Cross the Red Sea to Sudan

   1. Crossing the Red Sea


  by The other part of the mountain road close to Jeddah Port has many bends, high and low. After running through this mountain road, you can see Jeddah Port.

  When I arrived at the port of Jeddah, it was already dark and I had no idea what the port was like. After getting up and having breakfast the next morning, I drove straight to the port of Jeddah and handed over the vehicle to the local customs staff, who were responsible for loading and transporting across the Red Sea. I waited for more than two hours in the waiting room at the port and had a quick meal before boarding the Titanic, bound for Port Sudan. This is a somewhat dilapidated ship, with peeling paint and rust everywhere on the sides, railings, ladders, etc. I walked down the narrow escalator, through the narrow passage, and into the resting cabin, where there is only one window You can see the outside, and the two bunk beds are side by side, just like the college dormitory back then.

  In the afternoon, the ship Titanic slowly left the Arabian Peninsula and sailed towards Africa from the Red Sea. This mixed passenger and cargo ship came from Sudan, and most of the people on this ship were Sudanese with dark faces. Although it is winter and at sea, the ship is still relatively warm, and most Sudanese only wear a long white robe. At night, although the wind on the Red Sea was a little cool, many of them slept on the deck and covered something casually for the night. They are very friendly to the Chinese. They waved and said hello to me when they saw me. They liked that I took pictures of them, and some of them talked to me enthusiastically and briefly introduced the customs and characteristics of Sudan.

  This kind of passenger and cargo mixed ship between Jeddah Port and Port Sudan travels three times a week on the Red Sea. It is an important means of transportation for Sudanese and Saudi Arabians to communicate and trade with each other. Jeddah Port is 260 kilometers away from Port Sudan, and the shipping takes about 17 hours. During some long voyages, some passengers chat with each other, some listen to the radio, some read newspapers, and some people lean on the rails to watch the seascape. Watching the sunrise on the Red Sea is what everyone is most interested in. Early the next morning, I got up and ran to the deck. Unexpectedly, many people ignored the cold and leaned against the railings, waiting for the sun to appear from the east. When the golden sun rises slowly from the boundless sea, people's faces are filled with dazzling brilliance. Perhaps some of them will think of the scene when Moses took people across the Red Sea.

  The Red Sea under the sun will change into many different colors. It is usually blue-green, but due to the seasonal abundance of red algae in the sea, the entire sea becomes reddish-brown, and sometimes even the sky and the coast are reflected in red. , hence the name Red Sea. About 20 million years ago, the Arabian Peninsula was separated from Africa, giving birth to this sea area. The Red Sea, which is more than 2,000 kilometers long, is like a crocodile with a big mouth, lying reclining between two continents. As early as the 20th century BC, the Red Sea was an important trade route for the ancient Egyptians, and in the 10th century BC, it became a trade route between the East and the West. In 1869, after the opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt, the Red Sea became an important international route between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, a golden waterway between Europe, Asia and Africa. It shortened the original route around the Cape of Good Hope by 9,000 kilometers.

  The captain of the ship I was on, Mr. Mohamed Erdem, has decades of sailing experience. I had the honor to walk into his cockpit to chat with him. He was very happy and admitted that few Chinese people have crossed his boat. Red Sea.

  Captain Edm has worked in Yugoslavia, Slovenia and other places. He introduced me in detail the operation of the ship, the sailing route, and the use of the equipment in the cockpit. He told me that Sudan has a long history of friendly exchanges with China. He has known ancient China since he was a child, and he likes Chinese very much. He said, "I hope to visit China one day. Since the era of Mao Zedong, I have been Fantasy can drive a boat to China."


  2. Sudanese machete dance


  At around 10 am the next day, the Titanic slowly sailed into Port Sudan, and the African continent was quietly displayed in front of me, gradually becoming clear and real. This day happened to be Thanksgiving. When the ship docked, I packed up my luggage and walked out of the cabin, and set foot on the land of Sudan, which is also the land of Africa. At that moment, I felt that the land was as hot as fire.

  My companions and I were welcomed by the main leaders and port leaders of the Red Sea State where Port Sudan is located. They extended their strong and dark hands to hold us cordially. Here, we felt like a spring breeze and received the highest local standards. Welcome, all the customs clearance procedures for our personnel and vehicles are exempted from inspection and are handled directly by the customs. After the vehicle we drove was driven from the ship to the land, the enthusiastic Sudanese invited us into the VIP reception room at the port and brought drinks, fruits and food. The local officials also held a brief welcome ceremony and presented the Each of us has a Sudanese vest with unique national characteristics. I put it on immediately, and it seems that I can directly feel the enthusiasm brought to me by the Sudanese. At that time, I completely forgot the fatigue of the bumpy sea, and was deeply moved by the fiery friendship of the Sudanese.

