Asiel Mohamed’s nightmare began just five days after arriving in Sudan on April 10, 2023. The sound of bombs, missiles, and heavy artillery woke her and her family up, and they continued to hear explosions and gunfire for the next eleven days.
As an American citizen, Asiel was deeply disappointed by the lack of organization and communication from the State Department, which left her and her family feeling helpless and abandoned.
Despite hearing reports in the media of an evacuation plan for American citizens in Sudan, Asiel and her family received no information from the embassy for the first few days.
As the situation in Sudan grew more dangerous, Asiel and her family started to lose hope that they would be able to escape the country alive. The mainstream media’s reporting was also misleading, giving them false hope of evacuation when there was none inside Sudan.
In an interview with Simon Ateba, Asiel shared the harrowing experience of living in constant fear and struggling to find ways to survive. She recalled hearing bombs and gunfire constantly, sleeping on the floor, and getting under beds to avoid being hit.
“I’m living hour by hour of terror thinking I’m going to die. If it wasn’t for our family, we wouldn’t even know how to survive. I was hearing bombs constantly. I mean, you’re hearing gunfire constantly. Constantly sleeping on the floor, and getting under beds,” she said.
When Asiel finally found out about the STEP program, she signed up immediately, hoping for a chance to escape the danger. But the lack of communication from the State Department left her feeling uncertain and anxious.
As the days went on, Asiel and her family were left to rely on their own resources and instincts to survive. Finally, they decided to take the risk and travel to neighboring Egypt.
Looking back on her experience, Asiel expressed her disappointment with the lack of support from the State Department and her gratitude for the help of her family and friends. She felt abandoned and neglected by the government that was supposed to protect its citizens abroad.
Asiel’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance of emergency plans and support systems for American citizens living abroad, especially in times of crisis.