At the Sudan National Museum and at Amarat

The morning today started with a visit to the Sudan National Museum. School classes were visiting, and I captured them during a break while enjoying the beautiful garden. On the background the new extension of the headquarters of all things Ancient and Medieval in Northern Sudan.

Coincidences were awaiting me as soon as I entered the offices of the Museum authorities: a booklet of the European Film Festival was left on a table! So, I found out that “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams” was not shown, but that there was both a Greek and a Norwegian contribution, with “A Touch of Spice” and “Vinterland” representing our two homelands respectively. Interestingly enough, the Greek film had already been projected in 2005 at “Ergamenis”, the Cultural Center of the Greek Community in Khartoum!

There were also more meetings with members of the Greek Community today: I had the honor of being invited for lunch with three eminent members of the Greek Community Committee, among whom there was the President, Xenophon Karapanayotis. The future of Greek education in Sudan was naturally the focal point in our discussions, and I was pleased to see that my idea for the establishment of a Scientific Institution to protect and promote the Greek history in Sudan did not leave them uninterested. Only the future will show what will be the fate of the testimonies of this still largely unrecorded history

Today’s meeting took place in one of the few remaining Greek residences in the New Extension of Khartoum, or Amarat, as the area south of the center of Khartoum is called, and facing the airport of the Sudanese capital. The legend has it that it was Doxiades who prepared the urban plan of Amarat (which means “big houses” in Arabic and refers to the villa-like houses with gardens characteristic of that suburb). In the immediate post-colonial period, it was in this New Extension that the most well-off members of the Greek Diaspora in Sudan used to stay.

The day came to a close quite early, with a short visit to a friend’s family residence in Khartoum 2, the suburb between Amarat and downtown Khartoum. Back home, there was a lot to prepare for the work in the storeroom of the Sudan National Museum, waiting to be completed tomorrow morning…

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