Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sudan: The government's fight against retardation

I'm assuming you've all heard of the miniature Kaaba that was built by the government of Sudan to train Muslim pilgrims for Hajj. Right? Well, if you haven't heard, then, umm, the government of Sudan built a miniature Kaaba to train Muslim pilgrims for Hajj.

Apparently, Sudanese pilgrims are, well, retarded. It seems that every year they go to Hajj and embarrass us in front of the 2 million Muslims from around the world. They walk clockwise instead of anti-clockwise around the Kaaba, throw stones at each other instead of Satan, and instead of drinking Zamzam water they seem to use it as fuel for their water guns.

The government, more precisely, the Ministry of Guidance and Endowments, was shamefaced when the Saudi Hajj Authority called in to say that the Sudanese pilgrims were running riot. They apologized and promised to do something about it.

The Sudanese government then decided to give this issue first priority. Forget the wars, forget the ailing economy, the retarded pilgrims predicament had to be resolved... By any "meals" necessary.

So, after much deliberation, the government decided to build a miniature Kaaba, where the pilgrims can be trained for Hajj. The training would include 5 sessions of Directional Awareness, target practice and "A History of Zamzam Water" lectures.

The cost of the miniature Kaaba was $20,000. This included the four cement walls and roof, and the Kaaba-like cloth that goes on top. One can't help but think that this money was either borrowed from some GCC financial institution, or taken out of the government's negligible budget. The latter is more likely. Which means that now the government's budget has halved.

The current regime has been in power since 1989, and since then the country's education system has been overrun with Islamic related subjects. A high school graduate in Sudan can probably recite the whole Quran while hunting for food, or digging for water. So on paper, everyone, including fat people, should know the technicalities of Hajj.

The government however, seems very adamant that the education system that it established is not sufficient to stop people from throwing stones at the Kaaba. So now that the training is under way, all will be well when the next batch of pilgrims leave Sudan for Mekkah.

This is only the first of many government run projects initiated to help the average Sudanese enjoy a mistake-free Hajj. Future projects will include "Umra training for those who can afford to go", "Praying Maghrib at Al-Masjid Al-Haram without licking the person next to you", and training centers all over the country on "How to get to the airport when going to Hajj".

The government has also promised that it will establish a Public Authority for Hajj Related Issues and What Not (PAHRIWN). The head of the PAHRIWN will be chosen by the president, and will be from the war torn region of Darfur, in accordance with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).


Mimz said...

I think it's great the government is finally realizing the potential dangers of Sudanese wanna-be pilgrims and it's high time something is done to prevent this.

The decision to erect a miniature kaaba for essential Hajj training was not easily reached; many state-wide awareness campaigns had to be held in addition to television ads explaining the hazards of this rife phenomenon that, finally, people are become alarmed about.

There were a lot of attempts to convince the government to beg for the much-needed $20,000 and it was the best deal we could get, the lowest so far. This was no easy task either, planning and constructing four walls and covering them with a piece of cloth consumes much time, effort and Filipino labor. Don't underestimate this.

My only concern though, and it might be nothing, is that there could be a few cows, sheep and goats buried underneath the model- which means the Hajj trainees would be involved in some hocus pocus ritual which may eventually kill them all. But let's hope I'm mistaken.

Moez Ali said...

Let's hope you are. After all, these people are meant to die in Hajj due to their inability to walk around in circles, according to the government. Let's hope they don't die in Khartoum preparing for Hajj.

You make some compelling points. However, I would like to add that filipino workers are banned from working on the project because they are not Muslims. The government thought it OK at first, but the Head of the PAHRIWN had a vision in his sleep. He said that after having that vision he couldn't allow the filipinos to do the work. So they used Al Azhar scholars instead. He's very meticulous.

Omer said...

Oh god! Please stop! I need to do some work but can't stop laughing. This is interfering with my studies. This blog just keeps getting better and better. And the comments, my god! The man had a vision, rahrahrah (a laugh). Oh god, a vision...

Mai said...

It seems to me that this project is an NCP's attempt and testing module to eventually move Haj to Sudan. Come to think of it, it can actually be a robust strategy to boost Sudan FDI since the government failed to attract investment to potential economic sectors,building a mini Haj amusement park could serve as an excellent tourism concept for our lost African brothers and al Qida members who are banned from entering Saudi Arabia.

yahya ahmed said...

I like your referral to having the commitee being headed by a member of the underepresented Darfur region. Nice touch. Two unrelated yet in a weird way related subjects. I dont know how you pulled this jedi mind trick.