Whether in business, media, academics, acting, music, fashion industry or sports, people from different regions of Sudan broke boundaries to excel in their profession and make their dreams come true. “Sudanese Who Made It Big” is a list of Sudanese people who’ve made astonishing achievements, granting them international recognition.
(in no particular order)
Born on January 1, 1951, Daoud is a Sudanese businessman. He is the chairman of DAL Group, based in Khartoum. The Dal Group is a collection of companies including Dal Motors, Dal Engineering, Dal Food (Sayga flour, the Blue Nile Dairy, Nobo Pasta and exclusive bottler of Coca-Cola in Sudan), Dal Agriculture, Sutrac and Sudanese Liquid Air as well as many other companies. The Dal Group has also founded the Khartoum International Community School and become the official dealers of JVC Electronics in Sudan. Before Dal, in the 1970s, Daoud joined his father’s company, SURTAC, becoming SUTRAC’s Sales Manager, and subsequently General Manager. Daoud is from Wadi Halfa City in north of Sudan. He graduated from Manchester University in 1972 from business management and received an Honorary Ph.D. in BusinessManagement from Sudan University.
Mansour, is a Sudanese award-winning marketing professional with 12 years marketing experience working across four continents and in six countries. Khalid studied industrial design, communication and holds an MA in Business Design from Domus Academy. In 2009, Business Week nominated Mansour as one of 21 people who will change business for launching the first privately managed Micro finance project in Sudan. Mansour speaks English, Arabic, French and Italian.
Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim
A former consultant radiologist in the NHS, Ibrahim (born 1946) is a Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur. He worked for several other telecommunications companies before founding Celtel. He set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa as well as creating the Mo Ibrahim Index to evaluate nations’ performance. He is a member of the Africa Regional Advisory Board of London Business School. In 2007, he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which awards a $5 million initial payment, and a $200,000 annual payment for life.
Originally Sudanese, Sally Elatta is the founder and president of Agile Transformation (http://www.AgileTransformation.com) – a company based in the US, which is dedicated to helping organizations build lean high performing teams. Graduated from the University Of Nebraska at Omaha, Elatta is dynamic consultant, trainer and coach.
Born and raised in Edueim, the late Khalil Osman, initially trained as a veterinary doctor. His first business endeavor in 1968, was a shrimp fishing company in Kuwait rapidly developed into the largest shrimp fishing business in the Arabian gulf was followed by a string of successful investments and businesses across the globe including and not limited to: timber and lumber mills in Canada; fisheries in Somalia; dairy products in Holland; and match factories in Congo Kinshasa and Nigeria. A vanguard of Sudanese entrepreneurship, Khalil was responsible for the establishment of 60% of the current Sudanese industrial sector. He was the first Sudanese businessmen to begin modern large scale production in textiles, pharmaceuticals, particle board production and glass manufacturing among others. Khalil was instrumental in securing financing for the Kenanna Sugar Company which for the longest time was the largest sugar plant in the world and to this very day one of the largest sources of hard currency and profit for the Sudanese economy.
Both a doctor and entrepreneur, with a Masters degree in Business Administration, Khalil established SudaMed, a company dedicated to providing unique services to better the Sudanese healthcare sector, and a reference for all their medical inquiries. SudaMed later transformed into the first social entrepreneurship private company in Sudan, where 70% of its profits were used to invest in both free health clinics and the youth of Sudan.
Ahmed is an established writer, brand consultant, cultural analyst and commentator. She’s been hailed as one of the ‘hardest working women in showbiz’ (Pride Magazine UK), ‘the woman who can’ (BBC Radio 1), ‘a powerhouse’ (POSE Dubai), “formidable” (Drum Magazine KENYA), a “mogul in the making” (DSTV’s AFRICA MAGIC), “one of the region’s most inspiring women” (VIVA Magazine DUBAI), and “The new Oprah Winfrey” (Marie Claire Italia). Currently, Rozan is a board member at the MAD global initiative, an ambassador for the Young & Gifted Foundation and has sat on the MOBO music panel as a contributing thought leader when it comes to new music. She’s an avid supporter of the amFAR organization, an advocate for Dubai’s Fashion Forward (the region’s leading fashion platform), Africa Yoga Project (Kenya), Sudan Change Now (Sudan) and has mentored for the Unreasonable Institute as part of the Unreasonable at Sea program, sailing from South Africa to Ghana in March 2013. Ahmed was recently appointed as Congo Fashion Week’s global ambassador, Style.com Arabia’s cultural ambassador and is one of the youngest double nominee recipients at 2014’s Women 4 Africa awards (Inspirational Woman & International African Woman).
Born November 24, 1959 in Sudan, Badawi is a Sudanese-British television and radio reporter and news presenter. She was the first presenter of the ITV Morning News, which is now known as ITV News at 5:30, and co-presented Channel 4 News with Jon Snow from 1989 to 1998, before joining BBC News. Badawi currently presents World News Today on BBC Four and BBC World News. Badawi has been an adviser to the Foreign Policy Centre and a Council Member of the Overseas Development Institute. Since 2004, she’s been a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and the British Council.
A journalist with over 30 years of experience, Ibrahim gained fame for his role in Control Room, a documentary about the polarizing Arab news through broadcaster, Al Jazeera. Currently, he’s a senior producer with Al Jazeera’s English news service. Ibrahim also serves as a terrorism analyst for the broadcaster. Before joing Al Jazeera, he headed the BBC Arab News Service.
Alfred Taban Logune
Taban is a Sudanese broadcast journalist working as the BBC’s correspondent in Khartoum. Born 1957 in Kajokeji, Sudan, Taban is the managing editor of the Khartoum Monitor, the only independent English-language newspaper in Sudan. In July 2005, speaker of British House of Commons, Michael Martin, presented the Speaker Abbot award to Alfred Taban in recognition of his work exposing the slaughter in Darfur. In 2006, Taban was one of three recipients to be presented with the National Endowment for Democracy award by US President George W Bush.
Sami Al Hajj
Born in Sudan in February 15, 1969, Al Hajj, also known as Sami Al-Haj, is a Sudanese journalist for the Al Jazeera network. He gained his fame in 2001, while on his way to do camera work for the network in Afghanistan, he was arrested and held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camp in Cuba for over six years. He was released without charge on May 1, 2008 with two other detainees from Sudan. He plans to launch legal action against George W Bush. Al Hajj’s case was portrayed in a documentary titled Prisoner 345 by Al Jazeera producer, Ahmad Ibrahim. Hajj is back at work at the Arabic satellite news network, leading a new desk devoted to human rights and public liberties as a correspondent.
Born in 1978, El bagir is an award-winning international television correspondent. The British Sudanese joined CNN as a London-based international correspondent.In 2008, she picked up two Foreign Press Association Awards, which are the TV News Story of the Year and Broadcast Journalist of the Year. She had been nominated for other awards including the Amnesty Award for Human Rights Journalism and the One World Broadcast Awards.In 2008, she was shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year at the Royal Television Society Awards. El Bagir began her journalism career with Reuters in December 2002 reporting for them from Sudan, covering the simmering conflict in the country’s Darfur region. She moved into broadcast journalism in 2005 joining the launch of More4 News where her exclusives included exposing rape allegations against the African Union in Darfur, getting the first interview with the Aegis security company whistleblower on the Iraq ‘Trophy Videos’, interviewing Jacob Zuma in the run-up to his recent rape trial and being the only Western journalist reporting from Mogadishu during the US bombing of Somalia in January 2007. In her first documentary, Unreported World, she presented the first evidence of the Sudanese government’s direct involvement with the Janjaweed and the role China’s arms sales to Darfur are playing in the conflict of Darfur.
Sudanese-American Hana Baba is a San Francisco-based co-host of CrossCurrents, a daily radio newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio 91.7. She is also a freelance writer and reporter. She interviews and reports on ethnic communities, poverty, health, culture, religion, arts, and the global nature of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed high profile people including former US President Jimmy Carter. Her radio work also appears nationally on various NPR programs, PRI’s The World, BBC World Service, and New America Media. Her articles have appeared on New America Media and Sudan Tribune. Fluent in Arabic, Hana also reports from and about Sudan. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter, and has moderated the SPJ’s panel discussions on local media and journalism. She is a bilingual English and Arabic voice-over talent, and is the voice of the audio tour of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s permanent exhibit.
