KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudan on Thursday mourned distinguished thinker, writer and Professor of political science at the University of Khartoum Altayeb Zain Alabdeen who died in Khartoum aged 81.
As a politician Prof. Zain had assumed during 1978-1984 the office of chairman of the consultative bureau of the Islamic movement that later on seized power in a military coup in 1989.
But history recognizes Prof. Zain’s unswerving opposition of military coups and dictatorial rule.
Shortly after the 1989 coup, the disgruntled Dr. Zain, who adamantly opposed the takeover, left the country to work as deputy chief of the International Islamic University of Pakistan and dean faculty of Law and Islamic Sharia’a in the same University. Later on he returned to his country and resumed his teaching job at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Khartoum.
Prof. Zain was born in Addewaim town of the White
Nile district in 1939. He studied education at the Bakht Er-Ruda Teacher Training Institute and then enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum, graduating with honors and appointed as teacher assistant in the same Faculty. During his University years he participated in the 1964 popular revolution that ousted military ruler, General Ibrahim Abboud.
In 1971 Prof. Zain obtained an M.A degree in political science from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. He then obtained a PhD from the University of Cambridge and in 1997 he obtained a professorship from the University of Khartoum.
Beside his academic standing, Prof. Zain was active in politics and the media, writing lots of daring articles about government conduct during General Bshir’s dictatorial rule.
In an Obituary, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok described Prof. Zain as “one of the symbols of knowledge of a high heel in political morality.”
Minster of Culture and Information Faisal Mohammad Salih said Prof Zain “had presented highly valuable contributions in academics and in the public life. He was committed to the high human and national values and was a fearless fighter for democracy and public liberties.”
In the same sentiment, former prime minister Sadiq Almahdi extolled Prof. Zain’s resolve against military coups:
“Prof. Zain was among the rarity of his political group’s members who opposed the ominous coup of 1989 and was keen upon continued expressing of critical views about what was going on, a matter that lent him the animosity of the regime leaders and brought him closer to us,” wrote Almahdi.
“I consider him a fellow in the road to reform and a dear friend,” he wrote.
“I extend my condolences to his family and the people of our country who need similar committed Islamists who are aware of the realities of modern times and the vitality of human rights in nation building under sustainable democracy,” wrote Almahdi.
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