One of my favourite photographs of myself is a small black and white passport-sized picture taken when I was four or five. In the photo, which was taken in Khartoum, Sudan, I am wearing a white T-shirt, a grin that suggests mischief and a head of small, neat cornrows. When I see it, I can’t quite believe that I ever looked sweet and innocent, or that I sat still long enough for the plaits to be braided along my scalp.

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