Pix of Bint el Sudan and workers at W. J. Bush & Co. (Nig) Ltd. factory in Kano, Nigeria

My Bint el Sudan story in Brownbook

My story about Bint el Sudan's factory in Kano, Nigeria, with great pix by photographer Khalil Halilu, is in the January-February issue of Brownbook magazine. Brownbook is an urban guide to the Middle East, based in Dubai, U.A.E. For more information about Bint el Sudan, see the following: * Surprise in the Souk * Memories… Continue reading My Bint el Sudan story in Brownbook

Sudan, Travel

From Darfur to Salt Lake City

I had just boarded the ferry at Horseshoe Bay in Canada when my cellphone rang. The line crackled and it took a while to realize who it was. "Is that you, Mohammed*? "Yes! I am here! I am so happy – everyone is so kind." "Where are you?" I learned he was finally in Salt… Continue reading From Darfur to Salt Lake City

Portfolio, Sudan, Travel

Sufi dancers in Omdurman

  It seemed an indelicate way to arrive at a religious ceremony. We bumped in, out and around gravestones set in desert scrub, before pulling up in the minivan in front of a huge circle of men in white robes. The pounding beat got louder as we walked to the edges of the circle and… Continue reading Sufi dancers in Omdurman

Sudan, Travel

Sudan suffers separation pains

By Alison BateThe capital of Sudan feels a little lost and empty these days.The distinctive Dinkas - the impossibly tall, thin Southerners - and their fellow compatriots have mostly left Khartoum for their new homeland and the deadline for the rest to leave is just months away.After April 9, 2012, any southerners remaining will become… Continue reading Sudan suffers separation pains

pix of man in Kassala
Portfolio, Sudan, Travel

10 travel tips for Sudan

1. Take lots of US dollars in cash, in fact everything you'll need, as none of your western ATMs or credit cards will be accepted. 2. Change money on the black market, not in banks or official exchanges. As of Dec.1, 2011 you'll get about 4.2 Sudanese pounds to $1 US on the black market,… Continue reading 10 travel tips for Sudan

Sudan, Travel

Khartoum at dawn

I ‘ve just arrived in Khartoum after a four-year gap, and this morning between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., it was pretty magical. After a sleepless, jetlagged night, I went up to the rooftop of the Bougainvilla Guest House, where I’m staying. It was still dark, the moon and stars were out, and a cool… Continue reading Khartoum at dawn

Sudan, Travel

Surprise in the souk

“Do you dare to wear it?” – 1974 advert for Bint el Sudan perfume Mar.22, 2011 By Alison Bate It was my last day in Khartoum, the dusty desert capital of Sudan. I lay spread-eagled on my bed, trying to keep as cool as possible, and planning the day ahead. I’ll visit Omdurman Souk, I… Continue reading Surprise in the souk

Sudan, Travel

Bint el Sudan, my grandfather. . .and me

On a trip that took me to Africa, I found my grandfather’s lasting legacy—the continent’s signature scent—in a market in Sudan. This story "The Bint Formula" was published in the December 2009 issue of Reader's Digest Canada magazine. For more information about Bint el Sudan, see the following: * Surprise in the Souk * Memories… Continue reading Bint el Sudan, my grandfather. . .and me