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Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees unite on basketball court

CAIRO (Reuters) – Twice per week refugees from Sudan and South Sudan collect in a church courtyard in Cairo to play basketball, unfazed by political variations at house.

Sudanese refugees about to throw balls right into a hoop throughout a basketball sport in Cairo, Egypt September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The group contains Christians and Muslims, a few of them resident in Egypt since earlier than their two international locations divided in 2011.

“We’ve all been friends even since before the split,” mentioned Montaser Mohamed from Khartoum, Sudan’s capital.

A Sudanese refugee jumps to the ring throughout a basketball sport in Cairo, Egypt September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

“We used to play before it became divided into South and North. But there is no politics between us, none of that at all. Here we just play ball.”

The refugees play on a court hooked up to the College De La Sainte Famille church, within the bustling central neighborhood of Ramses.

They draw on a pool of roughly 90 South Sudanese and 40 Sudanese gamers, and round 30 others from elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We welcome all ethnicities and nationalities, as well as Egyptians, but Egyptians have clubs and other places available to them to play,” mentioned one of many gamers, 31-year-old Riyak Joseph.

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“We only play here in the church because they allow us to. We do not have anywhere else to play and we don’t have the means to join one of Cairo’s sports clubs.”

All love basketball, and some have huge ambitions. Joseph needs to comply with within the footsteps of late NBA basketball participant and refugee Manute Bol, a local of his South Sudan hometown of Turalei.

Abraham Piom, Joseph’s 19-year-old cousin, hopes to check regulation or change into an expert basketball participant.

“We have a dream. Our community members have played in the NBA, so even me, I am interested in playing in the NBA,” mentioned Piom, who had feared for his life due to violence again house.

“I feel security is good here. That’s why I took the opportunity to go to school here, to complete my education.”

Reporting by Yousef Saba and Mohamed Zaki; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Gareth Jones

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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