School Toppers and Karate Kids

School Toppers and Karate Kids

The two common factors between siblings Lina and Mohamed Elhaj are that they both have a Brown Belt in Karate and both have achieved excellent results in their Primary School Examinations.
Lina Emad Mohamed Alhaj is this year’s Topper in Sudanese Primary Certificate Examination with a total of 279 out of 280. Her father Emad said that they had expected her to do well. When asked about how many hours of study she devoted in a day, Emad replied that Lina always maintained a daily routine of studies in the evening after school and also watched TV and played games. She actually did not put in extra hours during the Exams because she had studied consistently well throughout the year. Lina’s favourite subjects are Science and English. She nurtures the hope to be an architect or an interior designer someday. Lina thanks her parents particularly her mother for her good results. She is also grateful to her school Khartoum Shariq and her teachers Malik, Isam, Gibreel and the school leader Baday.
Her brother Mohamed Elhag is very happy for her because Lina has topped the results with 279 while he had scored the third highest with 278 in 2012. He will feel more proud of her when he accompanies her to the Police Club for Karate lessons.


Congratulations Anuradha Lohia

Congratulations Anuradha Lohia

If you see the group picture below, the girl in the extreme left is Anuradha Fatehpuria. We used to call her Fateh. I somehow was always comfortable calling her Anuradha. We were classmates studying the same subjects in the same college in Calcutta. She was a pleasant person with a spring in her gait. Later we knew that she was a dancer. We had witnessed the Arangetram her first public performance of Kuchipudi dance with her Guru at the YMCA auditorium in Chowringhee. She got married while studying in college and was renamed Anuradha Lohia. After graduating with flying colours she joined Science College to study her Master’s in Biochemistry. The last time I saw her was in the canteen of Science College almost 35 years ago.
She later became a Senior Professor of Biochemistry in Bose Institute. And today she has been selected as Vice Chancellor of Presidency University, our alma mater. That is why she said “ Whatever I learnt at Presidency College, I will return it for the best of Presidency University”. I am sure you will Anuradha. All the best to you. She sadly shut down her Facebook account and I will receive no more comments from her on my posts. I guess one has to pay the price for positions especially in academic institutions.


N.B. My face is in  the box

Bad Throat is a Killing Disease

Bad Throat is a Killing Disease

Dr.Sulafa Ali – pioneer in treating children’s heart diseases in Sudan requested the media to announce ‘Bad Throat is a Killing Disease’. This is to create awareness about children’s heart diseases. A bad throat may lead to rheumatic fever. Untreated and recurrent rheumatic fever leads to rheumatic heart disease which can cause permanent damage to the heart valves. This disease, she said, affects ten out of 1000 children in Sudan.
Dr.Sulafa was speaking at a ‘Walkathon’ on 24th April at the International Park in Khartoum where more than 400 people including school children participated.
The event ‘for our children’ was organized by Sudanese Indian Friendship Association (SIFA), Embassy of India and MIOT hospital of India.
Dr.Sulafa praised the commitment and professional skills of MIOT hospital and has been collaborating with them for the past 4 years. In the last few days Dr.Sangeetha Vishwanathan, Interventional Paediatric Cardiologist of MIOT hospital worked with Dr.Sulafa and screened 600 patients for children’s heart diseases.
Dr. Prithvi Mohandas, Jt.Managing Director of MIOT hospital with 1000 beds, said that Sudan could reproduce their model of treating poor patients. MIOT hospital has high end treatment for overseas and rich Indian patients and thus provides subsidized treatment fees for poor patients. This requires high end machineries and excellent doctors. Dr.Prithvi said that Sudan with its highly qualified doctors can become the best healthcare destination in Africa and MIOT is willing to collaborate to fulfill this dream.
Ambassador of India Sanjay K. Verma asked the participants to pledge to spread the awareness against children’s congenital heart disease so that doctors can nip in the bud and prevent it from becoming a killer disease.
Presidential Assistant Abdulrahman Al Sadig Al Mahdi shared with the audience that medical research says that walking is very good for the heart and one who walks for 20 minutes every morning has a healthy heart. He added that students who walk to school are more fit than students who commute by transport. He thanked MIOT hospital, SIFA and the Ambassador of India for organizing such a healthy event for our children.
Other dignitaries who participated in the Walkathon and thanked the organizers were Kamal Hassan Ali State Minister of Social Welfare, Ustaz Abdel Basit Abdel Majid and Dr.Anil Mithani President Omdurman Indian Community. Finally, Yousrie Burai President of Sudanese Indian Friendship Association thanked one and all who participated to make the purposeful ‘Walkathon’ a success.


