January 28, 2012

National Park visitor centre is a unique building

 Visitor Centre for Wadi El Gemal Park [Aga Khan Trust. Archnet.org]

In southeast Egypt, east of Aswan and just south of Marsa Alam, lies the Wadi El Gemal National Park. Inside the large park are interesting landforms, animal and plant life, as well as Roman ruins, significant religious sites, quarries, and indigenous communities of Ababda Beja. The combination of marine and terrestrial habitats represents an important integrated ecosystem.

Berch style house construction [Aga Khan Trust. Archnet.org]

Acacia tree. [Aga Khan Trust. Archnet.org]
The Visitor Center is an interesting architectural building. It is designed for the region, using local materials, and is styled on local house designs and the acacia tree.

The centre is not far from the Red Sea. [Aga Khan Trust. Archnet.org]

The Visitor Center offers snacks, a craft shop, interpretive items and a gathering area for guests. The Visitor Centre is located at the northern entrance to the park, about 50 kilometers south of Marsa Alam. It's located just off the coastal highway. It opened in 2009.

A series of 38 pictures in colour.
Black and white pictures with detailed descriptions.
The architect includes the building in his portfolio.
Really big colour pics, and floor plan.

January 27, 2012

Beja detained by security forces

 Kassala [Wikipedia]

In Wednesday, January 25, a symposium was held in Kassala. People talked about the current concerns in eastern Sudan, such as poverty and corruption. and held a memorial meeting for the people who were killed in 2005 at the Port Sudan massacre. After the meeting a few Beja people were detained by police. No details about the reasons for their arrest have been released.

The names of the people who are being held by security forces include
1 - Ammar Dirar
2 - Naji Moussa
3 - Ghazi Al-Tayeb
4 - Mohammad Mahjoub
5 - Sheriff Kamal

Fellow members of the congress meeting are calling for their immediate release.

January 26, 2012

Sudanese Feds to complete peace agreement

 Ali Osman Mohamed Taha [sudaneseonline.org]

The Sudan News Agency reports that The First Vice President of the Republic, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, has affirmed the state's support to complete implementation of Eastern Sudan peace, besides pressing ahead with the implementation of development and services projects.

This came when he met Tuesday with the Assistant of the President, Musa Mohamed Ahmed.

The Assistant of the President of the Republic said that the meeting reviewed the efforts being exerted to implement the remaining items of Eastern Sudan peace agreement, announcing that agreement was reached to hold a meeting of the Higher Committee for Implementation of Eastern Sudan Peace on February 20.

He pointed out that the meeting also discussed the political situation in the country, particularly with regard to preparation for the permanent Constitution, stressing the importance of contact with the political forces to realize national consensus on the Constitution.


January 25, 2012

Christians pray for Beja tribes

Some followers of Christ have been praying for the Beja people over the past few days.

According to the Global Prayer Digest, each day they are directed to pray for a different "people group" around the world. The Beja were identified as Bedawie, Bisharin, Hadendoa, and Beni Amer peoples.

The Beja were described as:
The estimated two million Bedawi Bejas are independent, clinging to their traditions, culture, language, and nomadic lives. Muslim in identity only, they often are under pressure from neighboring Arabs to adopt the Arabic language and follow a more conventional Islamic way of life. Some Bejas work as farmers, and a few work at low paying jobs in cities.

Christians have been in prayer before God for the Beja. They were invited to pray that
... many Christ followers will dedicate themselves to lasting friendships with the Bedawi Bejas, which will open the way for them to know Christ and His Word. Pray God’s Word will saturate their hearts, minds, and souls forever.
Pray that we [the Christ followers] will allow the Lord to be Lord over all aspects of our lives, so that His purposes will prevail. Not our will, but His be done!

January 24, 2012

Gedaref State looks for the money

The Governor of Gedaref State has threatened to sue the federal government of Sudan because promised funds to run the state have not been provided.

Khartoum — Karm-Allah Abbas Al-Sheikh, Governor of Gedaref state threatened to sue the federal ministry of finance before the international justice over non-payment of financial appropriations. In such case, the governor can contest the ministerial delay before the constitutional court, in accordance with the Sudanese constitution however he alluded to the international justice to express his angry from the finance ministry.

The governor accused the federal ministry of restricting the payment of the money allotted to his state while it pays other states at time stressing officials in Khartoum are favoring some other states and feeding their financial accounts without any complexity or delay.

