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Khartoum
الخرطوم al-Kharṭūm
Night view of downtown Khartoum

Seal
Nickname(s): The Triangular City
Khartoum is located in Sudan
Khartoum
Khartoum's location in Sudan
Coordinates: 15°37′59″N 32°31′59″E / 15.63306°N 32.53306°E / 15.63306; 32.53306
Country  Sudan
State Khartoum State
Government
 - Governor Abdul Rahman Alkheder
Population (2005)
 Urban 2,207,794
 Metro 8,000,000 Agglomeration

Khartoum (الخرطوم al-Kharṭūm) is the capital of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran". The main Nile continues to flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

Divided by the Niles, Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis with an estimated overall population of over a million people consisting of Khartoum proper, and linked by bridges to Khartoum North called (al-Khartūm Bahrī) and Omdurman (Umm Durmān) to the west.

Contents

Etymology

The word 'Khartoum' is derived from Arabic for "end of an elephant’s trunk", probably referring to the narrow strip of land extending between the Blue and White Niles.[1] Captain J. A. Grant, who reached Khartoum in 1863 with Captain Speke’s expedition, thought that the derivation was most probably from the safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius L.) which is called 'Gartoon,' and which was cultivated extensively in Egypt for its oil, used in burning.[citation needed]

History

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Early history

Khartoum at the Bend of the Nile

Ibrahim Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, founded Khartoum in 1821 as an outpost for the Egyptian army. The settlement grew as a regional center of trade, including the slave trade. Troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad began a siege of Khartoum on 13 March 1884 against the defenders led by British General Charles George Gordon. The siege ended in a massacre of the Anglo-Egyptian garrison.

The heavily damaged city fell to the Mahdists on 26 January 1885. Omdurman was the scene of the bloody battle on 2 September 1898, during which British forces under Horatio Kitchener defeated the Mahdist forces defending the city.

In 1899, Khartoum became the capital of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Several explanations have been offered for the design of the new, Anglo-Egyptian Khartoum. One is that Kitchener laid out the city's streets in a Union flag pattern as a symbol of British dominance. Another is that the grid system and diagonal streets of the city were designed to converge in a way that would allow machine-guns to sweep the town. However, there is no contemporary evidence to support either of these suggestions.[2]

When Sudan became independent in 1956, Khartoum became the capital of the new country.

Recent history

In 1973, the city was the site of an anomalous hostage crisis in which members of Black September held ten hostages at the Saudi embassy, five of whom were diplomats. The US ambassador, the US deputy ambassador, and the Belgian chargé d'affaires were murdered. The remaining hostages were released (see 1973 Khartoum diplomatic assassinations). A 1973 United States Department of State document, declassified in 2006, concluded "The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasser Arafat."[3]

The first oil pipeline between Khartoum and Port Sudan was completed in 1977.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Khartoum was the destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in neighboring nations such as Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda. The Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees assimilated into society which some of the other refugees settled in large slums at the outskirts of the city. From the mid-1980s onward, large numbers of south Sudanese and Darfuri internally displaced from the violence of the Second Sudanese Civil War and Darfur conflict have settled around Khartoum.

Following the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the United States accused Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda group of responsibility and launched cruise missile attacks (20 August) on the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum North. The destruction of the factory produced diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Sudan. The ruins of the factory are a tourist attraction.

After the sudden death of SPLA head and vice-president of Sudan John Garang at the end of July 2005, there were violent riots in the capital for three days which died down after southern Sudanese politicians and tribal leaders sent strong messages to the rioters. The situation could have been chaotic with mass killings and reprisals however the death toll was at least 24 as youth from South Sudan attacked North Sudanese and clashed with security forces.[4]

The Organisation of African Unity summit of July 18–22, 1978 was held in Khartoum, during which Sudan was awarded the OAU presidency. The African Union summit of January 16–24, 2006 was held in Khartoum.

The Arab League summit of March 28–29, 2006 was held in Khartoum, during which the Arab League awarded Sudan the Arab League presidency.

On 10 May 2008 the Darfur rebel group of the Justice and Equality Movement moved into the city where they engaged in heavy fighting with Sudanese government forces. Their soldiers included minors and their goal was the toppling of Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government, though the Sudanese government succeeded in beating back the assault[5][6].[7]

Climate

Khartoum features a hot arid climate, with only the months of July and August seeing significant precipitation. Khartoum averages a little over 155 mm (6 in.) of precipitation per year. Based on average annual temperatures, Khartoum is quite possibly the hottest major city on the planet. Its average annual high temperature is 38°C (100°F), with seven months of the year seeing an average monthly high temperature of at least 38°C (100°F). Furthermore, none of its monthly average high temperatures falls below 32°C (90°F). This is something not seen in other major cities with hot arid climates such as Riyadh, Baghdad and Phoenix. Temperatures cool off considerably during the night, with Khartoum's lowest average low temperatures of the year hovering around the 16°C (60°F) mark.

