Weirdest Airline Flight-Khartoum, Sudan


dsc00840.jpgSeveral years ago I was flying to Ethiopia when over the loud speaker the captain told us we were making an unscheduled stop in Khartoum, Sudan. Needless to say this made the entire plane go silent. Eerily so.

If you have ever read the book or have seen the documentary of The Lost Boys of Sudan you know that this was a place where you did not want to stop…ever…for any reason. Murder, Mayhem and Mob Rule immediately came to mind as did a certain Iran hostage crisis in the late 1970’s. I wondered just how much my husband would pay to get me back should the need arise. The figure I arrived at was not reassuring.

As the Khartoum came into view the first thing I noticed was that the entire area, as far as the eye could see, looked like it was covered in a sticky inescapable dark brown mud. It’s a color you wouldn’t be caught dead in. The second thing noted was the number of mosques that dotted the city. They were tall and regal against the desert landscape. But what really caught my attention were the guns and missile launchers that lined the runways. They were big and they were plentiful. Not something one usually sees alongside a runway. What were we doing here anyway?


As we were taxiing a very tense stewardess made an announcement that went something like this:

“Ladies and gentlemen there will be no picture taking while in Khartoum (too late in my case) You will stay in your seats while we are on the ground and no one may use the restroom at this time. Please refrain from making sudden movements and loud noises. We are here to let a UN representative disembark.”

The taste of fear welled up on my tongue…its flavor somewhat salty and bitter.This was hardly the greeting I had expected when arriving (unexpectedly) in a foreign country. Where were the peanuts? Where were the lei’s? Where was the old man playing the oud to make visitors feel welcome? All we could see were armed soldiers prowling around everywhere with numerous UN planes remained parked in their berths.

After about 20 minutes of ear splitting quiet, we were told we would be leaving momentarily…and then sat on the tarmac for another 15 minutes. Then we shoved off leaving Khartoum and all its mysteries behind.


While this “side adventure” was interesting to say the least, what I will always remember about this trip it was the only country I have ever visited but never got to see.


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“We go?” Tarik asked.

“Aiwa,” I grinned and followed him out the gate.

Mohammed and Mohammed had gone off to work and Mohammed (yes, all three share the same name) had a full day with his family so Mohammed had organised for his neighbour, Tarik, who spoke as much English as I did Arabic, to show me around town.

As I was staying right by the Blue Nile we crossed the busy road and walked through the farming fields to the banks of the longest river in the world. We then popped into some small shops that sold wood chips for charcoal and small clay vases. From here we hopped back across the road and watched a local weave nylon roped over a metal frame that would eventually become a bed before we sat in the shade of a tea stall and drank some tea.

Tarik disappeared for about an hour leaving me to sit and chat with some locals. He came back and we headed off to the markets in the old part of town.

Khartoum, which mean’s ‘Elephant’s Trunk’ due to how the Nile winds around the city, is basically three large towns combined: Khartoum Town, Khartoum Bahir and Omdurman, where Governor-General Gordon lost his head to Mahdi’s rebels (he wanted the Brit alive but his soldiers got worked up into a frenzy).

It’s here that the White Nile (sourced from Uganda’s Lake Nalubela) and the Blue Nile (sourced from Ehtiopia’s Lake Tana) meet and become The Nile, flowing all the way through the Sudanese and Egyptian saharas (Arab word for ‘desert’) until it meets the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the only north-flowing river in Africa.

The city skyline is dotted with minarets and mosques are as abundant as the bridges that criss-cross the river.

We had lunch in a small street-side restaurant – fried fish with shati – a spicy sauce. We then had tea before we retired back to Mungi’s pad with Tarik’s brother, Nader, where I jammed some tunes while they rolled some Bob Marleys.

A few hours later, as the soon dropped, Tarik and I headed out on a tuk-tuk to the markets. He walked me around between the spice stalls and the baskets. Pet stores were selling birds of exotic colours. Pigeons the size of eagles. Chicken chicks dyed with unnatural colours.

Nothing sadder than seeing birds in cages. What’s the point of having wings if you can’t fly?

From the busy and loud market we walked back towards the river. Tarik had purchased us a bottle of water each. And as we walked down the stairs under one of the many bridges of the city he pointed out the pile of rubbish.

“Very bad,” he said.

I agreed and was happy to see that he was aware of the situation.

Until he chucked his empty plastic bottle.


We walked back home along the Nile where I shukraned him for the day and caught up with Mohammed, Mohammed and Mohammed. After dinner, we began an impromptu jam session that lasted into the late hours of the early morning.

I’m really getting hooked on the vibe here.


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Bank of Khartoum to purchase Etisalat’s stake in Canar Telecom

Bank of Khartoum will purchase Etisalat’s stake in Sudanese telecom company Canar. Etisalat announced in May that Kuwait’s Zain Group would buy the stake, but as an existing shareholder, Bank of Khartoum blocked the proposed sale. Instead, the Sudanese bank will acquire the 92.3 percent stake in Canar.


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#SFGTop100 Africa – 20. Bakri Al Madina — Sandals For Goalposts


Words by Abdul Musa

One of the most controversial transfers in Sudanese footballing history saw star striker Bakri Al Madina leave Al Hilal, despite initially agreeing to renew his contract, to eternal rivals Al Merriekh after the latter had payed a large sum of money to lure the player. Al Madina even put pen to paper with Al Hilal at the club president’s house before changing his decision and formally signing for Al Merriekh just three days later.

