Archives de catégorie : Seminars

“A revolution in the neighborhood ? The battle for local power has begun” – Lucie Revilla – 4 September


This presentation aims to discuss the first findings of a research on the consequences of the revolution at the local scale and more specifically in different popular neighborhoods of Greater Khartoum in terms of political and social dynamics. If the role played by more affluent neighborhoods as Burri or the old Omdurman in the Sudanese revolutionary movement has already benefited from the attention of researchers, popular areas have been more neglected.

Firstly, the formation of “resistance committees” in different areas that the NCP was thought to closely monitor and in which it could rely on some measure of popular support will be examined. Were resistance committees constitued in all areas? When and according to which logics? Who are the revolutionnaries in those popular neighborhoods? And above all, what are the challenges they are confronted to in their effort to embody the revolution at the local scale and define a political project?

Secondly, I will describe the power dynamics and interpersonnal relationships between the members of one specific resistance committee the meetings of which I followed for a month (August 2019) and attempt to present preliminary results.

My hope is that those first observations and analyses will be discussed and contribute to a debate on the political and social dynamics of the Sudanese revolution in popular neighborhoods in Greater Khartoum.


Lucie REVILLA is a PhD candidate at the University of Bordeaux, Institute of Political Studies – Les Afriques dans le Monde.

“Colonial and postcolonial politics of religion and ethnicity: Making capitalist economy of local elites in Kassala, Eastern-Sudan” – by Abdaljbr Alhaj Mustafa – 2 October 2019

Abstract: For two centuries, Kassala has been the stronghold of the Khatmiyya order, the religious wing of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which has historically dominated, with the other sectarian party (UMMA), all democratic periods in postcolonial Sudan. Kassala also represents the historical stronghold for most of the Bejawi Nazrats (Native administrations). Religion and ethnicity in Kassala are apparently the most important institutions upon which the colonial indirect rule, that came to be known in postcolonial Sudan “the local governance”, has been depended. 

Starting from the argument that the better we understand the colonial-Kassala, the better we understand postcolonial-Kassala, the study aims to understand the socio-economic and political situations in Kassala (Eastern-Sudan) in relation to colonial state-policies of religion and ethnicity. In doing so, the study starts by ethnographically studying politics of religion and ethnicity in colonial Kassala, its impacts on a process of the colonial state formation, and its outcomes in postcolonial Kassala. It goes on to investigate the relationships between the colonially formed Kassala and post-colonially formed Kassala in terms of institutions, structures, and politics (co-existence and conflict). The study ends with analytically explaining how such colonial politics of religion and ethnicity have made capitalist economy, led by variously local leaders, concentrated on side, and social exclusion, marginalization and exploitation on another side.

The study employs an approach that has not been previously adopted by Anthropological studies on Islam in postcolonial-Sudan (Al-Dawwi, 1969; Osman, 1978; Eltom, 1983;Al-Shahi, 1981;Holy, 1991; Ali, 2004 et al.), mixing Postcolonial and Marxist perspectives. The goal of such mixing is to deeply dig in socioeconomic and political history of colonization in Kassala. This focus on the micro-level gives the study an aspect of originality; particularly there has been no anthropological study in postcolonial Sudan that clearly tackled overlapping and connections between colonization, religion, ethnicity and economy in the micro-scale. The socio-economic and political history of colonialism has been very often, if not always, derived from historical documents and reports that were left by colonizers. Uniquely, this study focuses on an ethnographic field, written and oral history of colonialism in Kassala, to understand dialectical relationships between colonialism, religion, ethnicity, and capitalist economy in Kassala.

Accordingly, the study provides new perspectives on colonization and decolonization in postcolonial Kassala. Colonization did not stop at the old station in 1956, and neither did decolonization. Colonization and decolonization are ethnographically re-conceptualized. Thus, this gives the study another aspect of originality through its contribution to general debate on what colonization means, and where (how) decolonization should go and stop. 