The governor who is the leader of the ruling National Congress Party at the state level was speaking Saturday at the celebration of the Martyr Day in Gedaref warned that he will resort to the Council of States, Upper house of the parliament, to complain over a 18 month delay of payment.

He slammed the current and former ministers of finance and denounced the lack of justice in the money distribution saying they do it according to their whims.

He said many projects have been implemented thanks to the self-efforts and generous donations by the state citizens....

[State governors are appointed by the federal government. -ed.]

Sourced from:

January 23, 2012

Disillusion and poverty in Sudan's east

 Typical street in east Sudan [2009]

An AFP report analyses the situation in east Sudan.

Disillusion reigns in Eastern Sudan more than five years after a peace deal with the government promised the poverty-stricken region a share of power and wealth.

Residents, including former rebels, say they struggle to survive and the region is tense despite an October 2006 deal which ended more than a decade of low-level insurgency against the Arab-dominated Islamic regime in Khartoum.

The Muslim non-Arab Beja ethnic group, camel herders by tradition, fought alongside the Rashaida tribe against what they said was government marginalisation.

Their complaints echoed a more high-profile conflict on the other side of the country in Darfur.

"I'm disappointed, disappointed, disappointed," said former rebel Hassan Dieken, 33, who is jobless.
"I believe only 25 percent of the peace agreement has been implemented."

[Click the title for the full story]

January 22, 2012

Red Sea Festival in Port Sudan

Al Jazeera covered some waterfront action, on the sea and on the corniche, as local inhabitants of Port Sudan demonstrated their boats and their ethnic culture.

January 21, 2012

Beja to gather in Washington DC

 Promotional poster. Click to enlarge.

Click on the picture above! A meeting of Beja is taking place in early February in Washington DC. They will meet with members of Congress and share their music and culture.

Also promoted at Act for Sudan.

January 17, 2012

Short news items - mid-January

TEDx is a conference taking place on January 21, 2012 in Alsalam Hall. The topics are about education in rural Sudan. Registration is free, beginning on January 14. Check out the website.

The United Nations is working with Sudan government to help improve refugee camps near Kassala where 86,000 Eritreans live. AllAfrica    The ethnic Arab Rashaida tribe is accused of exploiting, kidnapping, abusing and trafficking some of the 2,000 monthly asylum seekers.  AllAfrica

The office of the Assistant to the President of Sudan was able to provide about 200 scholarships for Beja-background students to study at universities and colleges in Sudan during 2011. Ten graduate level scholarships were available too.  BejaCongress.net

Plans are underway to construct an electrical generating plant about 75 kilometers north of Port Sudan on the coast of the Red Sea. Using coal from South Africa, Erkiaa power station would also run a large sea water desalination project that would provide fresh water to coastal towns. The federal Ministry of Electricity is for it, while environmentalists and the Red Sea State are against it.  http://alhadag.com/

Hotels and hostel accommodation were overflowing on New Years holiday as too many tourists came to Port Sudan to celebrate. Estimates are that 16,000 tourists came to Port Sudan to celebrate.

A huge celebration of Beja culture took place on December 24, 2011. Over 5000 people attended official speeches after a parade from south of Port Sudan. Many tribal leaders and government officials were present. Source.

A horrific accident occurred on the highway 180 kilometers east of Atbara. Fifteen people were killed and 31 were injured.   BejaCongress.net

January 16, 2012

Red Sea State government officials named

The Governor of the Red Sea State, Mohamed Tahir Aila, issued Sunday a number of decisions on appointment of ministers, commissioners and advisors in the Red Sea State.
The decisions included appointment of Abdul-Gadir Jaafar of the Democratic Unionist Party (origin) as the Minister of Agriculture, Al-Saddiq Ali Hussein Al-Melaik of the Federal Umma party as the Minister of the Higher Council for Culture, Information and Sports and Abdalla Mohamed Ahmed Kunna of the Beja Congress as the Minister of Tourism.
The decisions included appointment of Amira Mohamed Osman as the Minister of Education, Salah Siral-Khatim Kunna as the Minister of Finance, Engineer Hamid Salih Al-Sanay as the Minister of Social Planning, Abdul-Rahman Bilal as the Minister of Health, Mohamed Mahmoud Darbakani as the Minister of Urban Planning and Osman Mahmoud Ahmed as the Minister of Economic Affairs.
The Governor of the Red Sea also issued a decision appointing Omer Oshaik as the Commissioner of Durdaib Locality, Ahmed Taha Fagiri as the Commissioner of Halaib Locality, Shaiba Mohamed Babiker as the Commissioner of Port-Sudan, mahmoud Mohamed Mahmoud as the Commissioner of Suakin Locality.
It also appoints Ibrahim Tahir Al-Hassan as the Commissioner of Haya Locality, Sharif Tahir Al-Melaik as the Commissioner of Sinkat, Abdalla Abu-Shar as the Commissioner of Al-Oleb, Abdalla Hussein as the Commissioner of Toker, Ali Saeed Sukar as the Commissioner of Agig Locality and Eissa hamad Shaik a the Commissioner of Jabait.
He further issued decisions appointing three Advisers of the Governor who are Buthaina Al-Shafie of the National Congress, Salih Salah Saeed of the Free Lions and Shaiba Dirar of the National Congress.