This was possible as the law in Sudan stipulates that player contracts have to be signed at the Sudanese FA headquarters only for them to be officially documented. This, understandably, has left a bitter taste amongst the Al Hilal faithful, especially as Madina went on to have the best season of his career. He led Al Merriekh to their first even CAF Champions League semi final as well as a league and cup double; completely justifying Al Merriekh’s investment in him which reached over half a million dollars.

Al Madina, who is known as ‘The Scorpion’ for his famous goal celebration where he walks in handstand motion with his legs up in the sky dangling down,  was involved in 11 goals for Al Merriekh, scoring seven himself as well as assisting four times throughout Al Merriekh’s historic 2015 CAF Champions League campaign. In the end, he fell only 1 goal behind TP Mazembe’s Mbwanna Aly Samatta in the top scorer charts.

One of the quickest players in African football, particularly when in full flight, his toughness, tirelessness and trikery as an opponent is reflected by the fact that he is the most fouled player in the Sudanese Premier League, managing to win 11 penalties for his side throughout the season, with 3 of them coming in the CAF Champions League at crucial points in the competition (e.g. Esperance de Tunis in the last 16). Overall, he ended the season with 18 goals and countless assists, spearheading Al Merriekh to one of their best seasons in recent years.

Although the player is considered one of the best Sudanese strikers in recent years, he still has a lot to prove especially as this is his only solid season throughout his career. He spent most of his career – five years – at Al Hilal and he wasn’t able to perform well or cement a place in the starting XI until the very last season where he showed some sparks of brilliance, which was the main reason why Al Merriekh invested so heavily in him.

The 28-year-old is also known for his bad temper on the field which saw him receive a six match ban earlier in the year after violent conduct towards a referee in a league match versus Ahli Shandi which Al Merriekh lost 1-0.

Last month, he was sent off in the semi final of the CECAFA tournament with the national team after foul play with only 22 minutes on the clock. In order for him to progress further in his career and not off-put foreign clubs, he must control these temperamental issues and focus more on the game, especially as he seeks an opportunity outside of Sudan.

Highlight of the Year: Influence in the first leg of the CAF CL semi-final

The moment of the year for Bakri Al Madina has to be his performance against eventual winners TP Mazembe in the first leg of the semi final where Al Merriekh ended up 2-1 winners. Al Madina was heavily involved in the first goal scored by Ghanian import Francis Coffie as well as adding the second goal himself after taking the ball onto his chest from a lofted pass by Raji Abdelatti. Receiving the ball about 12 yards from goal, he smashed the ball past Robert Kidiaba on the volley to win the game for Al Merriekh in front of 45,000 thousand supporters.

‘The Scorpion’ also had another goal disallowed in the 85th minute after he headed the ball firmly past Kidiaba but the referee accused him of pushing Joel Kimwaki in the process disallowing a very crucial goal which would have definitely put Al Merriekh in a more comfortable position before the away tie in Lubumbashi.

via #SFGTop100 Africa – 20. Bakri Al Madina — Sandals For Goalposts

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Musings of a Fishatarian in Sudan…

I am Sudanese, and yes i am a fishatarian. I decided to give up meat on 1 May 2015, and i must say it has been the best decsion I ever made.

So i get to Sudan, for the first time in six years on the 28 Febuary 2016. Wow how the country has changed. I hope you enjoy my musings as much as i have enjoyed writing them.

So Sudanese people come up with weird food creations. No where else in the world do you see egg burger on menus like they are common occurance. But for my faveorite is the chips sandwhich, or the chips and falaffel sandwhich.

Thank god I ate fish, and egg, and fool, and fata, and fish lots of fish, and loads of salads, and also I had to turn down loads of invitations because apperently the Sudanese psyche just cannot accept a fishatarian.

I enjoyed my three month but you know that stage where you pass four weeks and your no longer a guest but one of the hila. I experienced all that for five more weeks, and managed to stay fishatarian, stay one of the few punctual Sudanese out there, who do lots of waiting around, one of the few who walked to work, so i got to experience as much of omdurman, khartoum and Sudan as i could.

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Biringi Cigarettes


The pride of Sudan. The only product that is made in Sudan that (most) Sudanese people are proud of, and this statement is bound to be controversial. Bringi is a Sudanese cigarettes brand, made and manufactured and grown in sudan. Which until. Recently was owned by Haggar Group who sold it to a japanese company.

They come 10 in a pack and are literally what makes the whole economy stay afloat. The amount of money spent on these cigarettes is crazy. Everybody smokes them, rich and poor, young and old. They are special requests whenever anyone mentions they are going to Sudan on holiday. They make the perfect gift. The thing that makes these Sudanese ciggarettes so special is the strength of them. They are quite strong, much stronger than Marlborough reds. So once you are used to such a heavy ciggarette such Bringi, nothing else will do.

