December 30, 2011

Online - Beja news websites

Keep up with current events among the Beja. Try these sites. Bookmark this page.
From the United Kingdom is an Arabic language site that covers Beja events in Sudan with details and photos of events that are quite current. Very basic design. The first Beja newspaper. They've been on the net for a long time.
In English
This site offers general Sudanese news, with an emphasis on politics, and a section for sports and articles by bloggers. Links. This site is written in Arabic. You'll have to dig around to find Beja specific items.
Translated by google, into English.

East Democratic Party
The political party offers a plan for introducing change into the way Sudan is governed. A very basic platform is offered, along with an essay by a South African about the difficult situation in East Sudan [English pdf]. News items are available, but the volume of posts ranges from one post per month to fifty per month. In Arabic.
Translated by google, into English

Beja Congress
The Beja Congress has not managed their web presence very well. An older website was allowed to expire, and the Congress relaunched with a new address in September 2011.

The new website offers a few news items each month, but they are all on a large single page, so translation of the site into English is not possible directly. You have to cut and paste portions of the page to read the news.  Other pages - development projects, about the party, are available [translated into English]. The site is in Arabic.

Cut a portion of the news from the Arabic site and paste it here:  Get it translated into English for free.

You can view portions of the old website,, at the WayBack Machine [2005-2008 only].
Wide selection of information and news about Sudan. Sudanese news updated round the clock Political articles/ music/ video/ Discussion forums. In Arabic.
Translated by google, in English
This is a very active site! Covers both regular news, political party and community associations press releases and hosts a very active community in its forums. The English pages are out of date.    in Arabic.
The website as a whole, translated into English.
Inside reports, articles and press releases from various Beja groups calling for dignity and recognition of Beja people. Political. Worth a look. In Arabic.
Translated into English...
A forum with some activity everyday. Created by Kassala expatriates living in Doha, Qatar. (Who knew?) Active Islamic threads, a photo thread, political threads, and many other discussion topics.
In Arabic.
Translated into English.
A city based blog website with news posted every few days. Nice blog design. Read it in Arabic. 
Or read it in English.
On the forums, there are lots of posts for most countries of the world- this is a huge site!. But you can explore Sudan -  general discussion, politics, culture, South Sudan, women. In addition, there are lots of photos of buildings under construction and the landscapes of Port Sudan, Kassala, Khartoum Suakin, and Arkowit.  In English.
General Sudan page. Or visit the projects and construction, or photography forums.
A newcomer on the internet, alsahafa has a few articles exploring the history of the eastern region of Sudan. It also keeps up with news and sports.
In Arabic.

Google offers a free 'alert' service. When it finds your key words or search terms, an email will be sent to you, telling you about the website that has used them. So you might enter "Beja" and "Egypt" or "Port Sudan" as search terms. Build your own email news service here.
A great Beja news website!! Too bad it is no longer being updated. A few items from July and August 2011 are online.
Translated into English.
And of course, there's this site here and now.  Thanks for visiting. Why not bookmark us inyour favourites? You are on

There are some facebook pages too, but we'll cover them in another post.

December 29, 2011

Review - Situation in East Sudan

There has been a number of developments in East Sudan over the past few months.

With deteriorating harvest conditions, a humanitarian crisis is developing. The central government in Khartoum continues to refrain from developing the eastern part of the country. Political groups from around the country have banded together to seek regime change through political and possible military action.

The progressive news media source,, based in Beruit, Lebanon has published a review of developments in East Sudan, with a focus on the Beja participation.

AS THE humanitarian crisis in eastern Sudan reaches alarming levels, past allies have banded together again to demand development in impoverished region
More than ever, Eastern Sudan seems ready for its revolution “against marginalization.”
Locals of the region are once again gathering their weapons. Political leaders in the eastern region assert that they are ready to make choices in order to eliminate the injustices brought upon them, especially with regard to the deteriorating humanitarian condition that has now reached its worst levels. etc. etc.

Read the file online. Download a pdf. Original, in Arabic.

December 26, 2011

Arabic dreams in Sudan

Wealthy investors from Arabia plan to spend $20 BILLION to convert a remote uninhabited windswept Red Sea island into a playground for wealthy tourists. [Also noted as being $11 billion.]

The unbelievable plans include the world's tallest building designed in the shape of a cob of corn. Much taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Al Hosaini will be 1750m | 5741ft tall.