“Sufism and middle class”

Dear all, 

We are pleased to start again our regular seminars in CEDEJ Khartoum, and to welcome Dr. Amani Mohamed El-Obeid on Tuesday, 30th of July, for her presentation on:


Middle Class and Sufism in Sudan
Dr. Amani Mohamed El-Obeid
Tuesday 30 July 2019
Venue: CEDEJ Khartoum
Abstract: This presentation, based on Dr. Amani’s PhD, will be on Sufism and the middle class in Sudan, as the target group of Shaikh Al centre. Shaikh Al is a product of the neo- Sufi phenomenon, where ordinary Sufi practices including karama making or (miracle-doing) are used side by side with orthodox Islam practices. This research explains the increasing appeal of Sufism to urbanites and others who used to be secular in Sudan.
The presentation will include review of the approaches of the social sciences and its suitability to study religious phenomenon.
Shaikh Al (1923-2005) which is the case study of the research  is one of the most celebrated Shaikhs of the Sammaniyya Sufi order in Sudan. He managed to establish an open edged tariqa that attracted large sections of the educated Sudanese middle class.
The dissertation is trying to answer the question: To what extent the phenomenon of Shaikh Al represented the crisis of the middle class in Sudan? The middle class represented the audience target group of Shaikh Al as it is the most class seriously affected by identity and the economic crises that took place in Sudan since the last thirty years.
The educated middle class was economically impoverished and politically marginalized. In particular it is the class that was badly affected by the economic policies and macro-structures of the 1990s that witnessed a total-desubsidization and the weakening of public sector that coincided with privatization. The process of privatization witnessed thousands of lay-offs.

Seminar Agnès levallois

CEDEJ Khartoum Next Seminar:


Gulf countries: a common diplomacy? Common interests and divergences

Venue – CEDEJ Khartoum – Tuesday 26 February – 3pm

Agnès LEVALLOIS is an expert in the Arab-Muslim World and Mediterranean issues. In addition to her consulting activities, she is also Vice-President of the Mediterranean and Middle East Research Institute (iReMMO), and a member of the editorial board of Confluences Méditerranée. She devoted a part of her career to activities in the world of journalism and information.

Agnès LEVALLOIS est experte du monde arabo-musulman et des questions méditerranéennes. Outre ses activités de consultante, elle occupe également la vice-présidence de l’institut de Recherche et d’études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient (iReMMO) et est membre du comité de rédaction de la revue Confluences Méditerranée. Elle a consacré une partie de sa carrière à des activités dans le monde du journalisme et de l’information.
CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony). 

15.587513, 32.535053


We are pleased to invite you to CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, by Dr. Mohamed Bakhit, Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, University of Khartoum :

“Urbanization Dynamics in Greater Khartoum: Examples of Al-Baraka area and South Sudanese people”.

On Thursday 15 November, at 3pm.

Summary: The presentation will examine changes in the urbanisation and the resulting reconfigurations of power relations in the peripheral spaces of Greater Khartoum.  The aim of the presentation is to demonstrate arising divergences as a result of changes in the urbanisation dynamics in Khartoum in the last two decades.

Two examples will be discussed during the presentation to illustrate such dynamics:
1/The construction of identity and different lifestyles of the Al-Baraka shantytown area, located in the north-eastern periphery of Khartoum city in Sudan, populated mainly by migrants, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and refugees from South Sudan, Darfur and the Nuba Mountains. The presentation focuses on the processes of social identity construction and practiced lifestyles of shantytown settlers, on the bases of generational variations, rural-urban disparities, and ethno-cultural differences between Khartoum city and local people’s home areas in south, western Sudan and South Sudan.

2/The processes of identity, nationality and citizenship changes for a group of South Sudanese people resident in Khartoum since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. The emphasis will be on the everyday experiences and practices of South Sudan communities in Khartoum in obtaining and using nationality documents, and the specific rights and duties generated from such legal status. The presentation will also examine the extent that nationality and citizenship processes reflected certain ideas of national identity sponsored by the state and/or South Sudanese communities in Khartoum.  

Mohamed A. G. Bakhit has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He has been Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Faculty of Economic and Social Studies, at the University of Khartoum, since August 2016 up to now. Currently, he is the Head of Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, since February 2017. His main research interests are identity change, urbanization, forced migration, minority groups, and citizenship. 
He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Volkswagen Foundation-funded research project “Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa”, coordinated by the Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF), University of Frankfurt, Germany. His postdoctoral project is entitled:Identity, Nationality and Citizenship for Southern Sudanese Communities in Khartoum. The research project runs from 2015 to 2018.His recent publications include“From “Truck Modding” to Auto-Rickshaw Driving:  A Continuous Attempt to Trace Creativity and the Localization of Technology in the Sudan”. In: Körper Technik Wissen: Kreativität und Aneignungsprozesse in Afrika. In den Spuren Kurt Becks. Markus Verne, Paola Ivanov, Magnus Treiber (ed.). LIT Verlag: Berlin (2017). And peer reviewed article “The citizenship dilemma of Southern Sudanese communities in the post-secession era in Khartoum”. In Égypte/Monde arabe [Online], Troisième série, Le Soudan après l’indépendance du Soudan du Sud 2016. 