Bringi cigarettes packs have such a distinct and unique personality you cant help but love them. The packaging is done in such a way that is different to any other pack. The first time i was given a pack of biringi i struggled to open it. Its not like a normal pack of cigarettes where you pull open the top and it revels the contents inside. This pack is made with one box inside the other. You haveto push from the bottom to move the inside box away from the outside box and revel the magical Bringi inside. They only come in one size, and each special and distinct pack houses 10 fags.
Another special thing about the sudanese economy and way of life is that convience is essential. Thats why most shops that sell goods, allow you to buy them as singles or as many as you want for that matter. A single Bringi cigarette cost you 20 sudanese piasters and a whole box would cost you 2 sudanese pounds. Obviously this was a few years ago, and this info is out of date, but with the current rate of inflation rising by the hour, any information i give will quickly go out of date.
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Sudan Engineers Society UK & Ireland – “My Speech”


Salam 3alekom wa ra7mato allah wa barakato….
Dair abda bel awal be takreem wa shokor al sayd tarik le majhoodo al jabar fe ta7reek wa tarjee3 al (jaleya) wa tanseem al barnamij al reeheb al lati ni7na kolana mabsooteen beho. Wa bardo dair ashkor al sayed dr taha elhagg wa al sayed ali askouri, awal ashan adona min wakitom al gali, wa bardo ashan mamnoonin le al forsa nakhod min khibratom al was3a. Man 3ashara gawoman 40 youm sar mithlahom.
Im sorry guys, unfortunetly im going to switch it to english. I would like to firstly introduce myself, my name is ashraf nageeb khalifa. I graduated from the university of surrey in 2010, with a bsc in entrepreneurshipin techhnology, it and business. Thankfully as my degree program was part of the engineering department at uni, i am qualified to speak to you today 😉
Back to the topic of today that i am meant to be speaking to u about. Sudan hub, so what is sudan hub. I think the best way to describe sudan hub is that it is a a project that started way back in 2011, as well as being a personal journey to discover my sudanese identity, my roots. But at the same time it a project that is driven by being self sustainable and has never been about profit.
The main reason for starting this project is a little bit of a personal story, but also a long winded story which would take me over my time limit, so ill share some of the shorter driving motivators with u instead.
Firstly I didnt have a typical sudanese upbringing, or for that matter typical by any standards. Due to my dads work, we were transfered from country to country every four or five years growing up, and i went to eight different schools growing up in five or six different countries. I would go to sudan most holidays, and i even had the good fortune to live there for two years, after a holiday ended up as a permanent holiday.
I lived in sudan during the peak of the bashir years. Right after the signing of the CPA, peace with the south, revenue sharing. And i went to khartoum american school. One of the things that really sticks with me is hearing about the sunt project, which was meant to create a large business hub, office space, financial center which was going to be the biggest in africa, and a rival to dubai. Unfortunately this project like many in sudan did not come to completion.
Due to unforeseen circumstances i ended up moving to uk temporarily, and im happy to tell you all that i am still here temporarily nearly 9, 10 years latter.
It is that temporarily mentality i discovered played a prominent role in my dna and make up, when trying to discover who i am as not onli a sudanese 26 year old, but a sudanese full stop.
That is what sudan hub is. Also the other primary motivator was the blank looks on peoples faces when i tell them im from sudan. I quickly discovered that there several gaps which i wittnesed first hand made it hard for me to figure out what it means for me to be sudanese.
The first is the gap between us sudanese in diaspora, and the local sudanese. Especially prominent at a younger age gap. Im sure many of you might have witnessed this first hand when constantly trying to keep upto date with the latest slang. And then u know when u forget the meaning of that one word in arabic, and so u desperately try to avoid but then u end up with no choice and so u say it in english. And wow the reaction is just so unbearable, shofo da khawaja, shayeef nafso a7san minana.
The second gap i found was between the older generation and the youth. Not the little kids, but the youth. Thankfully i grew up politically neutral, and so i dont have any stones tied around my waist, and this lets me attend any sudanese event no matter which party or organisation is hosting it, without having to deal with any headaches, or inner turmoil, or debate. And i have noticed that from all events across the board sudanese people from the ages 17-30 just do not attend, have no interest.
That was why i decided to use the bridging the gap slogan.
I am both a youth and a diaspora, and half an engineer. So i wanted to share my own personal experience with you today.
From my near four journey i learnt so many things about my country, my culture, my city, my family, my history. I discovered sudan has more than 300 pyramids, i learnt sudan has the most diverse range of tribes and languages in africa, most importantly the importance of the city of suakin.
I learnt that sudan was a country in the continent of africa. And this made me look bak on my life and realise. I have recently come to the conclusion that there are two men inside my head, both of equal size and strength fighting for control. One is the african man inside me, and the other is the arab man. Because they are so equal one side can onli donminate for small periods of time. But i feel this is a global battle. The real battle for what it means to be sudanese. Unfortunately due to their equal prowes the two men decided to split everything in half and not have to deal with each other, which has lead to more issues and problems. Because these men can onli live together in harmony. And with out the other they will just start the battle all over but this time in their own head.
I want to take u bak to something i said earlier. Man 3ashara gawman 40 youm sara mithlahom. I think that is our biggest issue as sudanese. Its that temporary menatlity, one foot wherever you are, and one foot back home in sudan. As the older generation it might work for you. But as youth no chance. This just leads to confusion. I can prove this in action quite easily. Most of you older generation are quite annoyed with me for deciding to do my speech in english, while the youth actually love the fact i decided not to do it in arabic. We live in england where the main offical language is english. Im suprised that the whole event was not in english, in the same way im suprised that sudanese events in France are not in french, in spain in spanish, in malaysia in mali, in kenya in keswahili.
I learnt that sudan has over 500 dialects or languages. We should be proud of this fact but instead what do we do, we call it rutana, dismiss it. We should be proud to come from a place that is so diverse and cultured, we should be honored proud to be able to say good morning to our neighbours in their own languages, and even more when they reply in ours.
My aunty told me of when she went to school inthe 50s and 60s, she was taught english arabic and french fluently. And was taught to play tennis, swim and netball.
We should have at least 7 of our national languages in our school ciriculaum.
I leave u with sudan hub groups moto: unity, diversity and prosperity.

