A Sudanese Rises To Prominence In India

A Sudanese Rises To Prominence In India

By: Rogia al-Shafee


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Jalal Ahmed Dawood Hamid, a Sudanese young-man had no idea that his travel abroad would unfold to him vistas of success and accomplishment and would take him beyond his dreams.

The first step of his success was doing a business of selling sandwiches of such Sudanese foods as ta'amiyyah (roasted dough of beans), pancakes, salads, and Syrian shawirmah (minced beef), and tea to his colleagues when he was a student in the Faculty of Economics in the University of Kamaraj, in east India.

When he was still a student and before graduation, Jalal married his colleague Aminah, an Indian Buddhist, and fled with her to Madras, away from her family fearing that her father, a policeman, would kill her. After the marriage she was named Mona, after the holy place outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  

The two spouses began a happy and successful married life that was the main factor behind his accomplishments. He taught his wife how to cook Sudanese foods which they sold together.

Jalal played a basic role in opening the gateway for medicinal tourism in India and bringing in a considerable services revenue for India during the period 2007-2016. He was assisted in this effort by the fast progress and advancement in medicine and the low cost of the medical treatment in India while this cost has become high in many countries.

In an unprecedented achievement as the first foreigner from Arab and African countries, he was honored by the Indian government for his remarkable deeds and efforts for introducing India to the world as a Ca'aba for medical treatment.

He was honored five times by the Indian government on the level of the Prime Minister for his contribution to increasing the Indian national income by boosting the medicinal tourism through establishing 22 offices in 12 African countries, including one in Sudan, for the Indian group of companies (smr) of which he is the external relations director.

Dr. Jalal welcomed SUDANOW in his office on Street Five in Amarat neighborhood, Khartoum, and related his eventful career, starting with his birth which he said was in Wau, South Sudan, in 1966, adding that his birth and upbringing contributed to formation of his personality.

Dr. Jalal

His mother was Hajjah Zakiyyah Abdul Monim Younis, daughter of a famous businessman and pioneer of the private education in Sudan. Younis was of a Turkish origin, belonging to Turkish families that settled in Sudan. He went to the South on an education mission to teach English Language and religion to Muslim southerners.

In order to gain the trust of the southerners and to benefit from the influence of the northerners in the region, Younis had to marry a daughter of one of two northern leaders Al-Maleah Nour al-Dinn who was from Um Doam, a suburb of Khartoum, Khair al-Sid, from Kordofan and he settled for the daughter of the latter.

Four months after the marriage, the British rulers at the time suspected that Younis was involved in politics and therefore expelled him and he left behind his pregnant wife who later on gave birth to a female baby. The father sent a telegram to name her Zakiyyah after his mother.

When she grew up, Zakiyyah was married to Ahmed Dawood Hamid whose mother was a Dinka and father was half from Tikainah village in the Gezira and half from west Sudan.    

This hybrid had a significant role in formation of the personality of Dr. Jalal who was born and grew up in different environments. When he was two years old, the rebellion broke out in the south and his father joined the rebels and was killed among 300 others who were considered Fifth Columnists.

Zakiyyah remained for some time in the south when persons who arrived from the north informed her that her father was a famous very wealthy man living in Khartoum and wondered why she should not go to him to take care of her and her orphans. They were ultimately smuggled out to Khartoum where the father brought up her children in a proper and generous way and provided them with everything they needed.

Younis enrolled the kids in his private schools and as they spoke Dinka language and did not know Arabic, the grandfather and the teachers of his schools did their best to teach them.

Dr. Jalal and his brothers excelled their colleagues and in the examination for entering the intermediate school, Jalal acquired the highest marks that qualified him to join one of the best government schools which were at that time better than the private ones. But the desire of the grandfather was to enroll them in his private schools. Jalal entered his grandfather's intermediate school and in the final examination he obtained the highest mark and he could enter either Hantoub, Khor Tagut or Wadi Saidna and he chose Khor Tagut secondary school in El-Obeid, Kordofan, in response to his mother's desire so that he could find the relatives of his father there.

Jalal also displayed distinction in the secondary school and after the final examination, he decided to apply to the military college but his mother furiously objected for her hatred to politics and to the army that caused the loss of their father in the south. He forgot about the military college in response to his mother's desire.

Jalal said: "My mother was a great lady that brought us up on noble values, ideals and ethics and instilled in our souls the love of goodness for all people and to distance ourselves from malice and hatred and to take life in tolerance, love and forget the past and its pains and grief and she made us love and serve the homeland. She also taught us how to cooperate and react with the people around us and not to slow in doing benevolence and in helping everyone. My elder brother tended to take revenge for our father from those who were behind his death, but the mother used to persuade him to abandon this tendency. She used to tell him 'If you try to take revenge from any person, his sons will suffer for no reason just as you and your brothers have suffered,' and my brother was convinced and abandoned the revenge idea."

