Overview




I am a Sudanese-American lawyer, expert on African and Middle Eastern Cultures, interpreter in Arabic, English and French, justice and peace advocate, researcher, writer and a public speaker. I have a Bachelor of laws degree from Khartoum University, a Masters in diplomacy and international affairs from the Sorbonne in Paris, France and a doctorate degree with greatest distinction in international relations from Strassford University in the UK. My long professional experience and career spanned four continents. I started by serving as a Sudanese diplomat in Paris, France, Lagos Nigeria and Khartoum, Sudan.

As I was persecuted for my progressive ideas in Sudan and obtained political asylum in Paris, France in 1985 where I lived 20 years. I chose the United States to be my home and moved here in 1996 . I resigned from the Sudanese diplomatic service to work for an international human rights organization,, based in Geneva, Switzerlan and involved in the struggle for a democratic South Africa through education for liberation projects. My first visit to the New World was by an invitation from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to speak to students in Canadian campuses from coast-to-coast in 1973 to make the case against the Apartheid system in South Africa. My first visit to the US was to have a meeting in New York with David Rockefellor, President of the rockefellor Foundation, to seek funding for the South African education for liberation program that I was in charge of.

After a 2 year stint with the World Bank as a public affairs specialist in Washington, DC, covering Bank media and external relations in Africa and the Middle East I served 2 years with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France and 1 year as a journalist with Jeune Afrique Publishing Group, also in Paris. After that I decided to focus on my research and work on my PhD. Since 1985 I established, Bridges 21 Communications, my private for-profit African and Middles Eastern consultancy and interpretation-translation services.

In 1986 I ran for a seat in the Sudanese parliament without success. From 1987 to 1990 I was partner in a law firm in Dubai and AbuDhabi and worked in the Al-Ain University. In 1985 I also founded my non-profit non-governmental justice, peace, democracy and human rights research, education and advocacy organization Salam Sudan Foundation [SSF] and its sister organization the International Peace Quest Institute [IPQI]. Since 2002, both organizations, which are Washington, DC-based, obtained the 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt non-profit status from the IRS.

In 2002 and in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, I was sworn in as a naturalized citizen by a Washington, DC Superior Court judge, on an exceptional basis, in time to lead a State Department sponsored delegation of successful American Muslim NGO and community leaders, travelling as citizen diplomats, to visit Jordan and Lebanon, to initiate an open people-to-people dialogue between Americans and Arab Muslims and Christians in the Middle East.

I successfully advocated and lobbied the US adminstration to support peace initiatives in the Sudan and push both the North and the South to negociate the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA], signed in 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2006 I returned to Sudan and registered my foundation/institute in Khartoum. In 2007 and 2008, I organized successful democracy and peace education forums in Darfur and Khartoum and shared my common ground vision with the country through extensive media coverage.

Many in Sudan embraced my justice, peace, cultural rights governance vision and insisted that ran for the Sudanese presidency in April 2010. Although I was the first who chose to tactically declare my running as an independent candidate in December 2009, I was also the first to withdraw given the political reality of the country. Many still insist that I conside running in 2015 as a viable alternative to the status quo, and use the time to build an effective grass roots movement inside the US and Sudan. That is what I am doing now.

I have a passion for standing up for the underdog since my childhood in my village Um Rawaba in rural Kordofan, in the mid west of Sudan. At age 9 I did not hesitate to advocate before my father for justice for my mother. Cultural Survival's vision, mission and goals speak forcefully to my life's calling for justice, peace and cultural determination.