January 14, 2012

TEDx in Port Sudan

A one day conference on January 21 to encourage thinking about education as a right for the citizens of Sudan.

Speakers include
  • Osama Regaah
    Sudanese writer an expert in legal affairs.
  • Ahmed Sadig
    Professional trainer,Interested in youth issues
  • Anwar Dafa-Alla
    Dr. Anour F.A. Dafa-Alla (Aka AnwarKing) , who translated more than 600 TED talks into Arabic, was born in Port Sudan, Sudan in 1978.
  • Dr. Ghada Kadoda
    Workshop Programme Chair at KMCA 2012
  • Mohammed Abu-Bakr
    Director of “Education Without Borders”
  • Stephen Musyoka
    Social Media Consultant at One Percent Club
Videos that will be shown include:

January 12, 2012

Remembering the January 29 massacre

In early 2005, a demonstration by Beja people was held in the streets of Port Sudan as they awaited a response from the governor of the Red Sea State to respond to a series of demands they had presented to him the day before. The next day, on January 29, the government used a large team of security men to disperse the gathering and quell the small scale riots that had occurred.

Over twenty Beja people were killed and many were injured. A curfew was established. Arrests were made. In a few months, the Beja Congress had joined the Rashaida Free Lions to create the Eastern Front as a means to put political and militia pressure upon the existing governments.

Discussion on social network sites and forums is increasing as the Beja plan to remember this event in a few weeks.

 This facebook page has a good amount of content and is regularly updated.   http://tiny.cc/dudqw

Read previous posts here on adroub.blogspot.com about the killings in Port Sudan.

A comprehensive account of the killings is on adroub.net.

January 3, 2012

Tourism - into southeast Egypt

Want to explore the coast of the Red Sea is southern Egypt? Travel with a couple of cosmopolitan writers from Cairo as they explore the region around Shalateen.

Though written 18 months ago, the articles are a delightful record of two tourists who get an inside view into a Bisharin wedding, see a sword dance and discover henna body art.
... After two days of haggling with security officials to obtain permits to enter Halayeb, (we never figured out why the government finds it so important to keep the triangle closed) we departed on a punishing, albeit rewarding, off-road drive into the mountains to attend a wedding. There, 150km from the nearest town, we learned about making henna and dancing with swords. Two days later we were walking through Roman temples and past ancient water wells tucked away in the mountains of Wadi el-Gemal, home to the largest population of gazelles in Egypt.

Seven articles in order, as published in the Cairo newspaper, almasryalyoum.com

A hunt for adventure

Shalateen - between a rock and a hard place

The long drive down

The hunt for truths

Beja wedding night in Elba protectorate

Beja style henna method

Farewell to the south

January 1, 2012

2011 - looking back, what a year!

It is the first day of 2012. It is also Independence Day for the Sudanese. In 1956 Sudan became its own nation, no longer a colony of Britain, on January 1.

Thanks for visiting this blog, and supporting adroub.blogspot.com.
Just thought I'd share some statistics with you.

Total posts on this blog last year:  2011 - 136 posts

Most posts in a month:  October, 2011 - 19 posts

Most popular posts last year
#1   Nomadism - like an entertainer's lifestyle?

#2   Washington thinktank to discuss Beja People
#3   Video: Introduction to the Beja People

Best post this year. [in my humble opinion] Enjoy!

Over 4000 views since uploading. About 140 per week.

Location of readers 
#1 United States
#2 Canada
#3 Germany
#4 Sudan
#5 Russia (?)

I hope you'll continue to join me in 2012. Come along on the journey as we learn more about current events and the Beja people. Make sure you've bookmarked this page, or added it to your RSS feed.