Elbagir is a prominent Sudanese journalist and human rights activist. He is the founder of Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) Sudan, and a co-founder of many Sudanese human rights organizations and networks, including Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development, which was shut down arbitrarily by the Sudanese authorities in early 2009, after the indictment of president Omar Al Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March 2009. Elbagir is a holder of BA in political science, and a MA in politics from University of Poona, India. He started his career as a journalist and activist in 1985, and continued his work for more than two decades in media and human rights. He has worked with different newspapers and has been a contributor to many newspapers in Sudan. For several years, he has been a weekly column writer at midan.net, Sudanyat, mudaraat.maktoobblog.com and Sudanese Online. The media expert is co-author of many reports on freedom of expression and media on Sudan. He is the Sudan correspondent of Reporters without Boarders (RSF) and member of networks of many national and international rights groups. He has been forced to flee Sudan into a neighboring country since February 2009, for his journalistic and human rights stands.
Elhassan is a Sudanese-American ESPN Radio Host and NBA insider and analyst. He writes weekly Insider columns and for ESPN The Magazine. He also appears regularly as a guest on SportsCenterand His and Hers, TrueHoopTV digital videos, ESPN Radio, and as well as co-hosts multiple NBA podcasts. Born in Sudan, Elhassan moved to New York City with his parents as a child. Elhassan studied engineering at Georgia Tech. Soon after, Elhassan landed on a field marketing job with Atlanta Hawks NBA team. From there, he interned in basketball operations for the New York Knicks during the 2004-05 season, then took a full-time internship with the Phoenix Suns. During his time at Phoenix, Elhassan became a video coordinator, then a scouting coordinator, then the franchise’s assistant director of basketball operations, working under team general manager, Steve Kerr. In 2012, Elhassan left the Suns. He later began freelancing for ESPN.com, which led him to his full-time job at ESPN he has had since December 2013. (mashable.com).
Sudanese-American Riham Osman is the Communications Coordinator of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in the Washington, DC, where she provided leadership in several office initiatives. Osman specializes in digital media, manages the organization’s online presence and works to ensure the media accurately portrays American Muslims. Osman is a 2013 University of Mary Washington alumna and received her undergraduate education in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies. Osman is known for her participation in a live Google+ “Presidential Hangout Road Trip” with President Obama following his fifth State of the Union address and is featured in the National Center for Civil and Human Rights exhibition titled “Who Like Me Is Threatened.” In 2015, Osman joined President Obama at his table for a conversation during the White House Iftar. Riham has been involved in civil rights work that impacts the American Muslim community. After facing employment discrimination in 2011 due to her decision to wear the Islamic headscarf, Riham worked with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to change Air France’s dress code policy nation-wide. Riham has appeared on multiple media outlets, including NPR, ABC7, NBC and CCTV. She has also commented on issues such as countering violent extremism and Islamophobia in the Washington Post, Bloomberg, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times.
Mohammed Khair Elbadawi
Elbadawi is a prominent political and journalist. He is the father of the well-known TV and radio journalist, Zeinab Badawi. He worked as an editor in a newspaper in Sudan. In addition, he was a committed social reformer or social reform activist who was involved in Sudan’s pre-independence politics. When Zeinab was two, the family moved to the UK where her father joined the BBC’s Arabic Service.
Educators, scholars & writers
Awn Al-Sharif Qasim
Qasim (June 16, 1933 – January 19, 2006) was a prolific Sudanese writer, encyclopedist and a prominent scholar. Being one of the Sudan’s leading experts on Arabic language and literature, he strongly advocated Arabic/Islamic culture and Sudanese culture. Qasim authored more than 70 books in the area of Islamic history and civilization, Arabic literature, studies in the Sudanese dialect languages. Along with Professor Abdalla Eltayeb and Professor Abu Saleem, Qasim was considered one of the scholars who shaped the Sudanese academic scene during the last three decades of the 20th century. In the mid nineties, he authored the Sudanese Encyclopedia of Tribes and Genealogies, a pioneer, state of the art series of books for the different Sudanese tribes, their roots and origins. With this project, the Sudanese government awarded him the most prestigious prize known as Az-Zubair Prize for Innovation and Scientific Excellence. Egyptian President Muhammad Husni Mubarak also awarded Qasim the Egyptian prestigious First Class Golden Award for scientific achievements in 1992. Qasim also authored Dictionary of Sudanese Dialects another valuable source of information on Sudanese culture. Scholars worldwide use his dictionary as a valuable reference on Sudanese dialects.
Sudanese novelist and prolific writer Tayeb Salih achieved immediate acclaim when his novel Season of Migration to the North was first published in Arabic in Beirut in 1966. In 2001, the book was declared the most important Arabic novel of the 20th century by the Syrian-based Arabic literary Academy. His works have been translated from Arabic into more than 20 languages. One of the best-known Arabic novelists of the 20th Century, Salih spent much of his working life in Europe. He was a broadcaster for the BBC Arabic Service, weekly columnist for the London-based Arabic-based language newspaper, al-Majalla, and worked at the UN cultural organization UNESCO in Paris. Later, he became the director general of the Ministry of information in Doha, Qatar. His generally political works includes dealing with themes such as colonization and gender. Having studied both western and Arab literature, philosophy, and society, Salih intermingles aspects of both cultures in his works. Salih completed three other novels and a collection of short stories. His novella “The Wedding of Zein” was made into a drama in Libya and a Cannes Festival prize-winning film by the Kuwaiti filmmaker Khalid Siddiqi in the late 1970s. He died in London in February 2009 at the age of 80.
Aboulela is an acclaimed Sudanese writer who currently resides in Doha, Qatar. The daughter of a Sudanese man and an Egyptian woman, Aboulela was born in Cairo in 1964 but grew up in Khartoum. She was awarded the Caine prize For African Writing in 2000 for her short story The Museum included in her collection of short stories Coloured Lights. Her novel The Translator was nominated for the Orange Prize and was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times in 2006. Her second novel Minaret was nominated for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. Her latest novel Lyrics Alley is set in the Sudan of the 1950s and was long-listed for the Orange Prize 2011.
Francis Mading Deng
Deng is currently Director of the Sudan Peace Support Project based at the United States Institute of Peace. He is also a Wilhelm Fellow at the Center for International Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a research professor of international politics, law and society at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Among his numerous awards in his country and abroad, Deng is co-recipient with Roberta Cohen of the 2005 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order and the 2007 Merage Foundation American Dream Leadership Award. In 2000, Deng also received the Rome Prize for Peace and Humanitarian Action. Deng holds a Bachelor of Laws from Khartoum University and a Master of Laws and a Doctor of the Science of Law from Yale University, and has authored and edited over 30 books in the fields of law, conflict resolution, internal displacement, human rights, anthropology, folklore, history and politics and has also written two novels on the theme of the crisis of national identity in the Sudan. He was born in 1938 from Southern Sudan.
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Nai’m
Born in 1946, An-Na’im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. His specialties include human rights in Islam and cross-cultural issues in human rights. He is the director of the Religion and Human Rights Program at Emory, a senior fellow of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion and a former Executive Director of the African bureau of Human Rights Watch. Currently, he’s a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Migrant Rights. He argues for a synergy and interdependence between human rights, religion and secularism, instead of a dichotomy and incompatibility between them. In February 2009, An-Na`im received an Honorary Doctorate from the Universite catholique de Louvain (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven, Leuven), Belgium. He also serves as Global Legal Scholar at the Law School, University of Warwick, UK (until August 2010); and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (until December 2010). An-Naim is originally from Sudan, where he was greatly influenced by the Islamic reform movement of Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, but is also an American citizen.
Mahjoub is British/Sudanese award winning writer. Born in London, he was raised in Khartoum until 1990. After being awarded a scholarship, Mahjoub left to England to attend university in Sheffield. While still a student he began publishing his literary texts in magazines. The English writer lived in a number of places including the UK, Denmark and currently, Spain. Originally trained as a geologist, he has worked as a librarian, painter, chef, curator, journalist and translator. Now, Mahjoub is a full time writer, writing at least seven novels and four of which have been highly acclaimed and widely translated. The author has been awarded the Prix d’Astrobale for the novel “Travelling with Djinns” (2003) and the Guardian/Heinemann African Short Story Prize.
