a personal request

i sent this email out last night, to lecturers, journalists, my academic advisors, friends, family, loves. it was quite personal and very difficult for me to do. i hardly ever reach out. the response was amazing – tips, leads, and cyberhugs. encouraged and supported, i’m posting it here, to find out what will happen


This is a mass email of a personal nature. My apologies to anybody I haven’t spoken to in a while, I do hope to rectify that soon. I hope you’re all doing well, and have had a great holiday season.

I’m having a surprisingly emotionally difficult time with the current events in Sudan, namely the referendum for the seemingly inevitable secession of the South. For those who don’t know, I’m of northern¬†(a distinction I didn’t voluntarily proclaim until now)¬†Sudanese origin. On a personal level, I’ve found it very disorienting, agitating and challenging to my own sense of identity, history, ethnicity and nationality. I’m still trying to sort out everything in my head.

On to the purpose of this email, as I’m not about to download my emotions here. When I disassociate from the emotional and visceral responses, I am fascinated by the relationship between boundaries and borders, politics and geography, and sense of self, identity and citizenship. As a journalist and an academic, my intellectual curiosity is getting the better of me, and I was wondering if you were aware of any research that explored the above topics. I’ve obviously done some research myself, but I can’t seem to find research on the above. The closest I’ve come is personal explorations of life after Partition in India and Pakistan, mainly.

If you are aware of any work (academic, institutional, media, artistic expressions) I might find useful, or know of anyone who is currently working on any of these topics, I would be extremely grateful to find out about it.

And if you don’t, I’d still like to hear back on how you’re doing, I appreciate the social contact.

Thank you, and looking forward to hearing from you,

contact [at] iamnehal [dot] com

i don’t know yet what i’m planning to do. right now i’m collecting information, and late at night, i write. a lot.