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Mohammed Khalil Qasim

Mohammed Khalil Qasim (1912-1978) was an extraordinary Nubian writer and Nubian rights activist, who spent 15 years of his life in prison. He is the author of Al Shamandura (The Buoy), published in 1968 shortly before his death. The book describing the life in a Nubian village drowned in 1933 arose consciousness within the Nubian community, and encouraged many later Nubian writers.

Inspired by the picturesque nature of their lands at the borders of the Nile, enhanced by the Nubians' tight-knitted, interacting and sociable communities and the serene stress-free life, all Nubians like to sing and to share their songs. While traditional heritage songs have been passed on since at least three hundred years and are sung by successive generations - each one adding its own artistic feeling and environment, the countless contemporary Nubian artists contribute a rich variety of new songs, mostly based on traditional Nubian music and rhythms. The Nubian child is born into his or her people's art-loving environment; the whole village community celebrates the birth by singing, and they sing while bringing the baby to the sacred Nile river to wash his face with Nile water - a ceremony mixing religion and ancient beliefs to wish and ensure the child a happy and prosperous life. Nubians sing at home, so it is obvious that Nubian children grow up sharing songs with their siblings and friends. At school, Nubian children like to sing together during their break between lessons; it is at this early stage that many future singers, poets and musicians develop their talents. While women sing while doing their homework or producing beautiful handicrafts, the men sing while working in the fields. After work they gather either in the home or sitting under the trees and - again - sing all together. There is at least one music instrument in every Nubian home, be it the traditional Nubian drum, the Def, of a lute - the Oud, or the Kithara - the Nubian tambour. The leading singer starts the song, which is taken over by the whole community which repeats the words or sings the refrain. Def players - usually three of them - beat the rhythm, enhanced by hand clapping by the community. Some of the participants dance traditional "Arageed" folklore dances, with varied rhythmic steps and weaving arm movements or coordinated to form an immensely rousing troupe. No wonder that Nubians enjoy singing and dancing for hours. During weddings or other festivities the celebrations gather the whole village community and last for hours. In contrast to the neighboring Arab populations, Nubians also sing songs with religious content - also based on appealing rhythms and melodies.

“He entered the café as an osta [derogatory term a for poor laborer] and he came out an ostaz [a teacher, mentor, a scholar],” remarked Dr. Hamza Al-Baqr, a longtime professor of geography at Khartoum University, when asked about the famous Nubian writer Mohamed Khalil Qasim. He then explained, “When Qasim was released from prison, he walked by a place on the Corniche near what is now known as Maspero. There used to be a café there where most artists would hang out and play the flute and sometimes they would sell instruments. Qasim decided to stop by. He was wearing disheveled and mismatched clothes that clashed with that downtown elitist place. When he sat down with the audience, they were talking politics. Qasim proceeded to voice opinions that made a deep impression on all those within earshot. They were astonished at his knowledge and his profound insights. So at the end, they said, he arrived as an osta and he left as an ostaz”. (Naglaa Fathi Mahmoud-Hussein, Howard University))

حسن نور يتحدث عن محمد خليل قاس

Interview wit Hassan Nur, Nubian Writer and former student of Hohammed Khalil Qasem

رفعت السعيد يتحدث عن محمد خليل قاسم

Refaat Al-Saeed talks about Muhammad Khalil Qasim



Goodreads Shamandura by Mohammed Khalil Qasim

Goodreads السمندورة - محمد خليل قاصم


Book "Shamandura" - from Amazon

Book "Shamandura" by Mohammed Khalil Qasim - from Amazon

طتاب "الشمندورة" - محمد خليل قاصم - من Amazon


Shamandura (in PDF format)

Shamandura by Mohammed Khalil Qasim - in PDF format

- PDF في السمندورة - محمد خليل قاصم

Aunt Aisha

Aunt Aisha

Aunt Aisha by Mohammed Khalil Qasim on Goodreads

الخالة عيشة - محمد خليل قاصم

Article 1

Writer Mohammed Khalil Qasem

خليل قاسم كاتب "الشمندورة" المظلوم حيا وميتا.

Khalil Qasim, the writer of the oppressed "Shamandora".

Mohammed Khalil Qasim

Mohammed Khalil Qasim

Goodreads عن محمد خليل قاسم. About Mohammed Khalil Qasim

Article 3

About Mohammed Khalil Qasem

Goodreads Mohammed Khalil Qasim

Goodreads محمد خليل قاصم

Article 4

Mohammed Khalil Qasem

Antologia -Muhammad Khalil Qasim and the problem of Nubian literature

Antologia - حمد خليل قاسم‮ ‬ و إشكالية الأدب النوبي.. أدباء وكتاب أسقطهم التاريخ الأدبي‮ ‬