Bakhiet is a Sudanese-Swedish professor, chairman of the department of molecular medicine at the Arabian Gulf University and the founder of Princess Al-Jawhara Center for Molecular Medicine, Genetics and Inherited Diseases in Bahrain. He is also a neurologist at the Bahrain Royal Medical Services in Manama, Bahrain. He received his M.B.B.S. in 1985 from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum and his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences in 1993 from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He also obtained a Clinical Specialty in Neurology in 1993 from the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. Professor Bakhiet published more than 100 papers in high rated scientific journals with several International Patents. He is an active member in many International Scientific and Medical Societies and Associations. In the field of literature and thought, Professor Bakhiet published 12 poetry books which have been collected recently in three full collections of poetry. He participated in more than 100 national, regional and international poem festivals and recitations and won several awards. He also has several creativity contributions in many cultural, intellectual and creative forums in different countries of the world such as the Mirbad Festival in Iraq in 1987, the XIII Ramtha Festival of Arabic poetry, Jordan, 13 –18 August 2007. He presented several poem recitation in many Arab cities and in Europe, Americas and Asia and hosted by several TVs, radio and Arab and Western satellite channels. He is one of the founders of the Arab Swedish Cultural Society, Chairman of the Association of Culture and Cultural Secretary of the Association of Medical Students at the University of Khartoum, provider of television programs and TV late shows in Sudan from 1985 until 1989 and a founder of a major cultural forum on the Internet. Professor Bakhiet is a founder of the Sudanese Movement for Change.
Born in Omdourman in 1926, Khalda was the eldest daughter to Zahir Alsadati, the commander of the Sudanese Armed Force Battalion that took part in Palestine war in 1948. Khalda Zahir was the first female university student, first woman doctor, first chairperson of the Sudanese Women Union, first Sudanese women jailed for political reasons during colonization reign and the first women obtained an official membership in a Sudanese political party. She joined Gordon College as the first female student allowed to reach university. Khalda continued her medical study in Gordon College till she graduated in 1952 from Kitchener Medical School as the first Sudanese woman doctor. She did her postgraduate study in Slovakia and UK where she specialized in pediatrics. She upgraded in the profession scale till she became an undersecretary in the ministry of Health. Throughout her work she moved and went to all Sudan’s regions ;fully committed to her profession’s duties in disseminating awareness on woman and child health ,child rights and combating detrimental practices.
Born in Port Sudan on January 23 1978, Anwar Fatihelrahman Ahmed Dafa-Alla received his early education in Sudan then graduated from the AASTMT as a Computer Engineer in 2003. He worked as web designer/developer during his university days, and then as a part-time lecturer in his home town after graduation. He established his own small company in Khartoum in 2003, just before he came to South Korea where he joined the Master course in Chungbuk National University, Cheong Ju, Chungbuk, Korea. He finished his Master course in 2006, and established his own company in Korea as well. Then he suspended it and switched again to full-time Ph.D student. He participated in establishing several NGO and groups in Sudan, such as Sudan Developers Association. Dafallah is mostly known for being a volunteer translator for TEDx.
Dr El Tayeb Mustafa
President of Future University-Sudan, former Director of the Division for Science Policy & Sustainable Development at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a Founding Member of the Arab Academy of Sciences, a Member of the Royal Academy of Overseas Science (Belgium), the Secretary of the UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee in Charge of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (www.eolss.net). I also served for 10 years as Editor-in-Chief of the Unesco World Science Report. Dr El Tayeb has been selected to become the first chairman of the Arab Forum for Sustainability Science. He is also responsible for the Unesco chair on Echotechnie for Sustainable Development, at the Future University. He is a member of the Governing Board of International Centre for South-South Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, KL Malaysia and Member of the Governing Board of the International Centre for Science, Technology Strategy.
Badri (1856 – 1954) was a Mahdist warrior who became a social activist and worked towards creating the means for women’s education in the Sudan. Badri was present at the battle of Omdurman, where the Mahdist army was destroyed. After the battle, he migrated to Rufaa, a small town in the region of the Blue Nile, where he founded the first school for girls in Sudan in 1907 and named it Al Ahfad. Initially, it took place at his home, consisting of the daughters of neighbours. The school was inspected by Currie, the Condominium Director of Education, and found satisfactory, receiving a subsidy thereafter. His ideas about girls’ education were strongly opposed by Sudanese elderly who were suspicious of idea of sending girls to school. The main direction of the schooling was towards better nutrition and healthcare to ensure healthier children. His son, Yusuf Badri, later transformed the school into Al Ahfad University for Girls and continued his father’s work. His autobiography, My Life, is considered as a Sudanese classic and an important reference on the Sudan history in the Mahdiste era and during the British colonization.
Amir Tag Elsir
Born in 1960, Tag Elsir is a Sudanese writer and novelist based in Qatar. He studied medicine in Egypt and then at the British Royal College of Medicine. He has published 16 books, including novels, biographies and poetry. His most important works are: The Dowry of Cries (2004), The Crawling of the Ants (2008), The Copt’s Worries (2009)and The French Perfume (2009). His novel The Grub Hunter (2010) was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011 and translated into English and Italian.
Elhillo is an American-Sudanese poet and writer based in Washington, DC. She is a Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly: a journal of black expression. She received an MFA in poetry at the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-winner of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and winner of the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. She is currently working on her first full-length collection, The January Children, which is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press in 2017. She has performed at TEDxNewYork, the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and TV1’s Verses & Flow. She is currently a teaching artist with Split This Rock and a poetry editor at Kinfolks. (www.safia-mafia.com)
Mahmoud is a Sudanese-American poet who won the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam championship. She was born in Darfur, Sudan, and moved with her family to Yemen when she was a toddler, then to the US in 1998. They first arrived in Philadelphia where she attended Julia R. Masterman High School then won the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship, a prize covering all costs for four years at any college in the US. She then decided to pursue an education at Yale University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology and molecular biology. As a poet, public speaker and activist, Mahmoud presents poetry to raise awareness and aid to address the genocide in Darfur. She was on the BBC’s 100 Women list of “the most inspirational women across the world in 2015,” and invited to a 2016 roundtable with President Obama when he visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore.
Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim
Born in 1933, Ibrahim is a Sudanese writer, women rights activist and socialist leader. She joined Omdurman Girls’ Secondary School, and her activities towards women rights started from that time. Ibrahim published a wall newspaper called Elra’edda (meaning Vanguard or The Pioneer girls), focusing on the women rights. She wrote in newspapers at that time by code name. Ibrahim conducted the first women strike in Sudan when her school administration decided to omit the science lessons and replaced it with family science lesson. The strike was successful. In 1947, she founded Intellectual Women Association and in 1952, she worked with other women and founded Aletahad Elnees’y Alsodanni (Sudanese Women’s Union). A sphere of action of Women’s Union (WU) opened membership to all women in Sudan and WU opened branches in different provinces in the country. At WU, she also worked to establish equality with men in wages and technical training, and helped to remove illiteracy among women. In 1955, Ibrahim became a chief editor of Sawat al-Maraa Magazine (Woman’s Voice Magazine), published by WU. The magazine later plays an essential role in the overthrow of the Ibrahim Aboud regime. In 1954, Ibrahim joined the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and became a member of the Central Committee of the SCP. In 1956-1957, Ibrahim became the president of WU. In 1965, Ibrahim was elected to enter the parliament and became the first deputy Sudanese women. During Nimiri’s regime, Ibrahim was arrested many times. In 1990, Ibrahim left Sudan after Omar Al Bashir military coup, and joined the opposition in exile as the president banned WU. In 1991, Ibrahim was elected President of the Women International Democratic Federation. She returned to Sudan in 2005 after reconciliation between the government and opposition, and currently has been appointed as a deputy in the parliament representing the SCP. In 1993, she received a UN award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Human Rights. In 2006, she was awarded Ibn Rushd Prize from Ibn Rushd Fund For Freedom of Thought.
Eltayeb (2 June 1921 – 19 June 2003) is one of the most prominent Sudanese scholars of the Arabic language. According to Sudan Vision, Eltayeb received many famous awards for his work in the Arabic language and produced several books and novels in different fields such as Almurshid. In addition, he published many scientific papers through Global Conferences, regarding his interpretation of the Quran, which is aired on Omdurman Broadcast until today. He graduated from the University of Khartoum, and received his PhD from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1950. He was elected first as a Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1961–1974) and then as the President (1974–1975) of the University of Khartoum. He was the first Director of the University of Juba (1975–1976) and the founder and Provost of Abdullahi Bayero College (1964-1966) which later became Bayero University Kano. Eltayeb died on 19 June 2003.
