Sunday, July 4, 2010

Latitude 22

    Hala'ib is Sudanese and will be ever Sudanese
Omar Al Bashir , the president of Sudan said so from three days ago in Port Sudan adding that he will discuss the issue of Hala'ib with the Egyptian regime. Egyptian FM Ahmed Abu El-Gait assured that Hala'ib is an Egyptian territory as our southern borders are well known to everybody latitude 22 and that it was closed issue yesterday. 
From another hand an official Egyptian reaction on that has said to Al Shorouk Daily that there are attempts by some parties to create crisis in Sudan in these exceptional times.
Publicly the tribes of Hala'ib have expressed its total refusal to what Bashir has said.
The timing of this statement is interesting as it came right afterwards the bizarre statements of the new Sudanese foreign minister , Ali Karti. Egypt demanded a clarification after this statement and as far as I followed the matter we did not receive a good clarification ; the clarification actually was that statement by Al Bashir. If anyone else said these statements I would consider it an attempt to create a crack in the Egyptian-Sudanese position from the Nile river crisis but that was a presidential statement and even that foreign minister who does not know how much Egypt really is engaged in Sudan is a minister from Al Bashir's party !!
I read a theory saying that Al Bashir has said those statements to blackmail in Egypt in order to back off from opposing the South separation. It has been circulating that the price Al Bashir has paid willingly to stay in the rule for another term is the South which Egypt refuses its separation.
My own explanation is based on the fact that Omar Al Bashir is a weak dictator who is facing many challenges above them a dissolving nation on the verge of separation whether the South or Darfur not to mention the troubles in the East , I understand how leaders like Bashir act searching or creating pseudo enemies and pseudo wars. He wants to divert the Sudanese people attention to something else than his fiascos.
FYI the South will join the Nile basin countries new initiative after the separation according to several reports that were published in the last two weeks.
Since 1899 condominium agreement Hala'ib triangle had been recognized as an Egyptian territories at latitude 22 till the separation or the independence of Sudan in 1955.Historically Hala'ib triangle was operated by the governor of Khartoum through an administrative order from the Egyptian minister of war that was issued on November 4,1902 in order to facilitate the movement of Ababda and Bishariyin tribes between the two countries. The oldest and only document that speaks about sovereignty pertaining to Hala'ib is the 1899 agreement, which left the area under Egyptian sovereignty.
After 1956 the Sudanese government began to claim the triangle the thing which led Nasser to send Egyptian army troops to the area yet he refused to turn it militarily due to his Arab nationalist views. Of course when I made a quick search about that confrontation we have forgotten despite it ended to our side in a very emotional way when Nasser responded on the warnings of launching a war against Egypt
Take Hala'ib and take Aswan, if you desire. I shall not allow Arab blood to be shed on the lands of Egypt or the Sudan, however grave the issue is
Of course Nasser was not that emotional or romantic , on the contrary. For 20 years we forgot about Hala'ib especially that Sinai was lost and we tried to regain it back. I think during that time the borders at the triangle were open for the tribes to move from and in to Sudan and vice versa.
In 1978 during the Nimeiry days in Sudan and Sadat days in Egypt , Hala'ib surfaced again when the Sudanese considered a Sudanese territories and granted a concession to search for oil to American Texas Eastern oil company without consulting or taking the approval of Cairo , the crisis was solved simply by an agreement that whatever was found in latitude 22 would be from Egypt's share. Nothing was found though.
During Mubarak things went from small crisis to big ones thanks to Al Bashir who granted a concession to search for oil Canadian company in the red sea area including latitude 22 once again without consulting Egypt. When Egypt objected on the this , the Egyptian Phosphate Company was banned from excavating magnesium in the Hala'ib region after seventy-five years of uninterrupted work. Finally,the Egyptian citizens were ordered in the triangle to replace their Egyptian documents with Sudanese identity cards. Of course as an Egyptian citizen , one must wonder where our army was from all this and how the Sudanese authorities banned our company from excavation and replaced the Egyptian ids with Sudanese ids !!?? The Egyptian answer as far as I understood was cutting the highways between Port Sudan and Hala'ib
Between 1992 and 1993 the Egypt and Sudan witnessed what could be the worst stages of their very long and historical relations up till then because of the tensions resulted from Hala'ib then of course came the assassination attempt of Mubarak and the fact that those who were behind it took refugee in Sudan along with other wanted terrorists.
In 1996 the Sudanese media claimed that the Egyptian army invaded Hala'ib and poor Al Bashir accepted that reality to avoid the wrath of Mubarak !!?
In 2010 during the Sudanese elections Cairo was surprised to find Sudanese officials considering Hala'ib as an electoral committee then we got these presidential statements of Al Bashir.
During my research I found out that the conflict between the North and South began to appear in 1955,UK could not just leave in peace.
Halayeb's location in Egypt according to Bing Maps
Halayeb's dispute is an old thing and I do not know why it is brought back despite historically it is proven to be Egyptian.

View Larger Map
Here is a map for Hala'ib in Google maps , for the record Google maps has considered the Hala'ib triangle as disputed area , it is awkward for sure because officially it is an Egyptian territory . Nevertheless it is not that awkward compared to Wikimapia which recognizes the area as Sudanese !!
Hala'ib in Wikimapia
Hala'ib is another lost treasure in Egypt that can bring us to all gold if we want. I have always heard that Hala'ib is the next Ras Mohamed for hardcore divers who can't stand Hurghada with all its tourists. Also according to former minister and ambassador Mervat El-Tallawy Egypt can solve her problems from agriculture if we reclaim the land there.
I think the current development at Marsa Alam will encourage investors to invest there.
Most of the talk about Hala'ib as far as I see online is associated with the anti-Egyptian feelings in Sudan , lots of people hate us due to different reasons above them the regard that the Egyptian is invader , that regard from the last century to the unfortunate events of Mustafa Mahmoud square to racism in our films and TV series ..etc 
The hate and anger I am afraid are being used by Sudan's worst ruler to escape from accountability for what he has been causing from disasters we will pay all for , we are not the enemy and we are not invading Hala'ib.
We got three neighbors Mubarak does not really know how to deal with , Israel , Qaddafi and Omar Al Bashir , again he have failed to solve the Hala'ib's issue once and for all in his terms which are longer than Nasser and Sadat combined together !!
Hala'ib was meant to be the Kashmir of the Nile valley and it is up to the children of that valley to solve it once for all especially that their land and also their water are in more danger than any other time in history. 


  1. The Halayeb triangle is definitively Egyptian. Furthermore, please note that the Halayeb triangle is as large as the area of Sinai. Check the maps.

  2. I forgot to say Bravo for this very important article!

  3. Sudanese Observer7/05/2010 04:35:00 PM

    The whole world recognises that, in spite of the unilateral military annexation by Egyptian forces of Halayeb in 1993, that the territory is disputed between Sudan and Egypt.

    This is reflected in the most authoritative map, the one produced by the UN cartogrpahic service.
    This is also reflected in maps, the world over, save for one or two institutions, and the maps produced in Egypt of course.

    In case you didn't know a dispute is defined according to the Oxford dictionary as:

    Pronunciation:/dɪˈspjuːt, ˈdɪspjuːt/
    a disagreement or argument:
    a territorial dispute between the two countries

    For your information the dispute over Halayeb has been lodged with the Security Council of the United Nations in 1958, and its deliberation remains pending.
    At the time, the Council sided with Sudan against Egyptian attempts to forcibly annex the region.

