Abdullah can’t understand why his fellow Syrian went home to fight with rebels after working for a year in Sudan.
“I tell him, he shouldn’t go,” says Abdullah. “He is Islamist… I don’t know what happened in his head.”
While more than 200,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring countries from the nearly 18-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, an unknown number like Abdullah and his compatriot have also reached Sudan in North Africa.
But Abdullah doesn’t consider himself a refugee.
He says he came to Sudan because he got a contract to manage a business, although the job offer arrived about the same time he saw protesters shot early last year in Daraa, an initial hub of Syrian dissent.
Many others have also reached safety in Sudan, says a businessman with family and relatives in Syria.
“They don’t say they come here as refugees. They say they come here for investment,” he tells AFP, adding nobody knows the number because they do not need a visa.
Although Sudan is beset by its own troubles, with unrest in the far-western Darfur region and rebellions in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the capital Khartoum is peaceful.
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