Remembering the Greeks of Sudan

Tomorrow is the most important day for the Greek diaspora in Khartoum: the Annunciation in the church calendar and the commemoration of the breaking of the revolution of Independence (against the Ottoman Empire) in 1821. Every year, the celebration of these two events used to bring the Greeks of Sudan together in their communities’ premises, in Khartoum, Port Sudan, Atbara, Medani, Gedaref, El Obeid, and Juba. It was the metropolitan church in Khartoum that attracted most attention of course, both because it is the capital city of the Sudanese state with the largest Greek community, and because the building of the church itself is dedicated to the Annunciation. By our days, it has in fact become the only place where such “national” and “religious” celebrations take place. The presence of the school in the immediate vicinity helps perpetuate the traditional character of these celebrations. Since we have written in the past about the celebrations taking place in the Greek Community premises on that festal day, we decided to present today some of the stuff about the Greeks of Sudan that can be found on the Net.

A simple google search about Greeks of Sudan provides a variety of links that we can categorized as “academic”, “business”, and “memories”.

One of the most interesting academic works on Greeks of Sudan available online is the paper by Evangelia Georgitsoyanni about the Karpathian masons of the Sudan, originally published in the Journal of Hellenic Diaspora in 2003. The work sheds light in an important contribution of a Greek labor force to the development of modern Sudan. The online copy can be read HERE. A rich list of references awaits the avid reader for further discoveries in this special field of Sudan Studies.

When it comes to business, presentations of the work of our friends at Acropole Hotel dominate the scene. Among several links, we suggest THIS from the online news portal about international Greek news.

It was our friends from Acropole that informed us about the latest attempt to summarize the history of contacts between the Greeks and the Sudan. Despite many simplifications in the historical narrative, the first part of the article by Dean Kalimniou (in the newspaper Neos Kosmos of the Greek diaspora in Australia) promises very interesting insights when, in the second part, the modern history will be tackled.

Another friend we made in Khartoum, the blogger VaD with his site ΑΠΟΥΡΩ, informed us three weeks ago about another post that made a very intriguing set of comments on the role of the Greeks during the Mahdist revolution and the short period of the Mahdiya (we believe, however, that the author has misunderstood the facts upon which he makes some of his points). The text is in Greek and can be found HERE.

With VaD, we have already come into the category “memories” that is of special interest, since it consists of personal recollections from life amidst the Greek communities of Sudan. One of our favorites in this category (the legends and the comments on the individual photos, though, are really beyond any comparison!) is the following video with which we will close today’s entry, since it even contains a couple of fine testimonies of the celebrations on national days in the Greek community of Khartoum:

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