On the street where we live

Early last month I published a photo essay of rush-hour traffic as seen from the curb just a few feet north of Henderson Street.

Had I made just a quarter turn to the right and snapped a photo from that same spot, I would have been able to show you this view as well:

South Sudanese Community Center in East Arlington

I marked the banner and the frequent police presence just a few days later, as Sudanese people registered to vote in a special referendum on independence for southern Sudan.

It was surprising to learn, however, that the polling place down the street was one of just eight in the United States, the only one in the Northeast.

Some Sudanese traveled far to register for this referendum, and will repeat their journey to vote

Registration ended in December, and voting (which is worldwide)  has begun and will run through the rest of the week. Here was the raucous view last Sunday:

Several busloads wait in front of the polling center on Mass. Ave.

It has been nearly 236 years since any part of Mass. Ave was party to the history of nations.

On the sidewalk

Arlington has a special relationship to the people of southern Sudan and has been the home of the Southern Sudan Community Center since 2008.

The Arlington Advocate recently published this story about the vote.

The crowd was joyful, but the awful conflict in Sudan, to which this referendum is a negotiated response, has been a grim business.

May the hopes for peace expressed on the sidewalk at 61 Mass. Ave. be realized in Africa.


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