Monthly Archives: March 2015

One out of many in Omdurman

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I believe the best way to keep young is to keep learning. Henry Ford had said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young”. It was just the other day that I learnt E Pluribus Unum was inscribed in every American coin when Monir a jewelry maker in Omdurman showed me the 1 oz SilverTowne  Buffalo Round of 2014. Monir Ali Alamin who makes gold, copper and silver jewelry was a graduate from Khartoum University 30 years ago. One can tell this from the proper English he speaks. He started his career as a banker but his interests brought him to the business of making jewelry. While discussing the purity of silver he showed be the 1 oz SilverTowne Buffalo. It was on this silver coin I read ‘E Pluribus Unum’ which in Latin means ‘Out of many, One’ or ‘One out of many’. E Pluribus Unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting “In God We Trust ” as the official motto. However E Pluribus Unum appears on all coins currently being manufactured, including the Presidential dollars that started being produced in 2007, where it is inscribed on the edge along with “In God we trust”. SilverTowne is a renowned mint for collectible coins and precious metal bullion. Its headquarters are in Winchester, Indiana, USA and the mint has been a crucial part of the Winchester community since 1949.  The 2014 1 oz SilverTowne Buffalo Round is minted with 99.9% pure silver and weighs one troy ounce. Each round is minted with the well-known Indian Head stamp and features the inscriptions ‘Liberty’ and ‘2014.’ The reverse side of each round is stamped with the famous buffalo and the inscription ‘United States of America E Pluribus Unum.’ When asked, Monir told me that one of his customers got the coin from UAE for him to make her a bracelet. Monir admitted that copper plated with gold is more popular because it is affordable. We are waiting for USA to lift the sanctions. This will make imported goods more affordable in Sudan.

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Sole Indian at Al Obeid, Sudan

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Ten years back when I met Moneib Haider in Khartoum he was a graphic designer at a printing press. He was a young man who had travelled from Kerala to Khartoum. At the Onam festival in Khartoum he had performed the ‘Fire Dance’. That was when I knew he had fire in his belly. He wanted to be successful in life and start his own business and be his own boss. Four years back he called me to say that he has moved to a city called Al Obeid, 600 kms from Khartoum and opened his own shop for stationery items and gifts. Last week I happened to visit this city which is also known as ‘Bride of the Sands’. I was very happy and impressed to meet Moneib. He is the pride of the city because his reasonably big size shop in the heart of the city has become popular for the quality and uniqueness of stationery and gift items that he sells. Moneib Haider is the only Indian resident in Al Obeid living all by himself and running his own business. Moneib is an entrepreneur and I wish him all the very best.

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