Documentary Screening “Barbara Harrell-Bond: a life not ordinary”, with Katarzyna Grabska

Dear all,

You are kindly invited to the screening of the Documentary film:

Barbara Harrell-Bond: a life not ordinary
Thursday 6 September
7pm – CEDEJ Khartoum
In the presence of Katarzyna Grabska 
Director: Enrico Falzetti

Written by Katarzyna Grabska and Enrico Falzetti

Produced by Katarzyna Grabska in collaboration with AMERA Int.

Documentary, 58 min.

Through the prism of an extraordinary life, this documentary explores the achievements of Barbara Harrell-Bond – academic, refugee activist and a life-long advocate of refugee rights.

The film takes us on a personal journey of a not-so-ordinary woman born in a remote town in South Dakota during the Great Depression, and traces her career from her initial engagement with the civil rights in the late Fifties, to her move to the UK in the mid-Sixties where she studied social anthropology at the University of Oxford in the 1960s, and then to her travels in West Africa where she carried out much of her academic research.

Her first-hand experience of the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria in 1980, and the humanitarian crisis in Sudan in 1982, led her to establish the first refugee studies centre in Oxford, of which she is a founding director, and numerous others around the world. A very strong advocate of legal aid programs for refugees in the Global South, Barbara established a number of these programs including in Uganda, Egypt, South Africa and the UK.

Far from being only an academic, the focus of Barbara’s life-long work has been on refugee rights, and on keeping refugees at the centre of humanitarian interventions. Issues which resonate even more deeply now, in an age in which safe havens for refugees are increasingly being eroded and violations of human rights are on the rise.

Seminar by Paul Hayes – PhD Student – “Sudanese Wrestling in East Nile, Khartoum”

Dear all,

We are very pleased to announce Paul Hayes’ presentation of his research next Thursday in CEDEJ Khartoum:

Sudanese Wrestling in East Nile, Khartoum

Paul Hayes 

PhD Candidate in Anthropology, Australian National University

Visiting Scholar, CEDEJ Khartoum

Thursday 6 September 2018

5pm – CEDEJ Khartoum


In this seminar, Paul Hayes, from the Australian National University, will give an update on his ethnographic fieldwork among professional Sudanese wrestlers in Khartoum’s East Nile district. Despite emerging as a popular tourist attraction, Khartoum’s ‘Nuba wrestling’ has received only brief scholarly attention so far. For his research, Paul sets out to understand what it means to be a contemporary Sudanese wrestler in East Nile, noting that the athletes are increasingly non-Nuba. He seeks to make sense of how the sport emerged in Khartoum as a ‘professional’ and ethnically-inclusive variant of the ‘tribal’ sport that continues to be practiced in the Nuba Mountains today, and explores the ongoing tensions and (dis)continuities between the two varieties of wrestling practice. In the seminar, Paul will discuss the project’s objectives and methods, before delving deeper into the rules of the game and the broader social universe(s) that constitute the life of a Sudanese wrestler.


Special Roundtable Monday 3 September – Contemporary History of Sudan & South Sudan – with Willow Berridge, Harry Cross, Cherry Leonardi, Alden Young

Dear all,

We are very pleased to invite you to a discussion on the contemporary history of Sudan and South Sudan with a special Roundtable

Sudan – South Sudan History Since 1956
Recent Trends
Willow BERRIDGE (PhD)Newcastle University
Harry CROSS (PhD candidate)Durham University
Cherry LEONARDI (PhD),Durham University
Alden YOUNG (PhD),Drexel University
Monday 3 September
5 pm – CEDEJ Khartoum
Willow BERRIDGE is a historian of the 20th Century Islamic World, with a particular interest in Sudanese history and the dynamics of Islamist ideology. Her early research focused on policing and prisons in 20th century Sudan. It compared colonial, nationalist and Islamist penal ideologies and policing strategies, exploring important continuities and disconnects between each of three.