Ali M. El-Agraa
Born on January 1, 1941 in Wad Medani, Sudan, El-Agraa is a prominent Sudanese economist. He is an economics professor with senior lecturing experience at the University of Khartoum (Sudan), University of Leeds (UK) and Fukuoka University (Japan), Wuhan University (China) and many others. He is a member of the Royal Economic Society, American Economic Association and International Economics Study Group (committee 1982-1988). He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics with honors from the University of Khartoum in 1964. He then moved to England where he received a Master of Arts in Economics with distinction from the University of Leeds in 1967 and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Leeds in 2000. He then went to Japan in 2001 where he received a Higher Doctorate from the Kyushu National University. Upon retirement in 2011, Fukuoka University made El-Agraa Emeritus Professor of International Economic Integration in recognition of his contributions to his academic field. He has acted as General Consultant for the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute (London, 1996–2002) and Senior International Consultant for the United Nations (2001). El-Agraa has also been endowed with a Life-time Professorship by Wuhan University in China, and was awarded The Daeyang Prize for the best article published in 2008 in the Journal of Economic Integration.
Born on October 25, 1964, Shehata is a UK-based Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and a subspecialist in Maternal Medicine. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London. Following training in obstetrics and gynaecology at several London university hospitals, Shehata embarked in subpecializing in maternal medicine at St Thomas’s hospital in London. He achieved membership of both Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Physicians of Ireland. He is included in the General Medical Council’s Obstetrics & Gynaecology Specialist register. He has won awards and received prizes in the fields of chemistry, science, mathematics, physics, zoology, medicine, pathology, therapeutics, pharmacology and much more. Most importantly, he’s widely published in prestigious international medical journals. His clinical interests include the investigation and treatment of recurrent miscarriage using the latest advances in reproductive immunology. Other specialities include hormone replacement therapy and pre-conception counselling for women with other diseases or physiological problems.
Osman-Elasha, a Sudanese scientist, is at the forefront of global research on climate change and a winner of the UNEP’s (United Nations Environment Program) ‘Champions of the Earth’. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate (December 2007) as a leading author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, she has produced groundbreaking work on global warming – the defining challenge of our era – in Africa, with an emphasis on northern and eastern Africa. As Principal Investigator with the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR) based in Khartoum, she focuses her work on sustainable development. Her expertise lies in vulnerability and adaptation assessment including documenting greenhouse gas inventories.
Kamil Eltayeb Idris
Idris, a Sudanese international civil servant, was the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from November 1997 to September 2008. He was also head of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). Idris stepped down a year early from its post of head of WIPO, amidst “allegations of misconduct”. According to the International Herald Tribune, he “used a false birth date for more than two decades accepted a package including an extra year’s salary … and full pension benefits before he offered to resign over questions about his integrity.” Idris, however, blames the birth date discrepancy on a typographical error. The date of his birthday varies from August 26, 1945, August 26, 1953 to August 26, 1954.
ElFatih A. B. ElTahir
Eltahir is a professor in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the department of civil and environmental engineering. In 2008, he has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an honor granted every year to only 0.1 percent of AGU’s 50,000 members. He developed a theory for how regional-scale vegetation distribution shapes the dynamics of monsoons, and studied the impact of deforestation on the hydrology and climate of the Amazon and West Africa. He explored the connections between natural variability in the Nile flow and the El Niño phenomenon, and demonstrated the potential for using such connections to improve predictability of the Nile floods. His recent work focuses on studying the connections of climate, water and disease (malaria) in Africa.
Mohamed Osman Baloola
Born in April 14, 1981 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Baloola is a Sudanese scientist who was named among The World’s 500 Most influential Arabs in 2012 and 2013 for his work on diabetes. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Ajman University of Science and Technology in 2009, Baloola joined the university as a teaching assistant of Biomedical Engineering. Baloola won a science and innovation award at the Arabian Business Awards 2011 at Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Baloola won US$11,000 (Dh40,000) during a television competition in Sharjah for his invention of a remote monitoring and control system for diabetes patients via mobile phone. Although originally Sudanese, Baloola holds a passport. The UAE has even named a street, Al Baloulah St., after Baloola for his work on diabetes.
Sahwa Adil Nourein
Sahwa Adil Nourein, a Medical doctor and PhD student in Immunology, studies autoimmune diseases in the hope of one day finding treatments for pregnant women and improve their chances of having a healthy baby. In March 2013 in Paris, Nourein was one of 15 scientists whose research projects were selected by the ‘L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science’ programme, earning them an International fellowship. The Sudanese scientist wants to prevent women from going through the experience of miscarriage. Looking into the possible link between stillbirth and ethnicity, Nourein is expected to improve women’s health throughout the world.
Abduallah Al-Tayyib Al Majdhub
Born in the Tamirab village, Sudan, Al-Majdhub is the dean of Sudanese literature. He received his education in Bakht Al-Rida, later in Faculty of Education, London University and in the Institution of Eastern and African Studies. Al Majdhub got the PHD from London University, taught in the Sudanese university and founded the Nigerian Bayero University College which was upgraded from a university college to university.
Nawal M. Nour
Born in 1966 in Khartoum, Nour is an American obstetrician and gynecologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was raised in Sudan, Egypt, and England. She graduated from Brown University, and from Harvard Medical School in 1994, and completed a chief residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in 1998. She graduated from Harvard School of Public Health with a MPH in 1999, as a Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellow. She created the African Women’s Health Practice that focuses on Female genital cutting. In 2003, she won a Genius Award. Also in 2003, Nour was honored MacArthur Foundation Fellow for creating the country’s only center of its kind that focuses on both physical and emotional needs of women who have had or undergone Female Genital Cutting (FGC). This work has been covered by the Associated Press (AP), New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR), Oprah (O) and Essence magazine and CNN Espanol. In 2008, Nour became the Director of the Global Obstetrics and Gynecology Division at BWH.
Tigani El Mahi
Born in El Kawa in 1911, El Mahi is one of the famous medical doctors in Sudan. He graduated from Kitchener Medical School in 1935. He joined Sudan medical service and worked in different parts of the Sudan. In July 1949, El Mahi was rewarded with a Diploma in psychological medicine at the University of London. On his return home, he founded the clinic of nervous disorders in Khartoum – the first in the Sudan’s medical history. As a result, he established the foundations of mental health service in the country. In 1959, he joined the WHO-EMRO as a regional adviser in Mental Health. He was invited by several international institutes and universities to lecture in mental health, religion, traditional societies and magic as a socio-psycho institution. In 1964, political change in Sudan brought El Mahi to be a member of the Supreme Council of the State. In 1969, the University of Khartoum offered him the chair of Psychiatric Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, which he held up until his death. El Mahi died in January 8 1970.
Awadelkarim is Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and the Associate Director for the Center of Nanotechnology Education and Utilization at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, and his Ph.D. from Reading University in the UK. Prior to joining Penn State, Awadelkarim worked as a Research Scientist at Linkoping University and the Swedish Defense Research Establishment. His research interests are in electronic materials, nano/microelectronics, and nano/microelectromechanical systems. Awadelkarim has authored/coauthored nearly 200 journal articles, book chapters, books, and conference proceedings. He is a recipient of Shell and the University Prizes from the Sudan, and Fellowships from the International Seminars in Physics and Chemistry (Sweden) and the International Center for Theoretical Physics (Italy).
Born in Khartoum, Toubia is the cofounder and President of RAINBO. She’s a surgeon and women’s health rights activist, specializing in research into female genital mutilation (FGM). In 1981, she became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the first woman surgeon in Sudan. Recently, Toubia worked for four years as an Associate for Women’s Reproductive Health at the Population Council in New York and is currently an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Public Health. She is also a member of several scientific and advisory committees of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNDP, and Vice-Chair of the advisory committee of the Women’s Rights Watch Project of Human Rights Watch where she previously served on the Board of Directors. She publishes extensively on issues of reproductive health, women’s rights, and gender inequality with focus on Africa and the Middle East. Among Toubia’s publications are Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Worldwide Laws and Policies, Caring for Women with Circumcision: A Technical Manual for Health Care Providers, Learning About Social Change: A Research and Evaluation Guidebook Using Female Circumcision as a Case Study and Female Genital Mutilation: A Call for Global Action.
