Monthly Archives: April 2013
Information became available over the weekend that Qatar has offered a grant to The Republic of the Sudan worth 135 million US Dollars for a joint project, aimed to rehabilitate the Sudan National Museum and carry out infrastructure work on up to 100 archeological sites across the country.
Sudan, in ancient times part of Egypt and known as the Upper Kingdom, has a rich history and is filled with monuments, temples and sites in particular along the River Nile. However, unlike Egypt in modern days has the Sudan failed to capitalize on these attractions by opening up to global tourism the way it is done downstream, where fleets of hundreds of river cruisers take tourists to the Egyptian temples and monuments.
After losing over 75 percent of the country’s oil wealth, when South Sudan attained her liberty on Independence Day in July 2011, tourism could be a catalyst for economic revival for Sudan but the regime’s policies are considered not conducive for allowing in large number of foreign tourists as seen in Egypt, where tourism is the backbone of the economy and key foreign exchange earner. Visa bureaucracy and the need for multiple permits to travel across the country are seen as one of the major obstacles to increasing visitor numbers and recent comments by government officials that the Sudan does not want tourists who come to drink alcohol or want to wear bikinis were generally considered unhelpful vis a vis key tourist producer countries stepping up and sending more tourists to the Sudan.
The grant by Qatar, which is a major financial supporter of the regime in Khartoum and has financed a highway connecting the Sudan to neighbouring Eritrea, among other projects, will go a long way to restore the National Museum in Khartoum to a better state, rehabilitate exhibits and artifacts while at the same time allowing for fresh archeological digs at key sites.
Sudan’s tourism minister Mohamed Al Had made the announcement last weekend when he specified that two new archeological sites will be established in the Nahr Alneel state while initially 27 sites in Northern state and the Al-Bejrawiyya pyramids, aka Meroe pyramids will undergo some major work. These pyramids are ranked by TripAdvisor as the Sudan’s number one tourism attraction, though only one of the many which remain relatively inaccessible to visitors from abroad.
The project director, Qatar’s Abdullah Al –Najar, who previously served with the Qatar Museum Authority, was quoted to have urged Sudanese government bodies to fully support the project’s aims and promote the rich heritage and culture of the country abroad, ostensibly referring to the need to attract more paying tourist visitors to sustain these sites for the long term through entrance fees.
By Dr. wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Uganda
The Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities, and Wild Life is considered one of the ministries relied upon economically to boost national income.
The ministry remained dormant for years, but the young, recently appointed minister Mohammed Abdul Karim Al-hud makes appreciable efforts to activate the role of his ministry politically, economically, and socially and to reflect the bright nature of Sudan and the fact that it has a civilization that reaches far back in history.
Through attracting tourists and training many in the profession of handicrafts, the ministry proved that it can reflect the civilized dimensions of Sudan, that it can fight poverty and unemployment and raise individuals’ income through employing many in this field. Sudan Vision interviewed the minister to find out more about the subject, following is what he said.
Q: Tourism needs to be promoted through the ministries of information and foreign affairs; do you coordinate with these ministries?
A: Of course. We are activating the role the ministry of media plays in reflecting Sudanese touristic attractions and we coordinate with the ministry of foreign affairs through the cultural and trading attachés whom we supply with all the needed information to promote Sudanese tourism abroad. We are in need of holding workshops with the cooperation of the two ministries to reenergize diplomatic and media efforts to promote Sudanese tourism and heritage.
Q: Would you please elaborate on your efforts to train tourist guides and develop tourist tools?
A: We formed a committee to issue regulations to organize the training and work of tourist guides because tourist guides, despite being private sector employees, represent the image and heritage of the country which must dealt with transparently and credibly.
Tourist guides are also an important element in popular diplomacy process as well as Tourists who are instructed by international tourism bodies to try to conform to local traditions, customs, and heritage during their visits to show respect for other civilizations.
Tourist guides in Sudan, not exceeding 40, are clean people who commit to religion, heritage, and faith values and are trained in different fields of knowledge by national and foreign travel agencies.
Q: We noticed the feeble guarding of archaeological sites, and the contents of several cemeteries have been stolen. How so you deal with this issue? Are there forces trained for these purposes and to protect such sites?
This issue is dealt with on two levels. The first is the culture and media level which focuses on making citizens aware of the importance of the antique jewelry and artifacts and that they must be taken to the authorities immediately when found and cash compensation will be paid for them in the market value of the jewelry and artifacts. This dimension is important and can be elaborated on further. The second level is protection by security and police forces. There is a police force by the name of “Tourism and National Heritage Police force (TNHPF)”, it’s a force that belongs to the ministry of tourism and is required to protect antiquities, artifacts, and national heritage. There are currently TNHPF departments in Gedarif, Kassala, and efforts to have one in Gezira and all Sudanese states considering how important this branch of police is in protecting national heritage. The increase of the size of the force and providing it with the necessities of operation such as vehicles, weaponry, etc are important factors in containing and eradicating the robbery and smuggling of the country’s precious antique treasures which tell the country’s history. These acts are also damaging to the national income as well.