Her first book, Civil Uprisings in Modern Sudan, was inspired by her experience of living in the country during the Arab Spring. She was curious as to why the debates about civil protest and authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa region overlooked Sudan’s proud record of having been the only country in the region before 2011 to have witnessed civil protests that facilitated a transition from military rule to parliamentary democracy. In particular, the book responded to post-2011 debates about the respective roles of Islamism and secular ideologies in the Arab Spring by highlighting the extent to which ‘Islamist’ or other religiously-orientated groups were willing to collobarate with secularists within the student unions and professional associations that led the protests.

She has recently published (Cambridge University Press) a book on the controversial Sudanese Islamist Hasan al-Turabi. The text explores a number of important themes related to broader analyses of Islamist ideology: charismatic leadership (and its limitations); Islamism as a fusion of Western and Islamic ideologies; Islamism as ‘post-colonial’; the important of local political contexts in shaping religious ideology; and Islamist concepts of the Islamic state, democracy and jihad.

Harry CROSS is a PhD candidate at Durham University. His research focuses on the role of banks in Sudan after independence and until the nationalisation of Sudan’s private banking sector in 1970.

Harry is especially interested in the relationship between financial power and political power in Sudan, and interactions between local economic pressures and wider transformations in global political economy.

Cherry LEONARDI is Associate Professor of African History at Durham University and works primarily on South Sudan and northern Uganda. Her research has focused on local-level state formation since the nineteenth century: she is the author of Dealing with Government in South Sudan: Histories of chiefship, community and state (2013). Her current research projects include work on boundaries and land governance, witchcraft and security and access to energy/fuel, and she is also co-director of the South Sudan Museum Collections network.

She is currently planning new research on the history of forests, hunting and conservation.

Alden YOUNG is a political and economic historian of Africa. He is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans participated in the creation of the current international order. Since 2014, he has been an assistant professor in African History and the Director of the Africana Studies Program at Drexel University. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 from Princeton University. He then served for two years as a Dean’s Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.His first book published by Cambridge University Press (Africa Series) Transforming Sudan: Decolonisation, Economic Development and State Formation, 2018 offers a historically grounded account of policymaking in postcolonial Africa. It challenges social scientists’ common perception of the post-colonial African state as rapacious and predatory with institutions that serve little other purpose besides patronage and legitimation. In the place of this narrative, he argues that Sudanese policymakers and officials like their peers across the decolonizing world believed in the potential of the postcolonial state to solve social questions in the public interest.

Alex De Waal gave his book Transforming Sudan advanced praise: “Today, a technocratic, economistic vision of a modern Sudan is a half-remembered dream. Alden Young’s superb book – a combination of political economy and cultural history – brings into focus the important but neglected story of how the country was once a model of planned development, led by an elite of Sudanese and British economists.”

In 2017 he published an article in Humanityentitled: “African Bureaucrats and the Exhaustion of the Developmental State: Lessons from the Pages of the Sudanese Economist,” which uses Sudanese journals to demonstrate how developmentalism gave way in Sudan to austerity.


We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar on “Omdurman (1956-1969) : a social history of the ‘national capital'” by Gaafar Elsouri, on Tuesday 14 August- 5pm


Through Omdurman’s Town Planning Board’s sources and oral testimonies of the town’s inhabitants, Gaafar Elsouri will share his Master thesis research on the social history of Omdurman and of the birth and creation of the imaginary of a ‘national capital’ in the early years of Sudan as an independent State.

Gaafar Elsouri is a graduate student in History and Civilization with a specialization on the history of the Global South, at Paris 7 Diderot University.

Seminar – Zachary Mondesire “South Sudan and the Politics of Region-craft”

We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar on “South Sudan and the Politics of Region-craft” by Zachary Mondesire, on Thursday 19 July- 11 am


The seminar will focus on the new nation of South Sudan and what it now means to be South Sudanese in Africa. First, Zachary Mondesire will draw from his MA thesis that outlines the ideologies of racial difference that circulate in Juba defining relationships between South Sudanese themselves as well as with others from the region, whether northward to Khartoum or southward to Nairobi. These ideas emerged from three months of ethnographic research in 2017 in a modest hotel in Juba that operated as a site of refuge during the still-ongoing civil war and hosted Africans of multiple nationalities (Eritreans, Somalis, Ugandans, and South Sudanese of multiple backgrounds). Thinking through the linkages that his interlocutors made between race and national identity led him to ask (1) how Arab positionality, Khartoum, and Sudan continue to be relevant in South Sudanese political community and (2) given the multi-polar racial thinking of his interlocutors that envisions a racial and political geography much broader than the nation-state, what other forms of political community exist beyond the nation-state and towards the idea of multi-state region and how can his research account for them? The second piece of this paper is the conceptualization of Zachary Mondesire’s dissertation research project that will attempt to answer these questions.

