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Barkal Pyramids: Landmark of Sudan’s glorious past

Samia Ibrahim
The Jebel Barkal Pyramids have been neglected for long, but visitors to the ancient site can feel its magnificence and historical importance.
27.03.2021  |  Karima, Sudan
أهرامات جبل البركل، ولاية الشمالية، 10 مايو،  2015.
أهرامات جبل البركل، ولاية الشمالية، 10 مايو، 2015.

The archaeological area of Jebel Barkal is considered one of the important sites that were inscribed in the World Heritage list. Jebel Barkal is a small mountain located in the town of Karima, Northern State, 400 km north of Khartoum.

Jebel Barkal and other sites in the Nubian region including the ancient city of Nabta, were all added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2003.

These archaeological sites reflect the Nubian culture (900-270 BC) and Marawiya (270 BC- 350 AD) which flourished during the second Kush kingdom.

I was amazed to see that such pyramids exist in Sudan.”
Abadula Gemeda

The sites include tombs with or without pyramids in addition to temples, residential buildings and palaces that date back to prehistoric times.

Ethiopia’s Parliament Speaker Abadula Gemeda and his delegation visited a number of archaeological sites in the Northern State earlier this year. The members of the delegation were amazed while listening attentively to the full and detailed explanation about the ancient history of the Jebel Barkal pyramids.

I was amazed to see that such pyramids exist in Sudan because I know that the pyramids exist in Egypt only,” said a member of the visiting delegation after visiting the Jebel Barkal museum which contains valuable artefacts and drawings that reflect the region’s history as well as culture.

Mohamed Ahmed Glamabi, an author and journalist who is interested in archeological writings said, Sudan possesses huge tourist potentials thanks to its varied climate and biodiversity which reflect our heritage and acquaint the world with our achievements and contribution to human civilisation. It also reflects our independent, active and interactive personality towards human civilisation.”

Unfortunately, the tourist sector faces a number of obstacles in Sudan which have led to its negligence. The lack of interest in the importance of tourism as a source of public treasury funding is at the top of these obstacles,” explained Glamabi.

This lack of interest is primarily attributed to the issue of ‘Halal’ and ‘Haram’ (lawful and unlawful practices) in Sudan. Since Sudan is officially dependent on Islamic law in the country’s governance, it believes that tourism depends on many aspects which are thought to be unacceptable. Therefore, this sector is not among its priorities.

If we succeeded in reaching a settlement for the issue of ‘Haram’ and ‘Halal’, we would be able to present our homeland as a touristic and aesthetic country,” Glamabi said.

Unless the authorities look at the past and present with open eyes, the Sudanese will not be in a position to enjoy and benefit from their country’s glorious past.