  That night, on the side of the beautiful Port Sudan, local officials and the masses set up flower stands in the open air, put simple carpets, tables and chairs, and held a grand and grand welcoming ceremony, with singing and dancing to warmly welcome us. Many people in the vicinity came to watch, and stood in a crowd to watch the novelty. During the event, the main leaders of the Red Sea State, relevant envoys and representatives of the host party delivered warm welcome speeches. They said that Sudan is one of the most friendly countries to China on the African continent, and it is also the first African country to establish diplomatic relations with China. The friendship with Sudan has been firmly established since the days of Mao Zedong.

  At the welcoming ceremony, the most unforgettable thing for me was the music and dance with strong Sudanese national flavor performed by the locals. Sudanese black people love dancing. Although Sudan is also an Arab country, about 70% of the people in the country believe in Islam, but they have more African characteristics in song and dance performances, and the music and dance poses are more primitive and simple. The Sudanese are inseparable from dancing when expressing feelings such as love and hate, joy and sorrow, or in activities such as begging for rain, weddings and funerals. The dances of each of their tribes have their own characteristics. According to the situation at the time, people often accompany simple music and drum beats to improvise with high-fives, songs and shouts, jumping out or soothing, rough, passionate, or sad. of various dances. The performance that night was the Berber tribe of Bega, a tribe of men who like to put two machetes in their belts to show their strength and dignity. During the dance, two black men in white robes and pony jackets waved machetes and performed many difficult dance moves, such as bending over and squatting, and won everyone's applause.


  3. Overnight in Port Sudan


  That night , I stayed in a camp near Port Sudan. The camp was located in a wilderness. The house was actually a few sheds made of paperboards. There were several iron beds. Mattresses, sheets. It is said that Sudanese sleep without covering anything, and their long robes are quilts. The old-fashioned window air conditioners used in these sheds have long been tattered, but they are still able to cool, and the roar is like a fighter jet.

  After a busy day, I was as tired as a pool of mud, I fell asleep on the bed, and I didn't want to cover or pillow at all. In the middle of the night, I suddenly felt extremely itchy on my body. When I woke up, I saw that mosquitoes had bitten my body all over the place where the flesh was exposed. It was so uncomfortable at the time that I couldn't even talk about it. I had to quickly take out the balsamic essence, grabbed my arms and legs and wiped it all over, thinking that I had already had a lot of vaccinations before I came to Africa, otherwise, such a poisonous mosquito bites so many pimples, it will definitely inevitably suffer from malaria or other diseases. What a mortal disease.

  At that time, I couldn't fall asleep at all. Listening to the snoring of other people in their sleep, I thought I might as well take a walk outside to cool off. I pushed open the door and walked into the field, and the noise of the air conditioner was left behind. The African continent was so quiet at night, and the temperature was still comfortable. I looked up and inadvertently found that the stars in the sky were extremely bright and dense.