Climate data for Khartoum
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40
(104)
44
(111)
45
(113)
47
(117)
47
(117)
48
(118)
47
(117)
43
(109)
45
(113)
45
(113)
42
(108)
40
(104)
48
(118)
Average high °C (°F) 32
(90)
34
(93)
38
(100)
41
(106)
42
(108)
41
(106)
38
(100)
37
(99)
39
(102)
40
(104)
36
(97)
33
(91)
38
(100)
Average low °C (°F) 15
(59)
16
(61)
19
(66)
22
(72)
25
(77)
26
(79)
25
(77)
24
(75)
25
(77)
24
(75)
20
(68)
17
(63)
22
(72)
Record low °C (°F) 5
(41)
7
(45)
9
(48)
12
(54)
16
(61)
19
(66)
18
(64)
18
(64)
16
(61)
17
(63)
13
(55)
7
(45)
5
(41)
Precipitation mm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
2.5
(0.1)
7
(0.28)
53
(2.09)
71
(2.8)
18
(0.71)
5
(0.2)
0
(0)
0
(0)
156.5
(6.16)
Sunshine hours 341 311 310 330 300 300 279 279 300 310 330 341 3,731
Avg. precipitation days 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 6 2 1 0 0 16
Source: BBC Weather [8] 2009-08-21

Demographics

Year Population[9]
City Agglomeration
1907[10] 69,349 k. A.
1956 93,100 245,800
1973 333,906 748,300
1983 476,218 1,340,646
1993 947,483 2,919,773
2007 Estimate 2,207,794 8,363,915

Economy

View of the traffic in the city of Khartoum.

After the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLA), the Government of Sudan has begun a massive development project[11][12]. The biggest projects taking place right now in Khartoum are the Al-Mogran Development Project, two five-star hotels, a new airport, Mac Nimir Bridge (finished in October 2007) and the Tuti Bridge that links Khartoum to Tuti Island.

Khartoum has a thriving economy. In recent years Khartoum has seen significant development, driven by Sudan's oil wealth. The center of the city is well-planned, with tree-lined streets. However, Khartoum has the highest concentration of economic activity in the country. This is slowly changing as major economic developments take place in other parts of the country, like oil exploration in the South, the Giad Industrial Complex and White Nile Sugar Project in Central Sudan, and the Merowe Dam in the North.

Among the city's industries are printing, glass manufacturing, food processing, and textiles. Petroleum products are now produced in the far north of Khartoum state, providing fuel and jobs for the city. One of Sudan's largest refineries is located in northern Khartoum. Moreover, a number of East-Asian companies have recently shown interest in the realization of a new project which will lead to the creation of new telecommunication services throughout the country.

Education

Khartoum is the main location for most of Sudan's top educational bodies, including but not limited to:

High Schools

Universities

  • University of Khartoum. Founded as Gordon Memorial College in 1902, it was later renamed to share the name of the city in the 1930s.
  • Juba University, relocated from Juba during the civil war. Currently, one of the universities in Sudan that maintains English as the language of instruction. Plans exist to relocate the university or part of it back to Southern Sudan.
  • Computerman College, the college for computer studies, which recently added other departments.
  • Al Neelain University
  • Sudan University of Science and Technology. One of the main engineering and technical schools in Sudan, founded in 1932 as Khartoum Technical Institute and given its present name in 1991.
  • University Of Science & Technology one of better university in computer tecgnology and medical science.
  • Bayan Science and Technology University
  • The Academy of Medical Sciences and Technology. Better known as AMST, it was founded in 1996 by Prof. Mamoun Humaida and built in Khartoum.
  • Omdurman Islamic University
  • Ahfad University for Women
  • Academy of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum
  • Comboni College for Science and Technology, Khartoum

Transportation

Air

Khartoum is home to the largest airport in Sudan, Khartoum International Airport. It is the main hub for Sudan Airways, Sudan's main carrier. The airport was built at the southern edge of the city; but with Khartoum's rapid growth and consequent urban sprawl, the airport is now located in the heart of the city. A new international airport is currently being built in the city of Omdurman.[citation needed] It will replace the current airport in Khartoum as Sudan's main airport followed by Juba Airport and Port Sudan Airport.

