Quiet Diplomacy and Ringing Phones

Gillian GibbonsAnother day of madness in Khartoum. Flat out reporting on the primary school teacher who has been arrested here for naming a teddy bear Mohamed. Strictly speaking it was her kids that named the bear, but anyway she’s the one in trouble.

I’m currently staying with Meskel Square and his missus who works for the BBC and our collective phones have been ringing off the hook with requests for interviews, packages, pieces and the rest. It makes me feel kind of guilty that I was moaning about taking a punt on getting here in the first place.

The only people who don’t seem interested in the story are the Sudanese. I have yet to meet anyone who has taken offence at the episode. Most seem a bit embarrassed at the whole affair and are baffled at the way the British press has soaked up every detail of the story.  The Sudanese press has barely reported the story and politicians have remained silent.

My money is on a speedy resolution. The Brit press officers and the school authorities are keeping very quiet, which to me suggests a deal is being done in private. The last thing they want is a huge fuss which might force the Sudanese government into a corner, and prevent them backing down.

After all you don’t me to point out that this isn’t a government that responds well to being shouted at.

4 thoughts on “Quiet Diplomacy and Ringing Phones

  1. I asked my Muslim husband what he thought of a teacher being arrested for this, and he thought it was “really stupid!”

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

  2. As ridiculous as the matter may sound to Britons and also to me, we have to put the matter into perspective. As someone who has lived in several countries and travelled widely for business, this is not be a light matter.

    Personally, I think immigrants/foreigners should respect the culture of their hosts. You don’t have to agree to their beliefs. But you have to show some respect. I think the lady owes the people of Sudan an apology. As stupid as the matter may sound, it is all about perception.

    I hope I have communicated my point clearly. If you go to a foreign country, learn/understand/respect their culture.

    NB. Nice posts from the motherland.

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