Twins: A World Of Love And Fun

Twins: A World Of Love And Fun

Tarteel and Tanzeel

By: Rogia al-Shafee

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Twins are always associated with joking, trickery, pranks and other amusing stories. This is always because of the unusual similarity in body building and facial features identical twins may share. It is often very difficult to differentiate between identical twins however a person might try not to mistake one of them for the other, be they grown up adults or just young kids.

There are twins who are largely identical and there are others who are not.

There are triplets and there are quadruplets.

There are families who are known to have twins, though science has ruled out the hereditary factor in such cases. Some scientists attribute the birth of twins to biological factors.

People in general are interested in what twins say and do and the jokes and tricks they make in the society around them. The most interesting tricks committed by identical twins may occur in difficult situations, in legal cases and in financial transactions.


Public Welcome 

Twins often have a special position in the society that usually adores them. The birth of twins in the family is always seen as a good omen, a blessing, and a sign of financial affluence that could descend upon the family.


Twin Names

Twins are usually given names that nearly sound very similar with slight differences: Hassan and Hussein. Ahmed and Mohammed, Samir and Tamir for boys. Twin girls may carry such names as Um Alhassan and Um Alussein, Siham and Elham, Tarteel and Tanzeel and so on.

Twins are loved by their family members and the rest of their respective clans and neighbors.

From their early childhood, twins demonstrate the traits of boldness and moral courage. This lends them the admiration of the social environment in which they live. The bravery twins often demonstrate may be attributed to the fact that each one of them has a feeling that his twin brother or sister is always by his/her side when the need arises.

Unlike other brothers in the same family, twins are never jealous from each other.

Twin sisters are usually more beautiful than the other girls in the family.

A twin always cherishes a special love for his other twin. This is very much demonstrated in the Sudanese romantic lyric when the loved one is often described as: toamti or toami (my twin), according to the gender of that sweetheart.


Mohammad and Marwa

A Closer Look 

To get a closer look at this category, Sudanow Magazine, has navigated into the world of twins, a world full of anecdotes, jokes and wonder.

We began by Gynecologist Usama Mohammad Ahmed at the Alsaggay Hospital in Khartoum North’s Rural District, who recollected that one day he received a woman in labor. The woman had not had follow up in the hospital during her pregnancy. Neither she nor her accompanying husband had any idea that they were going to have twins, triplets to be specific. Dr. Usama helped her naturally deliver the first baby and the nurse showed it to the father who was standing outside the operation theatre. Immediately after that the woman gave birth to the second baby. The nurse also took it and showed it to the father, who was so excited to have twins that he rushed to tell standing-by his relatives about what he got. Then the woman delivered the third baby and the nurse also took it to the farther who shouted: “Where on Earth shall I put him?!”

In another case a woman was diagnosed with triplets. But when she delivered just two, their suspicious father filed a legal complaint that the hospital staff had stolen his baby. After some court hearings, the judge exonerated the hospital on the grounds of wrong diagnosis.


Twins Cling To Each Other

Ahmed (boy) and Eethar (girl) Khalifa (6 years old) are twins from the City of Atbara. Their mother Eeman Abbashar says they were bound by a close relationship since their birth. Even when of them falls ill the other would also immediately fall ill. On certain occasions their mother would take one of them to the clinic, and upon return home she would find the other one very ill and would also take him to the clinic.

Adds their mother Eeman: After they grew up they became very daring and quarrelsome. They have high intelligence and have developed an amazing ability to imitate and mimic adults. They imitate each other in everything: in dressing, in going to the bathroom and in the way they eat. One day I took Ahmed to the neighbor’s house who gave him a chocolate. Before he would grip the chocolate he asked the host: And where is Eethar’s? The host wondered how this baby would ask about his sister’s chocolate before he would take his.

Eeman said her babies would often engage in quite an intelligible dialogue during their sleep when one of them would ask the other a question and the other would clearly give him an answer. And when one of them happens to cry, the other would ask him why he was crying. They would sometimes hit each other but neither of them would accept his twin to be hit by another person.

Marwa (girl) and Mohammad (boy) Yasin (10) are so close to each other. Their mother Sana’a Sheikh Idris says they are so close and in love with each other that when one of them moves or wakes up when they are asleep, the other would also move or wake up. The first thing they would do when they get up is to hug each other as if they are just back from travel. And if one of them happens to feel any pain or complain from something, the other would feel the same.

Sana’a shares Eeman the view that twin boys are very careful that their sisters not be approached by boys. The twins are very clever and have an ability to analyze matters, she said.

