Protests have swept through Sudan in recent months, with many anti-government protesters demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, whose loyalist security forces have killed numerous people in the capital, Khartoum.
One image has taken captivated the internet in particular: It's a picture of a young woman in a white robe standing on top of a car. She raises her arms.
The woman, says Hala Al-Karib, a Sudanese women's rights activist with the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, sums up "this moment we have been waiting for for the past 30 years."
@lana_hago A woman's place is in the revolution. https://t.co/xLtgOzv0aP— Martha (@Martha)1554837821.0
The photo of the woman, which several news outlets have identified as Alaa Salah, a 22-year-old engineering and architecture student, has already struck a powerful chord as the world watches the protests rage on.
Power. Strength. #Sudan https://t.co/fye63ZnVhx— sarah margon (@sarah margon)1554810895.0
This photograph of a young Sudanese woman dressed in a traditional “tob” today has already become one of the iconic… https://t.co/0Wf2mq9sQN— Isma'il Kushkush (@Isma'il Kushkush)1554759754.0
What a picture. One woman risking her life to lead the protest against Sudanese President Bashir’s authoritarian ru… https://t.co/UZBzVYuA3f— Farrah Fazal (@Farrah Fazal)1554787151.0
The woman led protesters in a chant of "Thowra!" –– Arabic for "revolution."
Don’t know her name, but this Woman in #Sudan is leading rallies, standing on car roofs, and pleading for change ag… https://t.co/579U6u1Mdf— Joyce Karam (@Joyce Karam)1554776834.0
Hind Makki, an interfaith educator who holds a degree in International Relations who is the founder and curator of "Side Entrance," a crowd-sourced website "that documents women's prayer experiences in mosques around the world," explained what makes the image so powerful.
She's wearing a white tobe (outer garment) and gold moon earrings. The white tobe is worn by working women in offic… https://t.co/nsQVx7oLOw— Hind Makki (@Hind Makki)1554752468.0
Her earrings are the gold moons of traditional bridal jewelry (Sudanese, like many Arabic speakers, often use moon-… https://t.co/bErGd4E3ES— Hind Makki (@Hind Makki)1554752571.0
Her entire outfit is also a callback to the clothing worn by our mothers & grandmothers in the 60s, 70s, & 80s who… https://t.co/659MwRO9iw— Hind Makki (@Hind Makki)1554752986.0
Sudanese everywhere are referring to female protestors as "Kandaka," which is the title given to the Nubian queens… https://t.co/40YOf42rL7— Hind Makki (@Hind Makki)1554753440.0
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has held power since 1989. The International Criminal Court has had a warrant out for his arrest for many years for directing mass killings, rapes, and pillages in Darfur.
He's been accused of crimes against humanity, genocide, and other war crimes.