alnilin mosque

sudan clothing

sudan singers

Education in sudan

The public and private education systems inherited by the government after independence were designed more to provide civil servants and professionals to serve the colonial administration than to educate the Sudanese. Moreover, the distribution of facilities, staff, and enrollment was biased in favor of the needs of the administration and a Western curriculum. Schools tended to be clustered in the vicinity of Khartoum and to a lesser extent in other urban areas, although the population was predominantly rural. This concentration was found at all levels but was most marked for those in situations beyond the four-year primary schools where instruction was in the vernacular. The north suffered from shortages of teachers and buildings, but education in the south was even more inadequate. During the condominium, education in the south was left largely to the mission schools, where the level of instruction proved so poor that as early as the mid-1930s the government imposed provincial education supervisors upon the missionaries in return for the government subsidies that they sorely needed. The civil war and the ejection of all foreign missionaries in February 1964 further diminished education opportunities for southern Sudanese.

Traditionally, girls' education was of the most rudimentary kind, frequently provided by a khalwa, or religious school, in which Quranic studies were taught. Such basic schools did not prepare girls for the secular learning mainstream, from which they were virtually excluded. Largely through the pioneering work of Shaykh Babikr Badri, the government had provided five elementary schools for girls by 1920. Expansion was slow, however, given the bias for boys and the conservatism of Sudanese society, with education remaining restricted to the elementary level until 1940. It was only in 1940 that the first intermediate school for girls, the Omdurman Girls' Intermediate School, opened. By 1955, ten intermediate schools for girls were in existence. In 1956, the Omdurman Secondary School for Girls, with about 265 students, was the only girls' secondary school operated by the government. By 1960, 245 elementary schools for girls had been established, but only 25 junior secondary or general schools and 2 upper-secondary schools. There were no vocational schools for girls, only a Nurses' Training College with but eleven students, nursing not being regarded by many Sudanese as a respectable vocation for women. During the 1960s and 1970s, girls' education made considerable gains under the education reforms that provided 1,086 primary schools, 268 intermediate schools, and 52 vocational schools for girls by 1970, when girls' education claimed approximately one-third of the total school resources available. Although by the early 1990s the numbers had increased in the north but not in the war-torn south, the ratio had remained approximately the same.

The revolutionary government of General Bashir announced sweeping reforms in Sudanese education in September 1990. In consultation with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic teachers and administrators, who were the strongest supporters of his regime, Bashir proclaimed a new philosophy of education. He allocated £Sd400 million for the academic year 1990-91 to carry out these reforms and promised to double the sum if the current education system could be changed to meet the needs of Sudan.

Thursday, March 29, 2007



Aerial view of the Nubian pyramids at Meroe in 2001
Aerial view of the Nubian pyramids at Meroe in 2001

Archaeological excavation of archaeological sites on the Nile above Aswan has confirmed human habitation in the river valley during the Paleolithic period that spanned more than 60,000 years of Sudanese history. A prehistoric burial discovered in northern Sudan reveals what is believed to be the world's earliest indication of warfare, dating to the 12th millennium BC [1]. By the eighth millennium B.C., people of a Neolithic culture had settled into a sedentary way of life there in fortified mud-brick villages, where they supplemented hunting and fishing on the Nile with grain gathering and cattle herding. Anthropological and archaelogical research indicate that during the predynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were ethnically, and culturally nearly identical, and thus, simultaneously evolved systems of pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC. [2] But during the close of the Nagada III period, Nagada, in its bid to conquer and unify the whole nile valley, seems to have conquered their southern neighbors and thus, "egyptianized" them. [3]. The result appears to have been the depopulation of the entire Lower Nubian area, either by the genocidal efforts of the First Dynasty Egyptian kings, or by the migration (forced or voluntary) of the nubians to areas north and south.


Main article: Kush

Northern Sudan's earliest historical record comes from Egyptian sources, which described the land upstream from the First Cataract, called Kush, as "wretched." For more than 2,000 years after the Old Kingdom (ca. 2700-2180 B.C.), Egyptian political and economic activities determined the course of the central Nile region's history. Even during intermediate periods when Egyptian political power in Kush waned, Egypt exerted a profound cultural and religious influence on the Kushite people.

