The Sudan Day
By Ibrahim Omer,
Mar. 3 2010
On Saturday April 3rd 2010, the Sudanese American Association (SAS)
opened it's ever biggest Sudan's Day annual festival with support
of the Conflict Resolution Club of the Monterey Institute of International
Studies. The event featured a number of exhibitions, which took
place in the main hallway-corridor of the Institute's building.
A number of panel talks started at 10:00 am followed by a costume
show, a film show, and the day was concluded by a live concert in
the main auditorium of the Institute. The event witnessed a large
and a diverse audience from the Bay Area and its various educational
institutions and continued throughout the day; from 10 am to 10
The exhibition building, Monterey, CA.
Entering from the main entrance, the visitor of the exhibition faces a wide
collection of folk arts including the distinctive Northern Sudanese
leather works and basketry as well as hand-made wooden artworks
from Southern Sudan.
On a long table to the right of the entrance is a wide variety
of traditional Sudanese food and drink products; each neatly organized
in sample-size glass bottle for display. Products included sesame,
gum Arabic, Sorghum, and some local herbs such as Harjal
and Maharaib. Next to the food sample collection is a wide
variety of Southern Sudanese exotic animal carvings; notable among
these were a rhino, a crocodile, and a lion.
Exhibited on a table to the left of the entrance, are more food
products arranged in their special sample-glass bottles and some
kept in traditional basket plates. These include local sorghum juice
named Hilomour, some toasted watermelon seeds Tasali,
in addition to ceder seeds Nabag, Tabaldy tree
fruits Gongolaiz, dates, and a wide variety of spices.
Prof. Hamdan Goumaa
Large-size photographs mostly showing urban scenes from Khartoum, were exhibited in special easels aligned across the walls and extending all the way to the back of the hallway where two additional art shows were held. One of the art shows was an abstract photography show held by a Sudanese photographer and a SAS member, showing a unique photography and print production gallery. The other show featured digital and hand-drawn artwork project that links between historical information and a cultural legacy concerning the history of ancient Kush, as drawn from Biblical and Quranic sources. A video projector show featured a wide variety of video clips about Sudan's culture and history.
President of the community, Mohamed Osman made opening remarks. The panel talks then discussed the current socio-political and economic conditions in Sudan focusing on major problems and future prospects. The panels were held at the auditorium by a group of Sudanese scholars and experts with attendance of the MIIS students and faculty together with the Sudanese community and guests. Topics discussed included the Sudan's current political situation, the upcoming elections, the referendum by the Southerners, and the Darfur crises. Social issues such as the women role in both war and peace times were presented by female community members.
From 7-10 am, a live concert displaying music from all regions in Sudan was held by a Sudanese band; the music was delightful and joyful and attended by a large audience of Sudanese and their guests.