There are about 30,000 Sudanese who have studied in Indian Universities and at any given point of time there are 4000 students studying in different parts of India in different streams and different Universities. Sudanese Indian Friendship Association (SIFA) is an officially recognized body in Khartoum for the alumni of Indian universities. It has an office building which has been fondly named as Taj Mahal and has around 1481 members.
Yousri Burei is the Chairman of SIFA. SIFA is involved with multifarious social activities.They recently organized a symposium titled ‘Democracy in India’ in which the Ambassador of India spoke at length about the constituency and the practice of Democracy in India.
As the Chairman, Yousri Burei has been shouldering great responsibility of SIFA. His simplicity and sincerity is appreciated by the members. In this picture you can see Yousri Burei shouldering the famous rock of Mahabalipuram near Chennai in India. Yousrie had studied in Pune, but as the Chairman of SIFA has to do the balancing act with members who studied in different parts of India. This picture with him and the balancing rock is symbolic and significant.
In Marketing we’ve read about B2B and B2C. Now, what is E2E? Well, it could be Exchange to Exchange or Engineer to Engineer. But ‘Education to Employment’ is just amazing and so meaningful. E2E – a group founded by Omer Alimam organized a workshop named ‘Business Strategy for Startups’ at Faisal Cultural Centre, Riyadh, Khartoum on Saturday 24th Aug’14. The speaker was Sammy Musa MBA from Manchester Business School. Sammy was born in Sudan but bred in UK for the last 30 years. His English accent says it all. He returned to Khartoum in 2007 as Quality Manager at DAL Dairy Factory. Soon he was Supply Chain Manager, two years later Strategic Projects Manager and in 2012 he was promoted as Deputy General Manager. Sammy started his career as Factory Manager in UK in 2000.
In his presentation Sammy interacted with the audience and made them raise hands and asked questions to drive home the meaning of Entrepreneur, who starts a business, why one starts a business, the types of business, steps to process the business idea, business entry strategies and the steps to start a business. The Q&A session was held for 40 minutes and the audience of about 100 people comprising students, entrepreneurs and professionals, took home the message that if one needs to be independent and an achiever he or she can start a business provided one is opportunistic, innovative , proactive, self confident and a calculated risk taker.
The Ambassador of India to Sudan H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma visited several factories in Sudan in the recent past. Steel, sugar, plastics, textile and pharmaceuticals to name only a few.
On 19th August’14, Ambassador Verma visited a unique factory of its kind- Sudan Film Factory. This visit was in response to an invitation from Talal Afifi Curator and Coordinator of Sudan Film Factory. Along with him were young film makers of Sudan namely Mohamed Hanafi, Areeg Tayseer Zarrouq and Mohamed Subahi. The meeting lasted for over an hour and Talal described it as an exchange of passion and culture between Sudan and India.
Talal Afifi introduced Sudan Film Factory as an independent non-profit organization offering a platform for training and networking of young film makers with a focus to rebuild relations with Africa and Asia.
H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma discussed with the team present on various aspects like providing training from Indian experts under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme with scholarships. He spoke of Film and Television Institute, Pune which offers courses on Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Design, Art Direction, Acting, Screen Play, Animation and all aspects of film making. The other topics of discussion were workshops in Sudan by experts from the Indian film industry; hosting of an Indian film festival in Khartoum, Omdurman and Bahri; refurbishment of local theatres with the help of Indian expertise.
This writer was very pleasantly surprised to learn that the Sudanese film makers knew of the great Indian film maestro and Oscar Awardee Satyajit Ray and were delighted with the offer made by the writer to share his film collection with them.
True to his words the Ambassador while in the meeting called up a promising young film director in India who was very interested in this project in Sudan and so in the near future it is very likely we will hear, “Lights, Camera, Action!” heralding a new phase of active India Sudanese cultural collaboration.
Eight is the key number. Lord Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and was born on the eighth day of the Shravan month, which is also known as Ashtami. The famous Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura, which is believed to be the birth place of Lord Krishna, is beautifully decorated with flowers on this day as thousands of devotees plunge into the temple to offer their prayers to the lord. The deity is bathed with milk, honey, curd and ghee on the day of Janmashtami that last for half an hour.
Janmashtami is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. The Indian Gujarati community of Omdurman, a Diaspora which has a history of almost 170 years in Sudan, also celebrates Krishna Janmashtami. This year the altar of Lord Krishna was very well decorated. After the prayers the children of the community performed dances to depict the life of Krishna. This was followed by Dahi Handa , an earthen pot filled with buttermilk is tangled at a particular height. A human pyramid was formed by young men in order to break the earthen pot . Dahi Handa is celebrated to mark the playful nature of Lord Krishna as he steals butter from his gopis (milkmaids). Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of India had prohibited children below the age of 12 from participating in Dahi Handi as they form huge human pyramids which has often turned fatal.
As across the globe, patriotic fervor gripped the Indian community in Sudan to celebrate India’s 68th Independence Day. On 15th August’14 at 9 am, the Ambassador of India to Sudan H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma unfurled the Indian National Flag at India House, followed by the singing of the National Anthem. His Excellency addressed a large gathering of 250 members of the Indian community. Ambassador Verma read out excerpts from President’s speech and concluded sharing that a nation is very young at 68. India has the will, energy, intellect, values and unity to claim the 21st century. The vision to win the battle of freedom from poverty is set; the journey will seem formidable only to those without conviction. As an old saying goes, success is born of action.
After the speech the national day was celebrated with a cultural programme participated by children and adults from the community which not only spoke of the sacrifices made by India’s freedom fighters but also showcased the unity in diversity, which is the social fabric of India.
When I asked him whether he is coming for the flag hoisting at 9 am on 15th August, a Friday, he said he would be working till 4am in the morning being a Thursday and might find it difficult to attend. Subhan Masood Ahmed has been working very hard as the Brand Ambassador for Chicano.Their first restaurant in Kafouri is doing very well . I love the spicy chicken broast with garlic sauce. The added attraction is the Jungle Zone – a safe play area for children.They have plans to expand with more branches in Khartoum soon. Masood originally from Bangalore, India comes to Sudan with a rich experience of 15 years with KFC in KSA. We welcome Masood on behalf of the Indians in Sudan and wish him a successful venture in Sudan.