Like a plate full of gold dust shining with dazzling light. What amazed me even more was that, looking toward the horizon, the stars were all connected to the ground, like a cauldron studded with diamonds clasped over my head.
  I remember Karen Brickson wrote about the night sky in Africa in her famous book "Out of Africa": "The night sky is clear, serene, full of stars, and the weather is clear. The starry sky in the equatorial region is richer than the night sky in the Northland. It is colorful, and you spend more time outdoors at night, and you can observe more nature. . . In Africa, driving at night is beautiful, and driving a car under the bright starlight is a real pleasure.”
  Walking in the wild in Africa, breathing some warm Air, thinking about the wonderful experiences I have had, it feels really strange to be surrounded by stars. The next day, I shared this feeling with my companions and persuaded them to get up in the middle of the night to look at the stars. A day later, a friend said to me, "Last night, I got up and looked at the stars. It's just like what you said."
  Fourth, the enthusiasm of
  Sudanese people in Port Sudan is just like Sudan's hot climate. It is said that in the height of summer , the temperature here is as high as 50 degrees Celsius, put eggs on the beach in the sun, and they will be cooked in a few minutes; if you drive a car without gloves, your hands will be scalded. Therefore, this country with the largest area in Africa is also known as "the furnace of the world". Sudan's country name means "the country of black people" in Arabic. After Sudan became independent on January 1, 1956, it established a republic, which was later called the Democratic Republic of Sudan. In December 1985, it was renamed the "Republic of Sudan". As early as 1906 to 1909, during the joint control of the United Kingdom and Egypt, the construction of Port Sudan began to replace the port of Savagin, which was abandoned due to the expansion of the coral reef. It is the only seaport in Sudan and is known as the "gateway of the country". Because it is located in the middle of the Red Sea, the shipping hub from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, it has an important geographical location in terms of transportation and strategy. Therefore, since ancient times, it has been a battleground for military strategists.
  In an ancient fortress near Port Sudan, some weapons and daily necessities used by the Sudanese soldiers stationed here are still displayed. The Savior Mahdi rose up and called on the local people to raise the banner of anti-imperialist and anti-colonialism, participate in the "Holy War" to save Sudan, and establish an independent country. These foreign guns and cannons used in the hands of the colonists have witnessed this glorious history.
  I drove my car to this fortress from the bumpy dirt road, and saw the low city walls and simple houses made of mud bricks. In this era, this small yard could store three or four hundred people and resist the aggression of the enemy for a while. I walked into the showroom and saw that there were earthen cannons and earthen guns seized by the Sudanese at that time, as well as daily bows and arrows, totems, jars and jars.
  Today's Port Sudan has 14 major berths, which can accommodate 35,000-ton oil tankers. The port area has modern warehouses, docks and loading and unloading equipment. More than 90% of the country's import and export goods are shipped to all over the world through here, with an annual throughput capacity of 380 10,000 tons, but still can not meet the needs of import and export freight. In the cotton export season, the contradiction of transportation capacity is particularly prominent. To this end, since 2006, Port Sudan has stepped up the expansion of the grain transportation terminal. When I went to the terminal to interview, I accidentally found a few Chinese workers working here. Help the Sudanese build the wharf. Captain Tan, the leader of the team, briefed me on the basic situation of the terminal. He said: "What we are building is the new container terminal in Port Sudan, which was signed in June 2006, with an amount of 1.1 billion US dollars, mainly to build two 7 10,000-ton container terminal and port dredging. This is an important part of the expansion of Port Sudan, which can alleviate the serious problem of port detention in Port Sudan to a certain extent."
  The team led by Captain Tan has more than 100 people, and they are already in the port of Sudan. It has been working here for nearly a year, and by the end of 2006, the construction of the grain transportation terminal will be completed. To their relief, they are all expected to return to China to be reunited with their families before the Spring Festival. Regarding life in a foreign country, Captain Tan said that everything else is easy to adapt to, but the most difficult thing to adapt to is the local summer climate. He said: "August is the hottest here, the temperature is as high as 60 degrees, and the sweat drips down from the face, which is very difficult to adapt to."
  However, these workers who work here all said that the Sudanese are very friendly to the Chinese, which fills their hearts with the warm sunshine of Africa and feels very warm. Captain Tan said: "The Sudanese are very good, they are good to us, they are especially friendly to the Chinese, which is a good foundation laid from the Mao Zedong era."
  5. Dancing with African girls In the
  evening , we left Port Sudan and drove the car to On the road to the capital Khartoum, we walked through the desert area of ​​central Sudan, which is interspersed with grasslands and hills. Along the way, the unique tropical scenery of Africa is blowing in the face, the low bushes, the vast Gobi, the typical round-topped earth houses inhabited by the locals, and the roadside rocks like natural sculptures, which make up different expressions. group of stone sculptures. Sudan is 2,250 kilometers long from north to south, from 4° north latitude to 22° north latitude, and is roughly divided into three types of terrain: the north is a desert area that accounts for 30% of the country's area, the middle is arid and rainy grassland and hilly areas, and the south is swamps and swamps. Tropical rainforest area. Due to the severe security situation in the central and southern Sudan, the local government specially appointed many soldiers with guns and open-top jeeps to open the road in front and fight in the back to protect us closely. Before we reach any major city along the way, the main local leaders will come to the suburbs, stand by the roadside to greet the convoy, deliver cool mango juice, cola or mineral water, etc., and hold a grand and warm ceremony to welcome us, let everyone go all the way Feel the enthusiasm of the Sudanese for the Chinese.
  Before reaching the city of Wadhmadani, the locals let me enjoy a unique African-style folk dance in an unknown small village. Under the densely shady mango trees, a group of beautiful and lovely Sudanese girls wearing flower crowns beat the tambourine and danced enthusiastically and gracefully. Passionate and curious. Watching these children sing and dance, everyone will feel that life is rhythm. In the rhythmic music, it seems that their nature has been released. Many children gave us beautiful flower crowns and invited everyone to dance under the joyful mango tree and immerse themselves in joy together. Their innocent eyes are so clear and transparent, their candid smiles are so unfettered, and the natural, unadorned beauty of African girls is unforgettable. Their passion is truly like fire, capable of melting hearts as cold and hard as glaciers and rocks.
  Next, after 19 hours of driving, my companions and I finally arrived at Wadmedani, the capital of Gezira province on the lower left bank of the Nile. After arriving here, the local governor and vice governor personally came forward and warmly received us. The governor also accepted my exclusive interview immediately, and he said excitedly: "Sudan is the first African country to establish diplomatic relations with China. Sudan has always maintained a very friendly relationship. Thank you for your interview here. We hope that through the interview, the world will know that Sudan needs China's help and China needs Sudan's support. After the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China-Sudan relations have developed well. At present, China has Many engineers and technicians are helping Sudan to extract and refine oil, and we are willing to provide these resources to China, not the United States.”
  The enthusiasm brought by the Sudanese continued, and my companions and I continued to go to the capital, Kharto. When Mu and the small border town of Wadi Halifa have been feeling the fiery friendship of the Sudanese, that kind of enthusiasm is like the hot sunshine in Africa, indistinguishable and unstoppable, making people feel like they are burning from the inside out stand up.



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