    The Sudanese side would like to take the dispute to international arbitration at the International Court of Justice - but the Egyptian side remains obtrusive.

    Regarding the article on shorouk news by the 'anonymous diplomat':

    He is right to identify the sensitive issues that define Egypt's interests with Sudan: The Nile Basin disagreement
    and South Sudan (the Jonglei Canal projects)

    However he wrongly identifies Sudan as dawlat masab - a downstream State, when in reality Sudan is a midstream State.

    The article by Almasry Alyoum is laughable.
    The members of the Bishariyeen (that's what they are known as not Bishareeya), Abaabda and Beja have not been named. The authors also forgot to mention the Rashayda!
    There is good reason why both sovereignty and administration (which is a function of sovereignty under Public International Law) was granted to Sudan.
    Egyptians like Zeinobia and the other anonymous commentators have 'nothing' in common with the peoples of Halayeb.
    You don't know their tribes, their language, their customs - you look down on the way they dress - check the comments made on the photo of Qaddafi...

  4. Sudanese Observer7/05/2010 04:39:00 PM

    There were tribal institutions existing prior to the the military occupation by Egypt of Halayeb in 1992 - and the members of these institutions call for the restitution of Halayeb to its natural status, under Sudanese sovereignty.

    Halayeb today is an open air prison where its members cannot travel or cross the border and outsiders are not permitted to enter.

    A significant number of Halayeb's tribal chiefs and civil society activists languish in Egyptian prisons without trial.

    5 Halayeb civil society activists have died whilst being incarcerated by Egyptian security forces, most notably the former head of Halayeb Council Al-Taher Muhammad Hasaay who was just 40 yeaars old and was tortured so badly he needed an operation which was carried out in the Cairo hospital where he died.

    Is this excusable Zeinobia?
    Or does he not deserve a post like Khalid...???

    Other Halayeb civil society activists who remain incarcerated without trial by Egyptian security forces include: include Taher Muhammad Hasaay, Al-Taher's brother who is continually incarcerated and set free,
    Muhammad Eissa Saeed who has been incarcerated without trial for the past 6 years,
    Hashim Othman who has been incarcerated without trial for the past 2 years,
    Muhammad Saleem 5 years,
    Ali Eissa Abu Eissa 5 years,
    Hashim Othman 2 years,
    Muhammad Tahir Muhammad Saleh 2 years and there are others.


    With regards to Foreign Minister Ali Karti's statements, they were made at a symposium, 'before' he took the oath as Foreign Minister, and Nile Basin specialist Hani Raslan was by his side when he made them, and if you cared to 'read' anything written by Sudanese people, you would find that his statement reflects the views of the masses.

    You are by no means an expert on Sudan, but you seem to read widely, and yet you seem to not read anything on Sudan written by the Sudanese.
    Your link to the slow recovery of the East is misleading - yes the East is impoverished but there is no longer any civil conflict there - if you followed the news you would know that:

    *Musa Muhammad Ahmad, Head of the Beja Congress and Eastern Front is a Presidential Advisor and his party holds seats in the Parliament and,

    *Dr. Amna Dirar, Head of the Democratic Party of the East is State Minister for Employment and her party also holds seats in parliament.

    Let it be known that the Sudanese people 'do not mind the secession of the South.

    It is only 'Egypt' that minds because Southern Egyptians do not like Egypt's historical arrogance and they 'will never' agree to construct the Jonglei Canal which is the 'only means' of increasing the amount of water that Egypt can get from the Nile.

    Examples of Egypt's arrogance towards the South is Salah Salim's (who was overseeing Sudanese affairs during AbdalNasser's time) open attempts at bribing Southern chiefs and his dancing and prancing about in his underwear in order to win over the Southern Sudanese tribal chiefs!

    Just two weeks ago at a conference held in Oxford University, Bona Malwal, the former Sudanese Minister of Information during the first peace agreement 1972 ADDIS ABEBA (not Cairo) stated that he once had a conversation with Boutros Ghali in which he accused Egypt of not paying attention to South Sudan whole-heartedly - Mr Ghali told him (in his dry sarcastic manner) that they didn't want to pay attention to things that would take them backwards.
    This conversation took place over 30 years ago yet it obviously still resonated with Mr. Malwal.

  5. Sudanese Observer7/05/2010 04:39:00 PM

    It is extremely insulting to hear rash judgements made, mostly by Egyptian commentators who know nothing about Sudan.
    If you do not know what you are going to comment on, it is best not to comment at all.

    There is a big difference between Dafur and South Sudan - I advise you to go and do some reading.
    Self-determination for Darfur is not a claim that has been made by the rebel groups or one that reflects the will of the people of Darfur - this differs completely in the case of South Sudan.

    *Sudan receives 'no tangible benefit' from its dealings with Egypt,
    *Sudan's relations with Ethiopia are more dynamic than Sudan's relations with Egypt, *Egypt's relations with Israel (QIZ, accession to the World Trade Organisation, US economic and military aid) have more mutual benefit to both parties than Egypt's relations with Sudan,

    Mr Karti said that Egyptian specialists' knowledge of Sudan is superficial, and I can attest that myself through many dealings with various Egyptian 'Sudan experts'.

    For your information, President Bashir's statement reflects the sentiments of all of Sudan's leaders: Imam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, General Salva Kiir Mayardir, even Mawlan Al-Mirghani who described in his historical visit to Kassala last March, Halayeb's status quo as a grave problem.

    President Bashir's statements in the capital of the Red Sea State, are natural.
    *Halayeb is part of the Red Sea State
    *Halayeb is an electoral district, as approved by the National Electoral Commission and overseen by international observers
    *The peoples of the Red Sea State are the most aggrieved at Halayeb's status as an open-air prison.

    Egypt should be thanking its lucky stars for Bashir, if any other leader was in power, Sudan would sign up to the new Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement - I personally support it, as do all the Umma Party factions and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement - Sudan - both North and South - will sign up the new agreement - it's only a matter of time...

    The claim that Halaib can be an agricultural panacea - in the middle of the desert is laughable.
    Toshka failed and Ethiopia and Sudan are increasing their consumptive uses.

    Sudanese people don't 'hate you' for no reason - that is simplistic and childish.
    Sudanese people would like to be treated with respect at all levels - it is really that simple.
    Some Egyptians seem unable to exercise any degree of introspection in seeing whether their behaviour could have led to feelings of grievance, or whether certain things should be reconsidered / encouraged or discouraged.
    It would be useful to all if you could link the Sudanese sources you've mentioned.

    And finally, this issue is not going to disappear - we the Sudanese will not let it go.

    If Egypt is so sure of its sovereignty over Halayeb, we would like the issue to be put before the International Court of Justice - we have our case ready.

    Otherwise, the status quo is problematic and unfair to the peoples of Halayeb.

  6. Sudanese Optimist7/05/2010 04:52:00 PM

    سكان حلايب: ما يحدث بالمثلث احتلال مصري لأرض سودانية

    For the benefit of the non-Arabic speakers.

  7. If Egypt is so sure of its sovereignty over Halayeb, we would like the issue to be put before the International Court of Justice - we have our case ready.

    I'd like to add - Egypt agreed to international arbitration over Taba with Israel - they should do the same with Sudan

  8. The 22 parallel is OUR border at Halaeyb. Yes there was an ADMINISTRATIVE border there. But Egypt gave independence to Sudan in 1952. The whole of Sudan was an integral part of Egypt.

