Home | News    Tuesday 17 August 2004

Symposium nudges documentation of Sudan’s oral history


KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug 17, 2004 (PANA) — Speakers at a symposium on Sudan’s oral
history have stressed the need for "an urgent and comprehensive"
documentation for the vast and scattered heritage of the east
African nation.

Addressing the symposium, Sudan National UNESCO Committee General
Secretary, Adil Karadawi, affirmed UNESCO’s interest in the
cultural diversity and oral history of nations of the world.

"UNESCO is pretty much concerned with the issues of cultural
diversity and the cultural identities of nations," Karadawi told
the forum titled: "Sudanese Oral Literature... Facts and

He said UNESCO had classified Sudan among five other nations that
are endowed with "unique" cultural diversity.

"This is really a golden opportunity that we should seize to
promote and explore our diverse cultural heritage with UNESCO’s
support," he said.

Sudanese UNESCO expert Ahmed Jamal Osman told the symposium that
because cultural heritage of nations was of paramount importance
to UNESCO, the UN agency issued a declaration for the protection
of endangered cultural heritage worldwide.

"This also includes verbal heritage of nations," he pointed out.

Osman said he was in Sudan to help formulate the country’s
cultural project under the auspices of the UNESCO, which he
described as a "practical and vital programme" for authenticating
verbal heritage on the water wheel in Sudan.

"A lot of poetry and tales have been composed on the water wheel
and we want to conserve this legacy with UNESCO’s help," he said.

For his part, former university professor Sayid Hamid Heraize
told participants "verbal heritage, such as poetry, tales and
music represents the nation’s soul which each generation passes
on to the other over the years".

A former director of the Afro-Asian Studies Institute at Khartoum
University, Heraize said a nation’s full understanding of its
culture was a panacea for peace, adding, "for me there is no
better definition for culture other than the word peace.

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