In 1986 Dr. Jalal travelled to Iraq for university studies but he returned home in compliance with a desire by his mother for him to study in India as his friends in the neighborhood who were studying there convinced the mother of the importance of studying in India and to join them there. He agreed to fulfill the desire of his mother who seemed to have been predicting his success there.

In India began the travel of distinction that began with joining the Faculty of Economics where he became prominent and active and was appointed chairman of the Sudanese student union.

Dr. Jalal has a daughter, a doctor, who lives with the parents in India, and a son who is about to graduate from the Faculty of Medicine. As the Indian law prohibits having more than two children, he returned to Sudan and married his aunt's daughter in response to his mother's wish to increase his progeny. Then he married a third wife and they live in Oman where he visits them frequently but he lives in India with his Indian spouse who was a partner in all of his accomplishments.

Immediately after graduation, Jalal began studying for the Master's Degree in economics and political science, then the PhD in Madras University, east India.

During that period, Dr. Jalal opened a small restaurant in partnership with an Indian. He asked his brother in the United Arab Emirates not to send him the study fees anymore as he has established a family and he has to depend on himself, but only to send him a shawirmah machine to operate in the restaurant. It was the first machine of its kind in India and it contributed to increasing the number of the customers, thus greatly     raising the income. In one year, the restaurant became his own property after paying the Indian his share.

A famous customer and frequent visitor of the restaurant was the Omani Health Attaché who regularly visited the place to have shawirmah. The Omani liked Dr. Jalal for his honesty, faithfulness and high vitality and thus intimate friendship developed between the two men.

The Attaché advised all Omanis who came to India for study or medical treatment to get acquainted with Dr. Jalal and seek his consultation, due to his confidence in Jalal. The Omani official recommended that Dr. Jalal serve as a representative for the Omani Consulate in India for coordination of the patients and students affairs. And this was his first official job from which he moved to serve in Miot Hospital as a translator and public relations director for 18 years. Then in 2017, he took up the job of external relations director of smr group in which he is still serving.   

Dr. Jalal, while engaged in the numerous achievements he has made in India, did not forget his homeland Sudan which occupied his utmost concern and made assisting the Sudanese people among his important goals. In 2008 he established the Good Health Group in collaboration with Sudanese students who graduated from Indian universities in recognition of their national role towards their homeland in the fields of health and education. The members of the Good Health were concerned with improving the performance in these two fields inside the Sudan and sought to minimize the cost of the medical treatment of Sudanese patients in India.

Dr.  Jalal said his group was the first one to introduce the idea of medical treatment inside Sudan, offering more than 8,500 opportunities in the field. It contributed a lot for the Cancer Hospital and became partner with the Sudanese establishment for the retarded and participated with it in numerous humanitarian projects to serve the retarded, Jalal said.  

He added that the Good Health Group provided advanced training opportunities to the Taxes Chamber personnel and engineers and physicians who returned to Sudan with high qualifications. The opportunities are still being provided in all aspects of science and knowledge, Dr. Jalal said.

He added that he managed to obtain a scholarship for student Sit al-Banat Abdo al-Rayah, the top of the Sudanese certificate of this year, to study the bachelor, master and doctorate as a present from srm university which is considered among the world's greatest universities, besides a post-graduate studies scholarship for her sister to accompany her.   He said he has thus made of the Indian company an international name and number and a substitute in the provision of the medical and educational service and changed the notion that India is a country of cinema and magic. He made of it a gateway to medical tourism and education and introduced it to the world by opening, in an individual effort, more than 22 offices for the group in a number of African countries.

Dr. Jalal said he managed to open all these offices easily, defying the difficulties in a manner that was equal to adventure. He used to go to the embassy of the country he planned to visit, get a visa and go direct to the airport. Upon landing at the airport of that country, he used to drive direct to the Ministry of Health and request a meeting with the Minister to whom he explains the purpose of the office for the company.

The Minister immediately consents to opening the office, Jalal said, adding that in this way he has managed to establish all those offices in a short period of time.  

Among the anecdotes he came across during his travels, Dr. Jalal related one that occurred to him in a central African country when upon arrival, he took a cab to the Ministry of Health where the receptionist told him that the Minister would depart abroad after two hours and would only see him if he (Jalal) paid 200 dollars to him (the receptionist). Moreover, the reception said Jalal did not wear a suit which was a condition for seeing the Minister. Dr. Jalal said he had immediately paid the money and went out to the taxi driver who was waiting for him and borrowed the suit and thus he managed to meet the Minister before alleged departure.

He added that, ironically enough, the cab driver's suit was more beautiful than that of the Minister.

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