Sudan: MS Shajan - The Minister of Happiness


They call her the Minister of Happiness. And also they call her The Ambassador of Happiness. But the title she likes most is 'the Joyous girl'.

Shajan is a girl in her early twenties. She is a student of architecture. But that is not important. What is important is what she does: boost the morale of the masses assembled at the sit-in around the Army General Command. These young men and women at the sit-in always strive to support each other by all means and forms in order to keep the struggle for the freedom of their people alive. And that was the secret word for their success. They lead a long and bitter struggle against the defunct regime and tried everything to topple it, save violence. And during their long stay at doorstep of the Army General Command, they were always in need of 'positive energy' to keep going on. And Shajan (or the Minister of Happiness or the Ambassador of Happiness as they call her) is always ready to give that energy.

About herself, Shajan says she grew up in Saudi Arabia and returned to her home country for her university education two years ago. In a simple style and theme, Shajan has managed to instill joy in the hearts of the people at the sit-in zone and refresh their desire for the struggle.

Every day Shajan would prepare a number of placards of a certain size on which she would write messages thanking the revolutionaries at the sit-in for their solid stand. She roams the place for hours raising these papers for everyone to read. "Through these messages I intend to pump a positive energy in the souls of these patriots, raise their morale and change their psychological condition for the better," Shajan tells Sudanow. "THANKS FOR YOUR SIT-IN," reads one placard. Other cards carry encouraging and patriotic verses and messages.

Shajan had won wide publicity among the masses at the sit-in who say she makes them happy and "raises our positive energy a great deal." The positive results she received have encouraged Shajan to keep going on. From the early days of the sit-in, Shajan had kept warning her fellows in the sit-in that it could be a long struggle. And when General Ibnawf announced that he was ousting Bashir, she kept telling the people the regime is not over yet and they should keep the struggle.

She kept touring the place, paying frequent night visits to the men guarding the check points to encourage them. "We expect her visits every night, despite the dim light at our places. She brings happiness with her whenever she comes" they say. They say the day they needed her most was a fortnight ago when some of their fellows were killed or wounded in a shoot-out at the place. She wrote encouraging words on her placards and toured the place. But while she was trying to raise the morale of her fellows, she herself broke into tears when she saw the sadness on their faces.

"What I like most in the sit-in zone is the great harmony and cohesion among the members of the sit-in. What I see here and what I hear from these people inspires me with every word I write. They give me positive energy to do so," she says. "If my fellows need me, I also yearn for the dose of positive energy, inspiration and strength they give me everyday," she says. "I want to make sure the spirit of the revolution would not wane. I want to make sure about the future of our great country, the Sudan," she says.

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