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Week One

Salam everyone. I hope this blog finds you well. I have just made it back to Sudan for a quick joint holiday coupled with a bit of training in an internship and so I thought I might as well document my time out here.

So as you can imagine five years is a loooooong time. Well they say they say in Sudan if you put a tooba in one place and go and come back for ten years you will find that tooba in the same exact place. Well the tooba was still in the same place, but everything else has changed so much around it. haha

I have a good memory so I remember how Sudan was five years ago and the subtle and not so subtle changes that have happened since my last visit, during eid al adha 2010. The amount of people, (mostly cousins) that have got married, or had kids is just insane. The amount of people who have graduated from university, or high school or primary school. The separation of our country into two halves, and the amount of people that have passed away. Just in the past 12 days or so since I came here the amount of people that have passed away😦 Mohammed Kheir El-Badawi, Abdulrahman Siwar and obviously Turabbi.

I have kept myself busy as possible and tried to soak in as much as possible. The one thing that I am so glad Sudan seems to have developed in and grew and understood was Entrepreneurship. When I used to come here during my holidays no one knew what it was, and dreaded every time someone asked me what I was studying. Now it seems that every Sudanese knows what it is. I spent my first day at ICE which is doing really amazing and impressive working with two Start Up Teams  to prepare and mentor them for an Entrepreneurship competition in Morroco & Columbia in which they were hoping to win.

I went to visit as many family and cousins as possible, and it was really good to be back in Omdurman. There is no place like home at all. It was so good to see soug al morada, al ma7aliya, sharee3 al arba3een, 7osh El Khalifa, sharee3 al 3arda, stad alhilal, stad al mereekh, ahfad uni. All very similar but different.

The thing I was most shocked at so far is the prices of everything and how there is some crazy inflation going on.


Ashraf Khalifa


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Khartoum and Meroe

Khartoum is the capital of Sudan and compared to the north, it feels a world away. Firstly, it’s got some skyscrapers. There’s money here, but that only seems to make the poverty seem e…

Source: Khartoum and Meroe

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if you death also no way to burial in sudan 


the Sudan Parliament plans to deprive Sudan diaspora engaged in opposition activities from their burial rights in Sudan the Sudanese parliament president ( alfath azz Eldin) said that any Sudanese engaged in opposition activists against the regime and the sudan well not be allowed to return his body back if he dad too !
See the part of what he say in Sudanese newspaper in Arabic

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Sudan on fire



Most people think of fire as something dangerous and to be avoided at all costs, but there is a beautiful, cleansing side to fire as well. Wildland firefighters call this prescribed burning, a preventative approach to wildfires themselves.

Hebrews 12:29 says “For our God is a consuming fire.”

In what ways is God a consuming fire? By nature, He is holy. Anything not holy goes against His very nature. He is just and must punish or cleanse the sin from this world.

But He is also loving, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Our mission is to reach Sudan with both consuming fire and love. This genocide-stricken and hurt-filled country has been torn by civil war and strife since its inception just a few short years ago. The people are in need of essentials like clean water, protection from wildfires…

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brunel: safia elhillo

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Here is a second interview with a prize-winner. This time we focus on the poet with Sudanese roots: Safia Elhillo. She comes from a parentage of poetry, so did not stumble upon it, it was just in the air when she came into this world. 

Photo: Safia Elhillo

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Tic-tac… tic-tac…

A khawaya under the Juba sky

19th May. I should be writing this entry already from Juba, but in a perfect example of “in Africa, nothing works as planned”, I’m still in Barcelona, waiting for my flight confirmation. I should be there by the 25th, which means I should be flying in the next 2-3 days. Yes. 2-3 days, and I still don’t have the flights… ’cause this is Africa!, as Shakira would say… I already have everything else: my entry visa, all the paperwork, my passport, the medicines, clothes and hygiene stuff… and a lot of advices from one of my colleagues in Juba: food is expensive and bad, water is scarce, electricity doesn’t last 24h. On the bright side: there’s a lot of social life, from salsa classes to climbing, to yoga and many swimming pools and bars! After reading a lot about South Sudan, I imagine it a bit like my time in…

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South Sudan

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Former Slave Goes on Hunger Strike for South Sudan

Faith That Inspires Action

“The situation in South Sudan is heartbreaking, and such a horrible waste.” — Faith J. H. McDonnell, IRD Religious Liberty Program Director

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — A South Sudanese activist and former slave is calling on President Obama to act quickly to stop the destruction of the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan.

