A Sudanese-Indian Evening in London
One of the highlights of Sudanese-Indian friendship was the Bandung Conference 1955 when Ismail Al Azhari met J. Nehru and other leaders of the non-aligned movement.
However, some historians believe that the two people probably had trade links during the Meroetic civilization. The confirmed trade links started in 1857 with the arrival of Indian merchants in Suakin.
Indian investments and trade are now increasing annually, helped in many cases by Sudanese-born Indians who are still in the Sudan or who are now based overseas.
The Indian-Sudanese Ladies Club (formed 1989 in London) celebrated Indo-Sudanese friendship on 10 June 2012 at the Elm Court Youth and Community Centre – Potters Bar – London.
The event fronted by children carrying the Indian and Sudanese flags included traditional Indian dancing and music as well as speeches in both English and Arabic. The “Sheikh of the Hunood” Dhirubhai who was born in Halfa and speaks both Arabic and Nubian languages – plus his third
mother tongue, Gujrati, and his co-Sheikh Dinkarbhai welcomed the Sudanese Ambassador Abdullah Hamad AlAzreg who, wearing the distinctive Jallabiyya and turban, was the guest of honour, together with the Vice President of the Sudanese community in the UK and Ireland. The Ambassador mentioned the similarity between the sari and the tobe, the angrieb and rural Indian beds. He said that India has put an end to famine after independence and praised the Indians for their dignity and high self-esteem: “India never asks for help from the international community in cases of natural catastrophes.”
His Excellency addressed the Sudanese-Indian audience with an appreciation of the role Indian-Sudanese have played in the economy and business and their continued role as a bond between India and the Sudan. He referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s street in Omdurman and delighted the organizers by saying that his youngest daughter’s name was “Rama” which has a religious reference in India. It means “Aspire” in Arabic.
Contacts with the Sudanese-born Indians in London started several years ago. Ambassador AlAzreg had welcomed leaders of the community at his residence as well as his office.
The Potters Bar celebration came as confirmation of a flourishing friendship between the heirs of two ancient civilizations.
Members of the Committee of the Indian-Sudanese Ladies Club in London:
By Sudan Vision Correspondent, 13/06/2012