Marinas for 2,400 boats and 700 yachts will be built, and an international airport. Mekouar Island will eventually house 150,000 residents, and host 90,000 tourists each month. It is located about 80 kilometers north of Port Sudan, and 200 km across the Red Sea from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The president of Sudan attended the laying of a foundation stone a week ago. Details of the [proposed] plan were released to the media.

There is limited fresh water, if any, on the island, and no electricity service. No road access from Sudan exists. For analysis in Arabic and English, and over 90 comments, visit skycraper city.

UPDATE. Apparently this island was -sold- to Arabian investors. Price not disclosed. Where does it go, what kind of deal was made?

December 24, 2011

SRF December meeting - statement

Closing statement for the meeting of the Political Committee of the Supreme Revolutionary Front, the Sudanese

The Political Committee of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front held a regular meeting from 19 to 21 December 2011. They  addressed the following topics: -
1. Humanitarian issues in war zones
Manaseer sit-in and human rights situation in Sudan
Contacts with the Sudanese political forces
Take a tour of regional and international to explain the positions of the Revolutionary Front to mobilize support by the Sudanese people
Review the findings of the Commission on the political vision and program
Review arrangements for the first conference of the front
The meeting concluded the following with this statement:
- In respect of the humanitarian situation of the meeting stressed that the continuation of the system in the bombing of civilians and refusing to open safe corridors for the delivery of humanitarian needs is a war crime and demand the following: 
Stop the bombing of civilians and calls on the international community to take up duties in the protection of civilians
Open safe corridors for the delivery of humanitarian needs of those affected
Formation of an international commission to investigate the Alapadhaljmaih crimes and violations of human rights. The meeting also demanded the release of all prisoners of war and the two detainees in the prison system.
- People sit Manaseer area: We affirm our support for all Almtdharrien of dams and standing fully with the masses and call Manasir membership Sudanese Revolutionary Front of Solidarity with the people of all shapes and call Manasir Almtdharrien of dams for joint work with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front to overthrow the system.
Confirmed that the Political Committee of condemnation of all violations of human rights and war crimes committed by the day and will be the Sudanese Revolutionary Front of a committee of lawyers and legal members of the Revolutionary Front for the follow-up issues of human rights abuses and the release of prisoners of war. The two detainees and follow-up issues and Nazhieddin Allajieyen in all of Sudan.
- Complete all preparations for holding the first conference of the Revolutionary Front as soon as possible was assigned to the Political Committee to resolve administrative issues and the completion of documents required for approval at the conference at a time specified by the Conference
- Stop the meeting on the findings of the Committee of the vision and programs and the proposal of a unified face to go out and leave the final vision and programs of the competence of the Conference at the meeting.
- With regard to communications with the political forces of the meeting stressed the need for contact with all political forces opposed to the system of disease forces that welcomed and asked to join the RUF.
- Allhna also set up a detailed plan for the external work started yet regional and international visits to support the struggle of the Sudanese people from the beginning of mid-January.

Finally, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front assure the Sudanese at home and abroad, said the system could rescue the sun has set and the only way in front of our people is dropping part of the co-frequency and frequency of participation in the dawn of freedom and salvation came to inevitably.
The Political Committee of the Supreme


December 22, 2011

Short news items - mid-December 2011

ON Thursday, December 22, The Wali (governor) of the Red Sea State, Mohamed Taher Eila announced  the dissolution of his government, thus paving the way for the formation of a new broad- based government.

Eila said in the regular meeting of the Council of the government of the state that the National Congress (NC) and the leaderships of the political parties will meet to form new government to meet the demands of the people of the state.

POLITICALLY motivated fights have broken out at the Faculty of Education at the Red Sea University. A few students have been seriously injured. Supporters of  Musa Ahmed, currently Assistant to President Bashir are against people who think he is a traitor to the Beja, having power but not providing help to the people.

LANDS along the sea near Dungunab may be for sale to Saudi Arabia, though the land is considered a nature reserve with rare coral habitats, mangrove forests and many sea animals living in the area. Dungunab is about 180 kilometers north of Port Sudan, on the Red Sea.

SOME Beja fighters have been gathering in the mountainous region in Eritrea along the Sudanese border, perhaps with a view to developing the militia necessary to support the policies proclaiming regime change by the recently created SRF.

CHRISTIANS are getting ready to celebrate Christmas on December 25. This day commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was born of a woman, and became fully human, while also fully God - this enabled him to mediate between men and God, acting to redeem and justify sinful people, restoring them to relationship with a holy God. The work of salvation was done upon the cross, an event that Christians celebrate on Good Friday. At Christmastime, Christians remember that God came to save people through His Word, Jesus Christ.

