10 Facts you didn’t know about Sudan

Rich in history, diversity and culture here's what you should know about Sudan

We bet you can't guess how many pyramids are in Sudan

by Saleh Mustafa-Kamil

Culture 15 May 2019

Sudan, or the Republic of the Sudan as it is officially known, has currently been in the news due to the peaceful protests that successfully ended the 39 year rule of Omar Al-Bashir.

This is a huge deal.

Given the attention Sudan has received on an international scale, it got a lot of people wondering, what do we or don’t we know about Sudan?

Here are 10 interesting facts about Sudan that you should know:

Watch: Our Short Video On Facts You Never Knew About Sudan

Pyramids of Sudan

Sudan has more pyramids than any other country in the world, numbering 350. Although pyramids are found in many countries they are usually associated with Egypt.

Sudan’s pyramids are located in Northern Sudan and were built by the indigenous Nubians, an ethno-linguistic group whose homeland exists north of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and extends to Aswan in Egypt.

River Nile

The River Nile forms in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, at the confluence of the Blue Nile that forms in Ethiopia and the White Nile that forms in Equatorial Africa.

The Split

In 2011, Sudan split into two countries: the Republic of Sudan, or Sudan, and the Republic of South Sudan. The two Sudans had long been embroiled in long civil wars centred on the issue of national identity.

The People

There are at least 141 ethnic groups in Sudan, speaking approximately 114 languages that are native to Sudan. Arabic is the most commonly used language and English is the co-official language according to the 2005 Constitution.

National Emblem

Sudan’s first national flag was comprised of horizontal blue, yellow and green bands reflecting Sudan’s geographic characteristics. Sudan’s national emblem was a rhinoceros under a canopy of two palm trees. Rhinoceroses are indigenous to South Sudan and some parts of Sudan.

Queens of Sudan

Ancient Nubia in modern day Sudan was famous for its powerful queens and matriarchy. Known as Kandakas (plural) from where the latin name Candace is derived, these African queens led armies and fought wars. The term ‘kandaka’ has made a popular resurgence amongst the peaceful protesters as a badge of honour for the brave contributions of Sudanese women and girls in the movement.

Kandaka Amanishakheto

Amanishakheto’s Pyramid Wad Naqa

One of the most famous Kandakas of Ancient Nubia is Amanishakheto whose name is engraved in many temples in Northern Sudan. Amanishakheto Kandaka’s pyramid was destroyed by dynamite between 1835-1836 by an Italian adventurer Giuseppe Ferlini, who joined Muhammad Ali Pasha’s invasionary force. He found valuable gold artefacts which he sold to museums in Berlin and Munich where they are currently housed.

Religious History

After abandoning local belief systems, Nubian Kingdoms in Sudan embraced Orthodox Christianity before the Sudanese State of Makuria signed a peace treaty with Muslims after their establishment in Egypt. The ‘Baqt’ Treaty lasted for 700 years by which time the vast majority of Sudanese had converted to Islam by virtue of Sufism and intermarriage.

Darfur History

Ali Dinar and his men who fought the British.

Darfur, which comprises the western portion of Sudan was a powerful Islamic Kingdom whose capital was Al-Fashir. Darfur’s most famous Sultan was also its last, known as Ali Dinar, he commissioned annual caravans to Makkah carrying the ‘kiswa’ or adornment and covering of the Ka’aba for many years.

Legacy in Literature

Rudyard Kipling, the English writer and author of The Jungle Book, wrote about the Hadendowa peoples of Eastern Sudan. Kipling referred to them as the ‘Fuzzy-Wuzzies’ because of their voluminously styled hair. He applauded their bravery in battle against British forces during the Reconquest of Sudan in the late 1890’s and wrote a poem in their honour titled Fuzzy-Wuzzy which was published in 1892 as part of his Barrack Room Ballads.

Hello and Hala . . .
The Arab Edition is a space that belongs to all of us who want to own and change the narrative. It’s where bridges are built through stories and shared experiences. Do you want to be a bridge builder? Do you want to join in the conversation? Do have something to say? A story to share? We bet that you do.
If you’re a content maker of any kind (writer, artist, photographer, film maker, YouTuber, blogger) or simply someone with something to say, an opinion worth sharing or have a story you want to tell one of our editors or writers then we want to hear from you. Head over to About Us and find out what we are looking for then fill out the form in Contact Us.
Now is the time to celebrate and share our stories, history, traditions, successes and opinions no matter where we are from. The Arab Edition is waiting for you to help us build that bridge of stories.
Comment Policy:
The Arab Edition encourages discourse and discussions on all our articles. This is a space where you should feel free to express your thoughts and opinions in order to continue the conversation. However, discussions can get heated. While passion is great we encourage you to be kind to one another and be thoughtful of the words and terms you use when addressing each other.
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons