The Dispair of Living in Khartoum

Brown is the color of Khartoum. There's some red around, but basically it's brown. The scorching sun bleaches the color out of most things, and dust manages to get onto and into almost everything. Khartoum is the second largest city in Muslim Africa. The city is not built up like most modern cities, but comprises largely simple, mud-brick, one-storied houses stretching for miles in all directions. 

The name Khartoum means "Elephant's trunk". It is situated around the junction of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which resembles the trunk of an elephant. The city is divided into three parts by the rivers. Khartoum in the south contains the main government and business offices. West of the river, Omdurman maintains its traditional Islamic character with narrow streets and large souks (markets). Khartoum North (Bahri) was originally developed as an industrial area, but, like the rest of the city, continues to grow with more and more houses.

Life in Khartoum, Sudan

Sudan has huge cultural diversity, with over 240 ethnic groups making up a population of 33 million. Khartoum accommodates 12 million of these people, two million of whom are displaced (refugees) from the Nuba Mountains, southern Sudan and Darfur. Most live in refugee areas around the edge of city. Life in these areas is hard; many people have no job, though others manage to find work as house servants, guards or labourers in the city (if they can find adequate transport).

International organizations have worked tirelessly to promote basic services such as food relief, water, sanitation, health and education in these displacement areas. Government services such as electricity and roads are now appearing. Life is tough, but for some there is the hope of a better life through education and jobs. Others dream of going back to the South or to Darfur if the war stops. Azeeza, 45 years old has 8 children and is willing to deal with touch living because her kids have a chance at an education.