    This issue has come come up again just to create further divisions between one people.

  9. Sudan was an integral part of Egypt until the CIA sponsored coup in 1952. King Farouk was "King of Egypt and Sudan".

  10. Sudanese Observer7/05/2010 07:58:00 PM

    Anonymous myself and the other commentators Sudanese Optimist and Africanist are all Sudanese so please do not talk on behalf of 'our' people - which are defintely not the same as 'your' people the Egyptians:

    How did Sudan become part of Egypt?

    It became part of Egypt through force, invasion and plunder in 1820 when Muhammad Ali decided to go on an expedition:
    for gold to finance his projects,
    for negroids from the Nuba Mountains to serve in his army and
    to secure the sources of the Nile.

    This foreign invasion precipitated the Mahdist Revolution.

    Do you know anything about the Mahdist Revolution?

    It was Africa's first national liberation struggle - and counts former South African President Thabo Mbeki as one of its fans.

    The 'Sudanese' Mahdist revolution set up the first 'Sudanese' state whose borders contain areas that are not even in Sudan today.

    By the time 1899 came around and the British decided to reconquer Sudan, as it was setting a bad example to the other colonies - Egypt was controlled by the British in everything but name.

    From 1899 to 1955 a national liberation struggle emerged whose slogan was...wait for it...

    'Sudan for the Sudanese'

    The Egyptians co-opted a select group of Sudanese to campaign for unity with Egypt - the Unionists but guess what...?

    In 1955 the Unionist dominated parliament which was led by a Unionist President...declared independence from the parliament and on the 1st of January 1959 the British and Egyptian flags were lowered, the Egyptian and British soldiers were given a formal going awat ceremony - and the flag of the independent Sudan was raised.

    How can we be 'one people' when you know 'nothing' about Sudan (culturally, geographically, politically)?
    How can we be one people when you fabricate and disrespect Sudanese history?

    Please don't comment on things you know nothing of.

    Read on the Mahdist Revolution.

    We are 'most definitely' not one people.

    As mentioned, we have our case ready and the Security Council supported us in 1958 and the issue is still pending deliberation and we have our case ready - let's take the issue to international arbitration - if you're so sure of your claims it won't cost you anything.

  11. Sudanese Optimist7/05/2010 08:01:00 PM

    On why the dynasty of Muhammad Ali are not considered by the Sudanese to have been sovereigns of Sudan - in the same manner that Americans don't consider the British Royal family to be their sovereigns

  12. @Sudanese Observer

    Halayeb issue has been raised only because UK conditioned the retreat of its armed forces from Egypt and Sudan to the separation between Egypt and Sudan. There was never a clear boudary between them, and personally (I dont represent Egyptian people) I consider Sudan as my country (like Egypt). I have many Sudanese friends, my father worked in Sudan as professor of law in the 80's, my grandfather worked there as professor of law in the 60's (he was exiled by Nasser's regime) and he founded an association for the union of Egypt and Sudan (he was removed from his official post because of this in the 80's).

    Concerning arrogance, unfortunately many people in history had a superiority complex due to their skin colour, especially Europeans (Mehmet Ali was from Albania), Circassians and Turks (Ottomans and Mameluks). I condemn firmly this behavior, but would you condemn a whole country, its people and its history because the foreigners that were governing them (as they were governing your country) had a superiority complex?

    You consider that Egypt invaded Sudan to secure the sources of the Nile which lead to mahdist revolution:
    1) Mehmet Ali fought against all his neghbours (Al Saud in Ryad, Ottoman Empire, Greece, UK and France)
    2) He did this for his personal glory not for the glory of Egypt
    3) He was goven the right to keep Egypt and Sudan in a heriditary way, on the condition that he gives back Syria to Ottomans and his armies leave Arabia (which happened)

    The problem is that many Sudanese consider Egypt as an invader while Egyptians were under the oppression of foreigners (Mehmet Ali, UK).
    Suez canal was digged by Egyptians (tens of thousands of Egyptians died) and the ones that were governing them were incompetent.

    Sudan was never a part of Egypt, they were 2 parts of the same country (they used to say Kingdom of Egypt and Sudan, not Kingdom of Egypt)

    Concerning the mahdist revolution, it was not "the first national liberation struggle" as you say, it was a struggle gainst the invaders (UK) and its puppet regime (Mehmet Ali dynasty). At the time the most of "liberation struggle" had a religious dimension (like Emir Abdel Qader in Algeria against France which was before the Mahdist revolution). Moreover it was not national at all, they tried to invade Ehtiopia (Abyssinia) and expand their "Sudan" beyond current boundaries. I would like to remind you that it was UK that pacified Sudan very harshly and not Egypt (Kitchener). Besides, Mahdist revolution happened after Urabi's revolution in Egypt, and it was khedive Tawfik (Mehmet Ali grandson) who asked UK to intervene in Egypt and in Sudan on his behalf.

    In fact, people like you accuse Egyptians for crimes they never committed.
    Concerning Nasser's regime (and Salah Salem), do not forget that Mohamed Nagib (who was Egypt's first president and was removed in a very humiliating way) had a Sudanese mother and a Sudanese wife (moreover he was born in Sudan).
    On the other hand, Nasser had an iranian wife, Sadat a half british wife, and Mubarak a half british wife too.
    Sometimes I am asking myself, what could have happened if Mohamed Nagib had been president of Egypt? I am quite sure that Sudanese and Egyptian people would have been considered as one (which is not the case now unfortunately)

  13. Halaeb is Egyptian. The Elba Mountains are Egyptian. The Beja tribes were the Ancient Egyptian frontier police.

  14. @Sudanese Observer: you also do not seem to know much about us and just like you accuse others of being racist you are also racist. Egyptians are not responsible for all your problems if it makes you sleep better at night blaming us for it all then go ahead and do it.
    Trying to mask the issue as something that should be traced to the modern history of the region is a farce, go back to ancient times and find out what foreign historians wrote about that area or pay a visit to the British Museum, there is a map there in the Egypt and Nubia section and have a good look at it.
    You seem to be very happy that your country is going to split well thats really sad. And you even claim its we the Egyptians who have an issue with that only?! You talked about activists taken in, well in case you havent been following our news, activists from every where in Egypt are also taken in, so if it makes you feel better, there is no discrimination on that matter. And plz tell us if you had a group of ppl promoting the idea that part of Sudan should be part of another country, would your regime leave them? You forgot that you have an even more awful regime and we have already seen what it is capable of. You also forgot that we as Egyptians know that those in the Southern parts as well as in Sinai havent been taken care of by the state and while we are all currently suffering, well they got the worst of it so, no we are not fine or happy with it and we do not look down on any one.
    You must be a fool if you think its all our fault and that your country can do better if it relies on African ties only. Let's see how that will go for you.
    Boarder disputes always come with 2 sides to the story, its silly that you assume your side of the story to be the truth and so we shld just give the land to you. If you care for the ppl there then you should know that they have ties to both sides and any solution should be about making their lives better and not a childish its mine type of solution. Its also silly that you claim you care for them and know them so well and that you are united while you know very well you are far from united and you even discriminate against each other, how is the relationship bet the Northern and Southern Sudanese on the very personal and individual basis and even among those from the same religion?
    Last but not least, Naguib and Sadat had Sudanese family ties and managed to lead our country do you think a Sudanese from Egyptian origin could ever be a president in your country. Judging but the comments of ppl like you, never because you are the real racists not us and by you I dnt mean all Sudanese bec Ive known many who do firmly believe we are one, but I mean those like you and like that person you mentioned who decided to hate an entire country bec of the comments of Ghali who happens to have a terrible reputation for those who know his behavior while in the UN and how he showed his discrimination even against Egyptians working there.

