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Greeting from Khartoum

October 19, 2010

Mohamed Bakri, a leading journalist in the Sudan from a highly respected
family in the Horn of Africa, has been a colleague and associate of the
Center for Democracy and Citizenship since taking Harry Boyte’s graduate
seminar on civic engagement in 2007. He is now in the Sudan, exploring
possibilities for translating concepts of civic agency and public work as
well as the youth civic education initiative Public Achievement to Sudanese
society and higher education. This is his report on meetings last week:

I had my first meeting with Professor Karrar Elabaddadi, the president of
Omdurman Ahlia University on the outskirts of Khartoum. The meeting was
also attended by Prof. Faisal Awad Ahmed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the
university, Prof Sara Nugd Alla, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and the Director
of Mohamed Omer Bashier Center.

The university’s president and his staff are very keen in introducing a
civic agency/empowerment approach to civic engagement, such as that used by
the CDC and also the African democracy institute Idasa.

There may be possibilities to begin a Sudanese civic project as a program
under Mohamed Omer Bashier Center (the center named after the late Mohamed
Omer Bashier the university founder and one of the most respected Sudanese

In addition, as background to our discussions, colleagues at Ahlia
University have completed a survey of local neighborhood interests and
concerns in Elmorada. I met with Elmorada neighborhood’s citizens. It was
a lovely round circle about the neighborhood problems and needs as citizens
see it. They talked about the deterioration of the school system, and they
want to fix it.

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