Elsony is health and human rights activist. She is the Director and Head of Scientific Activities at Epi-Lab Khartoum Reserch and Public Health. She was the Secretary of the WHO/Horn of Africa Initiative (1998– 2004), and Former President of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (2002-2007). She worked with major international agencies, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, WHO expert for Geneva and the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, STAC, TDR, GDF, Imperial College and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine among others and with international NGOs LHL International, CDC, and the Union. She contributed to over 40 scientific publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, and have produced over 20 reports and book chapters in the field of public health.
Drama and Theatre
Born on November 21 1965, Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi is a Sudanese-born English actor also known as Siddig El Fadil and his stage name Alexander Siddig. He is known for playing Dr. Julian Bashir in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and for his performances as Prince Nasir Al-Subaai in Syriana (2005) and as Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani in Kingdom of Heaven (2005). He has also guest starred on 24 as Hamri Al-Assad. Siddig co-starred in the award-winning film Cairo Time (2009) as Tareq Khalifa.
British-born L’Roubi came to London from Sudan in the 1980s and graduated from Imperial College, London. He is a London couturier who brings together the best traditions of Savile Row and Bond Street. As creative director, he is in demand as for both mens’ and ladies’ tailoring, country and shooting attire, and ladies’ evening wear. In December 2012, L’Roubi became the co-owner and Creative Director of Huntsman, the iconic Savile Row brand. He also runs a company called, Asked For Designs, in London.
Sudanese Omer Asim studied architecture at The Bartlett followed by a postgraduate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He experimented within the United Stations Development Program before finding fashion. Asim learnt the craft through a number of internships starting with Maurice Sedwell Row, leading to a freelance with the wardrobe team of the smash hit Harry Potter saga. His label launched with a small installation during London Fashion Week in September ’09.
Born on April 16, 1977, Wek is a South Sudanese British model who first appeared on the catwalks at the age of 18 in 1995, sparking a career lasting to date. Coming from the Dinka ethnic group in Southern Sudan, she and her family fled in 1991 to Britain to escape the civil war in Sudan. A Models 1 scout discovered Wek at an outdoor market in London in 1995 in Crystal Palace in south London. She first received attention when she moved to the US that year, appearing in Tina Turner’s the music video, GoldenEye. Later, she entered the world of fashion as one of its top models. Wek was signed to Ford Models in 1996 and also seen in the Janet Jackson’s music video, Gone ‘Til It’s Gone, that year. MTV named Wek the Model of the Year in 1997. She was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle. Amongst other things, she has done advertisements for Issey Miyake, Moschino, Victoria’s Secret and make-up company Clinique as well as walked the runway for high-profile fashion designers Shiatzy Chen, John Galliano, Chanel, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Jasper Conran and Ermanno Scervino. In 2002, Wek made her acting debut in The Four Feathers as Sudanese princess Aquol. Wek has also been a guest on The Tyra Banks Show, America’s next top model and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.
Arjok is a South Sudanese American model born in California in 5 October 1985. She was first discovered in Los Angeles but moved to New York so that she can be more involved in the industry. Arjok is considered to be one of the top Nubian models and black models to enter the fashion world since popular model, Alek Wek. She is known for her long legs and her beauty has often been compared to Alek Wek’s. She has walked the runway for renowned Designers such as Luca Luca, Phillip Lim, Catherine Malandrino, Diane von Furstenberg, Sass Bide, Custo Barcelona, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Lacoste, Heatherette. She appeared in Vogue Italia and was photographed by Steven Klein, Michael Thompson for Allure, Glamour, Trace, Teen Vogue, and Russian Vogue. Arjon has appeared in national ad campaigns for Patricia Fields for Destination Style New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, John Varvatos for Converse, Diesel, Catherine Malandrino, Behnaz Sarafpour for Target, I.N.C. She was photographed by Greg Kadel and photographed for cosmetics ad campaigns for Estée Lauder Prescriptives and Sephora. In 2008, she appeared in a two 30 second commercials and received a spot for Target, featuring designers Milla Jovovich, Carmen Hawk and Old Navy.
Deng, 19, was one of the breakout stars of the SS10 Paris shows, booking Chloe, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Lanvin. An array of editorials has followed – most notably, Interview with Mikael Jansson and V with Amy Troost. Born in the Sudan, Ajak now calls Melbourne, Australia home. In March 2010, she walked for Lanvin, Givenchy, Chloe, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Born in Khartoum, Deng is a South Sudanese-American fashion model. She’s a niece of the South Sudanese-British fashion model, Alek Wek. Together with her family, she moved to the United States (San Antonio, Texas) in 2004. Just four years later, her modeling career started when she signed a contract with Trump Model in New York. Since then she walked the catwalk for renowned names such as Zac Posen, Lacoste, Christian Dior and John Galliano. In 2010, she closed the S/S 11 Lanvin show in Paris, alongside Ajak Deng, Jeneil Williams, Melodie Monrose, and Jourdan Dunn. She also appeared in magazines such as Teen Vogue, V Magazine, and appeared on the cover of French Revue de Mode. Furthermore, she was shot for campaigns by fashion brands Kenzo and Benetton, among others. She’s currently signed with Trump Models in New York, and with Elite Models in Paris and Milan.
Originally Sudanese, Suliman is a British model who splashed into the scene after photos of her for a Marks & Spencers advertisement sprung up in England. She rose to prominence after she was discovered at a swimming pool in Islington, where a talent scout reportedly approached her after seeing her in a swimsuit and she was subsequently cast in a Marks and Spencer bra advert. She’s a 5’8.
The Sudanese-American model, Sara Ishag, was born in Kuwait and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has been featured in several national and international magazines as Essence, Elle, Vogue, Sheen, Most Fashion Magazine. Ishag has worked with international designers and world known photographers, booking national ad campaigns for successful cosmetic brands such as Loreal owned brand Mizani. In 2016 alone, she was in Los Angeles, New York, SF, Dubai and Canada. Ishag is currently pursuing a MBA at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. She graduated with honors from the University of California as the top 10% of her business class. Ishag is scheduled to launch her online jewelry brand “annakqua” in February 2017.
Giant of modern Sudanese music, AlKabli is a poet, composer, and folklorist who plays the oud (lute) with deceptive ease and whose deep melodious voice embraces both classical and Arabic styles. Talented in his own right as a lyricist, he has also set classical poetry to music and delved into the treasury of folk songs of North, East and Central Sudan, fascinated by the diversity of rhythm and melody to be found in Africa’s largest country. In the 35 years since his first concert appearance – when he sang the “Song for Asia and Africa” at the National Theatre in Omdurman in honor of President Nasser of Egypt – Al Kabli has become a walking encyclopedia of his country’s musical heritage. AlKabli’s songs contain a diversity of topics and scenes including love, passion, revolution, nationalism and Sudanese folklore. Some of his songs are old Arabic poems that can be comprehended by Arabic linguists. Others are in old Sudanese Arabic dialect that might require deep knowledge of the language and customs. Some of his songs include “Ya Bint Ashreen” (O that Girl in her twenties), “Sukar Sukar” (Sugar Sugar), “Asia wa Africa” (Asia and Africa), “Noama”, “Cleopatra”, “Limaza” (Why?), and “Merowi”. On May 12, 2002 AlKabli was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature from Nyala University in Nyala, Sudan. In addition, he won Gold Award at the hands of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. On October 7, 2004, he was awarded the UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for Obsetric Fistula in Sudan for his advocacy for women health, gender equality and human rights. In January 2008, he was awarded the second honorary doctorate in music and arts from Sudan University.
