Doleeb- A Sudanese Genius of Multifarious Talents

Doleeb- A Sudanese Genius of Multifarious Talents

By: Rogia al-Shafee

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW)—His home is a pastoral land with tall grass and thick trees suitable for grazing camels, sheep and cattle and is of a charming nature and with his village, Idaid al-Hur, surrounded with huge tall Tabeldy trees that are used for storing water during the rainy season. The village lies north of An Nuhud, capital of Hamer tribe, and west of Iyal Bekheit where the famous Hamery sheep is bred. It was in that village and to the lovely singing of the sparrows that Dr. Engineer Doleeb Mahmoud Doleeb Abdul Rahim Abu Dagel was born. He is a retired Brigadier (pilot) of the Sudanese Armed Forces, a former captain in the Greek Navy, a writer, a poet and a folklore researcher. He managed to successfully combine aviation, nave, literature, poetry and engineering. So, let's decipher this inimitably genius character that has collected intellect, science and knowledge together and find out how this unique personality has emerged from a remote part of the Sudan, making an impression wherever he landed. It might have been the nature of beautiful Kordofan and had contributed to shaping the talents and creative energies he has possessed.


His father was Mahmoud Doleeb who graduated in Bakht al-Rudha Educational Institute, a footballer, a musician and a politician who was a member of the Constituent Assembly and a renowned figure of the Hamer Tribe. His mother was Fatimah Mahmoud who was of a strong character and was nick-named Um Al-Dood (Mother of the Lion). She played a great role his upbringing, although he lived with his grand-mother in a village that was very distant from the city with houses of grass. He was so ignorant that he was astounded to see a motorcar or somebody wearing trousers. His admittance to school was accidental and a sheer stroke of luck that made him meet an intimate friend.


Doleeb said: "I was six years old, wearing an Araki (a short garment, closed neck, short sleeves, made of cheap cloth), rubber slippers and short turban which I put on my head in both summer and winter."


He recalled that once his grand-mother, after preparing his travel food, asked him to go to Al-Nuhud who his small family lived. Doleeb remember it was an interesting trip on she-camelback in the company of his uncle Ibrahim Doleeb on the foot-steps of a herd of sheep belonging to his grandmother.


When they arrived there, it coincided with a meeting of the committee tasked with acceptance of the pupils to the Western Primary School adjacent to the residence of Nazir Mun'im Mansour. While the new pupils were playing and running about and they began to chase a lamb of the herd but Doleeb armed with a stick and a small ax drove back all the pupils. This drew the attention of education inspector Ibrahim Omar who was wearing a long back caftan, called Doleeb and asked him: "Who is your father?" "I am the son of Mahmoud Doleeb Abu Dagel."


The inspector asked whether he wanted to enter the school. "What is the school?" It was the first time for him in his life to hear such a term. The inspector explained it was where one could learn how to read and write and become a pilot to drive a plane. This was a turning point in Doleeb's life; it was a bewitching sentence, though in a childish innocence, he wondered where he could keep his sheep. The inspector left the herd with a herder and took Doleeb into the school. He recalled that, in that appearance of a villager, he accompanied the 'Afandi' (gentleman) to the office of the enrolment committee and the latter said he wanted this boy to be enrolled in the nearest school to his village. A committee member replied that all seats were filled except one seat which he said was reserved for somebody. The inspector, with his sharp insight said: "This boy is bright and brave, a short while ago, he drove all the pupils away from his herd. He must be accepted in the school this year. Cast a lot between him and the other boy."


Doleeb said he drew with that boy three times and each time and both of them scrambled on the filled piece of paper until it was torn between their hands.


The committee then decided that the two boys sit for a test together and the one who got the higher marks would be enrolled while the other boy would be accepted as a listener. In the end the two boys entered the Eastern School which was built of grass. Doleeb remembers that he and his colleague in the lots shared the first position in the results of the examinations from the first to the fourth class of the primary school.


Ali Salih Omar and Doleeb have become the dearest and closest friends and never parted and from the Eastern Primary, they went to the intermediate Ameeriyah School, then Al-Nuhud and KhorTagat secondary schools and then they were both admitted to the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Khartoum.


The aviation notion began to cross Doleeb's mind in the second year of the Intermediate School, specifically during the Science Period. The Sudan Airways flight used to land at An-Nuhud of Tuesday of each week and from the window of the classroom, Doleeb used to watch the plane and the passengers at the airport, which was near the school. He was preoccupied with this view until the teacher stood by his desk and asked: "Doleeb, don't you like this period?"


"The period is interesting, my teacher, but the scene of the plane has attracted me, please excuse me, Sir," he replied.


"Do you want to be a pilot?"


"Yes, sir," Doleeb said.


"You will never be a pilot unless you understand this lesson," the teacher said, arousing laughter amongst the pupils.


Feeling extremely embossed, Doleeb answered: "God willing, my teacher, I will exert all my effort until I become a pilot." He inscribed this in his notebook and remained keeping it till now.


In the third level of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Khartoum, and during a visit to the Al-Thawrah, Omdurman, residence of his uncle Bakre Adeel, the Governor of Kordofan Region, during the reign of President Jaafer Nimeiry, Dr. Doleeb understood from his uncle that there were 17 scholarships or aviation in Tashkent, Soviet Union. He immediately accepted the offer and told his colleagues and friends of this news and all of them, including his close friend Ali Salih Omar, who was also with him in the Faculty of Engineering, went to Tashkent.  He said, upon entering the school of aviation, he was so pleasant that he wept and thanked God for getting what he longed for.


"I returned to Sudan after a unique study during which I learned new ideas and culture and I learned discipline and punctuality and commitment to everything I had during the study, including perfect representation of the Sudan," Dr. Adeel said.