Bridges

The following bridges cross the Blue Nile and connect Khartoum to Khartoum North:

  • Mac Nimir Bridge
  • Blue Nile Road & Railway Bridge
  • Kober Bridge
  • Elmansheya Bridge

The following bridges cross the White Nile and connect Khartoum to Omdurman:

  • White Nile Bridge
  • Fitayhab Bridge
  • Al Dabbaseen Bridge (Under Construction)
  • Omhuraz Bridge (Proposed)

the following bridges cross from Omdurman: to Khartoum North:

  • Shambat Bridge
  • Halfia Bridge (Under Construction)

The following bridges cross to Tuti from Khartoum states three cities

  • Khartoum-tuti bridge
  • Omdurman-Tuti Suspension bridge proposed
  • Khartoum North-tuti bridge proposed

Rail

Khartoum has rail lines from Egypt, Port Sudan and El Obeid.

Culture

A statue, claimed to depict Natakamani, at the front of the National Museum of Sudan

Museums

The largest museum in Khartoum, and indeed all of Sudan, is the National Museum of Sudan. Founded in 1971, it contains works from different epochs of Sudanese history. Among the exhibits are two Egyptian temples of Buhen and Semna which were originally built by Queen Hatshepsut and Pharaoh Tuthmosis III respectively but relocated to Khartoum upon the flooding of Lake Nasser.

Another museum in Khartoum is the Palace Museum, located adjacent to the historical Presidential Palace on Blue Nile Street.

Shopping

Khartoum doesn't have as many open markets or souqs as neighboring Omdurman, but one of the largest is the Souq Arabi. The market is huge and spread over several blocks in the center of Khartoum proper just south of the Great Mosque (Mesjid al-Kabir) and the minibus station. It is divided into separate sections, including one focused entirely on gold.

Al Qasr St. and Al Jamhoriyah St. are considered the most famous high streets in Khartoum State.

Recently Sudan's first medium scale shopping mall opened, located in the southern suburb Arkeweet. The Afra Mall has a supermarket, retail outlets, coffee shops, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a children's playground.

Also recently Sudan opened the Hotel Section and part of the food court of the new, Elfatih Tower. The Mall/Shopping section is still under construction.

Botanical gardens

Khartoum is home to a small botanical garden, in the Mogran district of the city.

Clubs

Sudan sufis in Khartoum

Khartoum is home to several clubs such as the Sailing Club, German Club, Greek Hotel, Coptic Club, Syrian Club, International Club etc.

Twin cities

See also

References

  1. ^ Room, Adrian (2006), Placenames of the World (Second edition)., McFarland. ISBN 0786422483. p. 194
  2. ^ Home, Robert K., Of Planting and Planning: the making of British colonial cities (1997), p.41
  3. ^ "The Seizure of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum". U.S. Department of State. 2006-05-04. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/67584.pdf. 
  4. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Riots after Sudan VP Garang dies
  5. ^ Curfew in capital as Sudanese army clash near Khartoum with Darfur rebels – Sudan Tribune 2008-05-10
  6. ^ Sudanese rebels 'reach Khartoum' – BBC News 2008-05-10
  7. ^ PHOTOS: Sudan capital after today's attack from Darfur JEM – Sudan Tribune 2008-05-10
  8. ^ "Average Conditions Khartoum, Sudan". BBC Weather. http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT000640. Retrieved August 21 2009. 
  9. ^ http://bevoelkerungsstatistik.de
  10. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica von 1911: Band 15, Seite 773
  11. ^ "Sudan and UNDP launch Millennium Goals project". Sudan Tribune. 20075-09-05. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?page=imprimable&id_article=11484. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  12. ^ "Khartoum booms as Darfur burns". BBC. 2007-04-24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6573527.stm. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  13. ^ "'Muhammad' teddy teacher arrested". BBC. 2007-11-26. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7112929.stm. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  14. ^ Rob Crilly in Khartoum and Lucy Bannerman (2007-11-27). "Sudan police throw teacher in jail for teddy bear named Muhammad". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article2951262.ece. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KHARTUM, the capital of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, on the left bank of the Blue Nile immediately above its junction with the White Nile in 15° 36' N., 32° 32' E., and 1252 ft. above the sea. It is 432 m. by rail S.W. of Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, and 1345 m. S. of Cairo by rail and steamer. Pop. (1907) with suburbs, but excluding Omdurman, 69,349.