Sawsan Alsir, mother of twin girls Rahaf and Ritaj (6) said they are clever, wise and have the ability to analyze things and imitate others. When they were back from the kindergarten they used to reproduce what they saw at the kindergarten, one of them role–playing their teacher and the other playing the role of the kids. They do this in dialogue form. This always kept their mother well informed about how they were progressing. When they moved to school, they one day saw a girl crying for fear the teacher might punish her for failing to do her homework. Ritaj told the girl: I have a solution for you .. but there is lying in it! We know that lying is forbidden. But just lie for today to get out of this problem. Tell the teacher you have forgotten to bring the exercise book with you. This is an indication that the twins have good understanding and are capable of getting out of problems.

Atbara twin (singers)


Twin Jokes

Male identical twins Hassan and Hussein applied for the elementary school. Because the number of applicants was far higher than the available seats, there was a need for a draw. Hussein pulled the winning card to the dismay of his twin brother Hassan who cried too much until his twin told him not to worry. “There is a solution: One day I go to school and you go the next day,” said Hussein. And they did: each explaining to his brother the lessons of the previous day.

But one day the education inspector happened to visit the school. And Hassan was there. When the attendance was taken and the names were announced, the teacher asked about Hussein… where he was. Here Hassan said “Hussein is at home. It is my turn today!” He explained the matter to the audience. Here the inspector asked Hassan to rush to his house and bring Hussein to school. The inspector then ordered both twins to be enrolled.


Spiritual Bond

Sudanow has talked to a number of grown up twins. Hassan and Hussein Altoam are two identical twins from the City of Omdurman. It is very difficult to differentiate between them, not even their parents could do that. They were very close to each other and each felt deep for the other. When they grew up they travelled to work abroad and also returned together. They both found jobs at the Electricity Public Corporation: Hassan occupied an office job and used to return home at 4p.m, while Hussein worked for the emergency section and used to return home at 10 p.m.

Their mother Hajja Ai’esha says one day after sunset Hussein all of a sudden felt very anxious and feverish. He started to go to the bath to wet his body with water every now and then. Then he went to the kitchen, took a plastic bag and put some sugar, tea, juice and a spoon in it. Then he took his clothes, a pajama and a pillow, wrapped them in a bag and sat down as if waiting for someone. Their mother became very anxious because of what she saw and asked him what was up. He said he had a feeling that something wrong had happened to his brother and was taken to hospital, so he decided to prepare himself. Before he could finish his dialogue with his mother, they heard the sound of the Corporation’s transport vehicle draw to a halt in front of their house. Hussein rushed outside carrying his belongings with him. When their colleagues in the car saw he was prepared to go with them, they asked: So you know what has happened?

“What has happened?,” he asked. They told him that his brother Hassan sustained burns when a big transformer exploded in his face and that he was now in hospital. He rode the car with them and stayed beside his twin until he recovered. After that fire it became easy to distinguish Hassan from Hussein!

Another twins Hassan and Hussein were so identical. Hassan joined the police and became a trainer at the police college. Hussein became a civil servant without any knowledge of military matters. Hassan travelled to the United Arab Emirates to serve in its police force and settled down with his family there. Hussein did not like it this way and decided to join his brother when there is a chance in the U.A.E police force. When vacancies were announced Hassan applied for Hussein and continued to provide him with tape recordings of police lectures and lessons. Hussein continued to learn from those recordings until he mastered the basics of police work. He waited for the interview and was accepted and travelled to the Gulf country to join his twin brother.

Rahaf and Ritaj



 A World of Fun

A man hailing from Upper Egypt ran a big restaurant in Meroe Town in Northern Sudan in the 1960s. The man married a woman from the district who used to give birth to two twins each time, until he had 14 children, all males. Then his wife gave birth to a single girl and died after delivery. The man had a beautiful donkey that also used to give birth to twin donkeys in concurrence with his wife’s births. Twins are very rare in the world of donkeys. Then that highly reproductive donkey one day fell from a ferry and sank in the River Nile.


Outstanding Singer Abdelaziz Mohammad Da’ood, also known for his clever jokes, was once hospitalized for some ailment. The famous singers Atbara identical twins Hassan and Hussein used to make tricks for their friends. Hassan went to visit Da’ood in hospital and introduced himself to him. Da’ood asked Hassan about his twin Hussein and how he was. “He is all right. I left him back home and he said he would come to see you in hospital in a short while,” said Hassan.

Then Hassan went outside for some time and then came back and introduced himself as Hussein. Da’ood thanked him for the visit and told him his twin Hassan had been with him a short while ago!

Two of Sudan’s most famous identical twins are Hassan and Hussein Sayih from the Dewaim District, the White Nile District. They were good football players. During an important football match, referee Ahmed Aldaw showed a yellow card to one of the twins. The players’ shirts were not numbered, so the Referee just wrote the offender’s name. Then the twin made another foul and the Referee showed him a yellow followed by a red card. The twin argued that the first offense was committed by his twin brother who played for the other team and not him. The perplexed Referee had no choice but to shout out “The Sayih brothers, one of you should get out!”

