THE SUDAN: Happy Birthday

For color-loving, fun-seeking Sudanese there were color and fun aplenty. It was Leilat el Isra, anniversary of Mohamed's visit to the seven heavens on his human-faced steed el Buraq. It was also the birthday anniversary of Mohamed Ahmed el Mahdi, whose fanatic desert dervishes destroyed "Chinese" Gordon's British army in the Sudan in 1885.

As the great day arrived last week, the Mahdi's son, 63-year-old Sayed Sir Abdul Rahman el Mahdi Pasha, now the darling of the British because he opposes union of the Sudan with Egypt, was ready to reopen his...

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