The city, laid out on a plan drawn up by Lord Kitchener in 1898, has a picturesque aspect with its numerous handsome stone and brick buildings surrounded by gardens and its groves of palms and other trees. The river esplanade, 2 m. long, contains the chief buildings. Parallel with it is Khedive Avenue, of equal length. The rest of the city is in squares, the streets forming the design of the union jack. In the centre of the esplanade is the governor-general's palace, occupying the site of the palace destroyed by the Mandists in 1885. It is a threestoreyed building with arcaded verandas and a fine staircase leading to a loggia on the first floor. Here a tablet indicates the spot in the old palace where General Gordon fell. In the gardens, which cover six acres, is a colossal stone "lamb" brought from the ruins of Soba, an ancient Christian city on the Blue Nile. The "lamb" is in reality a ram of Ammon, and has an inscription in Ethiopian hieroglyphs. In front of the southern facade, which looks on to Khedive Avenue, is a bronze statue of General Gordon seated on a camel, a copy of the statue by Onslow Ford at Chatham, England. Government offices and private villas are on either side of the palace, and beyond, on the east, are the Sudan Club, the military hospital, and the Gordon Memorial College. The college, the chief educational centre in the Sudan, is a large, many-windowed building with accommodation for several hundred scholars and research laboratories and an economic museum. At the western end of the esplanade are the zoological gardens, the chief hotel, the Coptic church ° and the Mudiria House (residence of the governor of Khartum). Running south from Khedive Avenue at the spot where the Gordon statue stands, is Victoria Avenue, leading to Abbas Square, in the centre of which is the great mosque with two minarets. On the northeast side of the square are the public markets. The Anglican church, dedicated to All Saints, the principal banks and business houses, are in Khedive Avenue. There are Maronite and Greek churches, an Austrian Roman Catholic mission, a large and well-equipped civil hospital and a museum for Sudan archaeology. Outside the city are a number of model villages (each of the principal tribes of the Sudan having its own settlement) in which the dwellings are built after the tribal fashion. Adjacent are the parade ground and racecourse and the golf-links. A line of fortifications extends south of the city from the Blue to the White Nile. The buildings are used as barracks. Barracks for British troops occupy the end of the line facing the Blue Nile.

On the right (northern) bank of the Blue Nile is the suburb of Khartum North, formerly called Halfaya,' where is the principal railway station. It is joined to the city by a bridge (completed 1910) containing a roadway and the railway, Khartum itself being served by steam trams and rickshaws. The steamers for the White and the Blue Nile start from the quay along the esplanade. West of the zoological gardens is the point of junction of the Blue and White Niles and here is a ferry across to Omdurman (q.v.) on the west bank of the White Nile a mile or two below Khartum. In the river immediately below Khartum is Tuti Island, on which is an old fort and an Arab village.

From its geographical position Khartum is admirably adapted as a commercial and political centre. It is the great entrepot for the trade of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. By the Nile waterways there is easy transport from the southern and western equatorial provinces and from Sennar and other eastern districts. Through Omdurman come the exports of Kordofan and Darfur, while by the Red Sea railway there is ready access to the markets of the world. The only important manufacture is the making of bricks.

The population is heterogeneous. The official class is composed chiefly of British and Egyptians; the traders are mostly Greeks, Syrians and Copts, while nearly all the tribes of the Sudan are represented in the negro and Arab inhabitants.

At the time of the occupation of the Sudan by the Egyptians a small fishing village existed on the site of the present city. In 1822 the Egyptians established a permanent camp here and out of this grew the city, which in 1830 was chosen as the capital of the Sudanese possessions of Egypt. It got its name from the resemblance of the promontory at the confluence of the two Niles to an elephant's trunk, the meaning of khartum in the dialect of Arabic spoken in the locality. The city rapidly acquired importance as the Sudan was opened up by travellers and traders, becoming, besides the seat of much legitimate commerce, a great slave mart. It was chosen as the headquarters of Protestant and Roman Catholic missions, and had a population of 50,000 or more. Despite its size it contained few buildings of any architectural merit; the most important were the palace of the governor-general and the church of the Austrian mission. The history of the city is intimately bound up with that of the Sudan generally, but it may be recalled here that in 1884, at the time of the Mandist rising, General Gordon was sent to Khartum to arrange for the evacuation by the Egyptians of the Sudan. At Khartum he was besieged by the Mandists, whose headquarters were at Omdurman. Khartum was captured and Gordon killed on the 26th of January 1885, two days before the arrival off the town of a small British relief force, which withdrew on seeing the city in the hands of the enemy. Nearly every building in Khartum was destroyed by the Mandists and the city abandoned in favour of Omdurman, which place remained the headquarters of the mandi's successor, the khalifa Abdullah, till September 1898, when it was taken by the Anglo-Egyptian forces under General (afterwards Lord) Kitchener, and the seat of government again transferred to Khartum. It speedily arose from its ruins, being rebuilt on a much finer scale than the original city. In 1899 the railway from Wadi Halfa was completed to Khartum, and in 1906 through communication by rail was established with the Red Sea.


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