- 10 Nov - 16 Nov, 2018
A LINE IN THE RIVER KHARTOUM, CITY OF MEMORY
- 22 Sep - 28 Sep, 2018
- BOOK REVIEWS
Sudan got independence from Britain in 1956. The country was on the brink of a promising future but instead it descended into a state of conflict and civil war, which included the crisis in Darfur claiming hundreds of thousands of lives and ended up leaving many people escape away from their homes.
After the 1989 military coup, which brought a hard-line Islamist regime to power, the author’s family were also among the people who fled. Then after almost twenty years, he came back to a country, which was now on the edge of rupture.
Rediscovering the city in which his formative years were spent, the author encounters all of the people and places he had once left behind. Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, contains the key to understanding the country’s divided, conflicting nature and while exploring the city’s present – its varying identity and shifting moods, as well as its wealthy elite and neglected poor – Mahjoub also tends to delve into Sudan’s troubled history, one turbulent with the rivalry between Christians and Muslims. His quest for answers evolves into a thoughtful meditation on the meaning of identity, both personal and national.
The book combines evocative and lyrical memoir along with a nuanced exploration of Sudan’s complex history, religion and politics. The result is indeed revelatory and captivating.