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Sa’ad Eddin Ibrahim: An Illustrious Journalist, Poet Fades

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM ( -The Sudanese media was awash over the weekend with obituaries and eulogies in the memory of Sudan’s talented journalist, literary critic and poet Sa’ad Eddin Ibrahim who died after a brief ailment Thursday morning.

His colleagues in the print media, the radio and TV and his lovers in the social media were all stunned with Ibrahim’s early departure with account owners in the social media putting black signs of mourning on their pages.

All could not find words to express their grief over the death of this calm, creative and amiable writer who, even from his picture, appealed to everyone, those who knew him person and those who did not.

Wrote arts critic and one of Ibrahim’s disciples Husam Mirghani: Distress descended on my heart upon receiving the news about the departure of Sa’ad, my tutor who lived among his family and colleagues as simple and as humble as one can live…We met his noble person in the corridors of journalism .. He reared us the best way he could and equipped us with the confidence and self esteem we needed in this demanding profession. Whenever we met him, we saw but an unfading smile and a kind and tender heart that knows nothing other than love for people. Sa’ad had lived a life of truthfulness, casualty and immeasurable humanity. He was always very close to the people and their daily concerns. His readers had used to move after him from one publication to another, always eager to read his resourceful and amusing column: Annashouf Akhrata (Let’s see what it boils down to).

“ For our generation Sa’ad was a value and an example to be copied. He loved to live with the people and for them. I remember to have once asked why he does not obtain a private car instead of moving around in the public transport? His answer was: I want to be among the people.. in the public transport in order to stay close to the people .. I like to pay the transport fee to a fellow commuter and I, equally, I feel pleased when somebody pays the bus fee for me. It is in the public transport that I mix with people, listen to and learn about their worries and problems. If I choose to live in an ivory tower, I would draw a barrier between myself and the people and by that I will cease to exist as a genuine writer.’’

The late Ibrahim was born in the Isbitalia suburb of Omdurman and received his primary, intermediate and secondary education in Omdurman schools and graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University (Khartoum Branch) with a B.A. in sociology. He worked for sometime as a teacher and then moved to the media as an arts and political critic.

As a poet he composed quite a lot of lyrics which were performed by many of Sudan’s outstanding singer like musical legend Mohammad Wardi and singers Mustafa Sidahmad, Abuaraki al-Bakheet and Muna al-Khair. But his romance “Alaziza’ (The Darling), first performed by Fathi Hussain and then performed by scores of singers around the country, is indeed a masterpiece in Sudan’s lyric. Says the first line of : ‘Alaziza , who never asks how we fare.. Alaziza darling who abashes when people at her glare.’’

Runs another poem, An Habeebti Bagollakum ( About my Sweet Heart I tell You), performed by popular singer Abuaraki al Bakheet:

‘’About my love I tell you ..In the shade of her braids we me . I tell you how tender she did herself show, and by that she brought joy to all the aggrieved, you know! Once she met a flock of unhappy doves who got sorts of the tenderness she would let and flew up repeating melodies of happiness and content.’’

His latest and last appearance in the media was the upcoming edition of the radio programme “Dialogue”, recorded to be broadcast during the holy month of Ramadan on Radio Omdurman. As a programme host, Ibrahim queried his guests Mohammad Abdulmajid and Hana’a Ibrahim on their experience in journalism, the sports, drama, and the arts in general.

But, very sadly, he will not be present to tune to it. May the Almighty rest his noble soul in peace.



Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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