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WorldAfrica"Documents in the midst of flames" .. War threatens to erase the...

“Documents in the midst of flames” .. War threatens to erase the memory of the Sudanese


The fire completely destroyed the library of the Muhammad Omar Bashir Center for Sudanese Studies at the private University of Omdurman, and the libraries stood empty, covered in traces of a very black flame, to tell a chapter of a tragic epistemological tragedy, given the rare books, documents and manuscripts it contained of personalities with national contributions who emerged during the scattered eras of the history of this country.

Those interested in the country fear that the fires will spread to devour the great libraries that preserve Sudanese history with all its facts, and carry within them a significant intellectual and knowledge production in various fields, and the reason for the escalation of fears is the presence of most of these libraries and documentaries in the middle of an area where military battles are intense.

The flames of conflict surround 5 major libraries in Sudan, namely:

The Sudanese Documentation House, located about 300 meters west of the army command, east of Khartoum. The Republican Palace Library, located inside the buildings of the former Presidential Palace in the center of Khartoum, serves as a treasury for all documents related to the governance, administration and political history of Sudan since the colonialism until today. The National Library, located in Al-Jumhuriya Street, near the Presidential Palace and the Army Command in the center of Khartoum, is a treasure trove of Sudanese intellectual production to preserve the heritage, efforts and production of creators, thinkers, writers, activists and writers from various walks of life and reflects the civilized and cultural face of the country. The Sudanese Radio Library, which is located inside the National Radio and Television Authority buildings in the city of Omdurman, and includes rare recordings of political, artistic, literary, sports and social, and a library of Sudanese songs throughout history eras. The National Museum, which includes libraries and rare antiquities, is located near the Presidential Palace to the west.

big grief

The director of the private University of Omdurman, Professor Al-Mutasem Ahmed Al-Haj, has expressed his regret over the fire at the library of the Muhammad Omar Bashir Center for Sudanese Studies, as it is the result of a 37-year scientific effort in the collection of rare documents. books and documents, as it contains books and manuscripts of national personalities who have had political, artistic and literary contributions.

Al-Hajj said in his interview with Sky News Arabia: “The fire destroyed everything, books, documents and memories as well, and there are no electronic archives for these works, which are impossible to find elsewhere. The private university was completely destroyed. destroyed, and only the buildings remained.”

He added, “This is a destructive act that would wreak havoc on the cultural and literary heritage and history of this country, and we fear it will spread to other important libraries within the armed clashes in Khartoum and the city of Omdurman, and the memory of Sudan is threatened with being erased by this protracted conflict.”

Document disposal

The Sudanese writer and novelist, Mansour Al-Suwaym, indicates the possibility of the emergence of initiatives of young people who undertake the task of transporting rare documents and literature from the headquarters of libraries in the inflamed areas to safe destinations, as was done with the release of people who were stuck in those fiery places.

“Despite the dangers that initiatives of this type may face, this is considered the only way to save some of the rare historical documents. No military party can be appealed at this stage, because no voice is stronger than bullets,” Al-Sawaim said. in his interview with Sky News Arabia.

He added: “Despair has gripped us after seeing the country destroyed in every aspect and blood spilled everywhere, and not so long ago this destruction would be inflicted on libraries and historical heritage. they contain, as well as museums rich in antiquities while they are in the midst of armed conflict zones, so I fear the loss of our cultural heritage in the midst of this “Chaos”.

In turn, researcher Muhyiddin Ali stressed in his interview with Sky News Arabia the need for warring parties to refrain from making libraries and museums military targets in order to avoid erasing the memory of the Sudanese nation, which would constitute a catastrophe and a crime against the present and future generation, depriving it of a great and important heritage.

He says: “Many are the tragedies of this war. Nothing compares to the grief caused by the loss of human life, but in equal measure burning libraries and the knowledge they contain is reason enough for sadness and grief. They are irreplaceable treasures that will not happen again in the future. In my opinion, the loss of historical documents represents the worst tragedies of this war.” “.

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Arab Desk
Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on


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