Travel Letters

Nubian Wrestling

Omdurman

Sudan

February 1, 2020

Welcome to the Nubian Wrestling Arena in Omdurman, Sudan

The rules of Nubian Wrestling seem simple enough.

The object of the match is to throw your opponent to the ground to win the match.

 

Sufi Spiritual Frenzy

Omdurman

Sudan

Friday Evening

January 31, 2020

This report was filed by Ala Kheir, John Burns and Ibrahim Algrefwi for Brownbook part of the the Guardian Africa Network on February 5, 2016.

In Omdurman, the largest city in Sudan, the Qadiriyya Sufi order meets every Friday outside Sheikh Hammed Al Nil Mosque which houses the tomb of their 19th century Sufi leader. 

Sudan has one of the largest Sufi communities in the world. Sufism is a branch of Islam often seen as mystical due to its followers’ pursuit of a personal, inner path to G-d. What unites each Sufi order is the belief that a path to God can be found through dhikr – absolute absorption in worship during which prayers, dances and spins may be repeated with enough fervour to induce a trance.

Omdurman Markets

Omdurman,

Sudan

February 1, 2020

Markets (souks) are always high on my To See list.

It’s a great way to meet the local people

There’s always a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

In Sudan especially, vendors are curious about me, happy to chat and pose for photographs. 

Welcome to Sudan

Khartoum

The Republic of the Sudan

January 30, 2020

“I prefer civilization” said my cousin when I suggested that she and her husband accompany me to Sudan.

It’s true that in Khartoum, this capital city of five million, the streets are dusty or unpaved.  The sidewalks uneven.  Few signals control the traffic.  Cars are parked wherever they stop.  Buildings lie unfinished, in need of repair or just dilapidated. 

it appears that nothing of any value is discarded.   Men sit on the sidewalk or in small shops where they repair, mend or overhaul everything from watches to eyeglasses to telephones to irons to automotive parts.  

The Maya - Lamanai

Belize City

Belize

January 2, 2007

Just south of Mexico, and only slightly larger than Wales or Massachusetts, Belize, the former British Honduras pop. 275,000, lies at the western end of the Caribbean Sea.

I suppose that when one thinks of Belize one thinks of pristine white sand astride a clear blue warm sea, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and strolling the beach on one of the many islands or Cayes that form the largest reef in the Americas.

I read that half of all tourists to Belize go directly to San Pedro, the seaside town on Ambergris Caye. So, did I make for the beach? Nope. I headed for the hills.

Pages