Over the centuries, trade developed. Egyptian caravans carried grain to Kush and returned to Aswan with ivory, incense, hides, and carnelian (a stone prized both as jewelry and for arrowheads) for shipment downriver. Egyptian traders particularly valued gold and slaves, who served as domestic servants, concubines, and soldiers in the pharaoh's army. Egyptian military expeditions penetrated Kush periodically during the Old Kingdom. Yet there was no attempt to establish a permanent presence in the area until the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2100-1720 B.C.), when Egypt constructed a network of forts along the Nile as far south as Samnah, in southern Egypt, to guard the flow of gold from mines in Wawat.

Around 1720 B.C., Asian nomads called Hyksos invaded Egypt, ended the Middle Kingdom, severed links with Kush, and destroyed the forts along the Nile River. To fill the vacuum left by the Egyptian withdrawal, a culturally distinct indigenous kingdom emerged at Karmah, near present-day Dunqulah. After Egyptian power revived during the New Kingdom (ca. 1570-1100 B.C.), the pharaoh Ahmose I incorporated Kush as an Egyptian province governed by a viceroy. Although Egypt's administrative control of Kush extended only down to the fourth cataract, Egyptian sources list tributary districts reaching to the Red Sea and upstream to the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. Egyptian authorities ensured the loyalty of local chiefs by drafting their children to serve as pages at the pharaoh's court. Egypt also expected tribute in gold and slaves from local chiefs.

Once Egypt had established political control over Kush, officials and priests joined military personnel, merchants, and artisans and settled in the region. The Egyptian language became widely used in everyday activities. The Kushite elite adopted Egyptian gods and built temples like that dedicated to the sun god Amon at Napata, near present-day Kuraymah. The temples remained centers of official religious worship until the coming of Christianity to the region in the sixth century. When Egyptian influence declined or succumbed to foreign domination, the Kushite elite regarded themselves as champions of genuine Egyptian cultural and religious values.

By the eleventh century B.C., the authority of the New Kingdom dynasties had diminished, allowing divided rule in Egypt, and ending Egyptian control of Kush. There is no information about the region's activities over the next 300 years. In the eighth century B.C., however, Kush reemerged as an independent kingdom ruled from Napata by an aggressive line of monarchs who gradually extended their influence into Egypt. About 750 B.C., a Kushite king called Kashta conquered Upper Egypt and became ruler of Thebes until approximately 740 B.C. His successor, Piankhy, subdued the delta, reunited Egypt under the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, and founded a line of kings who ruled Kush and Thebes for about a hundred years. The dynasty's intervention in the area of modern Syria caused a confrontation between Egypt and Assyria. When the Assyrians in retaliation invaded Egypt, Taharqa (688-663 B.C.), the last Kushite pharaoh, withdrew and returned the dynasty to Napata, where it continued to rule Kush and extended its dominions to the south and east.Kush was known as the mother of gold.


Main article: Meroë

Egypt's succeeding dynasty failed to reassert control over Kush. In 590 B.C., however, an Egyptian army sacked Napata, compelling the Kushite court to move to a more secure location at Meroe near the Sixth Cataract. For several centuries thereafter, the Meroitic kingdom developed independently of Egypt, which passed successively under Persian, Greek, and, finally, Roman domination. During the height of its power in the second and third centuries B.C., Meroe extended over a region from the third cataract in the north to Sawba, near present-day Khartoum, in the south.

The pharaonic tradition persisted among a line of rulers at Meroe, who raised stelae to record the achievements of their reigns and erected pyramids to contain their tombs. These objects and the ruins of palaces, temples, and baths at Meroe attest to a centralized political system that employed artisans' skills and commanded the labor of a large work force. A well-managed irrigation system allowed the area to support a higher population density than was possible during later periods. By the first century B.C., the use of hieroglyphs gave way to a Meroitic script that adapted the Egyptian writing system to an indigenous, Nubian-related language spoken later by the region's people. Meroe's succession system was not necessarily hereditary; the matriarchal royal family member deemed most worthy often became king. The queen mother's role in the selection process was crucial to a smooth succession. The crown appears to have passed from brother to brother (or sister) and only when no siblings remained from father to son.