Zachary Mondesire is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department at the University of California – Los Angeles. His research focuses on South Sudanese journalists, politicians, and intellectuals in Khartoum and Nairobi, exploring how they think through regional belonging, race, and political community between East and North Africa.

Seminar Paris 8

Book launch

Anthropology of Law in Muslim Sudan. Land, Courts and the Plurality of Practices (Brill 2018)

Mardi 19 juin 2018, à 17h
EHESS, 105 Boulevard Raspail, salle 13

La dernière séance du séminaire annuel « Anthropologie comparative des sociétés et cultures musulmanes » sera consacrée à la présentation de l’ouvrage Anthropology of Law in Muslim Sudan. Land, Courts and the Plurality of Practices (Brill 2018). Résultat d’enquêtes menées dans le cadre du projet ANR ANDROMAQUE – Anthropologie du Droit dans les Mondes Musulmans Africains et Asiatiques (2011-2014), le volume analyse le caractère hybride des systèmes juridiques et la pluralité des pratiques légales dans des contextes urbains et ruraux du Soudan contemporain, en interrogeant la relation complexe entre islam et société. La séance sera animée par les coéditeurs, Barbara Casciarri et Mohamed Babiker (Department of Law, University of Khartoum) avec la participation de Munzoul Assal et Mohamed Bakhit (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Khartoum).

Séminaire de l’équipe « Anthropologie comparative des sociétés et cultures musulmanes » (LAS)

Organisateurs : Yazid Ben Hounet (Chercheur CNRS – LAS), Anne-Marie Brisebarre (Directrice de recherche CNRS émérite, LAS), Barbara Casciarri (MCF HDR, Paris 8), Tarik Dahou (Chercheur HDR, IRD) et Marie-Luce Gélard (MCF HDR, Paris 5).

Seminar: Faculty of Economic and Social Studies -Department of Anthropology and CEDEJ Khartoum

Dear all:

We are very pleasured to announce our next Seminar , in collaboration with CEDEJ Khartoum, which will be presented by Dr.Enrico Ille; a social and cultural Anthropologist, under the title :

“The fate of date palms in the northern Sudan’s landscapes of vulnerabilities”

The seminar will be on Wednesday 2/5/2018, 12:00 at Postgraduate Room in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology.

Kindly find below an Abstract of the presentation.

Looking forward to see you all there!

The fate of date palms in the northern Sudan’s landscapes of vulnerabilities
Dr. Enrico Ille, in collaboration with Mohamed Salah

(Vulnerability, as being accessible to harmful acts without having adequate defence, is neither spatially nor temporally monolithic. Humans and other living beings are, for instance, variably exposed to potential or actual harm, i.e. the loss of something that is relevant for well-being. In addition, experienced harm can influence the expectation of harm and vice-versa, which informs a very specific, intersubjective or even individual situation and perception of vulnerability.

In this presentation, the subsequent complex dynamics are described as landscape where different vulnerabilities coincide. This conceptual language is used to discuss socio-ecological developments in northern Sudan, specifically the residential areas around the Third Nile Cataract. The observational focus is on the changing fate of date palms since the beginning of the 20th century. Their socio-ecological status vis-à-vis the human resident population is taken as trace element to qualify what kind of loss occurs when date palms experience harm, i.e. what other vulnerabilities are intertwined with their own vulnerability. This enables to discuss recent threats that became politically charged, such as flodding, fires, pests and pollution, in a way that is both critical and differentiated. By treating neither date palm nor human populations in monolithic terms, retracing vulnerabilities may open alternative perspectives on politico-ecological processes and contribute to adequate responses.)

European migration policies: the case of the EUTF in Sudan

Dear All,

We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar :

Vladimir Cayol

“European migration policies: the case of the EUTF in Sudan”

Wednesday 25 April, 3pm

CEDEJ Khartoum

Summary: In 2015, during the La Valetta Summit, which gathered leaders of the 28 States of the European Union and about fifty African leaders, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker announced the launch of the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The European Trust Fund, financed by 3.4 Billion euros, aims at “addressing root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement”, protecting migrants along the migratory roads, and fighting against criminal networks which organize illegal migration. More than two years later, what does the Sudanese case reveals in terms of EU migration policies implementation? Sudan stands in a very special place in the Horn of Africa when it comes to migration trends. Situated between Eastern Africa and the Arab world, Sudan is crossed by many migrants whose desire is to reach the European shores. In a broader perspective, as a country of transit, departure, and even destination for migrants from the Horn of Africa or beyond, Sudan has become an key partner for the European countries. From a fieldwork conducted between September 2017 and April 2018 in Khartoum, I will examine the implementation of this financial tool in order to offer a better understanding of the policies implemented by the European Union in Sudan.