One of the most famous police cases happened when a twin named Hassan committed a felony and was jailed for three months. His twin brother Hussein was so upset by what happened to his twin Hassan. But very soon he found a solution. At night he took supper to his brother in jail. He was permitted to take the food to his brother in the cell. Down there he quickly exchanged clothes with his twin who left the jail to spend the night with his family. They continued to do so until the prison term was over.

 Eethar (girl) and Ahmed Khalifa


Female Twins

Female twins have a lot of stories of mistaken identity to tell: Twins Tarteel and Tanzeel (16) are so identical that even family members could not tell who is who, save their mother and father. That is why they used to make lots of tricks. Their mother Ena’am says the girl Tarteel had no interest in household duties, contrary to her sister Tanzeel. One day the mother asked the girl Tarteel to do something for their grandmother next door, an order the girl did not like to obey. Here Tanzeel readily went to the grandmother’s home and did the job to the pleasure and applause of the grandma who mistook her for the lazy twin.

Tarteel and Tanzeel’s uncle who worked abroad used to fail to distinguish between them when he was visiting Sudan. They used to ask him to pay a fine every time he failed to say which isTanzeel and which is Tarteel. One Friday when their uncle was going to the mosque for prayer, he heard their father calling Tanzeel. The uncle noticed that Tanzeel was putting on a different dress from that worn by Tarteel. “After prayer I am going to tell which is which and then you will have to pay me,” he said and went out. They thought it over and concluded that he had identified Tarteel from her dress. They quickly rushed to the room and exchanged dresses. When the uncle was back, he mistook Tarteel for Tanzeel and both girls broke in laughter and told him they had exchanged dresses.

Tarteel and Tanzeel are very much similar: in talents and in hobbies. Even when one of them falls sick the other would also fall ill.

Um Alhassan and Um Alhussein (60) are two identical twins from Omdurman City. They are always together during happy and sad occasions. They share a one chair during such gatherings. When they grew up Um Alhassan married a man and settled with him in Omdurman while Um Alhussein married a man from Khartoum. Because they were busy looking after their respective families, they agreed to represent each other in social occasions, doing so alternately. Whenever one of them went out for such a social duty, she would take with her spare dresses and when she would finish that social duty, she would slip by to any neighboring house and put a different dress and come to pose as her absent twin, sometimes forced to take the meal that should go to her absent sister just to hide her identity. One day a relative of the two approached Um Alhassan about her sister Um Alhussein during a social event. “I am Um Alhussein,” she said , just out of forgetfulness. Realizing that she would be in real trouble if the relative would discover the trick,  she pretended to talk to another woman in the gathering and fled home.

Because they were so close to each other, Um Alhassan chose Um Alhussein’s daughter as a wife for her son and brought her to live with them. And when she would fall ill, she would tell her niece to quickly go to see her mother, because she is sure her twin sister is ill! That is exactly what happens. When the girl would go home, she would find that her mother has fallen ill. And when her mother recovers, she would return home to find that her aunt has recovered also.


What Science Says

Clinical Bio- chemistry Professor Abdallah Altoam said the term twins is used to mean two or more births from one pregnancy. Difference in time of births is just a few minutes or hours. There are two types of twins: The identical twins who are very much similar in shape and the dissimilar twins.

This refers back to the time of fertilization in the mother’s womb, where twins develop from one egg fertilized by more than one sperm. Here we get more than one fetus. Dissimilar twins result from the fertilization of more than one egg by more than one sperm.

By and large, no clear reasons have been discovered yet for what causes the growth of twins inside the mother’s womb save some suggestions that include.

 -Excess tallness and weight in some women. Here it was noticed the possibility of the conception of twins.

-When the mother is lactating. Here the possibility of conceiving twins becomes bigger.

-Hereditary factors increase the chances of conceiving twins.

-Pregnancy at a late age (after 35 years).

-Some foods are believed to increase the chances of having twins.

-After the birth of twins there is a chance that other similar pregnancies may occur.


Twins Day

Twins phenomenon receives attention worldwide. An annual festival is organized for the twins by the end of the first week of August in Twinsburg, the city of twins, in Ohio State in the U.S.A. Twinsburg acquired this name two centuries ago when two identical twins lived there. Thousands of twins flock to the city to attend a long program that includes open air sightseeing walks beside talent shows and contests for the most identical twins, in what had become the biggest twin congregations in the World.

All through the festival, scientists conduct studies about twins, under the auspices of the FBI, Notre Dame University and West Virginia University.

Twins give worldwide bio-medicine scientists a valuable chance to decipher the effect of genes and the surrounding environment on human development. Because identical twins result from one fertilized egg that divides into two, the twins share approximately the same genome. Any other difference in the shape of twins is consequently attributed to the surrounding environment, like long exposure to sunlight.




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