Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

A soldier named Gordon returns to Khartoum  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 08/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) "Good Lord!" Robert Gordon exclaimed, looking up at the plaque in Khartoum's Republican Palace where his ancestor, General Charles Gordon, was killed 129 years earlier by the forces of an Islamic reformer called "the Mahdi".On Friday, one of the Mahdi's descendants, Abdel Rahman Sadiq Al-Mahdi, accompanied Gordon on a visit to the building where his uncle -- many generations removed -- lived, worked and died.The Mahdi's conquest of Khartoum despite Gordon's efforts to defend it is a defining moment in Sudanese history, forming the basis of the 1966 film "Khartoum". It starred Charlton Heston as Gordon and Laurence Olivier as the Mahdi, whose real name was Muhammad Ahmad."Charles George Gordon. Died 26th January 1885," reads the memorial on a wall of the palace where President Omar al-Bashir has his offices.Robert Gordon, 63, said his meeting with the descendant of the man whose troops killed his ancestor had been a "complete surprise".

Gordon, a retired British general, works in Baghdad with the United Nations and previously led a UN peacekeeping mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea.He has spent several days in Khartoum explaining the role of UN peacekeeping to Sudanese security personnel and diplomats, an effort funded by the British embassy.It was his first visit to the country in four decades.In a chandeliered reception room at the palace, originally built in the early 19th century during Turco-Egyptian rule, Gordon and Abdel Rahman Sadiq al-Mahdi talked about the building that has been so important to both their families.Abdel Rahman Sadiq al-Mahdi, dressed in his traditional white turban and grey waistcoat, works as an adviser to President Bashir in the old palace, which Mahdi said is to be turned into a museum when the government moves into new offices nearby.

The palace, a whitewashed three-storey structure that recalls Britain's colonial past, contrasts with the heavy-looking grey-brown stone of the new presidential offices under construction."Lovely to see this building," Gordon said as a waiter served glasses of red karkade, a drink made from hibiscus which he had not tasted since the early 1970s when he spent four summers in Sudan while studying at Cambridge.From 1877-79 Robert Gordon's ancestor Charles George Gordon served the Turco-Egyptian administration as governor of Sudan "to fight the slave trade and organise the administration of those lands," Sudanese historian Mandour El Mahdi wrote.After the British occupied Egypt in 1882 and the Sudanese Mahdist revolt intensified, Britain again dispatched Gordon, a general who had already made his name in China.

He reached Khartoum in February 1884 and met his death a year later when the Mahdists seized the garrison before British reinforcements could arrive."With the fall of Khartoum, the Turkish regime in the Sudan was over," Mandour El Mahdi wrote.Asked his feelings about meeting a relative of the man responsible for killing his distant uncle, Robert Gordon told reporters: "That's the risk people ran in those days... Mind you, he was here to help. If you know the history, Gordon was a good man."Britain and Egypt later defeated the Mahdist state and jointly ruled Sudan from 1899 until independence in 1956.For much of the time since, Abdel Rahman's father Sadiq al-Mahdi, the great-grandson of the Mahdi, has been a powerful figure in Sudanese politics.He led a coalition government overthrown when Bashir took power in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup, and still heads the opposition Umma Party -- while his son Abdel Rahman serves the government.For the Mahdis, politics runs in the blood. For the Gordons, it is soldiering.Standing below the memorial to his relative, Gordon told Mahdi about his son, a British soldier who just finished a tour of duty in Afghanistan."My son is called Charles Gordon and he was born in 1985," a century after another military man known as Charles Gordon lost his life in Sudan.

 






  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 31 2014 - Air Algerie's plane crashesMENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official said that the Air Algerie flight that crashed in Mali last week appears to have plummeted to the ground from an altitude of 10,000 meters in just a few minutes after flying ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Dubai's Damac eyes listing shares in Dubai bourseMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai luxury property developer Damac is trying to attract investors to invest in converting its Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), listed on the London bourse, into ordinary shares that ...

 Jul 31 2014 - 'Nearly 100 casualties' in Xinjiang violenceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) IJING: A clash in Xinjiang home to China's mostly Muslim Uighur minority left nearly 100 people dead or wounded an exile group said Wednesday after what authorities called a ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Aquino seeks to quash rumors of military coupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino sought Wednesday to quash rumors that a coup is being plotted against him with his spokesman insisting he had the military's full ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Kerry in New Delhi to reboot ties with ModiArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) W DELHI: US Secretary of State John Kerry flew into India on Wednesday for ice-breaking talks with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi forecasting a transformation in Washington's ...

 Jul 31 2014 - UK bankers' bonus: Tough rules on wayArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NDON: British banks will be able to claw back employee bonuses up to seven years later if the recipient is found guilty of serious recklessness the Bank of England ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Amazon to invest 2bn to expand in IndiaArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) MBAI: The world's largest online retailer is facing off in India against a new name in e-commerce that was founded by former Amazon employees.Amazon.com Inc. said it will invest ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Mobily Wajid offers free lines to family membersArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Bily continues to provide its extraordinary offer to the new subscribers of Wajid that provides discounts and privileges to all family members.The new Wajid Extra and Plus ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Wife of BIS official dies in road crashArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) E wife of a member of the governing board at the Bangladesh International School (BIS) in Jeddah was killed in a road accident on Tuesday the second day of Eid Al-Fitr.Nasima ...

 Jul 31 2014 - Indian Eid program toned down in solidarity with GazansArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Extensive yearly Indian community Eid program was reduced to a simple get-together ceremony on Monday night in solidarity with the victims of Gaza.Indian expatriates condemned ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help