They say you become more attached to Sudan after you have left it. I must say this is true. I moved out of Sudan a few years ago. Leaving Sudan and everything I had behind to come and work in Ireland was a turning point in my life that I would realize only later how much it had affected me. I may have lived a normal life back in Sudan, going to work during the day, socialising at night while every now and then getting involved in some voluntary work. But it wasn't until I moved out that I realised how strong the connection is between me and my homeland that I felt obligated to do more in any capacity to help my people.
In March 2011 I founded a non-profit online animation studio in an attempt to enrich the online Sudanese animation content and to promote a more positive image of the Sudan you don't often see here in Europe and unfortunately you don't see as well, in Sudan.
It was tough for me to manage both my medical career while committing to animation production as I was working alone in most of the videos I produced. Yet it paid off; the videos have gained a wide popularity among the on-line Sudanese community and I was later invited to speak at TedKhartoum in April 2012 to talk about it. A fan base of the studio's work, thirsty for good-quality local-content animation is growing by the day. One film I made had been screened in two international festivals in the United States.
I believe media is a powerful tool in spreading knowledge, awareness and even shaping public opinions. And we need to make the best use of it. The studio currently has plans to engage with fans outside the virtual world of the internet. It will be working with school kids in Sudan giving them an opportunity to write their own animated videos. An opportunity to nurture and showcase their creativity and make school life more enjoyable to them.
I believe everyone of us here in Ireland is able to give back significantly, in his or her own way. Maybe you haven't yet found that way yet, as it took me two years myself! But eventually you will, and you will be amazed and overwhelmed with satisfaction knowing even when you are miles away, you are making a difference in some one's life back home!
Emergency Medicine trainee
Aspring Animator and film director
Founder of Tartar Studio