Mohammed Osman Hassan Salih Wardi
Born July 19, 1932, Wardi was a Nubian Sudanese singer and songwriter. In 1953, Wardi went to Khartoum for the first time to attend a convention as a teaching representative for his area. He moved to Khartoum and started his career as a musical performer. In 1957, Omdurman Radio chose him to record and sing on national broadcast in an arena with legendary singers such as Abdelaziz Mohamed Dauod, Hassan Atia, Ahmed Almustafa, Osman Hussaein and Ibrahim Awad. Wardi recorded 17 songs in his first year. A committee formed by Omdurman Radio’s president that included top singers and songwriters such as AlKashif, Osman Hussaein and Ahmed Almustafa promoted Wardi to highest level as a professional singer. He had a bilateral with a famous poet, Ismail Hassan, resulting in more than 23 song. Wardi performs using a variety of instruments including the Nubian Tanbur and sings in both Arabic and Nubian languages.Described as Africa’s top singer, he has millions of fans mainly in the Horn of Africa.His songs address topics such as romance, passion, Nubian folklore and heritage, revolution and patriotism with some of his political songs resulting in him being jailed. After the introduction of Sharia in 1989, he left Sudan to voluntary exile in Cairo but returned in 2003. The artist was granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Khartoum in 2005 in recognition of his career for more than 60 years and his performance of more than 300 song. He died on February 18, 2012 at the age of 80 because of kidney complications.
Also known as Lil T, Little T and Natasja, Saad was a rapper and reggae singer whose vocals on a popular reggae fusion remix of Calabria gained her worldwide fame and a number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart six months after her death in a car accident. Before going solo, Natasja made her Danish breakthrough in 1990 when she formed the reggae band, “No Name Requested,” with Mukupa. The daughter of Sudanese father and Danish mother, died on June 24, 2007 at the age of 32 in a car accident in Jamaica.
Also known as Amir Moahmed or Amir Khalifa, Oddisee was born in Washington, D.C. to a Sudanese father and an African-American mother and grew up in Maryland. He was influenced by soul and rap as well as the myriad of musicians on both sides of his family. He was to pursue visual art at the Art Institute of Philadelphia until when a friend of his introduced him to hip-hop producing. Captivated by it, he changed his plans and concentrated on making beats, ending up with the track “Musik Lounge” on DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2002 record, Magnificent. Part of the Low Budget crew, which included fellow D.C. area MC and producers Kenn Starr, Cy Young, and Kev Brown, Oddisee released his solo debut, Foot in the Door, mixed by Jazzy Jeff, on Halftooth in 2006.
In the war-torn region of Southern Sudan, Jal was born into the life of a child solider. Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and emerge as a world-famous recording artist with a hit record under his belt. Called an artist “with the potential of a young Bob Marley” by Peter Gabriel, he has performed at Live 8 and Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert. His music can be heard in major motion pictures, TV, and he’s been featured in major outlets like TIME, USA Today, NPR, CNN, MTV and the BBC. Emmanual is also a spokesperson for Amnesty International and Oxfam, and created the charitable foundation, Gua Africa.
Samy Sorge (born 19 December 1977 in Hamburg), commonly known as Samy Deluxe, Wickeda MC or Sam Semillia is a German hip-hop artist from Hamburg. He is one of Germany’s most successful solo rap musicians while also releasing albums as a member of two separate crews, Dynamite Deluxe (with DJ Dynamite aka Joni Rewind and Tropf) and ASD (with Afrob). He has his own label Deluxe Records. In 2001, Samy Deluxe released his first solo album, Samy Deluxe. Following this release of the single Weck mich auf, Samy became one of the greatest German hip-hop and international artists. In August 2004, he released the second album, Verdammtnochma!, which the reached number two in the German album-charts and stayed for three weeks in the Top 10.
Angelosi is a South Sudanese singer and entertainer who has performed exclusively in front of distinguished guests at places like Howard University, Tennessee State University, Sudan’s CPA celebration in DC and many more. The singer from Juba has tags of being an accredited producer, lyricist, songwriter and CEO of ASSIDA Productions on him. Born on January 15, 1984 in Juba, his family migrated to United States in 2000 and ever since then, Yaba has been working tirelessly to sharpen his craft. Besides making music his career, he studies audio engineering at the University of Northern Virginia.
Born June 26, 1995 in Khartoum, Major is living out her dream as a multi-talented artist and the self proclaimed “Illest Kid” and “Mother to the New School Era.” Reema’s family fled Sudan to escape the coup taking refuge in Kenya and Uganda, before making Canada home in 1998. In Canada, Reema was first introduced to music and hip hop at the early age of 5 by her cousin.Reema speaks Arabic, Sudanese Tribal Tongue, as well as English and these colorful languages and cultures inspire her music, fashion and love of life. After being discovered on Myspace by Stephen Hill, BET’s President of Programming, Talent and Specials, and being invited to participate in the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher. Working with G7 Record, Universal Music Canada and Interscope Records, Reema has worked with producers including The Stereotypes, Bangledesh and DJ Toomp.
Abd El Gadir Salim
A folk singer and bandleader from Sudan, Salim is one of the most well-known Sudanese singers in the West, having performed around the world and recorded in many nations including England. He was born in 1950s the village of Dilling, Kordofan province, surrounded by the Nuba Mountains in the west of Sudan. Salim trained in both European and Arabic music at the Institute of Music in Khartoum, beginning with Oud. By 1971, he changed from composing urban-styled music to country tunes. Seeking out traditional and colloquial songs to perform, Salim began in his native Kordofan and Darfur. Rarely writing his own lyrics, the songs he finds range from politically-aware, educational arguments to love ballads. Salim is noted for maintaining a neutral repertoire that keeps him from irritating the Islamic government of Sudan. The international performer was a headmaster of a school in Chad between at least the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s. In 2005, he recorded an album with, Sudanese rapper, former child soldier and, Christian convert, Emmanuel Jal called Ceasefire.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, producer and film-maker, Abdulhamid has been an active member of the Toronto music scene, since his arrival in Canada in 1992. Born in Sudan, Abdulhamid began performing at the age of six. He toured across Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait and the UAE. He is known for bringing traditional rhythms into popular music in Sudan. When he left Sudan at age 18, he performed, recorded and toured extensively, appearing at major music festivals in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Oslo, Finland and Iceland. Abdulhamid plays the guitar, bass, drums, flute, harmonica, kirin, bass kirin, darabhuka, marimba, balimbo, congas, bongos, djembe, dumbek and tama. He has been invited to perform in festivals and conduct workshops (merging music and movement) in Spain, France and Portugal. Abdulhamid has played and recorded with David Clayton Thoma, the Motown Legend Band “The Drifters”, Doug Riley, Jackie Richardson, Julie Black, Karyn White, Deborah Cox and Zaki Ibrahim. He is the film director of the awards winning documentary, Let’s Find A Way. Moreover, Abdulhamid has musically directed a series of shows at the Caliban Arts Theatre (Freedom Live), Inner Stage, and various dance companies. He also composed and produced music for several TV shows as well some main stream Hollywood movies.
Nile (Moawia Ahmed Khalid)
Popularly known as Moawia Ahmed Khalid, Nile is a soul, hip hop and R&B singer/song writer and music producer based in the UAE. Nile recently gained more fame especially in the MENA region when he was a contestant on The Voice Ahla Sawt and reached the top 10. diverse artist, Nile plays several musical instruments, such as the guitar, bass guitar and the keyboard. The acoustic guitar remains Nile’s instrument of choice especially for live performances. Nile has written and produced over 40 songs. His single Lonely was played in Dubai’s Radio One, as well as the singles, Still in Love and Get With Me, which were also played on Sudan’s 99.3 FM. He performed live at several local and international music events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Doha and Khartoum. Born in Wad Madani, Moawia formed a hip hop group called D.O.S with a friend in high school but the group quickly ended when he moved to Sudan. During his years in Sudan, Nile was the lead singer and guitar player in a band whose unique sound was a mixture of soul, jazz and African music. The band toured the country and played in different music festivals and events.
Born to Sudanese and Scottish parents, Shaddad is singer, songwriter and poet. Raised across Europe and Africa and now based in London, her recently released four-track EP ‘Waters‘ was produced by Mercury Music Prize nominated Chris Bond and released on Beatnik Creative. Following heavy support from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Scotland, XFM, Amazing Radio, and acclaim from The Sunday Times, The Line of Best Fit, Clash Magazine, and i-D Magazine, Shaddad played three shows at this year’s The Great Escape, and launched her EP at a sold-out full band show in London this June. As a vocalist and writer with chart-dominating electronic outfit, Clean Bandit, Eliza appears on their UK Shanty and Mozart’s House EP’s as well as recently released debut album, New Eyes. With Clean Bandit, Shaddad has supported Rudimental, SBTRKT and Mercury Prize-Winners Alt-J, not to mention having played across the UK supporting the likes of Michael Chapman, Rue Royale and Rhodes. She has also played at festivals such as Glastonbury, Blissfields, Beachbreak Live, and Sunrise.
