Q&A about sudan
Khartoum is of course the capital of Sudan. But what is the populous city which houses the famous tomb of the Mahdi?
Omdurman. Omdurman lies to the west of the Nile, opposite Khartoum and Khartoum North. It is the key locus of commerce in Sudan. During the Mahdist uprising and war in the late 1800s, Omdurman served as military headquarters and then (temporarily) capital. The Mahdi’s tomb is in the city. Over time, it became the commercial center of Sudan, and is famous for its souqs (markets).
Sudan has a series of ancient pyramids and stelae. Which kingdom, in what is modern Sudan, controlled Egypt during the 25th Dynasty? The Geography of Sudan
Kush. The Kingdom of Kush, which was primarily located in the eastern half of what is now Sudan, conquered Egypt in roughly 727 B.C. The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, under Kush control, lasted about 75 years. During and following the period when Kushite kings ruled as pharaoh of Egypt, Kush built hundreds of pyramids in the three cities that successively ruled Kush. The building was particularly active in Meroe, the third capital. Kush developed a distinctive style for their “Nubian pyramids,” generally smaller and steeper than most Egyptian pyramids.
About 97 percent of Sudan’s population follows this dominant religion. What is this religion? The Geography of Sudan
Islam. The vast majority of the people living in Sudan are of mixed Arab and Nubian background and practice Islam. In what was the southern part of Sudan, however, the majority are animists or to a smaller extent Christians. These religious differences, among other factors, contributed to the civil wars between the north and south that have plagued Sudan since independence in 1956. On July 9th, 2011, South Sudan became an independent nation.
What is (are) the official language(s) of Sudan? The Geography of Sudan
Arabic and English. The country has two official languages according to its constitution: Standard Arabic and English. The spoken Arabic, especially in the north of the country, is a blend unique to Sudan of Egyptian and Arabian Arabic. The southern half of Sudan sees an increasing prominence of Dinka and other tribal languages. In all, more than 140 languages are spoken. English, of course, is an official language as a result of the colonial period from the late 1800s until independence in 1956.
Sudan borders seven countries with border lengths ranging from 109 miles (175km) to 1,357 miles (2184 km). With which country does Sudan share its shortest border? The Geography of Sudan
Central African Republic. At 109 miles, Sudan’s shortest border is with the Central African Republic. It also has borders with Libya (238 miles), Eritrea (376 miles), Ethiopia (478 miles), Egypt (792 miles), Chad (845 miles), and South Sudan (1,357 miles).
In the 21st century, what has been Sudan’s most valuable known natural resource? The Geography of Sudan
Petroleum. Petroleum, or crude oil, has become Sudan’s major export commodity and largest natural resource. Following oil exploration in the 1970s and 1980s, often interrupted by civil war in Sudan, the country began exporting oil products in 1999. Oil has become the dominant export, accounting for at least two-thirds of export revenues. Estimates vary greatly, but by 2009, the Sudanese government estimated that oil production was up to about 520,000 barrels a day. Oil reserves have been estimated at five billion barrels. Sudan also has extensive natural gas reserves, as well as other natural resources such as uranium, chromium, gold, silver, manganese, lead, zinc, and copper.
Sudan is nearly, but not quite, landlocked. What body of water borders the northeast section of the country?
Red Sea . The northeast portion of Sudan borders on the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea. The coastline is about 400 miles long (470 miles counting its inlets and turns) and composed of many coastal lagoons, called marsas, and a good amount of coral reefs. Port Sudan is the principal city on the coast and is a major transportation hub for the country.
The northern portion of Sudan, other than the Nile valley, consists largely of desert. Which major desert(s) is (are) represented?
Nubian and the Libyan Deserts. Northern Sudan is a dry, often rainless region. The rich Nile Valley cuts its way through it, generally south to north but forming a large meandering “S” shape. Other than that valley, the region consists of desert: rocky soil with sand dunes, some rocky outcroppings, frequent sandstorms, and almost no permanent cities. The Libyan Desert lies to the west of the river, and the Nubian Desert to the east. Both of these are of course part of the vast Sahara Desert, which stretches across northern Africa. The fertile strip of the Nile Valley only extends about 1.2 miles in either direction from the Nile’s edge.