Sudanese Girl gets UWC scholarship in India

mawadahSudanese Girl gets UWC scholarship in India

I didn’t know about United World Colleges (UWC) until I heard about my son’s classmate Mawada Abdalla getting a UWC scholarship and going to Pune to study IB. UWC Mahindra College in Pune is financially supported by business house Mahindra & Mahindra. The college occupies 175 acres land with prize winning campus buildings and natural environment. There are 14 UWC colleges all over the world but Mawada Abdalla of year 11 Unity High School, Khartoum, Sudan has got admission with scholarship into UWC Mahindra, Pune in India. Mawada is looking forward to her two years stay in India. You’ll love it Mawada. By the way let me add Mawada is Head Girl in Unity of 2014 and her speech as Head Girl at the graduation was excellent.
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First Birthday Cake for Al-Youm Al-Tali

First Birthday Cake for Al-Youm Al-Tali

There are about 30 newspapers published in Sudan. Publishing a newspaper is a major challenge in Sudan. Most of the newspapers have faced upheavals at some point of time. Even newcomer Al-Youm Al-Tali was not spared.
Muzammil Abulgasim Editor-in-Chief of Al-Youm Al-Tali had the tenacity to make his Arabic daily increase its readership day by day. Today it is one of the most popular print medium dailies.
On 14th April’14 the newspaper lit the first candle and cut the cake of its first birthday. The grand celebrations were well deserved amidst the Ministers, Politicians, Diplomats, Artists, Footballers and celebrities of every walk of life.
Thanks to their journalist Mahmoud Aldnou who invited me to their first anniversary at Corinthia Hotel. I was amazed at the popularity of the successful young media chief Muzammil Abulgasim.

Muzammil Abulgasim

Indian Ambassador meets Ahmed Haroun at Al Ubbayid

Indian Ambassador meets Ahmed Haroun at Al Ubbayid

If one searches the name of the capital of North Kordofan in the internet, one will get two spellings, Al Ubbayid and El Obeid. The Ambassador of India prefers the former because it sounds more Arabic.
The Ambassador of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma visited Al Ubbayid on 9th & 10th April on an invitation from the Wali of North Kordofan, Moulana Ahmed Haroun. The Ambassador met the Wali and his cabinet and discussed fruitful ways to deepen and enhance cooperation. Subjects of special interest included agriculture, health, water resources, sanitation and capacity building. Issues of ecological degradation were discussed with India’s possible assistance. Rain water harvesting was discussed with models for access to public services and India’s experience. Ambassador Verma offered training courses to be provided to the Sudanese citizens in North Kordofan.
The Ambassador visited an edible oil mill and a vocational training center. A dinner was hosted by the alumni of Indian universities in the city. The former graduates found it very nostalgic and memorable.
The Indian Ambassador travelled by road and enjoyed the journey, singing his favourite Indian film songs.


Big Things in Small Package

ChetanBig Things in Small Package

Barcelos of flame griIled chicken fame has opened its second branch in Khartoum in Street 15 Al Amarat. The Portuguese flavor is spreading in Sudan. The first opening was in Al Safa, Ebeid Khatim Street in Khartoum almost a year back. Chetan Kamble was the Restaurant Manager from the beginning. Chetan is now managing the new branch. Small sized young man Chetan from Mumbai is Veri Peri himself.

Tourism in Sudan

Tourism in Sudan

The Second International Tourism & Marketing Exhibition in Sudan was inaugurated on 6th April ’14 at Burri Fair Ground, Khartoum. The Minister of Tourism, Antiquities & Wildlife Dr (Eng.) Mohammed Abdul Karim Al-Had has supervised the exhibition which will be held from 6th to 10 April’14. The dignitaries present at the opening were Vice President of Sudan Lt.Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, Ethiopian Minister of Culture and Tourism Ms.Tadelech Dalecho and Prince Bandar Bin Fahd al Fahid President of the Arab Tourism Organization along with other Ministers, Ambassadors and Diplomats. The Ethiopian Tourism Minister expressed her commitment for collaboration in Tourism between Ethiopia and Sudan and that’s a very good idea. My humble suggestion to Tourism Minister Dr.(Eng.) Mohamed Abdul Karim Al-Had is to first promote Sudanese Tourism to Sudanese citizens. How many families in Khartoum State or Gezira state have actually visited Bejrawiya? Not to speak of Naga , Jebel Barakal, Kareema or Jebel Taka in Kassala. Sudanese citizens should get an incentive to visit the places of tourism in Sudan. When will Dinder Game Park be ready and attractive for tourists? Once the people of Sudan take pride in their own tourism they will start promoting it. Tourist operators in Egypt and Ethiopia will then collaborate with Sudanese Tourist operators. Foreigners visiting Egypt and Ethiopia as tourists will also include Sudan in their itinerary.

KarimaRelics Pyramids of Bajrawiya Pyramids Welcome to a camel ride NagaNov2010 072Omda of Bajrawiya

Consistency in excellent customer service determines Sustainabilty

Consistency in excellent customer service determines Sustainabilty

How do entrepreneurs or start-up companies sustain their business?
In the present downturn in the economy, sustainability is critical for any business or social organization. The answer is Consistency in Products and Services. This holds good for any industry or organization.
Given that the quality of product is consistent the only determining factor for your customers to keep coming back to you is excellent customer service. Good Customer Service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.Take restaurants for example. We have seen so many restaurants closing down in the past few years in Khartoum. Amwaj is one restaurant in Africa street which has sustained its business since many years. The only attribute for its sustainability is Consistency in the quality of its food and services.
The prices of their products have gone up two fold yet the customers keep coming back to Amwaj because of quick and quality service.
If you take home a lunch pack from Amwaj you will notice their pay-off line ‘ WE ALWAYS LOOK FOR GOOD SERVICES’. My humble suggestion to Amwaj is to change their slogan to ‘WE ALWAYS OFFER THE BEST OF SERVICES’ because it’s the customers who look for good services and the restaurant has to offer it. Consistently.

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