  15. Sudanese Observer7/06/2010 09:06:00 PM

    @ Anonymous

    Offense being the best form of defense may work in football matches but it stone-walls any meaningful attempts to objectively engage and get somewhere.
    Highlighting the faults of an entity one is debating with is of no value - as personally I don't believe two wrongs make a right.

    There 'is' a problem in Sudanese-Egyptian relations and anyone who denies this is like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand.

    A feature of the problem is the schism in the way we collectively perceive each other.

    We are 'not' one.

    We were politically united 'by force'.

    In Sudan we are coming to terms with our own diversity.

    We don't have the history of centralisation that Egypt has.

    Meaningful dialogue will get 'no where' unless one recognises the merits and specificities of the people one is engaging.

    Yes I fully respect the right of the Southern Sudanese to rule themselves independently of the North if they see fit.

    It is 'my' people and 'theirs' whose blood has been shed specifically for this purpose.

    Either we live in peace, or we separate in peace.

    When I say 'Egypt' I refer to official Egypt - not once have I made sweeping generalisations about 'Egyptians' without referring to a particular action or attitude and provided evidence for it.

    Official Egypt wants Sudan to remain united because they know that Southern Sudan will not accommodate their interests with regards to the Jonglei Canal which will probably never be completed.

    You wrote:
    'Boarder disputes always come with 2 sides to the story, its silly that you assume your side of the story to be the truth and so we shld just give the land to you.'

    Yes b'o'rder disputes do have 2 sides to them, so let's take the issue to international aribitration.
    You took your dispute over Taba with Israel to International Arbitration so can provide good reasons as to:
    Why the Halayeb dispute should not be presented to International Arbitration in a similar manner to Egypt's dispute with Israel over Taba?

    Also there are many Sudanese of Egyptian origin who have held senior positions in Sudan, including General Talaat Fareed (the name gives his origins away) who infamously signed the 1959 Agreement under Sudan's first military administration whose coup was supported by the Nasser regime, specifically for that purpose.
    General Talaat was not a water specialist like his predecessor in Sudan's post-independence democratically elected administration Engineer Mirghani Hamza - and he agreed to extremely unfavourable terms for Sudan that aggrieve the Sudanese even half a Century later.

  16. @Sudanese Observer: the only one who was being offensive here was you. Go back and read what you wrote and in no way it seems that your comments were reserved for Egyptian officials. If thats how you see it then well good and thanks for the clarifications.

    Im sure in your mind that general must have been like that bec of his Egyptian origins which goes to prove what I wrote earlier.

    Well, since you no longer see us as one then you should be the first to understand that we do what serves us best and if we see the unity as such then well why are you taking it as a point against us that we work on keeping it that way?!!
    I think not being an ostrich also entails realizing that you are blaming us for more than what we were responsible for and forgetting we also let go of some of the terrible actions of your official Sudan. It also entails ppl like your self realize that they do not really know us the ppl that much and that turning against us now bec our country isnt as powerful for the time being is not the brotherly attitude you so claim to have had in your relations with us.

  17. Sudanese Observer7/07/2010 12:50:00 AM

    @ Sakrquraysh

    I appreciate your objectivity and method of dialogue even if I don't agree with most of what you've written.

    You are correct in your observations about General Muhammad Najeeb - he was born in Sudan and was half Sudanese.

    However it was his comportment and actions which won him the approval of the Sudanese political class - including the Ansar and the Umma Party. He knew Sudan, recognised its peculiarities and interacted with its people.

    There were obviously others who thought his approach to Sudan was wrong and these include President AbdalNasser, the infamous Salah Salim and...Heikal.

    'Oneness' and unity cannot be determined by individuals.

    'Oneness' and unity can also not be determined by politics and administration - real unity is sentimental.

    So many Egyptian commentators - including Ahmad Maher of AlJazeera refer to Sudan's independence as 'Egypt giving Sudan away' and this is extremely insulting to all the Sudanese who fought and laboured and ultimately chose to rule themselves - to our grandfathers and those who came after them.

    Many Egyptians don't know that the proposals for unity would have a rotating 'nominal' head of State with administration of Egypt left to Egyptians and administration of Sudan left to the Sudanese.

    I appreciate what you've written about your personal history - I also have stories with Egypt and Egyptians but I'm not going to disclose them as the issue 'is not' personal - it's generic - there's a problem and denying it will only exacerbate it.

    I do not feel that the peoples of Sudan and Egypt are 'one' - bearing in mind that most Egyptians (and I've been to Egypt many, many times) don't understand the Sudanese accent, can't name 5 States or cities in Sudan and know very little - if anything at all about Sudanese literature, culture or history.

    Which 'peoples' of Sudan are 'one and the same' with the peoples of Egypt?
    The peoples of the Ingassana? Or the Sakkot? Or the Berti? Or the Bani Halba?

    Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa and those Egyptians who are concurrently ignorant of the culture and geography of Sudan, whilst stressing on the Sudanese being 'one and same' as themselves - couldn't be more non-sensical.
    We are different.

    Now with regards to your point about racial arrogance - that exists everywhere - and it takes a feeling of inferiority in order for it to take root - depending on how it is manifested.
    The Sudanese are a proud people, as I'm sure your father has told you, and most of us don't want to be like any other nation.
    'However' when the Egyptian media 'continues' to use black-face - which is the application of extremely dark matte make-up in order to portray the Sudanese (and other black Africans) in an extremely negative manner - and at the same time some Egyptians say we are 'one people' - that is unacceptable.

    I do blame you and other informed Egyptians for not doing enough to put a stop to this type of racism which was 'outlawed' in Hollywood after the Second World War...

    But the racial issue is relatively minor when compared to the superficial ignorance of most Egyptians to all things Sudanese - and at the same time the claims of being 'one' or having a 'common destiny'!

  18. Sudanese Observer7/07/2010 12:54:00 AM

    I never condemned a whole people or an entire history - I just stated that Egyptian involvement in Sudan since Muhammad Ali's invasion has been more detrimental than benefitial.
    And this is the mainstream Sudanese view - Sudanese historiographers refer to it as an invasion 'ghazw' whilst Egyptian apologist historians like the late Yunan Labib Rizk refer to it as 'fat7' / liberation!!!
    I have no issues, nor is it my place to take issue with the glorification of everything Egyptian by Egyptians - Muhammad Ali, his impressive fort, the palaces of his dynasty - 'but' when it comes to Sudan I expect a certain degree of maturity whereby educated Egyptians accept the fact that in Sudan Muhammad Ali and his dynasty are reviled and considered to be ruthless, greedy, invaders.
    Therefore any ties between Sudan and Egypt should be based on a different factor.

    Muhammad Ali did fight against various states as you rightly pointed out but he also embarked on the Sudan expedition in 1820 - which was led by his son Ismail for three reasons:

    *Gold (which he fortuitously didn't find)
    *Negroid soldiers - who were caught and forcibly conscripted into the 'jihadiya' brigade and,
    *Securing the source of the Nile - why would Egypt otherwise traverse Sudan's borders and venture into modern day Uganda???

    You might claim to criticise Muhammad Ali's actions and that of his dynasty but what of the 1929 Agreement?