The Nile is usually considered the longest river in the world. Where do the Blue Nile and the White Nile converge to form the Nile proper?
The city of Khartoum. The Blue Nile and the White Nile are the major tributaries of the Nile proper. From their convergence at Khartoum, the Nile continues northward to the Mediterranean. The White Nile and then the combined Nile run the full length south-to-north of Sudan. The White Nile enters Sudan from Uganda on the south, and the Blue Nile enters from Ethiopia in the east. The river exits Sudan in the north, flowing into Egypt. The Nile’s drainage basin is enormous, covering most of the Sudan and, dramatically, about 10 percent of the entire land area of Africa. Khartoum was founded in 1821 as a commercial outpost and grew to become the capital of Sudan. Incidentally, there is a debate about whether the Nile or the Amazon is the longest river in the world. What is certain is that more than half of the Nile’s 4,000+ miles flow through Sudan.
Most people would not associate Sudan with the exportation of sportsmen. Several Sudanese, however, have made it big in a particular sport. Which ball game did players such as Manute Bol excel at?
Basketball. As well as Manute Bol, who in his time was the tallest basketball player to appear in the NBA, two other Sudanese have made appearances, however briefly. They were Deng Gai (Philadelphia 76ers) and Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls and Great Britain national team). Sudan also boasts the oldest football (soccer) league in the whole of Africa. It was founded in the late 1920s and was known as the Khartoum State League. Todd Matthews-Jouda is noted for being an American hurdler who switched nationalities to compete for Sudan at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Sudan is mainly flat plains, but there are some mountains. What is the name of the highest peak in Sudan?
Deriba Caldera. Deriba Caldera is between 5km and 8km across. It is located in Dafur in western Sudan. It was formed by an explosive eruption of the Jebel Marra Volcano roughly 3,500 years ago. It’s centre is filled by a lake.
Now that South Sudan is a separate entity, there is one recognised capital city for Sudan (there were previously two). Which city, associated with a famous Englishman, is it?
Khartoum. Before the southern part of Sudan was given autonomy in 2005 Khartoum was the national capital. When home rule was established in the south, Juba was adopted as the capital. Khartoum was again recognised as the single national capital in 2011. The famous Englishman is, of course, General Gordon.
Being an independent country, Sudan obviously has its own currency. What is it?
Sudanese Pound. Immediately following independence, Sudan began to replace the circulating Egyptian currency with its own. In 1992, the pound was replaced by the dinar at an exchange rate of 1 dinar to 10 pounds. It didn’t seem to be too popular in the south, however, where prices were still quoted in pounds. In 2007, according to the peace agreement between the two factions in the civil war, a new Sudanese Pound was introduced throughout the country. This was issued at an exchange rate of 1 pound to 10 dinar or 100 (old) pounds. The qirush is a division of a pound.
In February 2003, militants in a region of western Sudan began a revolt against the government. What is this region called?
Darfur. The conflict began because the inhabitants of Darfur accused the central government of favouring Arabs over black Africans. On the rebel side were the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. On the government side were the Sudanese military and a group called Janjaweed, which was mainly made up of Afro-Arabs. Mortality figures from the conflict vary widely, depending on the organisation. A UN estimate is in excess of 400,000 people, with at least the same number of displaced persons.
Before Sudan was split in to two separate nations in 2011, which part was predominantly Christian?
South . This religious split in the country was the main cause of the civil wars that plagued Sudan for almost fifty years. The northern, Islamic part tried to dominate the southern, predominantly Christian part. In 2005, a peace accord was signed between the two factions giving autonomy to the south for a six year period, this autonomy ultimately led to the nation of South Sudan becoming a reality.
During the nineteenth century Sudan came under the control of a European country. Which colonial power remained in control until the mid 20th century?
Britain. Following Britain’s occupation of Egypt in 1882, there was a period of Anglo-Egyptian rule in Sudan. From 1924 onwards there were several attempts to gain Sudanese independence, but they all failed. In 1953, Britain and Egypt finally signed a treaty which guaranteed Sudanese independence from January 1st 1956.