Mauritania’s first female foreign minister visit to Sudan has caused some uproar in her home country, after some officials from the Sudanese diplomatic circle started reciting poetry in praise of her beauty.
Naha Mint Hamdi Ould Mouknass who is 42-year-old and is her country’s first female foreign minister since 2009, has pushed the button of one of Sudan’s senior foreign ministry’s officials, Abdullah al-Azrak, to write poetry describing her beauty.
Al-Azrak’s poetry did not only describe Mouknass’ slenderness, gracious smile and white teeth, but he inspired other Sudanese officials to write poetry of her, which in turn caused uproar in Mauritania, particularly by the conservatives.
“The Sudanese diplomats forgot about protocols when they used ‘obscene’ language describing the minister’s visit to Khartoum as the ‘morning light’,” said Walad Abdullah, a Mauritanian poet.
A Mauritanian newspaper, al-Saraj, denounced the poetry appraising their minister's beauty as lowering her status, and said that Mouknas went to Sudan to represent her country as an stateswoman.
Bloggers outraged asked their president to request their foreign minister to submit her resignation, and never to travel abroad.
“The Mauritanian president should forbid these Sudanese poets from seeing her again in the future after their obscene poetry,” said one of the angry bloggers.
But some few Mauritanians saw the poetry by the Sudanese diplomats as positive, “Praising our minister, is like praising Mauritania,” said A Mohammed Fal Walad Mohammed, a Mauritanian poet.
Mohammed also said that there are cultural commonalities between the two countries, and it is an opportunity for both, Sudanese and Mauritanians to bridge any gap in communication.