Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Older libraries Sudan complain of deprivation


Dust covers a number of books forgotten for fifty years may be on the shelves in the library of "Sudan Book Shop", which opened its doors 110 years ago.

It can take three weeks without selling a book and one of them, it says Library Director-General Mohamed Tayeb Abdel Rahman, who engaged in this profession for decades.


But the closure of the library dating back to 110 years and which is believed to Abdul Rahman as the oldest in the Sudan, "In Africa, perhaps" is not an option.


Said Abdul Rahman, "It's a popular place," explaining that many people say to him, "Please do your best to prevent the closure of the library."


Located "Sudan Book Shop" in a small street in the center of Khartoum is full of waste, and reflect a "culture of books," which originated in the colonial British and Egyptian In the years following independence after 1956, what he says of Ali Abdullah Ibrahim.


Ibrahim adds "It's sad too," to see the library fall apart with the collapse of the role of the book in the Sudanese society.


He continues, "the library interface of this city. Today, there are restaurants and shopping malls are very crowded."


According to Abdul Rahman, aged 62, he had seen documents that confirm that "Sudan Bock Shop" opened its doors in 1902.


He took three men of British management of the library in its early stages before moving to the Sudanese government ownership in the late sixties and then to Abdel Rahman.


He says that the latter disease finally forced to temporarily close the library at least "the leaders of that era ... come here to read the books and buy them."


He points out that English language books and stationery were coming from London in the Arab folders come from Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, adding that the books were several requests from Europe and other African countries.


Ibrahim is suspected to be of "Sudan Book Shop" the oldest in the African continent, but is likely to be the first library established in the Sudan.


It may also be sold the first Arabic books, note that these books spread out in the forties with the emergence of the nationalist movement of Sudan.


He says Abraham "intellectuals in the thirties was like mixing with the British, read and buy books and read it the same as those bought by these people."


By the sixties, grew up four offices of a British mission in the city center near the Nile River, but some are still falling apart, others such as "
Sudan Book Shop" says Ibrahim, aged 69 years.


And hiking in the library is like a walk into a museum.


Near the main entrance, we find English books, including two copies of the book "immediately after amputation Cricket Boys" which was released in 1965, which contains pictures of black and white techniques for playing cricket.


Among these books is also a book "The Problem of the Soviet Union in the Arab world" and copies of "The Jungle Book" and two copies of the medical book "Broctologi."


But books are not old, as Abdul-Rahman, who also sells a university academic studies published in the last decade, modern dictionaries.


The Arabic books is largest stacked on the shelves entitled "wrote English."


And to the left of the main door, we find stationery that includes diaries are covered with red dust back to the year 1988 and the means to clean the printing machines and adhesive tape.


According to Abdel-Rahman "is no longer many today are looking for books or stationery as in the past." The reason is attributed to the emergence of new technologies and the Internet and to the deteriorating economic situation in Sudan.


According to Abdul Rahman, who practice the profession additional material does not depend on the library and the sole income decreased significantly with increased costs of running the library.


He explains that the library is not enough income to cover my bill, electricity and telephone monthly rental of approximately $ 1800.


As Ibrahim was questioned almost 15 years ago whether the "
Sudan Book Shop" able to withstand. He says, "have deteriorated significantly and it looks deserted."


This suggests that Professor continued his studies in the U.S. and run for the presidential elections in Sudan in 2010 that the national sentiment that has emerged after independence led to a decline in the role of English in the local educational system.


According to the UN, the proportion of people who can read and write in Sudan, only 61%.


According to Ibrahim, "English literature was very desirable here, but the situation is different today."


Furthermore, still ideas of nationalism and socialism and Marxism, which contributed to the prosperity of the sixties in the books, according to Ibrahim, who regrets that "a lot" for the demise of a culture of reading.


The Abdul Rahman does not lose his faith in books, in spite of fluctuations in the work as director of the library and says, "I, Tayeb Abdel-Rahman, I think that nothing is more important than the book."

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