Hillelson’s Sudan Arabic

Hillelson's  Sudan Arabic

Sigmar Hillelson was an official in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from 1911-1933.
In 1930 his Sudan Arabic, English-Arabic Vocabulary was published by the Sudan Government. The book remains an good source for foreigners learning Sudan Arabic but today is quite hard to come by. I like the way the book includes vocabulary used in the provinces of Sudan as well as words that were then becoming a standard Sudanese Arabic- how Arabic was being spoken in Omdurman. Continue reading


Hibiscus karkadeh

There can be few better ways to revive oneself from the heat of the Sudanese day than to sit and drink a chilled cup of karkadeh!

Sudanese hibiscus flowers (karkadeh) are rich in iron and are said to lower blood pressure. In Sudan it is often regarded as a herbal tea that can help with sore throats and coughs. Karkadeh is harvested in Kordofan in the west of Sudan and is used to make a refreshing drink that can be served hot or cold. Not only does it have a delicious taste, it produces when soaked a deep red colour similar to pomegranates or cranberry juice. The best place to buy karkadeh flowers is in the souq where it is sold by the pound (raTul) for about 8-10 SDG. Although ground karkadeh is available in tea bags, it is much better to make it yourself with dried flowers.

Making a fresh jug of karkadeh is relatively simple. Continue reading