Although Napata remained Meroe's religious center, northern Kush eventually fell into disorder as it came under pressure from the Blemmyes, predatory nomads from east of the Nile. However, the Nile continued to give the region access to the Mediterranean world. Additionally, Meroe maintained contact with Arab and Indian traders along the Red Sea coast and incorporated Hellenistic and Hindu cultural influences into its daily life. Inconclusive evidence suggests that metallurgical technology may have been transmitted westward across the savanna belt to West Africa from Meroe's iron smelteries.

Relations between Meroe and Egypt were not always peaceful. In 23 B.C., in response to Meroe's incursions into Upper Egypt, a Roman army moved south and razed Napata. The Roman commander quickly abandoned the area, however, as too poor to warrant colonization.

In the second century A.D., the Nobatae occupied the Nile's west bank in northern Kush. They are believed to have been one of several well-armed bands of horse- and camel-borne warriors who sold protection to the Meroitic population; eventually they intermarried and established themselves among the Meroitic people as a military aristocracy. Until nearly the fifth century, Rome subsidized the Nobatae and used Meroe as a buffer between Egypt and the Blemmyes. Meanwhile, the old Meroitic kingdom contracted because of the expansion of the powerful Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum to the east. By A.D. 350, King Ezana of Axum had captured and destroyed Meroe city, ending the kingdom's independent existence, and conquering its territory into modern-day southern Egypt.Meroe was considered a wheel because all trade routes led to meroe.

Ancient Sudan:

The Kingdom of Kush at Meroë
(4th c. B.C. to 325 A.D.)

