Darfur/Sudan

Old Jan 27th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Darfur/Sudan

After seeing the film "Hotel Rwanda," it seems amazing to me now when I read about how many people are now traveling to Rwanda to see gorillas -- the country seems to have come such a long way in a short time since the extreme violence, in terms of starting to recover and attract tourists. That made me think about the current ongoing violence in the Sudan and the tragedy I keep reading about in Darfur now. Maybe this is a hopelessly naive question, but can anyone imagine a time when the Sudan will be less volatile and will have something -- anything -- to offer tourists? Has anyone here ever been to the Sudan in the past, and what was it like?
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Interesting question, Lisa. I hope someone responds. We have many Sudanese refugees here in Lincoln. (The so-called Lost Boys.)
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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I'm glad I read this. I saw the title and instantly thought, "Are you kidding, you want to tour Darfur? Now, of all times?"

I'd be curious to hear from people who have been to the Sudan as well.

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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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If you want to read about living in Sudan, check out this blog:

http://sleeplessinsudan.blogspot.com/

Written by an aid worker living there.

Horrible and SAD.
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:17 PM
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You might be interested to know that one of the overland routes goes from Aswan, Egypt through Khartoum,Sudan continuing South to Ethiopia. Alot of people drive this way. Don't know of anyone that is crazy enough to go to Darfur except for Aid workers. And they usually fly in.
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:57 PM
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Interesting question. Could Sudan have gone a different way?

I recall back in the 1970s, working with a businessman who wanted to invest in the Sudan, and there was some belief that with their climate, access to water in the South, etc, that the country could become prosperous with western-style agriculture. And while it had problems, there wasn't a civil war, and westerners could imagine investing there.

Also, if you read Theroux's Dark Star Safari, he talks about travelling through Southern Sudan in the 1960s (I think I got this book right, perhaps I read this somewhere else). Also, I think in one of Peter Matthiessen's books, he describes the incredible beauty of southern Sudan. It sounded like this was an intensely beautiful wildlife area, and the descriptions reminded my of the Okavango. Of course the wildlife is mostly gone--big mammals anyway, though I imagine some areas in the wetlands are still protected and remote enough for some wildlife to survive. An incredible loss,(and unlike the thread about Kenya, more to civil war than to population growth, although population growth (in the North) has certainly fueled the wars and fighting.

My answer (depressing one) is that no, during our lifetimes, I can't imagine Sudan coming back the way Rwanda or Uganda have. To see why ( I feel this way) try to find the book Emma's War. It is a true story and an incredible read. I'll try to find those other references too.
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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 04:07 AM
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Hello,

Whilst researching my trip to Egypt, I learned that there is a ferry which will take from Aswan in Egypt to Sudan. It wasn't necessarily recommended to do so (especially for Americans) but it's certainly possible.

Cheers,
Julian
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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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A very good question about the war (the tourism, surely, is secondary).

Darfur doesn't feature on the radar of the powerful governments of the world. Ditto nothern Uganda.

The Sudan has no geo-political importance; and it has no resources of value (oil, uranium) so it can just go to hell.

Compare and contrast? - Iraq? Afghanistan?

I have passed through a small corner of the country - itinerary was as a previous poster mentioned down to Asswan, over lake Nassar and into Sudan. Border open when trip booked; border closed when trip taken.

We had to detour back up from Aswan to Cairo to arrange visas for Eritrea - as the only route available was by sea from Suez to Suakin, and thence to Asmara.

Don't suppose anyone will be remotely interested in this story. But just in case some of those places are unfamiliar to you - get out an atlas and have a look. I love it when I find myself doing that.

Regards,
an atlas freak.
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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Sudan does have oil and therefore itís a very interesting country. Apart from this, the only thing Iíve understood is that genocide is going on in Darfur. Reading Emmaís War didnít make me any wiser. I hope someone I trust will soon write about Sudan.

Fuzzylogic, write a trip report! I donít think Iím the only one interested in your story.

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Old Jan 28th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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As others have pointed out, Sudan does have oil--as yet undeveloped. But it is in the southern part of the country, and THAT is one of the sources of its problems. The northern part wants to make sure that it has control of, and gets the benefits of oil production in the south. Southern separatist movements would endanger that. The Economist had a recent article which quoted a study about resource-rich countries or areas: areas which are rich in natural resources (oil, minerals, etc) tend to have lots of corruption around those industries, it corrupts their whole political process and lets to underdevelopment and poverty despite the natural resources. Claimed it is also true in areas of the US (citing, for example the poverty & local corruption in coal areas like West Virginia or oil areas around the US gulf coast). And heaven help countries like Nigeria...or (even though it has potential oil wealth) the Sudan.

I guess that the Netherlands and the countries around the North Sea oil are perhaps the only good exceptions, and that is because they had very well-developed political systems and diversified economies when the oil was discovered.

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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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I was thinking aout this sometime ago.

What does the Sundan have that they can create a tourist industry out of?

Rwanda is an absolutely beautiful country and I am so glad they have the gorillas

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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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I just read "They Poured Fire on us From the Sky" by B. Denk (and several other authors). This is a true story of the lives of three of the Lost Boys of Sudan. We read it for our book club - and is the only book we've read in ten years that everyone agreed was outstanding. I highly recommend it -
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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sorry i just noticed the date on this post. for some reason it popped up when i checked sudan/darfur. and i responded w/out checking dates.
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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no problem nanabee, always good to keep this in the forefront. thanks for the book title, i've been looking for something to read.
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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Another great book on the lost boys is What is the What? by Dave Eggers. Just finished it yesterday and loved it!
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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thanks zimdonna!
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 02:55 AM
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"Dark Star" is by one of the Theroux brothers.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 03:28 AM
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Here's a virtual journey with Google Earth into Darfur,
www.ushmm.org/googleearth
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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Along the lines of virtual journey, I read this today about satelite images helping to protect those in Darfur.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070606/...eyes_on_darfur

Sudan has one of the tallest tribes anywhere, the Dinka. Maybe some kind of cultural tourism would offer it a niche.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 03:20 AM
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Currently things are not as bad as before though we have some few incidents. My buddy is just back from a mission in Darfur. I am reading a book now about Sudan " Emma's war" very interesting
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