December 21, 2011

AUDIO- Birth story of Jesus ... "كيف ولد السيد المسيح"

Thank you for visiting.
شكرا لزيارتكم.

Listen to the story of "The birth of Jesus" in Beja language.
يرجى الاستماع إلى قصة "كيف ولد السيد المسيح" في لغة البجا.

Here's a 28 minute recording.
الساعة 28 دقيقة. يتمتع!

December 20, 2011

ANALYSIS: Tourism in east Sudan not doing so well


 A general view of old Suakin, in the Red Sea state, October 10, 2011. Source: REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdal. Found at SkyscraperCity. 

Waiting for a better day on the Sudanese riviera

It has a coastline legendary for its diving, nomadic culture and an ancient island port with houses built of coral, but Sudan's Red Sea is proving a hard sell, despite Khartoum's high hopes.

On the corniche in Port Sudan, youths play snooker, smoke water pipes and watch cargo ships unloading in the docks, during a mild evening in early December, peak season for the country's top holiday destination.

There is barely a foreigner in sight.

Diving boats serving the more adventurous holidaymakers are moored in the harbour, waiting to explore the rich marine life, spectacular shipwrecks, or the remains of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau's bizarre experiment in underwater living.

Lorenzo Orso, who runs the Don Questo diving ship, says he's been losing money ever since 2009, when the global economic crisis hit, and the International Criminal Court charged President Omar al-Bashir with crimes against humanity in Darfur.

"In the last three seasons we're just trying to recover our costs. Sudan has been facing various troubles. After the separation, we also had all the problems in Egypt, so people were afraid to fly through Cairo," he said.

South Sudan seceded from the north in July, taking with it 75 percent of the county's oil production -- exported via pipeline terminals just south of Port Sudan -- and forcing the cash-strapped government to frantically cast around for other sources of income.

The then deputy minister of tourism Ali Mahjub Atta was quoted by state media in September as saying that 550,000 tourists visited Sudan last year, generating total revenues of $616 million.
In the same period, 15 million holidaymakers travelled to Egypt.

Atta forecast that the number of tourists visiting Sudan, along with tourism receipts, would rise by 20 percent in 2011, with the political turmoil in other Arab countries encouraging them to choose "more secure" destinations.

But instead, it is an abject lack of security that comes to the minds of most westerners when they think about Sudan, as Imran, a Sudanese woman running a resort 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of here, admits.

Other factors blocking Sudan's growth as an international holiday destination include the Islamist government's ban on alcohol and US sanctions that prevent the use of Western credit cards -- which Rowida Farouk, assistant manager of the Coral Hotel, Port Sudan's finest, describes as a "disaster." But rich rewards await those determined to visit the Sudanese coast, both above and below the water.

Some 30 kilometres south, past the tents of Beja camel herders, one of Sudan's most distinctive indigenous ethnic groups, lies the mysterious island of Suakin. A gateway for African pilgrims travelling to Mecca down the ages, Suakin was also a thriving trading port during the era of the Ottomans, whose houses were built of coral blocks.

A Turkish company is finally restoring some of the ruined Ottoman buildings, while the village on the mainland, El-Geyf, is a hive of Beja activity, with its bustling market, its sword-clad men and its stray goats roaming the dusty streets.

Louay, the manager of Port Sudan's Palace Hotel, says the state's governor, Mohmed Tahir Eilla, has done a huge amount to open up the region, including lifting the need for a permit to travel outside the city last month.

"Since his appointment in 2006, the governor has changed everything... He's doing his best. But he's tied with a very limited budget," he says.

Read the complete article ... or

For another story about tourism in the east, here's one published a couple of months ago. View the thread for more pictures of the reconstruction of Suakin.

Oh my, we already covered this story in October.

December 19, 2011

Investment conference in Port Sudan

Mohamed Tahir

Port-Sudan, Dec. 18 (SUNA) - The Second Investment Forum, held in the Red Sea State during December 15-17 concluded sittings Saturday, amid massive participation from the representatives of a number of diplomatic missions accredited to Sudan, businessmen and persons and bodies concerned with investment.

The forum deliberated about the issues of financing, tourism, industry and transport.

The forum issued its final communiqué which included a number of recommendations underscored importance of simplification of investment procedures, provision of necessary funds and development of infrastructures.

The recommendations also called for provision of industrial production input, concentration on the services' enhancement and creation of tourism attraction mechanisms.

The Wali (governor) of the Red Sea State, Dr. Mohamed Tahir Aila, [pictured above] has addressed the conclusion of the forum, affirming the readiness of the government of the state to implement the recommendations and adopting them as guidelines and road map for the investment in the state.

