Friday, April 25, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Professor Collins

I first met him last summer, the 29th of June to be exact. It was my second day in Santa Barbara, California and my first time in America.
It was about 2 o'clock and I rushed back to the hotel to meet him because I didn't want to be late.
When I emailed him a week before travelling, I didn't expect a reply. After all, he was a distinguished professor and a well-known author. To my surprise, he emailed me back and told me to write to him as soon as I arrive.
I did. He agreed to come to the Upham hotel, where I was staying at the time. He said he knows the place very well.

We talked about politics, the Sudan, the war, the referendum in 2011, the future of the country, my family, my studies, his life in the Sudan and his books.
He was my favorite author. A Sudan expert.
He was first introduced to Africa in the 50's through books. He went to Sudan a month after its independence, in 1956. For the next 52 years, Sudan became his interest. He wrote atleast 15 books on the Sudan alone, he met many intellectuals, leaders and liberation fighters and he is one of the few people in the world to have traveled in every part of the country ( including Sudanese and non-Sudanese).

He knows the country better than all of us combined.

I've emailed him a few times after I came back. A few days ago, I wanted to e-mail him about a couple of interesting articles I wanted him to read.

I forgot his e-mail so I looked at his page only to find the following announcement
"We are sad to report that Professor Robert Collins passed away suddenly on Friday, April 11, 2008. A full obituary will be available soon."

This can't be happening. We were supposed to meet again, right? I was supposed to write my phd under his supervision. He was supposed to live love enough to see Sudan at peace. He was supposed to celebrate with us.
He should've waited, 2011 is only 3 years from now. He wanted to know the future of South Sudan more than any other person.

Friday, April 11, 2008

When Judgement day comes,the Sudanese deserve to go to Heaven

Decades of war, a psychotic president and an unendurable climate , I believe that the Sudanese should go to heaven.
Everytime I lose hope, I look at the average Sudanese and I'm optimistic again.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Burj El Fateh

It's a good imitation of Dubai's Burj Al Arab.

We, the Sudanese are excited about Burj El Fateh, the new egg-shapped hotel/mall in K-town.

I'm talking about a country at war and under severe American/ European and UN sanctions. I can't help but think about a Sudan at peace. It could easily become a regional powerhouse!
Sudan, the pride of Africa ( in the near future, say ameeen!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Breakfast in Khartoum by Rob Crilly

Interesting article by Rob Crilly, a freelance journalist writing about Africa for The Times, The Irish Times, The Daily Mail, The Scotsman and The Christian Science Monitor from his base in Nairobi.

Breakfast in Khartoum

The coffee tastes like coffee, the croissants are flaky on the outside and soft on the inside, and the wifi is running at the speed of light. But this isn’t breakfast in Kenya - where the coffee was probably grown and which is setting itself up to be an internet hub for East Africa. This is Sudan, which is still recovering from decades of civil war in the south and where sanctions are supposed to be bringing the economy to its knees.
But since arriving in Khartoum I’ve updated my iTunes and downloaded new software for my phone. Doing that back home in Nairobi would have meant leaving my computer on overnight.
Khartoum has some of the most sophisticated coffeeshops in Africa. Wifi at Solitaire is some of the fastest I’ve found and I won’t bore you again by talking about Ozone’s fantastic carrot cake. (Danish pastries appear not to have been banned, incidentally.)
It’s all a long way from the Khartoum of the imagination - crowded souks, fiery imams and grilled goatmeat.
But there is one problem. I’ve been invited to a friend’s house for dinner tonight with a cheery reminder to bring a bottle. I’m not sure a bottle of Coke is going to hit the mark but - for the time being at least - the city remains dry.
Sometimes when I look at different parts of Sudan, I can't believe it's one country.