The country has been riven by ongoing conflict since December 2013, instigated by a coup attempt against the government by the former Vice President of the country.

Simon Deng, who is from the Shilluk ethnic group and is a United States citizen, believes that the only solution is for the U.S. President to press the government of South Sudan and President Salva Kiir Mayardit, as well as all of the other parties in the conflict into controlling their militias to stop the fighting.

To call attention to the conflict, Deng is conducting a…

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A very tricky role and game of development in South Sudan

Normal Life in the Life of Lunny

Whenever I work in aid and development and particularly in Africa I am always conscious and cautious of my role in the development of another country where I wasn’t born, don’t speak the language and most likely won’t be living there for the rest of my life.

100_1870 (1024x720)I am always a guest outside my own country and often the best role I have found as an ‘expert’ in other countries is to listen, learn and find the best ways to empower others and the system so they can empower themselves.

Early in my assignment in South Sudan I was struggling with this a lot. Why am I here? What is my role? What benefit can I bring to the local people that couldn’t come from their own people (and should)? The aid effort in South Sudan is huge – bigger than I have seen anywhere in the world and I am…

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American Dream//American Reality

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Hidden behind the lines by Sputnikboy


Pic taken shortly after sunrise at the southern Royal Cemewtery of Meroe, near the village of Begarawiya.

As Seen on 500px – May 15, 2015 at 01:12AM

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Corinthia Hotel Khartoum – from Mohamed

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Sudan: ‘Tawila is military area, people may be targeted’: militia commander, North Darfur

Silent War Journal

Source: Radio Dabanga

A commander of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces has told people in Tawila locality, North Darfur, that it is a military area now and anyone present there will be a legitimate target for the paramilitary troops – including their money and livestock. On the other hand, the force claims it has returned stolen livestock to their rightful owners.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Omda Mukhtar Bosh of the internally displaced camps in Tawila reported that a RSF commander presented his demands during a meeting with displaced people of Rwanda camp on Sunday.

“He said that East Jebel Marra now has become a theatre for military operations and that whoever is present there, all his money, property and livestock will be seized from them.”

The commander, Colonel Mohamed Hamdan Ahmed, heads a paramilitary force of about 100 armed Land Cruisers, allegedly on its way to fighting the armed movements…

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Talks With Animals

What is it like to look at the very last of something? To contemplate the passing of a unique wonder that will soon vanish from the face of the earth? You are seeing it. Sudan is the last male northern white rhino on the planet. If he does not mate successfully soon with one of two female northern white rhinos at Ol Pejeta conservancy, there will be no more of their kind, male or female, born anywhere. And it seems a slim chance, as Sudan is getting old at 42 and breeding efforts have so far failed. Apart from these three animals there are only two other northern white rhinos in the world, both in zoos, both female.
It seems an image of human tenderness that Sudan is lovingly guarded by armed men who stand vigilantly and caringly with him. But of course it is an image of brutality. Even…

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Some Of Those Longest-Served African Presidents!!

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60 African University Deans/Principals to Converge in Khartoum on Higher Education


Above: RUFORUM Deans and Principals at a deans meeting during FARA@15 conference in South Africa Above: RUFORUM Deans and Principals at a deans meeting during FARA@15 conference in South Africa

African University Deans and Principals (60) of Agriculture and related faculties will come together 8-10 June, 2015 in Khartoum, Sudan for a three day retreat to discuss issues related to strengthening higher education, Science technology and innovation in Africa. A key issue to be discussed by the Academic heads will be how to enhance regional science partnerships to strengthen higher education. They will also discuss opportunities for responding to the upcoming Call for the World Bank IDA supported African Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) Initiative.

The meeting is being organized under the auspices of the RUFORUM Network. The hosts are the Universities of Gezira and Kordofan in collaboration with the Government of Sudan. Both University of Gezira and Kordofan University are member universities of RUFORUM. This is the first Deans/ Principals meeting this year…

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Princess of North Sudan [BSonblast #6]

Blog #45

“Over the winter, Emily and I were playing, and she has a fixation on princesses. She asked me, in all seriousness, if she’d be a real princess someday,” Mr Heaton said. “And I said she would.”

Last year, the story broke about a doting father who, for his daughter’s birthday, made her wish to become a “real life princess” come true – by scouring the earth for an “unclaimed” spot that he could gift his daughter. Luckily for him (and his princess), he found a piece of land called Bir Tawil on the border between Sudan and Egypt, planted a flag he made special for the occasion, and dubbed it: the Kingdom of North Sudan.

*everyone awws*

Well, not everyone. In the actual North Sudan, we were confused. Is this real? Did The Telegraph miss the satire in the newest Onion post? Trepidation ensued. But after Newsweek and Time ran…

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What fresh hell is this? ‘The Princess of North Sudan; more scary tale than fairy tale’

Media Diversified

by Samira Sawlani

Bir tawil Bir tawil

Between Sudan and Egypt lies Bir Tawil an area which is simply desert, rocks and mountain under the scorching sun. Both states neither claim nor desire Bir Tawil, preferring to focus upon their dispute over the nearby territory of Hala’ib which is situated by the Red Sea. As with many regions which more than one state lay claim to, the interest in Hala’ib and disinterest in Bir Tawil are a result of two different treaties drawn up by the British while they were getting their kicks out of colonialism.

