of our funders.