Q: Sudanese satellite TV channels do not promote tourism at all, how do you perceive this issue?
A: We seek to promote tourism through displaying, or sponsoring activities that display, tourist attractions and information in TV channels such as Ashrooq. We are seeking to have a greater deal of coordination with these channels to reflect Sudan as a country with tourist attractions.
Activating media work; we started holding a monthly forum last December on the 14th of each month at Grand Holiday Villa whose management we thank for the sponsorship.
Q: Did you benefit from the experiences of Egypt in promoting tourism?
A: Undoubtedly. We benefitted a lot in terms of training in the past in Egypt, but there is a difference between Sudan and Egypt lies in the fact that there are barriers between the two peoples of the two countries in how they approach sentimental values and values in general which relate to how a visitors and tourists are treated. In Sudan, we need to change the way the Sudanese think and perceive tourism to ensure that some of the full-blown generosity acts are contained within a reasonable degree towards tourists and visitors in general but in a way that does not interfere with the traditions and customs of the Sudanese people.
The Sudanese must learn to how to help tourists spend their money in obtaining great tourism experiences. We believe that the Egyptians have developed the way in which handicrafts are made and marketed in a manner that transformed it into a tool to increase personal individual income. Egyptians have developed a way to exploit handicrafts and market them turning them into one of the resources for fighting poverty, developing the economy, and employ vast categories of people, considering that tourists prefer them and love to take them back as souvenirs.
|Mohammed Abdul Karim Al-hud , Mohamed Babikir|
Q: Some of the historical Sites in Sudan have been affected by natural factors such as erosion to a degree that threatens to change them, Dindir national park and the historical area of Fazoogli, have any arrangements been taken to save these areas?
This year the autumn in Dindir has been an exceptional one, 42 hafirs (water basins that keep water till the next autumn) have been completely filled with water. I have visited Dindir national park last week to prepare for the next season and give the necessary directives. Dindir Park is 10 thousand square kilometers in area, that’s about as large as Lebanon, and can be also promoted as a place for boat racing and for picnicking.
Q: Have any archaeological sites been discovered in Sudan?
A: Many discoveries were made during the construction of the Roseiris Dam and some graves have recently been discovered in Khartoum.
The Qataris have funded a project to finance 7 archaeological missions for 5 years, and this project will be kicked off this year.
The Qatari funding is also for maintaining the Sudan National Museum and the Islamic Museum, building airports in Bejrawiya in River Nile and Berkel in the Northern State, and building hotels and motels near tourist and archaeological areas.
By Mohamed Babikir,
Trying to reactivate internal tourism and attract foreign tourists The Sudanese and its States governments launched a number of Touristic fairs and activities, the last of which was the International Tourism and Marketing Fair in Khartoum on April 8 to 12.
The Fair in Khartoum was launched under the slogan, “Together towards Effective Tourism in Society and Economy”. The one that was launched in Port Sudan, The capital of the Red Sea State a few months ago was under the slogan or title “The Red Sea, Title of Tourism in Sudan”
Officials usually claim that their fairs’ aim besides the economic gains of reactivating, boosting internal tourism and attracting foreign tourists, they also serve many other purposes. They reflect the cultural and ethnic heritage of the Sudan together with its ancient history. The Minister of Tourism, said to the local media that Khartoum’s fair is meant to increase concept of unity through cultural coverage, to consolidate and increase partnership with the private sector; to preserve and keep the identity of Sudanese and their traditional industries as well as developing their loyalty to the homeland.
The Red Sea State Wali (Governor) sparked an internal competition between his capital, Port Sudan and Khartoum by saying: “Through this festival, we try to raise the area as one of the most important tourist spots in Sudan,” and boasted that the Red Sea resorts have distinguished tourist characteristics and enjoy great maritime lives, coral reefs and tourist relating activities such as diving, underwater photography and fishing. This while Khartoum State and The Sudan’s Federal Government Tourism and Wildlife Minister Mohamed Abdul-Karim Al-Hud early this month declared that the National Capital is the main attractor for internal and foreign tourists, and that over 5 million tourists had visited Khartoum and Sudan in 2012 and earned the country over US$600 million. This, if proved true and maintained this level, and continued developing will put tourism as one of the main economic industries in Sudan
By A. S. Alkoronki
Sudan vision daily
“Great atmosphere, food and ice cream”
recently spent a week in Khartoum with my parents and boyfriend and we went to Ozone on several occaisions both for meals and for snacks and in particular their cakes and Ice Cream, which are delicious!
