Prof. El-Tayeb One of the Most Famous Scholars in the World, Interview
Professor Abdullah El-Tayieb 1921-2003 (May Allah Bless Him) Is One of the Most Famous Scholars in the World. He is (The Godfather) Of Arabic Language for His Great Efforts in The Field of Arabic Language as well as his deep interesting in Different Languages especially in English Literature. He Studied in Different Various Universities and Institutes, and then He became a lecturer in Different Universities and Institutes inside and outside the Country. Along his very worth-knowledge life, He has been a Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum, and as He was the first Vice Chancellor University of Juba and the founder of other University, Institute and Arab Academy. In addition, He won many famous prizes and he was one of the judge committee members in the Arabic field. In his life, he Produced Tens of Various Books in Different field -such as (Almurshid- 5 volumes)- and Novels as he Prepared hundreds of scientific papers through his association in the Global Conferences adding to his great lessons in Qur’an Interpretation through Omdurman Broadcast which still being broadcast. All that great efforts have come to us through the association between the Prof. and his faithful wife who stands beside him all his valuable life, which is (Griselda El-Tayieb) now 87. ‘Sudan Vision’ met her in Atbara by chance and interviewed her to shed lights on other sides of their happy life together, and to know what she would like to do this time. Indeed, we believe, that there is a (great) woman behind each great man. Let us enjoy this dialogue.
Q: Addamar City is The Capital of the River Nile State, as it is the birth place and starting point of our Prof. Abdullah El-Tayieb, so, what does it mean for you?
A: It is one of my homes since1950s.
Q: Prof. Abdullah El-Tayieb is One of Those Who Changed the Arabic History Academically, Tell Us About Your Long Life That you have Shared Among Different Countries through six decades:
A: We met in The University of London and we started our marriage life there. We visit Sudan for three months 1950. Then he started his academic life in Bakhtarruda as head of Arabic Department 3 very enjoyable years, and we visited South Sudan in summer occasion 1952.
In 1954, Abdullah El-Tayeib joined The Department of Arabic Language, University of Khartoum as senior lecturer.
In 1957, he was made professor and head of the Department.
1961, he became the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. I think, in the same year also, he was made his first major work was Al-Murshid which was acclaimed by Dr. Taha Hussein and it was published in Cairo. And he was made a member of the Arab Academy in Cairo, and he attended annual regional meeting every year till his fatal stroke in 2000
Abdullah’s academic career fellow the ups and downs of Sudanese politics one result of which was his answering the call of Northern Nigerian Government to start the College of Arabic and Islamic Studies at The University of Ahmed Bello, Zaria. We spend two happy and successful years there. This connection resulted in many other Sudanese academics being recruited there after being dismissed by Nimeiri, The Past President of Sudan. After short spell as vice chancellor of The University of Khartoum 1974-1975, then a shorter spell Vice Chancellor of Juba University.
He was sent on pension at age of 55 by Nimeiri.
Then, the followed nine very happy academic years as a professor at University of Mohammed Bin- Abdullah Fez, Morocco collimating in his being invited to lecture in front of King Hassan II at Ramadan, Al-Durous Al-Hussainiya which he continued to attend every year. He returned to Sudan finally in 1986 became a reemployed professor in the University of Khartoum. In 1991, he was emanated president a founder of Sudan Arab Academy as he also became President of Council of the University of Khartoum.
During this time, he was a member of the judging committee of The King Faisal prize in KSA. After ten years, He won this prize himself in May 15th 2000 but alas…, only weeks after that he collapsed in to a coma from which he never reconvened and died in 2003.
Q: In the River Nile State, the Local Ministry of Culture, Information and Telecommunications seriously would like to construct new cultural center in Addamar in the name of Prof. Abdullah El-Tayieb, what is your point of view about this matter?
A: I Am Happy, that this idea which has been in the air since 1971 is now being taken with enthusiasm by the present Minister of The Ministry of Culture Information and Telecommunications his Excellency Ahmed Al-Amawi and also Dr. Awadel-Karim B. Suleiman; the General Director of the same Ministry and the members of the community.
Abdallah El-Tayieb and his stunning personality and passionate love of his country especially Addamar and its countryside.
Q: People think that The Memorial Shelter which has built in the cross road of Addamar-Port Sudan is not enough in contrast with what the Prof. has introduced, Do you agree with this?
A: The most important thing we at the end of my life is that Abdullah’s memory is alive and his many written values are published and circulated.
The modest but shelter I have built in Addamar as memory is the only actual memorial for him in Sudan up till now, but I am proud that there is a school and road in Addamar and two other roads in Khartoum, and one in Kano- Nigeria named after him plus a newly renovated Lecture Hall in the Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum.
Q: As we know you live in Khartoum, but now you are in the River Nile State, Is it an Official Visit?
A: Well, I came to Addamar for a family wedding, as I was invited to Atbara by the Ministry of Culture to discuss the immediate creation of a cultural centre in Addamar in the name of Prof. Abdullah El-Tayieb.
Q: As we know, you have done a good job to document for the six Cataracts in Sudan along the River Nile, what about your project, and efforts in this field?
A: The best thing that I have done in my M.A Folklore theses is to write about and to illustrate in pictures; I am of the willing; I saw in Sudan in the 1950s which is disappearing now. The other thing that I also have done is to paint in water colures all the six Cataracts of the River Nile including a picture of the second Cataract have Gomati now lost under Lake Nassir. I still have their paint shop that I would like the Dams Implementation Unit to help me exhibit them or reproduce them- in the same form.
|Griselda El-Tayieb and Mohammad Awad|
Q: The Interpretation of the Holy Qur’an is not found in the (Khalwas) which are most effective means in societies for learning Islamic Studies and Qur’an understanding, so what is your initiative efforts to make a positive action especially for elder women in the Sudanese society whom try to learn in (Khalwas)?
A: Oral teaching discussion in the local Khalwas is the best way to women to learn from each other what the Qur’an advises them about their problems in daily life. Sharing questions, doubts, positive answer – can be good and enjoyable for women it made available in their local mosques- it would be in the mornings. Also, local (Khalwas) and mosques should open their “doors” i.e.: quietness and providing electric light, various books to students who cannot find this at home. These studies need not be only Quran, but according to the students’ needs.
Q: Last But Not Least, Some Words (Messages) You Would Like To Say:
A: I wish for the blessing of Allah on all those many people of different generations who are helping to keep alive the memory of the continuation to Prof. Abdullah El-Tayieb to his beloved Sudan as is being encouraged by the interest shown by ‘Sudan Vision’.
By Mohammad Awad M. Jadallah, 08/06/2012