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Port Sudan

Walking around Port Sudan on the Sudanese Red Sea coast you can almost feel the excitement those British town planners must have had in 1907. A new rail and ship terminal were needed to transport Sudanese cotton from the fertile lands in between the Blue and White Nile to the mills of Manchester and Liverpool. The location was chosen for its proximity to fresh water and natural harbour. It was not chosen for its temperate climate or lack of Malaria. A Church, Commissioner’s Residence, Government Offices, Telegraph Office, Railway Station, Public Garden, Hotel, Post Office, Police Barracks, Schools, Hospital, Sports Club, Golf Course and Polo Ground were built. Streets were forty meters wide and crisscrossed the town north to south and east to west. Fifty six years after independence and Port Sudan still is a terminal more than a town. It no longer feeds the cotton mills of northern England but the factories of China with Sudanese petroleum. The local Hudandawa tribe were mainly herders who needed the hills to escape the unforgiving coast’s heat, humidity and mosquitoes. So, on this clean canvas of unclaimed land, Sudanese of all tribes compete with Egyptians, Yemenis, Ethiopians, Eritreans and Indians for the scraps of work that fall off the table of corruption in this gateway between Africa, Arabia Europe and Asia. Written by Hassan El-Barbary, Port Sudan

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