Vladimir Cayol is a master student in the field of Africa and the Middle East International and International Cooperation at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has been in intern in CEDEJ Khartoum where he has been working on migration issues these last months.

CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony).

Migration and appropriation of space: the case of Syrians in Khartoum

Dear all,

We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, April 9, 3pm, at CEDEJ Khartoum:

Mathieu ROBAIN

“Migration and appropriation of space: the case of Syrians in Khartoum”

 CEDEJ Khartoum

Monday 9th of April

3:00 pm


Since the rise of the rebellion against Bashar el Assad in 2011, Syrian people have become one of  the most important refugees population in the world. These displaced people within Syria are fleeing to borders countries or Europe at a growing pace, hoping for a better life and at the same time hopeful for the end of the conflict. Sudans policy towards the Syrian refugees is very unique as it is one of the few countries to welcome them without restrictions. The friendly policies of the Sudanese government include not needing a visa, and being capable of opening shops and restaurants, which is extremely difficult for other refugees populations living within Khartoum. Because of this open policy the number of Syrians seeking refuge in Sudan is evermore increasing since 2013-2014 (the current estimate of the Syrian population is between 100 000 and 200 000 people according respectively to the government and the UNHCR). The fact they are not considered as refugees but as « brothers and sisters » involves many issues about the way they anchor to the space and organize social life, very different from others countries both arabic and western where they’re very often cooped up in camps or judged undesirable.

This research project hinges around the stories of Syrian people mostly located in Khartoum, the capital city, and especially in Riyad and Kafuri. It considers the migration not only as a movement from one country to another, but also as a way of dealing with the host society. It focuses on the spatial and social dynamism the Syrians add to these neighborhoods. As well as the representation they have within Sudan, the places where they live and work, and how they interact with each other and the host society. It leads to ask the question the denominations we give to the « Syrian people » in Khartoum  (are we talking about a community ? a diaspora ? a simple group ?).


Mathieu Robain is a Master 1 student in Geography at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is affiliated to CEDEJ Khartoum and his research is included in the program « Arabité, Islamité, Soudanité » (« Being Arab, Muslim and Sudanese ») financed by the Francophone University Agency (and coordinated by prof. Barbara Casciarri)

When religion opens doors to migration The case of Islamic Universities Students in Khartoum

Dear All,
We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, April 4, 3pm, at CEDEJ Khartoum:


Khadidja MEDANI

“When religion opens doors to migration

The case of Islamic Universities Students in Khartoum”

 CEDEJ Khartoum

Wednesday 4th of April

3:00 pm


The migration of Muslim African elites in the Arab-Muslim world to get formation in Islamic sciences or on the way to the Hajj is an old tradition. The religious education has also been an instrument for the Da’wa (Islamic call). Young Muslims from African countries educated in the Arab world go back home as Cheikhs and Imams. Sudan is a key place in this migration process not only because of his geographical situation but also his double status as an Arab and African country. 

In 1977 al-Merkaz al-Islami al-Ifriki (Islamic African center) was created in Khartoum. The Merkaz was a secondary school that offered only Islamic courses. In 1991 the Merkaz was upgraded as university and became the International University of Africa. This update was the first step in a new trend for the Islamic education in Khartoum. The term ‘islamic’ disappeared from the name and new faculties in modern sciences were created. Nowadays the university is still  in expansion. This shows the will to build a Muslim youth able to be integrated in the modern society while keeping an Islamic morality. This also correspond to the will of an African Muslim youth to be graduated in modern and technical sciences to contribute to the developpement of their country. Through a network of Muslim schools and organizations, Khartoum proposes these opportunity around the continent.

Khadidja Medani is a Master 2 student in Geography at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. HShe is affiliated to CEDEJ Khartoum and her research was conducted within the programm “Be Sudanese, muslim and Arab” financed by the Francophone University Agency (coord. by prof. Barbara Casciarri).

CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony).

15.587513, 32.535053

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