GenocideSouth SudanWhat We Carried

Coffee Cup, Juba, South Sudan

Jim Lommasson
Jim Lommasson / What We Carried

Rudwan Dawon:

More than 11 years ago, when I was leaving my beloved country of Sudan, my colleagues from Juba University gave me this tiny cup for coffee.  Yes, it’s a little cup, but so precious and priceless to me. It held my last cup of coffee at my farewell event in Juba, now the capital of the new country of South Sudan. I brought this little treasure with me to my new home in America and keep it in a display cupboard. Whenever I look at this cup it brings back beautiful memories.

For us, drinking coffee is a special ritual. In fact, it’s more like we sip it slowly, spending hours enjoying it together. It starts with the aroma of the bean while it’s roasting, then the grinding of the bean with traditional tools that make a musical sound, and often fragrant incense is added to the charcoal fire. These are daily gatherings and the best of times with family and friends. We share news and laugh and forget about any difficulties in our lives. Much has changed in Sudan, but our love for enjoying coffee together will never change.

Rudwan Dawon