Born in Khartoum, Alsarah is a Sudanese-born singer, songwriter and ethnomusicologist. At the age of eight, she relocated to Taez, Yemen then moved to the US in 1994, when a brief civil war broke out in Yemen. Alsarah started her musical training at the age of 12. After attending The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School in Hadley, Massachusetts, she spent four years at Wesleyan University, studying music with a concentration in ethnomusicology. Today, Alsarah resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is a self-proclaimed practitioner of East-African retro-pop. Working on various projects, she most recently has been working with The Nile Project and was featured on their debut release, Aswan (named one of the top five must hear international albums of 2013 by NPR). She has also collaborated with French producer Débruit on the album Aljwal, released November 2013 via Soundway Records. She released her debut album with her band, Alsarah & the Nubatones, in the spring of 2014.
Born as Ahmed Gallab, Sinkane is a musician who blends krautrock, free jazz and funk rock with Sudanese pop. He is signed to DFA Records. Born in London, England, Sinkane lived in Sudan, then moved to the US when he was five, and lived for some time in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to embarking on his solo career, he worked with Eleanor Friedberger, Caribou, of Montreal, Born Ruffians, and Yeasayer as a session musician. Today, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Known as Sudan’s ‘King of Jazz’, Ahmed was born in Omdurman in 1935. He is one of the most distinctive voices to have emerged out of Sudan. His repertoire includes a motley collection of arias, ballads, reggae, jazz and traditional Sudanese songs. He has a genius for instrumental combinations and for improvisation. He has a voice capable of conveying deep feeling. He pours out his heart in a stream of gorgeous sounds. Ahmed entered the kuttab (Quranic school) at the age of four. He was later sent to Babiker Badri, the first public school in Sudan, and matriculated from Al-Madrassa Al-Abbasiya, another distinguished colonial school. Ahmed grew up in Al-Obeid, capital of Kordofan Province, western Sudan, and eventually enrolled at Khartoum College of Fine Arts where he studied graphic design. After graduation, he joined the Ministry of Education as an illustrator of textbooks, a job that gave him the opportunity to explore his musical capabilities. Today, Ahmed sings for the cause of Sudan and for the plight of the people of Sudan. Whether it is in the Roman Theatre, Alexandria, in Asmara to celebrate Eritrean Independence Day or at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, Ahmed lights up the stage.
Born on 19 September 1990, Dawoud is a Sudanese-American songwriter, rapper, and actor. The 25-year-old Nubian is best known for his starring role in the short film, Faisal Goes West, which won several awards world wide. He is also known for his music single, ‘The Mugran’, which he released in April 2016 from his upcoming album, Kashta. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, he immigrated to the US in 1999 and settled in the Kansas City metropolitan area, where he currently resides. His first foray into music was an album he digitally released independently, ‘Diary Of A Menace’, in 2008. His work with the group, The Ambassadors, garnered him a Best New Artist award at the 2011 Kansas City Entertainment Awards. In 2012, he was featured in a local short film, “Choice”, followed by starring as Faisal in the film, ‘Faisal Goes West’, which won Best In Show at the 2013 Texas Independent Film Festival and Best Original Narrative Short at the 2013 WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, as well being featured as the Opening Night Film at the inaugural Sudan Independent Film Festival.
Abbas Hamad (Bas)
Abbas Hamad, better known as Bas or Fiend Bas, is an American rapper from Queens, New York. Born to Sudanese parents, Bas was raised in Paris until the age of eight, when his family moved to Jamaica, Queens. He didn’t start rapping until 2010. He was coerced by a J. Cole and toured with him. Mixtape releases such as Quarter Water Raised Me and Quarter Water Raised Me II elevated his profile. He was signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records and Interscope Records in 2014. He’s been building buzz ever since his debut Last Winter and has established a line of clothing through his FIENDS brand, which was established in 2010. While the main spot to purchase FIENDS apparel is online, Bas has had multiple pop up shops in places like NYC and LA for the FIENDS apparel as well. The name “FIENDS” comes from when Bas and his crew used to always call themselves fiends growing up. The Fiends crew became his creative collective of people who work his website, help with marketing, produce music, graphic design, etc.
Besides his prominent role in the independence movement, Khalil Farah (1892-1932) is often seen as the ‘Father’ of contemporary Sudanese music. The most popular nationalist poems from the 1920-30s are of the lyricist and oud player, Farah. He continues to receive praise for being the ‘father’ or ‘pioneer’ of modern Sudanese music. As a graduate of the Gordon College Technical Workshops, he was a mechanic in the post and telegraph department. Farah composed music that praised the Sudan’s connection with Egypt and its Nile Valley unity. He achieved fame on the basis of songs which blended literally and colloquial Arabic that were accessible to various audiences.
On 24 January 2006, the Rashid Diab Arts Centre (RDAC) was officially introduced to the residents of Khartoum. After a long absence from Sudan, Rashid Diab, one of Sudan’s most exceptional and internationally recognized artists, returned to the motherland to open an art gallery. The RDAC was his second art gallery, following the Madani Gallery, his home away from home in Madrid, Spain. Born in 1957 in Wad Medani, on the banks of the Nile, Diab studied in Sudan and received his BA in Fine Art with honors from the University of Khartoum in 1978. Moving to Spain in the early 80’s, he completed an MFA in painting, an MFA in etching and a PHD in Fine Art from Complutense University in Madrid. His talent and educational background led him to become the first foreigner to teach at the prestigious Madrid’s San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
El-Salahi, one of the most influential figures in African and Arab modern art, was born in Omdurman, Sudan in 1930 and now lives and works in Oxford, England. His work has been shown at PS1, New York; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; and Haus der Kunst, Munich. He is represented in numerous private and public collections including the MoMA, New York; New National Gallery, Berlin; and Tate, London. He received the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; the Order of Knowledge, Arts and Letters, Sudan; and the Honorary Award, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.
Siddig El Nigoumi
According to Jane Perryman, author of the book, Smoke Firing: Contemporary Artists and Approaches, El Nigoumi was the most successful of his generation of ex-patriot African Artists at synthesizing African, Arab and British cultural influences. Born in Sudan in 1931, he was a calligrapher at first, who abstracted the art to embellish his clay canvasses in the form of dishes, pots and animal figurines. El Nigoumi claims he enjoyed playing with mud on the banks of the Nile River, which gave him the interest in pottery. He trained at Khartoum Art School (1952 – 1955) and became a calligrapher then shortly after, studied in London at the Central School of Art. Then he returned to Sudan to teach. It is believed that as a teacher, El Nigoumi encouraged his students to look towards their own culture and traditions, often bringing his classes to analyze shapes at the Ethnographical Museum. In 1967, he moved to England where he continued to teach and decided to settle permanently, finding it to be a more creative environment. In 1987, he was featured in the Aberystwyth Ceramics festival. For El Nigoumi, being an Artist, African and Sudanese were extremely important. He found expression for his identity in his ceramics.
Born in 1981 in Romania, Khalid is a Sudanese political cartoonist based in Doha, Qatar. Currently working in the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, Khalid considers himself a virtual revolutionist, publishing his political cartoons about life in the Arab world on various blogs and websites. Albaih has hands on experience, which he gained through collaborating with other artists, filmmakers, writers and illustrators for freelance and personal projects. His art work published in many publications world wide including The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – FAZ.
Ismail Ahmed Ismail
Born in Khartoum on 10 September 1984, Ismail is a Sudanese runner specializing in the 800 meters. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, he reached the final in the 800-meter event. He also competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where Ismail won the silver medal. He is the first Sudanese national to win an Olympic medal in history. He won the gold medal at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games. Ismail is a member of the Fur people of Darfur.