Without delving too much into history, in 1899 the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium established a joint British-Egyptian rule over Sudan (in reality the British were running the show). Under this treaty a straight border between Sudan and Egypt was drawn however in 1902 the boundaries were amended by the British. The 1899 split places Bir Tawil in Sudan…

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A picture speaks a thousand words…


Do we look at homeless people to make ourselves feel good about feeling bad? Do we not look at homeless people because if we acknowledge them, we feel responsible for helping them? Perhaps if we don’t catch eye contact, we can pretend their suffering doesn’t even exist.

A few years ago, I started photographing and engaging with homeless people I meet on the street in Australia and abroad. I have always found this genre of photography striking and had never considered the controversy that seems to be attached to photographing human suffering.

An example of one of my own photographs taken in India An example of one of my own photographs taken in India last year

Kevin Carter received endless criticism surrounding his infamous photograph of a vulture watching a young girl suffering. Carter grew up in South Africa during the apartheid and wanted to document the suffering he was witnessing. Carter’s career was based on human suffering, not in the…

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Twitter users slam Disney plans to make ‘Princess of North Sudan’ movie

Global News

WATCH: Jeremiah Heaton explains how he proclaimed the Kingdom of North Sudan, made his daughter a princess and what he has planned for the desolate territory.

If it wasn’t controversial enough for an American businessman to walk up to a desolate swath of land in Africa, plant a flag and claim it as his kingdom, just imagine the reaction when word got out that Walt Disney Studios is planning to make a movie about it all.

Nestled between Egypt and Sudan, the tiny Kingdom of North Sudan has no citizens, no industry and is ruled by a young American Princess named Emily and her father, the self-proclaimed king.

Almost one year ago, Jeremiah Heaton — a farmer, mining industry executive and failed independent Congressional candidate — wanted to keep his promise to his then 7-year-old daughter (the aforementioned Emily) that she would someday be a princess.

So on June…

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Success Story from Sudan: Dr. Donald Hopkins’ Guinea Worm Disease Eradication Efforts

african development successes

Photo source: Photo source:

Donald Hopkins was born in 1941 in Miami, Florida in the USA. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Morehouse College, a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Chicago.

In 1980, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) near Atlanta, Georgia in the USA began a global Guinea worm disease eradication program. In 1984 Dr. Hopkins was made Deputy Director of the CDC and the CDC was designated as the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Collaborating Center for Research, Training, and Eradication of Dracunculiasis, or what is more commonly known as Guinea worm disease. In 1987, Dr. Hopkins retired from the CDC and took a position with the Carter Center, a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn that works partnership with Emory University to advance human…

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The reason I choose this book, is that I really wanted to know how will a white Muslim be perceived in a African Muslim country. I wanted to know how will she be treated in England and Ethiopia when people find out she is a Muslim. How people look at her. Also the other reason I choose this book I wanted to know how close is it to my life when I travel to Sudan and people treat me differently even when I lived in Sudan for three years. In Sudan I am treated different since I wasn’t born there, they think that I am a “miskeen” kid and they pity on me when I am even grown up. They call me names like “Al-Canadi”(The Canadian) and “Ajnabi” (foreigner) and “miskeen” since I don’t know anything about living in Sudan.


Also when I speak Arabic I have that accent since…

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Interweaving past and modern life

hind joucka

Work by Abdul Qader Bakheit on display at Dar Al Anda Art Gallery until May 27 (Photo courtesy of Dar Al Anda Art Gallery) Work by Abdul Qader Bakheit on display at Dar Al Anda Art Gallery until May 27 (Photo courtesy of Dar Al Anda Art Gallery)

AMMAN — Interweaving past with modern cultural aesthetics, Sudanese artist Abdul Qader Bakheit present the Nile River as “the source of all civilisations” in his exhibition “The Nile Breeze”.

“It is a geographical location that supports various cultures and traditions,” Bakheit told The Jordan Times.

The exhibition focuses on culture from that region and the woman, who according to Bakheit, “play an integral part of this world”.

“Most of my works include the presence of the female. The woman symbolises life; life without her is not complete, to me she represents stability,” Bakheit said.

To bring the essence of the Nile’s culture into his art, Bakheit used carpets as his canvas.

“Each year I try to use different mediums and this year I decided to integrate…

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Modern Day Colonialism?-Princess of North Sudan

As Told by A


So some man, a white man at that, sticks his flag into African land, claims the land for his daughter, and Disney decides to make a movie about it. Does anyone else see the problem, excuse me multiple problems, in what I just said. Well, what I just described is actually happening. If you haven’t heard about this event, let me enlighten you. In 2014, a Virginia man, Jeremiah Heaton planted his flag in a piece of land between Egypt and Sudan and claimed it for himself and his family. I don’t know about you but this story is already starting to sound barbaric and colonial to me. As of right now, no one knows exactly who the land belongs to, but something tells me it doesn’t belong to Mr. Heaton. In addition, Heaton has been working with the United Nations to legally claim the land. Furthermore, Disney has taken…

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El Noor Islamic Complex – from Mohamed

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Kirr plagiarized Paul Kagame’s speeches in graduating student on monday: An abomination!