[Pyramids from the Northern Cemetery at Meroe] 1. Pyramids from the Northern Cemetery at Meroë, 3rd c. B.C. to 4th c. A.D. By the 4th c. B.C., the Kushite kings had moved south to the Sudanese savannah and built a capitol at Meroë. Here southern cultural traditions slowly prevailed over the cultural heritage of Egypt.
[Ruins of Merotic temple at Musawwarat es-Sufra] 2. Ruins of the Merotic temple at Musawwarat es-Sufra. This temple complex, called the "Great Enclosure", lies south of Meroë near the Sixth Cataract. It may have been a pilgrammage center or a royal palace. A number of towns were located on the banks of the Atbara, Blue Nile and White Nile, in which lived craftsmen who met local needs and exported along the trade route that ran from Red Sea port towns in the East to beyond Lake Chad in the West. This route eventually connected to the major center of iron production in Jenne Jeno.
[Elephant statue from the Great Enclosure at Musawwarat es-Sufra temple] 3. Elephant statue from the "Great Enclosure" at Musawwarat es-Sufra temple. Elephants served a military function, but the cultural influence from the South is apparently the reason for their having a religious significance, now lost to us.
[Queen Shanadakhete's inscription] 4. South wall of the funerary chapel of pyramid N.11 at Meroë. This inscription is probably from Queen Shanadakhete (d. 160 B.C.), Meroë's most powerful ruler and great builder in stone, and perhaps the first significant female ruler in world history, if one discounts Egypt's Hatshupset, who ruled as "king." (as ruler, was a male). Seated behind Shanadakhete is her husband. At Meroë the kandake system of government made the Queen Mother the central political figure, and the queens were either the principal ruler or at least equal to their husbands as co-ruler. Behind the thrones are the protecting wings of the standing goddess Isis. Besides the ranks of people coming to pay their respects is a representation of Shanadakhete's judgement before Osiris. 2.52 m.
[Queen Amanirenas' stele] 5. Stele inscribed with Merotic cursive erected near Meroë by Queen Amanirenas, late first century B.C. (London: British Museum). 2.36 m. This queen or her successor ruled Meroë when its conflict with Rome began. This is an unusually long historical inscription in Merotic, but so far has not been translated. When the Kingdom of Kush was still located at Napata, Egyptian demotic script was used at court. The development of a distinctive script to express the Sudanese language indicates the cultural independence of Meroë from Egypt.
[Relief from a stand at Wad Ban Naga temple showing Queen Amanitare, wife Natakamani] 6. Relief from a stand at Wad Ban Naga temple. It shows Queen Amanitare, wife of her co-ruler, Natakamani. The inscription is in both Egyptian and Merotic hieroglyphs, and so is important for knowing how to translate Merotic script. The tendency today to see Natakamani as the principle ruler of Kush probably results from our privileging Roman written sources.
[Relief from the Lion Temple at Naga, south of Meroe] 7. Relief from the Lion Temple at Naga, south of Meroë at the Sixth Cataract. King Natakamani stands before the lion god, Apedemek, and also Horus and Amun. The king's robe and the sash draped over his right shoulder, which is typical of Merotic dress. The Sudanese god Apedemek slowly displaced the divinities of Egypt.
[Kiosk at Naga, South of Meroe] 8. "Kiosk" at Naga, Sixth Cataract, South of Meroë, showing both Graeco-Roman and Egyptian stylistic influences. There developed a major cultural link from Alexandria through the Red Sea ports to which Meroë connected. This was associated with the eventual rise of the port towns to become the independent state of Axum, which contributed to the demise of Meroë in 325 A.D.
[The Lion Temple of Naqa, Meroe] 9. The Lion Temple of Naqa. The architectural style is Egyptian. The entrance reliefs show the king and queen striking their enemies. The queen reflects Merotic culture in both her importance being equal to that of the king, but also in her figure style.
[Rear view of the Lion Temple, Naqa, Mero. Relief of Apedemek] 10. Rear view of the Lion Temple, Naqa, Meroe. The Kushitic god, Apedemek, with three heads and four arms, is worshiped by the royal family, dressed in the Nubian style.
[Apedemek from the Lion Temple, Naqa, Meroe] 11. The Lion Temple, Naqa, Meroe. Side view of one of the front pylons, shows in relief the figure of Apedemek, represented as a snake arising from a flower.
[Ba statue of a woman, Meroe] 9. The Ba statue of a woman. The idea of representing the souls of the dead as human-headed birds derives from Egypt, but in Meroë they were placed at the entrance to tomb chapels. The stylistic tendency of late Merotic sculpture is to simplify the treatment of the body and to make the eyes prominent, perhaps a hieratic tendency.
[Gold jackal. Mero] 10. Gold jackal, Meroë, ca. 1st c. B.C. (London: British Museum). 3.1 cm. Apparently exported to Cyrene, Libya, where this piece was found.
[Bronze vessels from Merotic graves at Faras] 11. Bronze vessels from Merotic graves at Faras. The bowl at the right has an ankh sign and frieze of uraeus serpents (London: British Museum).
[Redware amphora from a Merotic grave at Faras] 12. Redware amphora from a Merotic grave at Faras with figure of an archer, probably first century B.C. (London: British Museum). A coarse utilitian ware.
[Burnished black ware from Meroe] 13. Burnished black ware from Meroë, 1st c. B.C. to 1st c. A.D. (London: British Museum). 18.5 cm. Typical of the black handmade domestic ware made by women that copied the shape of gourds or bags. The roots of this style are Kerma and C-Group cultures and beyond. This is coarse utilitarian pottery for every-day use, and should be contrasted with the fine ware illustrated next.
[Decorated Merotic cups from Faras] 14. Decorated Merotic cups from Faras. Designs show Mediterranean influences and include the ankh, frogs, fantastic animals, and small stamped motifs. These cups are fine wares of very high quality.
[Ring flask from a Merotic grave at Faras] 15. Ring flask decorated with guilloche and floral motifs from a Merotic grave at Faras, 1-2nd c. A.D. (London: British Museum). Faras, a town in lower Nubia, was emerging as an important settlement. In later centuries it became a major center of Christian art.
[Meroitic utility redware from a grave at Faras] 16. Meroitic utility redware from a grave at Faras, probably 1st c. B.C. (London: British Museum). 24.7 cm.
[Tomb of a Merotic aristocrat at Faras] 17. Tomb of a Merotic aristocrat at Faras, below the second cataract. The brick foundations of the superstructure remains and the vaulted brick burial chamber is exposed. To the left are the remains of the funerary chapel with its stone offering table.(सूडान)