    It was during the tenure of Muhammad Ali's dynasty that the 1929 Agreement on the Utilisation of the Nile's waters was signed, and this is unanimously rejected by upstream states post independence as an agreement they did not sign up to freely and a colonial vestige...

    Your description of the Mahdist revolution is incorrect, it did have a very strong religious dimension but al-Imam Al-Mahdi toured various parts of 'Sudan' garnering support for his cause which was for the 'liberation of the nation - the lands of the Sudanese from the occupier - who was the ruler of Egypt who many Egyptians - even on this blog glorify...'
    Al-Imam Al-Mahdi 'did not' invade Ethiopia - he heeded the hadith that says that the peoples of Abyssinia should be left alone - he died very young, after the liberation of Khartoum and the founding of Omdurman.
    It was his successor Abdullai who fought with the Abyssinians who he suspected of colluding with the European powers.
    The Mahdist revolution is considered to be Sudan's first national liberation struggle and there are many books written on this - by Sudanese historians.

    I reiterate I'm not accusing any Egyptian today of anything in the past, I'm asking them to consider the other side of the story - particularly with regards to history.

    Muhammad Ali's son Ismail was assassinated by a tribal chief of the ja'aliyeen tribe in Northern Sudan - the 'Makk' (honourific title) Nimir for insulting the tribe - this 'fact' is absent even from the biographical plaque in Muhammad Ali's citadel in Cairo!

    Being nationalistic and patriotic is good - but no nation in perfect - in Sudan we recognise and talk about our collective mistakes with regards to the war in the South - some politicians have even proposed a public apology - this is much more dynamic than the defensive-offensive stonewalling that some commentators (including the author of this blog) embark on.

  19. Sudanese Observer7/07/2010 12:54:00 AM

    I've written a lot about the Sudanese view on how they are mis-perceived by the Egyptians. With regards to how the Sudanese perceive Egypt I believe we 'differ' in our rejection of the notion of Egypt's 'manifest destiny' as a special place with special people who are natural leaders.

    We refuse to be listed as an addendum to Egypt through the superficial slogans of 'one peoples', 'formerly one nation' and we refuse to be used as the means for Egypt to continue to grow.

    The Egyptian Ambassador in Khartoum stated that Egypt is a country with people and Sudan is a country with resources - that is why they should work together...

    What about the 40 million who constitute Sudan's population?!

    The Ambassador's vision mirrors that of Muhammad Ali and this is unacceptable.

    I view Egypt an important neighbour of Sudan, with which some of the Sudanese share commonalities - and there should be 'meaningful grassroots' engagement in order to iron out problems.

    Incidentally I view Ethiopia in the same regard, as an important neighbour of Sudan with which some of the Sudanese share commonalities - and any 'common destiny' that binds Sudan and Egypt, also seperately binds Sudan and Ethiopia.

    Now, do you recognise the 'differences' and 'peculiarities' of Sudan?

    Do you appreciate how 'differently' we view history from 1820 onwards?

    With regards to the illegal occupation of Halayeb I sincerely believe that some of Egypt's policymakers believe that this was one of President Mubarak's gravest mistakes - because the 'water issue' is much more vital to Egypt's interests than any minerals found in Halayeb - and until the issue is put before international arbitration (like I previously said the Sudanese have their case ready) - we will not let this issue go and it will continue to poison relations.

  20. The Egyptian Ambassador in Khartoum stated that Egypt is a country with people and Sudan is a country with resources - that is why they should work together...

    did it occur to your mind that may be he meant we have a way to cooperate? I have Sudanese friends who told me they prefer to have Egyptian farmers moving in instead of the tons of chinese coming in bec they are worried how this will affect their society and culture. Isnt it true that while you opened the door wide for investors buying and cultivating lands in Sudan, once Egyptians started doing the same we read Sudanese screaming invasion?!!
    Is the relationship bet Sudan and Egypt including territorial issues only a matter of recent history?
    I wish all Egyptians would know about all Arab countries and the entire World but what you are saying is not realistic. Most other surrounding countries know more about us bec of historical reasons. You can not blame us for not knowing enough and for you knowing more.I take it Ethiopians know a lot about you and can speak your language too.

  21. Sudanese Observer7/07/2010 02:40:00 PM

    Ethiopians 'and' Eritreans do not a lot about Sudan, they know the East of Sudan very well, they know Sudanese tribes (with which there is much intermarriage) they know Sudanese customs, music, food and folklore - ours is a very organic and amicable intermeshed relationship - in spite of the language barrier (in some cases) - speaking of which - can you understand the Sudanese accent beyond the parodies that it is represented with in the Egyptian media?
    Because my friends from the Arabian peninsula seem to understand my Sudanese accent more than most Egyptians I've met - some of whom find it 'amusing'.
    = )
    We respect each others history.
    We know of Axum and they know of Kush.
    We know, and sing of Minelik (Sultan alHabash) and they know AlKandaka (Candace in the Anglicised version - the venerable Nubian queen).
    We know and respect Haile Selassie and they know and respect The Mahdi.
    The Sudan Defence Forces successfully fought and defeated Mussolini's Italian forces at Keren, thus contributing to the allied force against the Axis.
    Sudan was a safe haven for Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees after the Dergue took over power and the Eritrean war of independence ocurred.
    Some of the border between Sudan and Ethiopia is not demarcated, however neither side has embarked on unilateral military annexation - in the way that Egypt did over Halayeb...
    Moreover Ethiopians and Eritreans 'never' parody the Sudanese character in their media - unlike the case as far as Egypt is concerned.

    If the 1959 Agreement has taught us anything, it is that engagement with Egypt means a win for Egypt at the expense of Sudan.
    Sudan's power grid was connected to Ethiopia before it was connected to Egypt's.
    Sudan's road network was also connected to Ethiopia's before Egypt...
    Sudan did not receive one watt of electricity from the Aswan Dam to date...

  22. Sudanese Observer7/07/2010 02:44:00 PM

    Back to the Egyptian Ambassador's statement.
    Sudan isn't the United Arab Emirates in the 70's - we have a population of 40 million that is growing.
    The Egyptian Ambassador's statement is cryptic - he completely disregards Sudan's 40 million strong population - whilst looking out for 'Egypt's' food security interests - sorry, but our interests come first.

    You previously said that Egypt looks out for its interests, Sudan does and has the right to do the same.
    Through Sudan's engagement with China - Sudan has managed to further its interests and in a very successful manner.

    You obviously haven't been to Sudan, there aren't many Chinese agricultural workers in Sudan yet - but I look forward to the Sudanese-Chinese partnership - China is a country that has a world-renowned experience in achieving maximum crop yield output for a burgeoning population.

    There are 'loads' of Egyptian workers in Sudan in all kinds of sectors from fast food to bricklaying.
    They are taking advantage of the 4 Freedoms Agreement (movement, residence, employment, ownership) which the Sudanese government applies to Egyptians but the Egyptian government does not apply to Sudanese - Sudanese males between 18-55 have to get a visa before travelling to Egypt.

    Many Sudanese commentators have objective reasons based on which they oppose the 4 Freedoms - namely that 'we' have our own population with its employment problems and the priority should be given to our citizens.

