Saturday, May 10, 2008

Treasures of Sudan

After the Finals on Saturday, Stu, Josh, Kaden and I went to Treasures of Sudan, which is a travelling Museum expo that happens to be in Abu Dhabi now. We figured before it left, with such a cool opportunity, we might as well go see it.

I was pretty impressed, even more so with my own ignorance once again… It’s become a common feeling after living here just a short time. For starters, none of us knew exactly where Sudan was… Stu ventured a guess that it was in Asia because the artifact used on the billboard to advertise it looked Asian (slanted eyes and whatnot). Josh thought it was in Egypt. I thought it was in Africa, but not within Egypt. I got closest, but definitely no cigar! Not only is it in fact IN Africa, it is the largest African country. AND that is where they keep Darfur… you know, the whole Darfur crisis that has been splashed across our headlines for the past year or so (think Angelina Jolie)… I didn’t even have the presence of mind to learn WHERE Darfur was… Sad.

Anyway, after mentally reprimanding myself for being the “idiot American” we get so offended by being called, I was absolutely fascinated with the exhibit. After reading the blurbs that accompanied the artifacts, and watching a short video about ongoing excavation of the Sudan, I learned so much I never would have thought twice about knowing. This particular exhibit was drawn from a collection at the National Museum in Khartoum. Some of the objects are as old as the 9th Millennium BC, clear through the 19th century AD.

Since I would assume at least some people who read this are as ill-informed about Sudan as I was (I know that people like my little brother read this… :)) I figured I’d take a minute to educate! Haha.

Sudan is derived from the Arabic Bilad-al-sudan, which literally means “land of the blackened”. A lot of people are familiar with Egyptian history, and while it is somewhat related, most of Sudan’s history has been greatly overlooked (due in large part to the fact that they can’t find much of a key to figuring out the language and therefore being able to translate their own writings about themselves). Historically, there has been a large Islamic and Christian heritage in the country (by now you must know how rare this phenomenon happens to be…).

If you want to learn more, is always a good choice!

This has nothing to do with Sudan, but the exhibit was housed at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Center which has all kinds of random things... we just couldn't resist a photo-op such as this!

This is jewelry.

Seconds before he let go of my hand to stand on his own... biggest baby ever!

Evidence of Christianity...

This is a pair of sandals

(more evidence)

A mummy........... yeah.

Body armor


Stu and a head.

Hanging out with artifacts... such a cultured baby.

(again with the evidence)

(and again)... Kaden next to a Baptismal tub

I said it had to be fake, as detailed as the drawings still are, but apparently sand is a great preserver.

This guy is an old Nubian king.

Ooo, look a kitty!

I was amazed at how pretty the murals were on the walls of the exhibit... It felt like we were there.

Here is a map of Sudan. (see Darfur???... Idiots we are...)


  1. Yay! You finally posted! I've been checking every day. I love your blog and it's so INFORMATIVE! Like my own little personal history lesson (and geography). So, guess what? I got a Nikon D60 for Mother's day! Oh yeah, so cool! I love it, but it's going to take me forever to learn to use it. Oh, I also got photography classes to go with it. (The best husband ever, huh?). Anyway, keep up the great blog - I love it! Miss you!

  2. I was googling for Treasures of Sudan because I am planning to catch it before the exhibit ends on 8th of June (that's too soon!), I actually didn't know where is it located. Thanks to your post. Nice pictures. Would using an iPhone be workable inside the museum?