It's a scene that helps capture the jubilant character of Sudan's protest movement.
Heaven is dark, and crowds are encircled around a Sudanese soldier dressed in military uniform as he blows his heart out on a saxophone. Luckily, a spectator dancing to the music dragged the country's flag around the soldier's shoulders.
The moment was captured on video and made the rounds of social media this week, after months of popular protests have pushed the Sudanese military to hold the long-standing president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who had ruled the country with an iron bill for 30 year.
"I think the symbolism was not so much in the music being played as music is part of everyday life, but in music is played by a soldier," said Mohamed Satti, a Sudanese assistant professor in media and communication at the American University of Kuwait.
"[Bashir] was a chief officer, and the army ran the country for nearly 30 years," said. "For a soldier to play music in the middle of a protest signaled that the change was in the air."
Bashir's rapid departure has led to power struggles within his inner circle. Awad Ibn Auf, former Sudanese Vice President and Defense Secretary, led the country's military-led transitional government for more than a day before he was also replaced. Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, an army chief, is now in charge, and on Saturday, Salah Gosh, who served as head of intelligence under Bashir, also went.
Bashir's rule was characterized by widespread social constraints, especially on women. But women have pushed back against the regime's repression and, as evoked some of the most powerful players in the ongoing movement. They are in charge of the protests.
And that's music.
Football on social media has shown that Sudanese protesters play violins, melodics and drums that protesters sang and sing around them. Sudan has a long history of political music, and these songs seem to have resonated with crowds gathered in Khartoum and urging a civilian government to replace Bashir's regime.
The popular protests that grew at tremendous speed in the past week formed into a large-scale seat in front of the Presidential Palace, many have been a happy occasion. And the Sudanese military has mostly resisted resisting the movement. Some soldiers, like the sax player, seem to have even relished at the moment by entering.
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