    Moreover in light of the attitude of 'certain' Egyptians who defend the indefensible - such as:
    *Amr Adib's lies and slander in light of the Algeria-Egypt match (and the diplomatic rift it caused),
    *Egypt's illegal military annexation of Halayeb whilst refusing to support international arbitration on the matter and,
    *The disregard for any meaningful educational engagement with the Sudanese people on an equal footing and,

    Also due to the attitude of certain Egyptians who belittle Sudanese history - particularly independence, many Sudanese people think that we should continue our engagement with the world at large and let Egypt do her thing elsewhere.

    You said most other countries know about you because of historical reasons - official Egypt doesn't refer to the peoples of those countries and its citizens as the peoples of the Nile Valley, right?

    So if there was a hierarchy of priorities for getting to know nations - the number one priority would be Sudan, right?

    But anyway the 'Nile Valley' concept is just a myth that was created for social engineering.

    We have 3 Nile valleys in Sudan (Blue, White and River Nile) and each is as important as the other.

    And finally I wonder how your defensiveness is going to sit with this article which was written by a respected Egyptian commentator who also agrees that Egypt has not been sufficiently engaged, informed, uptodate, aware or basically 'educated' about Sudan and that it will pay a high price for this neglect.

    مصر في السودان.. غيبة أم غيبوبة ؟

  23. Is the relationship between Sudan and Egypt including territorial issues only a matter of recent history?


    Our archaeologists provide evidence that the oldest human civilisation in the River Nile valley is in modern day Northern Sudan - perhaps Mr Hawass would have something to say about that...

    What is beyond any doubt is that the seats of power gravitated in Lower Egypt (modern day Egypt) towards the Mediterranean - for the obvious strategic advantage that the sea would provide.
    And this caused the 'Mediterraneanisation' of Lower Egypt.

    And the seat of power in Nubia (modern day Sudan, save for a small proportion of modern day Egypt) gravitated southwards, as far as Soba the outskirts of Khartoum.

    Where Lower Egypt was the gateway to the Mediterranean, Nubia was the crossroads of Africa.

    And of course wars ensued, including a Nubian takeover of power in Egypt by Piankhi and Piye and Taharqa - but this is glossed over by 'Egyptologists' and referred to as the '25th dynasty'.

    ANYWAY - contested ancient history aside and controversial post-modern history aside - the Egyptians have still not collectively managed to engage the Sudanese at a respectable, reciprocal cross-historical, meaningful level so many Centuries on...

  24. @Sudanese Observer
    "The Egyptian Ambassador's statement is cryptic - he completely disregards Sudan's 40 million strong population - whilst looking out for 'Egypt's' food security interests - sorry, but our interests come first."
    - cryptic: are you God to know that? Why always taking the worst interpretation of intentions?!!
    -The man is clearly talking about a fact that you do not have enough work force, not my words btw words of Sudanese friends.
    -Of course he looks out for Egyptian interests he is representing us and the same must be expected of Sudanese counterpart in Egypt right?!!

    We cant win with you, if we seek more cooperation then well you are doubtful and claim we disregard your population and want to invade you again. If we turn elsewhere then we are bad for not trying for better and meaningful relations with Sudan.

    Seriously, what is the point of all you wrote, while you fail to see that Sudanese with such an attitude are also a problem.
    No one is objecting to how you handle foreign investors, get any one you want but do not complain when we try to seek the same opportunities others are seeking in your country. Sure, you can take your business elsewhere and we can also do the same and are doing the that, in a World of open global markets you can not shut your self to one country btw.
    I totally agree with you about the 4 freedoms and also do not get why they arent operating fully on both sides. Having said that, all of my Sudanese friends come from families with extensive businesses in Egypt. Not sure how could that be if you claim the 4 freedoms are not recognized for Sudanese in Egypt!!
    Historically, who had the upper hand in that region? You mentioned that there was a Sudanese so-called ruling family at some point, you failed to mention how extensive the Egyptian control over Southern parts of Egypt and northern Sudan was.

    As far as engaging with each other on better and more extensive terms Im all for that but what I see differently from you is that there is a problem with some from both sides.

    I appreciate all the effort you put in your posts but what I take issue with is that attacking attitude and the let's blame it all on Egyptians type of thinking. If we set aside brotherly ties which you do not seem to agree with and the unity talk then we should evaluate things based on common interests, we both stand to gain more if we develop these, sure we can take our interests elsewhere but it will be costly and more difficult.
    Last but not least, just like the Egyptians do not judge the Sudanese by the quality and actions of their officials, going as far as attempting to kill our president (regardless of whether I like him or not), I think its fair you also stop judging us based on the actions of our officials, we both know our people deserve better since both regimes have failed to give us a better life and have been detrimental to what ever ties we had.

  25. @Sudanese Observer:
    "can you understand the Sudanese accent beyond the parodies that it is represented with in the Egyptian media?" Not entirely, but with my Sudanese friends it was fine and I dnt think "amusing" must be bad for e.g. I used to like one of my friends saying "hada 3ajeeb shedeed", I found that amusing just like some find some of our slang words amusing. I also could understand it far better than the Arabic dialect of the gulf for example.

    Honestly, the media makes fun of every body, my family is from Al Sa3eed and you know the amount of jokes and misrepresentations of the ppl of the South in our own media. So, I understand why you might take offense but may be you guys do not get that we tend to make fun of all including ourselves. Also, I do not like comments about color ect and was shocked to find out that Saeed Hamed who included some offensive stuff in his films is actually Sudanese.

    Im not saying there are no issues to be solved. Im saying there are but I simply do not think officials on both sides will do that, we as individuals can do that.

    I was going to visit Sudan for a wedding but had to go for my studies abroad at the same time. Still planning to visit and have a dream of visiting all MENA countries and hoping some African ones as well. Also, my parents lived for 12 years in Sudan and loved it and used to tell me all their stories there, made me want to see it. I also had Sudanese friends in Cairo, US and UK, used to discuss loads of issues w them and I remember some very harsh comments regarding country relations from a friend of a friend who was from the Southern parts of Sudan, but I admired him for being frank.
    I guess to sum up the entire situation I'd say there is a lot of bitterness and I guess its up to ur generation to think of ways to deal with that.
    I hope I did not anger you with my so many comments.

  26. Sudanese Observer7/08/2010 12:50:00 AM

    You haven't angered me.

    I have Egyptian friends who are like you.

    Whatever low standards you use to make fun of yourselves and to deal with yourselves cannot and should not be used in your dealings with 'others' - it's only logical.

    Sudan 'does not' have a workforce shortage.

    I hope that you've recognised that there are differences and peculiarities to be taken into account with regards to anything that binds Sudan and Egypt and that generalisations and slogans are for the pre-globalisation era.

    You should know in unequivocal terms that I absolutely condemn the attack on the Egyptian President, as do most Sudanese...

    The government at the time was embarking on a provocative foreign policy and its rationale was tit for tat - if Egypt hosts Sudanese opposition then Sudan will host Egyptian opposition - even if they are terrorists.
    This policy was 'wrong'.

    It's interesting to note that the Egyptian Minister of Culture has 'never' visited Sudan.

    That one of our greatest literary minds AbdAllah Al-Tayyib Al-Mahjoub is better known in Morocco than in Egypt.

    And to be honest I'm not optimistic that things will proceed smoothly in the future precisely because there is this gap in meaningful engagement.

    What does Gamal Mubarak know about Sudan?
    His first visit was for a couple of hours to watch Egypt play and lose against Algeria in Omdurman...

    President Mubarak's decision to militarily annex Halayeb is his gravest mistake in his dealings with Sudan - and the issue will 'not' be laid to rest until it goes before international arbitration like the case of Taba between Egypt and Israel.