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Fact: Why the new graduates shouldn’t waste time in Juba

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Intellectual Source: South Sudanese Students’ Union in Uganda Turns a Family Entity

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The Container Debaucle

A Beautifully Wrecked Life

South Sudan is a tricky place. It’s a tricky place to live and an even trickier place to do construction. There’s no Lowe’s, no order on Monday and have everything delivered by Wednesday. There are hardware stores in the market in which their very limited variety of building supplies are ridiculously expensive because they’ve been transported all the way up from Uganda or all the way down from Sudan. The alternative to way overspending our budget is to purchase containers of supplies to be shipped up from either Kenya or Uganda. It’s about the only way to get everything you need for a project.

So that’s what we did to get our radio tower moved and our new radio studio built. EV ordered all of the necessary building materials–things like bags of cement, rolls of chainlink fence, meters and meters of wires, etc.–to be shipped on two containers from Nairobi to…

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‘Sometimes the only way to ever find yourself is to get completely lost.’ ~Kellie Elmore

Lebogang Maruapula


Only I will know the sacrifices I am making to be in this country. It feels real only to me. It is my reality. And so it should because this is my path. Alone. Nonetheless, I am on a journey…to somewhere.

The first few months of being in Juba were purely of exploration, getting to know as many people as I can, networking, honoring invitations..learning, absorbing….sponging. So much that I lost myself in it all. Sometimes one can get so busy physically that they forget to nurture the soul that connects them to the source of where they are. I wanted so badly to go to church but most weekends, I was just too busy doing one thing or the other. The funny thing about that is that I always had company but I have never felt more alone, in this strange land where nothing works, no one thinks the…

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The Dinka

The Journey Continues

The Dinka are a Nilotic ethnic group from South Sudan. They live from the tenth century on both sides of the Nile River and speak a language belonging to the Nilo-Saharan group. They are about three million and are divided into about 21 groups, each with its own legitimate leader.

Although farming has always been its main economic resource, there has never missed an important agricultural and fishing activity that allowed them to be self-sufficient in food. Their trade and light industry are increasingly gaining importance.

Photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have an experience of over 30 years recording ceremonies, rituals and daily life of African tribal peoples. His photographs reflect a long and deep relationship of respect for the customs and people of these tribes, especially those of the Dinka:

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Dinka de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Impresionantes imágenes de una tribu de Sudán

Traditionally Dinka not wear many clothes, so it is normal for a grown man to go…

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A Dinka Boyhood? (Mysterious Photographs)


I blew it this week. In writing this blog, I aspire to post something meaningful, well-crafted, and of great quality, preferably once per week. My inaugural post happened to enter the digital universe on a Monday, so Monday became the de facto “day I post new stuff.” This past week (and weekend) got away from me entirely. My post on an exceptionally interesting multicultural study of children got shuffled toward the back of the “to do” deck, and instead of rushing to put it up, I think I’ll wait and do it right and get it out next week. However, I didn’t feel right about not doing anything at all. I intend never to let this become a chore: if I can’t happily, willingly, excitedly come up with a new post each week, I’d rather opt for nothing at all than filler material. I thought I was entrenched firmly…

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Alice in the Heart of Darkness – South Sudan

Margot Kiser

Juba, South Sudan Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan, about the size of France, is located just northwest of Kenya South Sudan is about the size of France and located just northwest of Kenya

Last March, before leaving Nairobi for Juba, I met with Mariano Deng Ngor, South Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya.The embassy is situated in an area called Upper Hill, which happens to be near the Nairobi Hospital, the Fairview Hotel, and the Israeli Embassy. A convenient location since I had a doctor’s appointment around the corner that afternoon.

The ambassador is an elder statesman, a Dinka from the country’s ruling elite. That day he wore an expensive-looking dark blue pin-striped suit and matching blue silk tie, decorated with a Chinese-style dragon. Perhaps a gift from one of China’s state-owned oil companies, keenly interested these days in Africa.

Ngor said he was an anthropologist and warned me he might talk for a while. For him, the origins of South Sudan take shape in the 1920s, when…

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Saving the world one luxury product at a time

South of West

(Not everyone will be able to see this video – will depend where you live, I’m afraid)

I want to help the people of South Sudan. But it looks so very complicated. You know all that business of a new country, a haven for a population that has suffered for years at the hands of Omar al-Bashir. Wasn’t it supposed to be a land of milk and honey on the banks of the White Nile, ending years of hunger and oppression? Weren’t we all hoping for independence as the solution? Why didn’t it work out?

For a while I thought maybe an arms embargo might help. After all, the crisis today seems to be entirely human-made, as two leaders wrestle for control of their new land, spending money they can’t afford.

How is a chap supposed to help? Thankfully it seems I simply have to drink premium coffee. Thank you…

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Found this beautiful piece and had to share it. It was a pictorial blog of the Dinka people from South Sudan Africa. What strikes me is how relaxed ans comfortable these people are in their own skin. It took me back to the time 200 years ago when Europeans came and saw Africans from Africa and the Taino people from Jamaica and disrupted their life with false claim of civilization and education.