To cite his superiority as a pilot, it has been reported that Doleeb made in the presence of President Nimeiry a flying parade that astonished all viewers swiftly making a crossing under Shambat River Nile Bridge without touching the water, risking a explosion of the plane if it was splashed with a single drop of water.


Doleeb came across another surprise when on a Sudan Airways flight to Jordan, he left the cabin to his assistant and while he was walking along the aisle, he found a woman who was not strange to him and after greeting he asked her about the reason for her travel to Jordan. She told him that she was accompanying her sick brother at the end of the plane. Removing the curtain, he was surprised it was the teacher who once told him that he would never become a pilot. The former teacher was also surprised and asked Doleeb about the pilot insignia he was wearing and the former pupil told him he was the captain of the plane. The former teacher told him that he was aware of his intelligence and smartness and that what he had mentioned at the time was only to check his excessive ambition.


As regards Doleeb's Navy study in Greece, it was arranged by his long-time friend Ali Salih Omar as both joined the army on the same day and left it also on the same day. Omar went to Alexandria wherefrom he sent a message to Doleeb with somebody asking him to travel to Alexandria immediately. Doleeb did not hesitate and left for the Egyptian Mediterranean port and the idea at first was to go to Libya to join the Libyan army or travel therefrom to Europe for a sightseeing before departure to Athens and then to Romania. It is to be noted here that Abdul Ra'of Mohamed Siddeik, a Sudanese, who was living in Athens, following naval studies as was well-versed in the Greek Language and the country. However, Doleeb and his friend went over to Romania where they began studying medicine, but a number of students told them that they were proficient and that medicine could be studied by anyone and therefore they suggested that they should undergo naval studies and after six months of studying, they deserted medicine and went back to Athens for naval studies. Doleeb says Greece is a beautiful country and very much liked the word "yaso" which means "welcome".


To Dr. Doleeb, Athens was the queen of beauty and the rich bed of imagination and mental creativity that was a source of delight where he had got acquainted with a number of Sudanese students who all liked him and gave the title of "Ambassador" as his house was open to all of them in which they found true Sudanese hospitality and therefore close friendships developed between him and those students of different studies.


He depended on himself during the studies and during his leisure time, he used to work in restaurants, the post and telegraph office and the grape fields.


Immediately upon graduation, he started work as a sea captain on the world's longest line and sailed to most of the Atlantic Ocean, to Panama and San Francisco on the Pacific Ocean. Doleeb entered America and liked the Five Lakes region where he stayed for some time during which he made acquaintance with a large number of renowned personalities, including Bob Marley, Farid Shawgi, the Jazz Musician David Brine in San Francisco, the Indian Actor Shami Kabor and many others with whom he is still in touch.


During his service in the Greek Navy, he visited a great number of countries, including Jordan, France and its city Leon which he likened to the Sudanese Atbara city, London, the bed of civilization and beauty, Hungary, China and Japan where he married a beautiful woman whom he converted to Islam in the presence of the Sudanese Ambassador. They have a daughter and a son and the family lives in El-Obeid, capital of North Kordofan.


Dr. Doleeb says the difference between the sea and the air is like the difference between the love and the friendship and, while the aviation - the friend- requires concentration and mental attention, the sea – the love- requires practice and accepts no fault, citing the fatal Titanic incident in which a small mistake claimed many lives. 


So, with his smartness and fathomless ambition, Dr. Doleeb has managed to efficiently and skillfully combine the most difficult engineering, aviation and navy together.


Doleeb read many books both in English and Arabic and has a rich library. His favorite author is Gabran Khalil Gabran. Citing his writing: "If you find a prisoner sleeping, don't wake him up, perhaps he is dreaming of the freedom."


This tremendous possession of knowledge and science has not diverted him from literature, poetry, writing and research in the Sudanese heritage. Dr. Doleeb wrote more than 10 poetry books and many others books, including folkloric research books based on the local environment of An-Nuhud and its surroundings, including songs of the villagers and cattle and camel herdsmen.


He has writer a number of other books under press, including one on the entry of the Hamer Tribe into Sudan, another book on the customs and traditions of the Hamer and neighboring tribes and other tribes of Greater Kordofan plus a new poetry book.


Dr. Doleeb has now deserted the engineering, the seas and the air and presently resides in the beautiful North Kordofan capital El-Obeid- the Desert Bride- with its charming women.


 He is the secretary of Kordofan forum and a member of the friends of the word and the library forums, the chairman of the Kordofan Inmates friends association, the secretary-general of I am the Sudan organization in South, West and North Kordofan, a member of the authors association in Kordofan and a program presenter in a number of radio and television broadcasting services and other activities, including director-general of the public relations in the government of North Kordofan.


Dr. Doleeb married the daughter of his uncle when he was a student in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, while she was a student of the same faculty and she gave him a daughter and a son. Oddly enough, his friend Ali Salih Omar also married the daughter of his uncle and had a daughter and a son from her and married the sister of Doleeb's Japanese wife who also gave him a daughter and a son.


In conclusion, Dr. Doleeb says his favorite colour is the white one which, he adds, makes him feel delight and optimistic.


"I like the true and honest friendship," said Dr. Doleeb, recalling that he had participated several, along with his simple people in rearing sheep herds from which he learned how to be a good shepherd, honest in word and deed, tolerant in anger, though insolent, manly in hardships, an example to others, unbiased, non-arrogant, respectful to the elders and kind to the minors."


E  N  D



Post your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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 ...


Recent tweets

FOLLOW Us On Facebook

Contact Us

Address: Sudan News Agency (SUNA) Building, Jamhoria Street, Khartoum - Sudan

Mobile:+249 909220011 / +249 912307547

Email: info@sudanow-magazine.net, asbr30@gmail.com