    I sincerely hope you do visit Sudan, I'll would you to the Ansar who will rough you up (I'm joking!) - they're traditionally very stand-offish towards Egypt.

    I would like Sudan and Egypt to have the type of relationship that South Korea and Japan have - a relationship of equals - built on a solid strategy of 'equitable' positive-sum gains for both.
    With the controversial issue of the history also maturely addressed by both sides and not swept under the carpet.

    First the issue of Halayeb has to be taken to international arbitration.

  27. @Sudanese Observer

    It is a pity that you analyze many points in a clear way and then conclude in a very strange way, based on weak arguments like parodies in media.

    I agree with you on one point: that Egypt is a centralized country while Sudan is not. By the way this has been the case since Mehmet Ali was Sultan of Egypt (before it was not true)

    Besides, if you consider that because of Sudanese dialect is not understood by some Egyptians, we are not one people, then in Sudan there would be 400 different countries and in Egypt there would be tens (for each dialect/language there would be a nation and a state).

    I am convinced that there were many mistakes in history. But the problem is that the anti-egyptian resentment makes many Sudanese against anything Egyptian. The worst thing is that Nile Valley people are not aware that humiliation and expoitation can only lead to more hatred. For centuries there were struggles between the regional powers, but it is the first time in history that Egypt is threatened by the dewatering of the Nile.

    Since Egypt now is at its weakest state in History, the exploitation of Nile Valley countries is quite understandable, but it will certainly lead to consequences that will be disastrous for everybody. It is a matter of interests and survival, not ethics.

  28. Sudanese Observer7/08/2010 03:22:00 AM

    Please draw objective parallels.
    I thought we have already stated that Sudan is 'different' from Egypt and that what applies to Egypt 'does not' automatically apply to Sudan.

    The miscegenation and history and Mahdist revolution unite the Sudanese (North, East and West) 'in spite' of the linguistic diversity of its people.

    Your comparison between Sudan and Egypt in this regard is not valid.

    Besides, another 'difference' between Sudan and Egypt is that most of Egypt's population live on the banks of Egypt's 'sole river basin' - and this validates the centralisation of power in Egypt throughout history.
    Sudan is geographically and demographically more diverse than Egypt with many historical de-centralised centres of power - 3 at least, living in peace side by side prior to Muhammad Ali's invasion.

    On the media issue:
    We are quite frankly very 'tired' of voicing our concerns to 'enlightened' Egyptians if I may use that term about the racism in the Egyptian media who 'say' they are against yet 'continues' to be propogated with no end in sight.

    It's your country's media - do something about it!

    And it affects the Sudanese and other black Africans quite profoundly - it was outlawed in Hollywood in the 40's - get with the times!

    And that ties in nicely with your point about 'ethics' - as I'm sure you know power consists of 2 pillars - hard (military) and soft (culture, reputation etc..)

    Arguably soft power is just as important if not more important in this day and age than hard power.

    Egypt has 'lost' the soft power battle even in its 'closest' neighbour Sudan.

    Go and speak to Ethiopian, Ugandan, Kenyan and even some Sudanese academics and see what they will tell you about Egypt's attitude towards their 'legitimate rights'.

    Egypt has been the sole beneficiary of the Nile.
    Sudan got a 'rotten deal' out of the 1959 Agreement from Nasser's administration and as previously mentioned Sudan has not gotten one watt of electricity from the Aswan Dam...

    Will Egyptians starve to death if it revised its agricultural production and stopped producing water intensive crops?

    Since Egypt has the highest GDP in the Nile Basin, why doesn't Egypt desalinate water from the seas to its North and East?

    The historical rights doctrine that Egypt is holding on to has been unanimously rejected by the global academic and juridic communities...

    The anti-Egyptian resentment in Sudan, as you've put it, isn't abstract - it is a reaction to something.

    Think about it.

  29. Another example of 'official' Egyptian chauvenism and disrespect towards Sudan is the statement made by Presidential spokesman Hussam Zaky that:
    'Whoever wants to deal with Sudan has to go through Egypt'.

    A political party, 'The Just Peace Forum' held a symposium on Sudan-Egypt relations recently where its head stated: 'Sudan is not Egypt's farm, we call for reciprocity and the dignity of Sudan'

    وعن الاتهامات التي وجهت لصحيفته بتخريب علاقات السودان مع دول الجوار، قال الطيب مصطفى إن ما تم هو أنهم عقدوا ندوة لمنبر السلام العادل عن العلاقات السودانية - المصرية علقنا من خلالها علي تصريحات الناطق باسم الخارجية المصرية حسام زكي التي قال فيها إن من يريد أن يدخل للسودان عليه أن يأتي عبر مصر، ونحن قلنا إن السودان ليس مزرعة لمصر، وأضاف
    مصطفى «نحن ندعو للندية وكرامة السودان

  30. Wake up! Can't you see the conspiracy against the Sudan?
    In the South
    In the West
    In the East

    And now you are falling for the trap to create problems in the North with Egypt?

    Sudan is falling apart because the zio-neocons want your oil.

    Whats wrong with you guys?

  31. @ Anonymous


    It's funny and ironic how Egypt cries 'conspiratorial wolf' whenever it's already inequitable Nile water interests are legitimately challenged.

    Egypt concluded a peace agreement with Israel (to the approval of 'zio-neocons') right?
    Egypt (and yourself if you're an Egyptian citizen) are beneficiaries of Camp David through extensive US economic and military aid, right?
    Egypt has full diplomatic relations with Israel (also approved by 'zio-neocons' right?)
    Egypt joined the World Trade Organisation and is a member of the QIZ (with Israel and the US) due to all of the above, which is approved by 'zio-neocons', right?
    Sudan has none of the above.

    The only conspiracy in Eastern Sudan is the one pertaining to the illegal military annexation of Halayeb at a time when the Sudanese armed forces were in live combat in the South...

    How much do you know about South Sudan and the history of the conflict.

    We're waking up alright, but not to the naive tone of being instruments to a pie-in-the-sky notion of Egypt's 'manifest destiny' to lead.

    What's good for the Egyptian goose, is also good for the Sudanese gander.

    The 'zio-neocons' might want our oil, but you want our water and the food our agricultural lands can produce.

    There's no trap vis-a-vis 'creating problems' in the North with Egypt.

    The problems have always been simmering under the surface and now they're starting to come out to the fore...

    Crying conspiracy won't solve anything - check yourselves on 'why' the problems exist and 'how' to solve them - agreeing to international arbitration over Halayeb like Egypt did with...Israel over Taba.

    And maybe there will be less problems...

  32. @Sudanese Observer

    First of all I really enjoy discussing with you although we almost agree on nothing.

    Concerning the comparison between Egypt and Sudan:
    I never said they were alike, but I still insist on the fact that Egypt was centralized during 19th century. Before that it was a more centralized country compared to Sudan, but it was far less centralized than nowadays. Moreover, you can still find many places in Egypt where they don't care about the central authority, which is a big issue for the Egyptian government to impose itself. I recognize that you are a far more heterogeneous country (which is an advantage and an incovenient at the same time).

    Concerning Egypt soft power:
    As I said in my previous post, Egypt is now at its weakest state in History. They not only lost their influence in Africa (a fact that started to emerge during Sadat's era), but in arab and islamic countries too (after Camp David treaty). Besides, Egypt economy you qualify as the highest GDP in Nile Basin is very weak and cannot enable an enhancement of its soft power.