December 9, 2011

UN REPORT- Kassala State unstable

The United Nations has published a report on their IRIN news site. It describes recent events and concludes that trouble is brewing in East Sudan, especially now that the Beja Congress has joined in with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an umbrella group set up in November with the aim of overthrowing the government of Omar el-Bashir.

December 8, 2011

Eritrean politics heating up

About 500 Eritrean delegates from outside Eritrea met in a southern town in Ethiopia from Nov. 21 to Nov. 30, 2011. They set the foundations for an alternative government in Eritrea. Many people are not happy with the current regime lead by President Afwerki. The current government is known as the People's Front for Democracy and Justice [PFDJ] [aka HGDEF (Eritrean language letter reference?)]

Eritrea does not allow oppostion parties to officially exist in the country. This meeting was an attempt to overcome this barrier. An alternative government structure could fill the gap if the current regime collapses or is overthrown.

The National Congress for Democratic Change [NCDC] which was attended by hundreds of delegates representing exiled Eritreans, including those living in Sudanese and Ethiopian refugee camps. The congress was held in Awassa, Ethiopia, and elected a 127-member National Assembly. The congress also adopted three documents: the political charter, bylaws and a roadmap. A fourth document, the draft constitution was entrusted to the elected national assembly to be used as a reference in the making of a constitution in Eritrea after the downfall of the Eritrean regime.

The NCDC is also known as Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change” (ENCDC)
This link provides the names of people elected to positions of executive leadership in the alternative government.
This aggressive article explores the reasons why an alternative structure of leadership is necessary.

An internal Eritrean group writes an article and attempts to put the National Congress for Democratic Change in a bad light. This group is known as the Eritrean National Democratic Forces (CC-ENDF) NEWS covered this story about a month ago, before the historic meeting of the NCDC.

December 5, 2011

Soccer player dies الطاهر حسيب

Famous Beja soccer player Altahir Hassib has died. He was captain of the Sudanese team in his youth.

Hundreds of men came to his funeral a week ago.

Prayers were made to Allah to bestow his mercy and admit him to Paradise with the martyrs and the saints from God.

December 4, 2011

53 years of Beja Congress

Dr. Taha Osman Bileya, founder of the Beja Congress, 1958

A rally was held in Port Sudan on Saturday December 3, 2011 and 6,000 people attended the anniversary of the Beja Congress. Tribal leaders and Beja Congress officials, as well as representatives of political parties and civil society organizations were present. The event honoured men who have been working for the success of the Congress over the years and challenged the Beja youth to get involved.

Again the story was repeated that the Beja suffer from marginalization by the powers of government, and that the Beja, though significant in population, have very little access to sharing power.

Party leader Mousa Mohammed Ahmed gave a 3,000 word speech that reviewed the history of the Beja Congress, and the roles of many key people. He examined political developments, past and present.

Speech made by Mousa Ahmed in arabic. [10 page pdf]

UPDATE: [Dec 6] A full report of the anniversary was covered in the media. [arabic] [english machine translation]

December 3, 2011

PICTURE- traditional Beja clothing

Ahmed Said Abuamna, Beja man from East Sudan, photographed near Cairo, September 2011.

Musicians are seeking funds to launch a recording project of original Beja songs. Reported earlier on November 10.

UPDATE: Looks like they got all the funds they needed! Read about their recording project

December 2, 2011

Short Bits of Mixed news

The Fifth Tourist Festival for East Sudan was launched in the Port Sudan stadium on December 1. Not enough people were there to watch the displays, so schoolchildren were brought in to see the shows. The festival continues with various events until mid February, 2012. Think of it as an extended advertising campaign for Sudanese to visit the east [internal country tourism.]

Elections in Egypt were successfully held last weekend, and voting equipment was brought in to Hala'ib region from the north. Reports are that hundreds of people were denied the right to vote because they had no proper Egyptian identification.

In April, 2010, Sudanese elections were held, but voting by Hala'ib citizens were not allowed even though attempts were made to include them. Sudan wants to negotiate on control over the Hala'ib region, offering three options to explore administration.

Sit-ins at Manasir [near the new Merowe Dam on the Nile River] continue for 2 weeks now. The Manasir people are fed up with the lack of compensation and care after their towns were swallowed up by the lake behind the dam, from even 5 years ago. Beja have acted in solidarity with these marginalized tribespeople.

A document calling for help for the people of South Tokar is getting distribution. A humanitarian disaster has occurred, and publicity and supplies are requested.