Even a new visitor to Sudan – albeit with the sharpness of the eyes of an experienced traveller – seems to be able to realize – and despite the obvious mistakes in some of the facts presented – that the cultural heritage of the country is “under threat from the rising waters of giant Chinese-backed hydroelectric dams. One such dam, the Merowe Dam near Dongola, was completed just before I arrived. Many foreigners have never heard of it and yet it holds back the fifth largest lake in the world. It is a perfect metaphor for this extraordinary yet alien country, where everything is arranged out of sight, and behind closed doors.”
News, however, are coming to the outside world constantly and from various sources, one of which is the new “Nubia Bulletin“.
What really attracted mostly the attention of the media, though, was the discussions between the Sudan government and the SPLM representatives at the Addis Ababa summit in the beginning of August where the latter “in its paper submitted to the mediation, demanded to include Darfur crisis, eastern Sudan, compensation of population in North Sudan affected by the construction of Kajabar [Kajbar] dam, and the issue of Aljazeera schema.” (quote from Sudan Tribune, 3/8/2012).
Interestingly enough, on the 13th of August the new Director General of the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums in Sudan officially assumed his duties. Dr. Abdel Rahman Ali was the first Darfurian to join the Sudan Antiquities’ Service, and he is now becoming Director General – after a very successful period of direction of the Sudan National Museum – amidst both the Sudan Dams’ Crisis and the elbow-licking difficulties of the political tumults. Good luck to him and may his adamant character help all sides in such crucial moments…