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Hassan Ibrahim, portrait of a Sudanese revolution martyr

All the martyrs in the Sudanese revolution have a different story, but what binds them all is the belief in the cause they went out died for.

AlTaghyeer: Elfadil Ibrahim

In our profile, we look into the life of the martyr Hassan Ibrahim al-Bashir Mohammed al-Mahi, the Sudanese revolution martyr from al-Salama, flag-bearer for the South Khartoum  Resistance Committees who was gunned down during the 17th January massacre that took place in Sharwani, Khartoum.

Hassan had always told his family and his friends about a vision he had where “many people were going to visit them at home”, and had a post on Facebook that he made after the bloody 2019 sit-in dispersal that stated “it’s either retribution for the martyr, or my own martyrdom.”

Today, Hassan’s vision, and family’s greatest fears, have come alive after Hassan was hit by a bullet that lodged itself directly under his eye, and his soul departed this world at the al-Deim hospital in Khartoum.

He was commemorated in a massive funeral march at his neighborhood in al-Salama, carried to his final resting place by his deeply distraught South Khartoum partners in resistance, his family, his neighbors, and acquaintances.

Hassan, a firm believer in the “fully civilian government” and “justice for martyrs” slogan, had helped plan a number of the protest marches that took place in South Khartoum.

Hassan’s fellow South Khartoum resistance members chanted “Hassan, the fighter, no other man is mightier” in front of his doorstep, their chants piercing through the veil of the heavens for their companion who raised the Southern Khartoum belt banner high during every demonstration, assuring him that the banner won’t fall, and that the systematic targeting of those at the front lines during protests will only invite over a sturdier opposition.

Hassan’s friends swear by the man’s character, saying that he believed in all that is good and that the revolution will eventually triumph.

During the final moments of his life, after the protesters were “boxed” by the security forces, Hassan refused to escape the brutal crackdown before leading the protesters to safety; an endeavor that ended with him being assassinated with a bullet.

Hassan Ibrahim

Hassan’s belonging to the Sudanese revolution, according to his brother Ayman, was formed during 2013, during the September unrests.

At the time, Hassan was young and energetic, but had yet to have developed political inclination due to him not having any political affiliations. He had a greater affinity for sports, having played as a goalkeeper for al-Umara’ah local team in al-Salama.

However, after the September unrest, Hassan gradually started to strengthen his relations with his acquaintances who belonged to political parties.

“We were anticipating his wedding, but as he set forth with making the initial plans for his engagement, fate proved to have other plans,” his brother Ayman said.

“He grew up in a big family that traces its roots all the way back to Shendi; a mother, a father, and 8 siblings. Hassan worked day-to-day jobs. His understanding of the political reality surpassed that of many, detested racism, and dreamed of a unified Sudan free from ethnocentrism and tribalism.”

The 2013 Incident

The incident involving the murder of his al-Salama neighbor in the Inqaz area in 2013 “had Hassan seething in rage, forcing him to leave the house straight to the al-Sahafa district, which at the time was the hub for protests.”

Ayman added that after Hassan left the house that day, he came back completely changed; fully convinced of standing in the face of injustice and against Omar al-Bashir’s regime.

Hassan continued going out and participating in protest marches until the fall of the al-Bashir regime, which is arguably the defining event of the Sudanese revolution so far.

Resistance

“He continued down his path of resistance. During the 25th October coup, he was among the first to go out despite the objection of almost everyone else he knew, from parents to neighbors, in fear of his life. He didn’t respond. He was determined,” said his neighbor, Taj al-Sir, who once got into a very heated argument with him, pleading him not to go out anymore, which was not received well by Hassan. Taj al-Sir fell out of favor with Hassan, and the two patched things up a few days before  his untimely demise.

Last Time They Spoke

Hassan’s brother Ayman says the last time they spoke was on “the day of his martyrdom. He left home towards al-Deim, Bashdar interaction, and from there to al-Araby where the protests where.”

Ayman recounts that he had informed his brother that he had business to attend to at al-Ghali area near Sharwani, which led Hassan to frantically yell at his brother, advising him to “return home at once.”

“He didn’t want any harm to befall me,” Ayman said.

Few hours had passed by until the sad news of Hassan being hit with a bullet below the eye broke.

Hassan marching alongside other protesters

He was rushed to the al-Jawda hospital in Khartoum, the same hospital he had voluntarily entered moments before carrying another protester who was hit with a tear gas canister. He left the hospital and returned to Sharwani where the protests were, but it was only a matter of minutes before he was rushed back into the same hospital lifeless.

The Murderer        

According to Ayman, Hassan and his friends were looking at the murderer aiming his rife towards them, and that one of the murderers’ accomplices instructed him to “target the guy with the hair in the middle” in reference to Hassan, who towered like a mountain among his peers.

“We made it to the hospital, but by then, he was unfortunately pronounced dead, and he was the only one among those killed on January 17th who was found with a bullet still lodged inside their body, as per the mortician,” Ayman added.

“We feared that the path he took was going to lead to his death, but he was awaiting his own martyrdom in hopes of achieving his dreams of a full civilian rule and the removal of the military junta from rule in Sudan, now we only say what pleases Allah and that there is no strength or might except with Allah, the most High.”

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