Khartoum's Greatest Challenge

Report from the South

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER135

Colonel John Garang’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) played no direct role in the April 6 coup in Khartoum. But as the only organized, fighting resistance to the regime of Ja‘far Numairi, it laid the groundwork by chipping away at the state in a guerrilla campaign that cost the government one million Sudanese pounds ($400,000) a day. The new military rulers have given top priority to ending the rebellion, which has paralyzed vital economic projects and drained army morale and resources for more than two years.

Sudan's Revolutionary Spring

by Eric Rouleau
published in MER135

Khartoum, April 23. General ‘Abd al-Rahman Siwar al-Dhahab, in power since April 6, was expected to name an interim cabinet on Monday, April 22, to govern the country under army supervision for a transitional period of one year. In the meantime, General Siwar al-Dahab appointed an interim cabinet for southern Sudan, headed by General James Lawrence Marou, a member of the Transitional Military Council. Two high level officers of the Sudanese Army traveled to Libya on Sunday, April 21, to try to improve relations between the two countries.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER135

The popular revolution in Sudan this spring may well represent more than just a local political transition. The overthrow of Numairi’s 16-year reign marks the end of a decade and a half of regime stability throughout the Arab world, with the exception of the two Yemens. This era of enormous wealth and scandalous waste, of construction and corruption, welfare and war, all financed by the flood of oil revenues, served to embalm and preserve these decrepit regimes from the effective opposition of their subjects. Sudan had become, in many ways, the weakest link. But Sudan is not unique. All of the most populous Arab countries—Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, for instance—have witnessed serious mass protests in recent years.

Between Grievances and State Violence

Sudan's Youth Movement and Islamist Activism Beyond the "Arab Spring"

by Khalid Mustafa Medani
published in MER267

On June 16, 2012, female students at the University of Khartoum mounted a demonstration that released a wave of protest on campuses and major towns across Sudan. The young women exited the university gates chanting “Freedom, freedom,” demanding the “liberation” of their campus from the grip of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the reversal of a 35 percent hike in bus and train fares announced earlier by the government.

The Wing of the Patriarch

Sudanese Women and Revolutionary Parties

by Sondra Hale
published in MER138

The relationship of women’s emancipation to liberation parties or movements raises a number of questions. The basic one is whether or not women are making their own revolution in their own name or being handed it by “another revolution.” [1]

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BIRTH (Al-Maulid)

published in MER153

BIRTH (Al-Maulid)

Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Majdhoub (1921-1982)


Hand on the Prophet, God
Help and support me with him
who speaks for the people
on Judgment Day --
with him who drinks pure water
from al-Kauthar, Paradise river.

On the square’s other side
clear light spreads
a rainbow of hope and joy,
a spring flowing through
the darkness of night,
dance driving souls here
slowly one moment,
another faster than breath!

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published in MER161

Intifada Chic We’re not really sure what this tells us about the present state of the Israeli Jewish psyche, almost two years into the intifada, but here are some of the designer T-shirts being sold these days in Jerusalem:

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Khartoum Diary

by Ann Lesch
published in MER161

July 25 The predawn landing, with the swollen Nile below and a touch of freshness in the air, feels reassuring after two years away from Sudan. But at the airport exit a nervous officer holds back the passengers: security is tight since the inqilab, he mutters, using the Arabic word for “overthrow” instead of the official reference -- “National Salvation Revolution.” The drive into town -- usually a ten-minute dash, swerving around potholes and debris -- slows drastically. Soldiers stop the car six times, scrutinizing the special papers that allow us to travel during the nighttime curfew. After this wary silence at night, what will be the mood on the sun-blasted streets during the day?

Sudan's Killing Fields

by Jay O'Brien
published in MER161

In 1988 Sudan reaped its best harvest in at least a decade, yet as many as half a million Sudanese may have died of starvation. Most were victims of the civil war raging in the southern provinces, and anarchy in the west. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the war zones, seeking refuge in camps in Ethiopia and other neighboring countries or in northern Sudan.

Medical Education: The Struggle for Relevance

by Cynthia Myntti
published in MER161

A recent World Health Organization report on the state of health practitioners in the Middle East suggests that the region now has a satisfactory number of physicians; some countries even have an excess. Yet health, as measured by standard indicators such as infant mortality, is hardly satisfactory. The report suggests that large numbers of physicians may not, in fact, have a positive effect on health. [1] In recent years, a small number of medical educators in the Middle East have become concerned about the persisting poor health among people in their countries and the questionable appropriateness of medical care. They have attributed this state of affairs to the training offered in medical schools.

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