Bol was a Sudanese-born basketball player and activist. At 7 feet, 7 inches (2.31 meters), he was one of the tallest players ever to appear in the National Basketball Association, along with Gheorghe Mureşan. Bol was officially measured at 7 feet, 6 3/4 inches tall by the Guinness Book of World Records. Son of a Dinka tribal chief, Bol was born on October 16, 1962 in either Turalei or Gogrial, Sudan. Bol played basketball for two colleges and four NBA teams. He was known as a specialist player; his shot blocking skills were considered among the best in the history of the sport, but other aspects of his game were considered fairly weak. One statistical oddity highlights Bol’s unique skill set: he is the only player in NBA history to have more blocked shots than points scored. On June 19, 2010, Bol died from acute kidney failure and complications from Stevens–Johnson syndrome at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Born on April 16, 1985, Deng is a Sudanese-British professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls and the Great Britain national basketball team. He plays the small forward position. Deng scored a career-high 40 points to lead the Chicago Bulls nba jerseys to a 110-98 victory over Portland on Monday night. Deng’s previous career best of 38 points, on March 26, 2007, also came against the Trail Blazers. Deng Gai Born on March 22, 1982 in Wau, Gai is a Sudanese professional basketball player, formerly in the NBA. He plays as a power forward. Gai was the 2005 NCAA Division I men’s basketball season blocks leader. In 2004, Gai declared for the NBA Draft but ultimately withdrew his name. In 2005, the Philadelphia 76ers signed him as a free agent. After playing in only two games for the team, Gai was waived in December 2005. He then briefly played for the USBL’s Dodge City Legend and the ABA’s Wilmington Sea Dawgs. After being drafted in 2005 by the CBA’s Albany Patroons (2nd round, 10th overall) Gai played for the team in the USBL leading it in blocks. At the end of the season, he was named to the league’s All-Defensive Team. In 2007-2008, Gai represented Poland’s Śląsk Wrocław but the team folded after that season.
Born on March 11, 1991, Daw is a professional Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League (AFL). He and his family in Australia are refugees from the civil wars in Sudan. Daw was the first Sudanese Australian to be drafted to an AFL club when he was contracted to the North Melbourne Football Club in the 2009 AFL Draft. Daw’s drafting gained international attention especially when BBC and the Voice of America reported on it. Daw made his first appearance for North Melbourne in an NAB Cup match on 20 February 2011.
Born on December 18, 1956, Khalifa is a former Sudanese middle distance runner who set a national record of 3:33.28 minutes over 1500 meters in Grossetto in 1986. Prior to this, he won silver medals in the 800 m and 1500 m races at the Olympic Boycott Games in 1980. Khalifa won the 1500 m race at the World Cup 1985 in Canberra. He finished fifth in the 1500 m final at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome and eighth in the 1984 Summer Olympics in the same event. He also competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics, finishing 12th.
Abubaker Kaki Khames
Born on June 21, 1989, Khames is a Sudanese runner who specializes in the 800 metres. He is a two-time World Indoor Champion over the distance and also won gold at the 2007 All-Africa Games. He represented Sudan at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In February 2008, he ran a world leading 2:15.7 in the 1000 m indoors in Sweden. On March 9, 2008 in Valencia, Khames became the youngest ever World Indoor champion after winning the 800 m final at age 18 years and 262 days. On June 6, 2008, he won the Bislett Games Golden League meeting in Oslo by running 1:42.69, a new world junior record. The following month, Khames entered the 2008 World Junior Championships in Athletics as the 800 m favorite.
Haitham Mustafa Karar
Born on July 19, 1977 in North of Khartoum, Karar is a Sudanese football midfielder playing for one of Sudan’s strongest football teams, Al-Hilal. Captain of Al-Hilal, he also plays as midfielder. After transferring from Al-Ameer Al-Bahrawi, a second league team in Sudan, he joined Al-Hilal in November 1995. Karar is one of Sudan’s football legends. In his youth years, Karar was regarded as a highly talented holding midfielder, leading the Sudanese national team to qualify for the 2008 African Cup of Nations, which was the first time for the national team to qualify (then 2008) in over 30 years. He is known for his high-ability of play making and throw passes are. Currently, he is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations.
Nagmeldin Ali Abubaker
Born in Khartoum on February 22, 1986, Abubakr lives in Nyala, southern Darfur, and is a sergeant in the Sudanese army. His family is of the Zaghawa (Beri) ethnic group. Abubaker is a Sudanese athlete who mainly competes in the 400 meters. In April 2005 in Mecca, he achieved his best time in 44.93 seconds. Described as one of Sudan’s main medal hopes at the Games, Abubaker competed in the 400 meters event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Jouda (born June 28, 1979) is a hurdling Sudanese athlete, who is notable for having switched nationality from United States to Sudan in September 2003. In 2002, before he switched to Sudan, his personal best is 13.36 seconds but it wasn’t a national record. Instead, his Sudanese record is 13.45, which he achieved in October 2004. The 2003 Afro-Asian Games was his first major international tournament for Sudan where he won a gold medal. Competing for his new nation, Matthews-Jouda became an African champion in July 2004 and competed at the Summer Olympics a month later. The flag bearer for Sudan, Matthews-Jouda finished last in his heat at the 2005 World Championships.
Yamile Aldama Pozo
Born on August 14, 1972 in Havana, Pozo is a Sudanese triple jumper who formerly represented Cuba. After a failed attempt to acquire a British passport, she acquired the Sudanese citizenship in 2004. As a Cuban citizen, she won a world championship silver medal, and in 2003, Pozo set a North and Central American record with 15.29 meters. Her Sudanese record is 15.28 meters, achieved in August 2004 in Linz. In 1996, Pozo gained her first international success in the event, winning gold (14.39) at the 1996 Ibero-American Championships in Medellin, Colombia. Later that year, she leapt 14.43 and made the Olympic team for Atlanta but was unable to participate because of injury. Pozo’s breakthrough came in 1999. After finishing 7th at the World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan (14.47), she equaled the national record (14.60) in claiming her third national title in May and improved the record to 14.77 in winning the Pan American Games in Winnipeg two months later. In August, Pozo took the silver medal (14.61) at the World Championships in Seville but did not improve in the Olympic year, although she finished a respectable 4th in Sydney (14.30).
Born on April 22, 1980 in Sudan, Duany is a Sudanese former college basketball player for the Syracuse Orange who was the captain and lone senior on Syracuse’s 2003 NCAA National Championship team. The Fayetteville Patriots took Duany with the sixth pick in the fifth round of the National Basketball Development League. He appeared in three games with the Patriots before being released on December 4, 2003. Following Fayetteville, Duany played overseas for Pyrinto (Finland), Braunschweig (Germany) and Bonn (Germany). With Pyrinto, he started in 21 games and recorded 12.3 ppg and 6.4 rpg for the 9th placed team. Dunay also played in the American Basketball Association for Long Beach. On October 27, 2006, Duany signed a contract with the ABA’s Buffalo Silverbacks. He appeared in nine games, averaging 18.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. In April 2007, Duany joined the Indonesian national team in Jakarta to play in the SEABA Championships. Indonesia recruited him to bolster up their roster although Duany has no familiar links to the country.
Osama “Ozzie” Malik is an Sudanese-Australian football/soccer player, playing for Adelaide United. His older brother Zaki Malik is also a footballer too, who plays in the FFSA Super League for the Adelaide Galaxy.
Lomong is a South Sudanese-born American track and field athlete. Lomong is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan who came to the United States in 2007. He showed immense potential by winning two NCAA championships. Lomong became a professional runner and in 2008, after becoming a US citizen, he made the Olympic team, representing the USA. At the Beijing Olympics, Lomong was voted by his fellow countrymen to carry the US flag into the opening ceremonies, and he went on to perform well, making it to the semi-finals of the 1500m.
Faisal Agab Sido
Born 24 August 1978, Sido is a Sudanese football player who plays as an attacking midfielder and striker for Sudan national team and the Sudanese club Al-Merreikh. He is also the captain of Al-Merreikh club. He is the all-time leading Sudanese scorer in African championships with 20 goals and Arabian championships with seven goals. Agab is the top scorer of the Sudanese league and as of 2013 had scored 392 goals total. He was the highest Sudanese premier league goals with 104 goals.
Mukhtar is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Portuguese club, Benfica. German by nationality, Mukhtar was born in Berlin to a Sudanese father and a German mother. His international career includes scoring the only winning goal for Germany in the 2014 UEFA European Under-19 Championship final against Portugal. On 15 May 2015, Mukhtar was selected by the under-20s for the that year’s FIFA World Cup held in New Zealand.
This is not it for the list. I’m sure there are people that I may not know of, therefore your suggestions are welcome. Please note that politics is an excluded category. The focus remains on Sudanese individuals who’ve excelled in “creative” fields.