Hundreds of Sudanese-Americans terrified for family and friends back home


 There are hundreds of Sudanese-American families throughout America with friends and family in danger back home.

Iglal Kuku knows her mother is holed up in rural Sudan, terrified of the fighting and of starvation. All her daughter can do is send her love and prayers.

From her salon in Forest Park, Ohio, staying busy is how Kuku is coping with the anxiety of knowing her mother, sisters, and brothers are struggling to survive.

She, like many of the hundreds of Sudanese-Americans living in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, has already lost loved ones.

A couple of my friends and family members in a different neighborhood, they got bombed,” Kuku said. “Places got messed up. A couple of people are dead. A couple of people from our community, I know them here, they lost a couple of family members due to the bombing.

From Forest Park to Kuku’s hometown of Kauda is about 7,000 miles, but it might as well be a million.

I’m trying to see what can I do to help them, because I don’t think it’s safe for them to stay home,” she said. “I’m trying everything in my power to help them seek refuge.

While she would love for them to join her in America, as the fighting continues, that becomes less and less of a possibility.

FILE – Smoke is seen in Khartoum, Sudan, Wednesday, April 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali, File)

Unlike Ukraine, there is very little infrastructure or support in rural Sudan. Getting family out is about as impossible as getting food and water in.

Latest Posts

Kuku called her mother in Kauda Friday, when it was about midnight there, but says she doesn’t dare go outside — night or day.

She’s seen the militia, and she sees the Sudanese soldiers and government all over the place, and at the same time, many dead bodies,” said Kuku.

Kuku says she has the same hopes for her family that she does for all of Sudan.

“For those children to have a future like the rest of the world, not live in fear, and not knowing the next day whether they’re going to end up alive or dead,” she said.

Kuku’s mother works at a hospital, which, like so many hospitals across the country, has been shut down.

No stores are open in her family’s town, either. There’s no electricity, no water, and the only food available is the supply of rice and noodles they already had in their house — which is quickly dwindling.