The Fifth Cultural Festival, Sudan Gala Nights, Under the Motto: “Here is the Sudan”

By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)

KHARTOUM, (sudanow.info.sd)- The Fifth Cultural Festival, Sudan Gala Nights is being organized at Khartoum’s Friendship Hall during June 12-July 1, 2012 under the motto ‘Yaho Da’ASudan’ (here is the Sudan). sudanow.info.sd interviewed Sudan's Minister for Culture Al Samaual Khalafalla who spoke on the role of his Ministry and the importance of the festival.Following are excerpts from that interview.

 Question: What is the strategy of the Ministry of Culture?

The Minister:The Ministry’s strategy provides for establishing, founding and strengthening the cultural fabric, administering the cultural diversity- center- and state-wise and sponsoring the national cultural activities of the civil society organizations. It also provides for complementing the Sudanese nation’s civilized cultural project and achieving the cherished goals of development and advancement. The strategic goal of the Ministry is to achieve national cultural security and satisfaction in addition to safeguarding the cultural values inherited by all Sudanese communities. These values contribute to the social, economic and political development and to the social cohesion and sustainable cultural development.

Question: What are the festivals, which the Ministry has prepared?

The Minister:There are regional-level festivals, like the Arabic poetry festival, and international festivals, like the international Khartoum book fair, the international music festival, the cultural festival and Khartoum theatrical days.

Question: What are the main features of this Fifth Cultural Festival?

The Minister:The Festival covers all types of arts, painting and human sciences. It focuses on heritage and folklore in addition to exhibitions on the heritage of some states. The activities of the festival begin at 8:00 pm local time in the presence of the Presidential assistants and advisors and participation of 1,200 innovators from various parts of the Sudan. It is a national function in which activities of all states of the Sudan are brought together in the center- the capital- or are hosted by any city or provincial capital and the distinguished works are presented in the festival organized in the annual Sudanese cultural capital. The 2012 Sudanese cultural capital is Al Geneina, West Darfur.

Question: Where will the Sixth Cultural Festival be organized?

The Minister: The next 2013 Cultural Festival will be held in Port Sudan.

Question: When did these festivals start?

The Minister: The festivals began in the 1970s and disrupted and then resumed. During the past period, five festivals have been organized. These were the Poetry Festival, the Fifth Cultural Festival, the International Khartoum Book Exhibition, the Khartoum Theatrical Days and the International Music Festival,

Question: Would you name the important future projects of the Ministry?

The Minister: We are preparing for a big national library project, which has been approved by the Presidency and by the central Bank of Sudan. A plot of 11,000 square meters in the two Niles Confluence areas has been allocated for the project for which an appropriation of 4o million Sudanese pounds has been approved. It will serve as a safe for keeping the nation’s heritage, history and culture and will provide a place for high studies students. We also have a project for printing an annual 100 books for Sudanese authors or books of relevance to the Sudanese culture 10 books of which have now been launched while 12 poetry books have been printed and are now ready for launching. We are planning to print more than 40 books of late Professor Abdulla Al-Tayeb who will be commemorated on the Sudanese Author Day, which the Ministry has decided to organize by the end of each year. These projects are planned to promote reading printing, publishing and distribution.

There is also the cultural map project, which documents the Sudan’s cultural history and keeps the people’s heritage in the framework of the UNESCO project for recording the universal heritage. Moreover, there is a project for writing the various Sudanese languages, which the Languages Promotion and Development Council has begun by working on the Zaghawa and Nubian languages.

We also have a big project sponsored by DAL Company for listing the Ministry photographic archive, which contains about 75 million pictures.

There is yet another project for writing the 20th century history of the Sudan in addition to revision and rewriting the country’s history before that period plus the cultural encyclopedia, a part of which is a lexicon on Sudanese authors and men of letters and reports that have already been published.


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