The first time we visited was for lunch and between us we ordered the Chicken Panini, Spag Bol, Chicken & Mushroom Pasta and the Asian Salad, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. I also had the burger for lunch later in the week which I have to say was absolutely amazing.
On the other occiasions we visited it was for drinks, cakes and Ice Cream. I would recommend the Ice Cream in particular as they have lots of different flavours and prices are reasonable.
With the outdoor patio seating, there are tables with parasols as well as more comfy sofas if you’re just there for a coffee / drink and the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed. Especially nice in the evening when the water fountain is lit up and sitting out in the warm evening air is great.
If I were to make one negative comment it would just be that the car park was often full, but as it’s situated on a roundabout (although you’d never know it when you’re there) there are places to park at the side of the road.
One final thing to say is that the toilets are very well appointed and were always immaculate when I visited.
This is hands down the best night out spot for everyone in K town!
located in the heart of khartoum in a circular round-about manner.. ozone has got an absolutely calming and serene atmosphere at night. table chairs and furniture is arranged very well in a paris-style cafe manner with burst of water mist shooting out occasionally from the piping above.
the cafe has a great selection of what a cafe should have.
everything from delicious pastries to small snacks to big omelette dishes for your appetite.
ice creams are just great and the cafe and frappes are prepared well.
the Price range is on the higher side with costs of some pastries leading up to as much as 25 SDG!
but hands-down it is the best hangout spot in k-town…do visit!
There is precious little for foreigners to do in Khartoum, and Ozone is like an Oasis in the desert. I go every day and it proxies as a second office. Good cappucino, good food (pasta dishes especially), UK papers daily, very pleasant staff and chjoice of being inside in aircon comfort or outside under the trees. Toilets at a high standard and very clean (assume same for the Ladies’).
Brilliantly situated at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile, Coral Khartoum enjoys a superb location in the historic capital of Sudan. Merely 6.5 kilometers away Khartoum International Airport the hotel is a convenient choice for both leisure and business travelers.
The largest International Conference Hall in Sudan called the Friendship Hall is within walking distance. Just 2.5 kilometers away from the hotel is the Presidential Palace and the city center Not too far and worth a visit is the Al Kabir Mosque in Arabic market , the colorful and lively centered of Khartoum. Tourists can explore with ease Khartoum’s many beautiful natural parks and interesting museums with their unique collections of ancient artifacts.
Tate Modern presents the UK’s first major exhibition of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi (born1930). Bringing together 100 works from across more than five decades of his international career, this retrospective will highlight one of the most significant figures in African and Arab Modernism, and reveal his place in the context of a broader, global art history.
The exhibition traces the artist’s personal journey, beginning in Sudan in the 1950s where the artist originally trained and practiced as an art teacher, as well as his time at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. After this period of self-discovery, El-Salahi returned to his homeland and continued his pioneering integration of traditional African, Arab and Islamic visual sources with European art movements. This cross-pollination of cultures and traditions will be exemplified by such works as Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams 1 1962–3, a large-scale oil painting recently acquired by Tate through its Africa Acquisitions Committee.
Events in the artist’s own life, as well as wider political history, are reflected in his work from the 1970s and 80s. While employed as the Undersecretary at the Sudanese Ministry of Culture and Information, El-Salahi was wrongfully imprisoned by the government. The art he made as a result of this incarceration was often stark and sombre, reflecting the trauma of isolation. This phase would culminate in years of self-imposed exile and expatriation in Qatar and the UK, where he created such works as The Inevitable 1984–85, a monumental and chaotic response to the continued turmoil and civil war taking place in Sudan.
The exhibition also showcases the gloriously colourful paintings and drawings that El-Salahi has produced since the 1990s, after his return to England. These include his Tree Series, inspired by the Haraz tree that grows on the banks of the Nile, and One day I Happened to See a Ruler 2008, a major three-panel painting commissioned by the Museum for African Art in New York. These recent works reflect his joy for life, his deep spiritual faith, and a profound recognition of his place in the world.
Ibrahim El-Salahi was born in Omdurman, Sudan in 1930 and now lives and works in Oxford, England. His work has been shown at such venues as PS1, New York; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; and Haus der Kunst, Munich. He is represented in numerous private and public collections including the MoMA, New York; New National Gallery, Berlin; and Tate, London. He received the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; the Order of Knowledge, Arts and Letters, Sudan; and the Honorary Award, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.
Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist is organised by the Museum for African Art, New York, in association with Tate Modern, London. It is curated by Salah M Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor of African and African diaspora art history and visual culture and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University, and will be curated at Tate Modern by Elvira Dyangani Ose, Curator of International Art, Supported by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc The exhibition first opened at the Sharjah Museum of Art, Sharjah, in May 2012 and travelled to the Katara Cultural Village Foundation, Doha, Qatar in October 2012. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, edited by Salah M Hassan with contributions by Sarah Adams, Hassan Musa and Chika Okeke.