Hibiscus with Ginger

Cultural Scene in Khartoum

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It was great to read this interview with Mamoun Eltilib, a Sudanese writer and an editor at the Citizen, one of the English newspapers in Khartoum. Eltilib speaks on a whole range of topics, including his work with the Work Culture Group, which organizes regular lectures and a monthly book fair, as well as the literary, cultural, and political atmosphere in Khartoum today. He makes a particularly apt statement regarding the role of education in Sudan:

“One of the problems is that they destroyed both languages—English and the Arabic language itself. They Arabized the system, they changed it to Arabic, the universities, the schools, everything. But even with Arabic, when they teach the language, they teach it in a way that makes you start to hate the language itself. Because it’s becoming a very… violent kind of language.

They shut down all the libraries in the universities and in the schools. You can no longer read literature. When we came up, there were no libraries in the schools.”

The rest of the interview is just as good—you get a sense not only of the limitations but also the character of life. Check it out!


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