The image of Sudanese student Alaa Salah, has gone viral on social media; symbolic of the women who have led the revolution to oust Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
The young woman is captured mid-speech, standing on top of a car, arm raised and finger pointed to the sky. She wears a long, white toub (a traditional style of dress for Sudanese women) and large, golden earrings. The surrounding crowd of protesters gaze up at her in awe, smartphones raised to capture the defining moment.
The image, captured by local photographer Lana Haroun, has become a symbol of the protest movement against the oppressive rule of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the 75-year-old who has been in power for 30 years. He took power during a military coup in 1989.
After months of street protests, President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown and taken into military custody on Thursday. An international arrest warrant for al-Bashir was issued by the International Criminal Court, after he has been accused of ongoing war crimes.
— Lana H. Haroun (@lana_hago) April 8, 2019
I wanted to get on the car and speak to the people … speak against racism and tribalism in all its forms, which affects everyone across all walks of life.
I wanted to speak on behalf of the youth. I wanted to come out and say that Sudan is for all.
— Alaa Salah (@iAlaaSalah) April 10, 2019
According to Salah, two-thirds of the protesters against the President in Sudan are women.
“Sudanese women have always participated in revolutions in this country,” she wrote on twitter.
“If you see Sudan’s history, all our queens have led the state. It’s part of our heritage. I am very proud to take part in this revolution & I’m glad our revolution has achieved its first goal.”
Two third of the protesters in Sudan are women. Women are half the society. You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women. We believed we could, so we did. #EqualityForAll
— Alaa Salah (@iAlaaSalah) April 11, 2019
— Jalelah Sophia Ahmed (@jalelah_ahmed) April 10, 2019
Women in Sudan have reclaimed their voice. In the video below, Salah leads a chant in front of military headquarters in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, calling out “In the name of religion, they killed us,” and the crowd responds “Revolution!”