Have you ever stopped and wondered what kind of a world we would have if history played out differently? How very different the world would have been. Enjoy the images and enjoy the life of the Dinka people.

From Tekey

The Dinka are a Nilotic ethnic group from South Sudan. They live from the tenth century on both sides of the Nile River and speak a language belonging to the Nilo-Saharan group. They are about three million…

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The distortion of African history

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Beats of the Antonov (2014, Hajooj Kuka)

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semper aliquid novi africam adferre

Leila Aboulela takes me straight into the life of a woman on the edge of the world of Sudan and Scotland, on the edge of islam and the modern western world. 

Sammar is a translator at a university in Scotland, she works with her boss Rae Isles, an islam- specialist. He has written a book on the illusion of the islamic threat. Sammar falls in love with him, but at the same time she keep her distance as Rae is not a muslim. Both Rae and Sammar have had an relation, Sammar has a small son, Amir. 

Sammar not only keeps her distance from Rae, but she also lives her secluded life. Suddenly she changes her attitude, she buys new clothes, she buys make-up, she renovates her flat, she takes driving-lessons. Probably this is all due to her feelings for Rae.

Before Sammar wants to enter into into a relationship…

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The Dervish Dance in Khartoum, Sudan

Carolyn's Travel Stories

Circling around and around the center pole, they dance into a trance in the shadow of the Sheikh Hamad-el-Nil Tomb in the Omdurman section of Khartoum, Sudan. While circling, these Sufis chant gratitude to the Prophet Mohammed and repeat “there is no God but Allah” many times. It is the first line of the Muslim profession of faith.DSC_0087

To start the ritual ceremonies every Friday except during Ramadan one hour before sunset, the dervish march across the cemetery to the Sheikh’s Tomb carrying their green madrassa banner, which is placed on the pole in the center of the ceremony yard. The purpose of this dance ritual called ‘dhikr’ relies on the recitation of God’s name to help create a state of ecstatic abandon so the follower’s heart can communicate directly with God.DSC_0097

Also called Dervishes, the ritual is put on by the masters of the madrassa, an Islam religious school…

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Sudanese Proverbs: Translated, Transliterated & Explained (finally finished!)

Muna Zaki


Our book on Sudanese Arabic Proverbs is thankfully finally seeing the light of day!

Here is the description of the e-book :

This collection of proverbs provides a fascinating glimpse into the culture, social morals, historical traditions and humour of the Sudanese people. Learning some of these proverbs can be a great way of sharing your sense of humour or expressing an opinion without having to stumble on words that might be misunderstood. For the most part, these succinct sayings call for virtues that encourage solidarity, peace and coherence within society.

  • Contains over 560 Sudanese Arabic proverbs that are commonly used in the Sudan.
  • Each proverb has an English translation.
  • The transliterated script guides pronunciation and assists beginners in learning the Arabic language.
  • Concise notes explain the meaning and cultural background of each proverb.
  • Includes a dozen folk-tales linked to individual proverbs.
  • An alphabetical index is supplied for easy reference.

The book can be…

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Counting planes

In Black Suit and White Coat

My apartment in Khartoum is only a few blocks away from the airport. The road I use almost everyday stretches right next the airport. This, and the fact that Khartoum International Airport isn’t that big (and I’m assuming the runway is shorter than most other airports’), I am always seeing planes fly right above me. Every time it does, I can’t help but think of flying home.. Oh Malaysia, truly Asia.

46 days ago, I had my wish granted.

I think it’s safe to say that the best day for most students studying abroad is the day they arrive home. Finally home, after a tough exam month, after a nerve-racking semester, and the best of the best days, finally home with a degree in hand.

Feb 28th, was my ‘one of the those days’. No matter how much you love the country you were at, few things can beat the smell of the air…

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Andrea Davis Pinkney Visits Austin Students with THE RED PENCIL

BookPeople's Blog

This morning, we had the pleasure of bringing Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney to Hill Elementary School to share with students her book, The Red Pencil. Told in verse and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator Shane W. Evans, this powerful novel tells the story of Amira, a twelve year old girl forced to flee her Sudanese village when it’s besieged by attackers. After a harrowing journey that takes her through difficult days in a refugee camp, Amira is given a single red pencil and, with this simple gift, the possibility of hope.

Part of her presentation this morning included leading students in a moving freedom song:

The Red Pencil has received multiple starred reviews, including this from School Library Journal: 

“Amira’s thoughts and drawings are vividly brought to life through Pinkney’s lyrical verse and Evans’s lucid line illustrations, which infuse the narrative with emotional intensity. An engaging author note…

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Nile waters bring you back to Sudan



‘If you have drunk of the Nile’s sweet waters, you will come back to Sudan’ goes the saying. I have seen it happening to many people I know from the Indian expatriate community. Perhaps it has to do with the attachment to the peaceful life style and the nice people of Sudan. Some would say it has to do with destiny. We recently heard that Mr. Michael Aron has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Sudan. H.E. Aron is returning after 30 years. He taught English in Ed Damar Secondary school for two years between 1981 and 1983, before he joined Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Ed Damar is 270 kilometers North-East of Khartoum and is the capital of River Nile state. As he said he has fond memories of the charm, hospitality and generosity of the Sudanese people he met and worked with in Ed Damar. People expect…

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