    Concerning anti-Egyptian resentment:
    It is a big issue, since hatred blinds those who have such a resetment. I don't say it is not unjustified, but I am convinced that it is amplified with current events. In fact, Egypt is now facing a whole continent that asks to defend its interests (UN security council refomrs). I personally advise you to try to analyze the context objectively by trying to abtract yourself. I try to do this although I am Egyptian (and love Sudan).

    Concerning the "racism":
    1) Hollywood didnt stop producing movies where racist cliches appear as you alleged.
    2) Some of Egyptian movies have Sudanese filmmakers. Why don't you suggest this to them (especially that they live and work in Egypt)

    I enjoyed this post a lot despite all contreversies that arise. Thanks a lot for your continuous efforts.

  33. Sudanese Observer7/10/2010 05:55:00 AM

    You enjoy tautological discussion whereby your defensiveness stonewalls any progress?

    2) Some of Egyptian movies have Sudanese filmmakers. Why don't you suggest this to them (especially that they live and work in Egypt)

    You are far too intelligent to use this as a possible justification to side-track admission of a strict liability action that is wrong, destructive and of *extremely* poor taste.

    It is 'your' responsibility to regulate 'your' country's media.

    And in the United States ther first ammendment enshrines the freedom of expression yet after the 2nd World War there was a consensual convention that black Americans should not be portrayed as jiggaboos and aunt jemimas - and the likes of Lana Turner, Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt emerged.

    ANYWAY that's not the issue - even if the US didn't scale out stereotypified, negative, racist depictions of blacks in their film industry - which they did - that would not make it right.
    Your media insults us, calls us brothers and reports on us in the most superficial terms - what a load of rubbish!

    Quite frankly I would be 'ashamed' if I were Egyptian at the idiotic 'colonial' depictions of the Sudanese and black Africa that the Egyptian media spews.
    Way to civilising your masses!

    And you want the evidence?

    And closer to home than the US, the Moroccan film industry, which has made its mark on the international scene 'never' depicts black Africans in a negative light.

    Don't insult my intelligence.

    And finally you're asking for an objective assessment of Egypt as Africa's candidate in the Security Council?

    As an African I question:
    What Egypt has given to Africa,
    How Egypt perceives the rest of Africa and Africans in general and,
    How Egypt perceives itself in Africa.

    And the answers to all three questions suggest that Egypt lacks the legitimacy to represent Africa in the same vein as South Africa.

    Get real.

  34. "You enjoy tautological discussion whereby your defensiveness stonewalls any progress?"

    Well it is not me who is defending behind stonewalls (unlike you), and I thought you would understand why I said I enjoy discussing with you (it seems it is my mistake, anyway I will not explain why I said that). The tautological speech is yours, and you limit Egypt added value to racism.
    Unlike you, I never say "you" when I am talking about Sudanese people and I never say "we" when I talk about Egyptians. It is very easy to blame anyone because of his nationality, and as I told you, I try to analyze the situation, and not to defend Egypt position.
    I never said that Egypt deserves a seat in the Security Council to represent Africa, and would I have been an african I would have had the same reaction as yours (except that I dont see South Africa the best candidate). I wanted to give you an example of anti-Egyptian resentment consequences on the political scene, but it seems that you are so filled with hatred towards Egypt that you cannot make a difference between someone who tries to analyze objectively a situation and someone who defends a position in a blind way (by the way, personally I am very proud to be Egyptian, and very proud to be African and I really hope to find a solution to all the problems we discussed).
    For your information, I never watch a movie that make people laugh at a specific group (Se3id ...). Movies based on such low standards do not interest me. Frankly, as a muslim (and not only as an Egyptian) I am "ashamed" (and I never asked for an evidence for Egyptian media racism)

    2) ANYWAY that's not the issue - even if the US didn't scale out stereotypified, negative, racist depictions of blacks in their film industry - which they did - that would not make it right.

    Well, it seems you limit racism to the one targeting black people.

    3) Don't insult my intelligence.

    If I did that, then explain to me how (and I am really sorry if you feel insulted, it was /is not my goal at all). For me it is an opportunity to understand more about the anti-Egyptian resentment that I find in African intelligentsia. I am really disappointed for not having visited Sudan which welcomed my grandfather when he was exiled and my father.

  35. Hala'ib is cleary not Egyptian. By no means is it a part of the artificial ex Anglo-Egyptian condominium of the Sudan.
    Historically, the region has 'belonged' to the Bisharin and Ababda groups of the greater Beja culture. They served as mercenaries of the Pharaohs and warred with the Romans and numerous other foreign invaders (referred to as "Blemmys" during Roman occupation).
    The Arab hordes only sufficed to convert the people to a kind of Islam- they refer to God with the To-Bedawiate phrase for it. They still practice their traditional customs. The sword fighting practiced for foreign diplomats and tourists is a Beja development, not an Egyptian one.
    Egypt can be rightly defined as the land of the Lower Nile Valley peoples, who,though heavily mixed,were primarily of Eurasian origin, Arab invaders and their offspring, immigrants to Egypt during the various Islamic empires.
    The British defeated the Soudanese Bisharin in the Mahdi Uprising and were the first to properly rule some numbers of them with the construction of Port Soudan.
    The oppressive regimes of Arabophilic-Nationalists led the the destruction of their grazing land due to the construction of the Aswan dam, theft of indigenous property, influx of refugees into the Native lands, the selling of indigenous lands to the likes of a man by the name of Usama bin Laden, death/theft of livestock, failed urbanization programmes; all of which have left the people in situations of abject poverty- with urban wages as low as 6USD/week. If any wealth is to be extracted from the lands of the Beja, it should be distributed accordingly.
    Still, throughout history, the majority of the Beja have lived apart from the World. If the concept of ownership has any validity, then, in all fairness, then Beja can be the only deed holders to over 110,000 sq miles of what is currently recongnized to be Soudanese territory, all of Southeastern 'Egypt,' all of Northeastern 'Eritrea.'
    In conclusion, Hala'ib and Bir Tawil, at the very least, should go towards providing a sovereign homeland for what are the most rightful inhabitants of the region, the Beja.

  36. Sudan should undergo Balkanization. It is an unnatural offshoot of the Ali Pasha's and the, later, British colonial regime in the area. Anglo-Egyptian Soudan was never and can never be a true country. The Arab-dominated Khartoum led to the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Africans, even after such formal practice was internationally frowned upon.

    Redistribution of land should go about as follows: Darfur, a Southern Soudanese Federation of indigenous peoples (under new name), a Beja state with its capitol at Port Sudan, a further East-West division of what remains of Sudan (with capitols at Omdurman and Khartoum, respectively) under new names, of course.

  37. @Last Anon: Im just curious, why is it ok to dissolve countries into smaller countries just in our side of the World? How many countries are made up of one ethnicity? or followers of one religion? Since when its alright to break up a country just bec it happens to be have citizens belonging to different ethnicities, tribes, ect.?
    What Sudan needs is a proper governing system, one that respects its diversity and has the vision and will to utilize the resources of the country to to the benefit of foreign oil and investment companies, but for the benefit of its ppl. Then again, that's what we all need in this region.

  38. I was extremely impressed to find this gem on youtube - made by Egyptians in favour of 'international arbitration'

    حلايب قضية حلها التحكيم

    And here's a Sudanese voice:
    حلايب أرض سودانية


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