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El-Obeid

El-Obeid
الأبيض
Camels in El-Obeid (early 1960s)
Camels in El-Obeid (early 1960s)
El-Obeid is located in Sudan
El-Obeid

El-Obeid
Location in Sudan (North Kurdufan state highlighted)
Coordinates: 13°11′N 30°13′E / 13.183°N 30.217°E / 13.183; 30.217
Country Sudan
StateNorth Kordofan
Elevation
609 m (1,998 ft)
Population
 (2012)
 • Total418,280[citation needed]
Time zoneGMT + 3

El-Obeid (Arabic: الأبيض, al-ʾAbyaḍ, lit. "the White"), also romanized as Al-Ubayyid, is the capital of the state of North Kurdufan, in Sudan.

History and overview

El-Obeid was founded by the pashas of Ottoman Egypt in 1821. It was attacked by the Mahdists in September 1882, and, after capitulation, was subsequently destroyed in 1883. It was then rebuilt on a modern plan in 1898, following the fall of the Mahdist empire.[1]

In 2008, its population was 340,940. It is an important transportation hub: the terminus of a rail line, the junction of various national roads and camel caravan routes, and the end of a pilgrim route from Nigeria. As regional commercial centre, it is known for products such as gum arabic, millet, oilseeds, and livestock.[2]

The population of El-Obeid today is majority Muslim, with a small Christian presence. The town is the site of an airport and an oil refinery. El-Obeid is home to the University of Kordofan, one of the largest universities in Sudan, established in 1990.[3] Since 1989, the city also has been home to a French Association (Alliance française) that serves as a Sudanese-French cultural centre in cooperation with the university's French language department.[4]

The United Nations Mission in Sudan established its Logistics Base there.[5]

Due to the repair and paving of asphalt roads and the emergence of several private bus companies, transport became easier between the town and the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The 500 kilometres (310 mi) journey takes about nine hours by tourist coach, and another three hours from El-Obeid to Um Kadada in Darfur.[6]

During the 2023 Sudan conflict, the city has been under siege. In early September, the Sudanese Army have recaptured the city. Tensions remain high at the grand market[7]

Geography

Climate

El-Obeid has a hot arid climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) despite receiving over 300 millimetres or 12 inches of rain, owing to the extremely high potential evapotranspiration. Temperatures are coolest in December and January and are hottest from April to June. A wet season lasts from June to September with moderate rainfall and relatively high humidity. The period from November to April is almost completely dry, with very low humidity.[8]

Climate data for El-Obeid (El Obeid Airport) (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1961–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40.5
(104.9)
43
(109)
44.5
(112.1)
45.8
(114.4)
45
(113)
43.7
(110.7)
41
(106)
40
(104)
40
(104)
42.3
(108.1)
40
(104)
38
(100)
45.8
(114.4)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 30.0
(86.0)
32.7
(90.9)
36.1
(97.0)
39.1
(102.4)
39.3
(102.7)
37.7
(99.9)
34.1
(93.4)
32.3
(90.1)
34.7
(94.5)
36.8
(98.2)
34.0
(93.2)
30.9
(87.6)
34.8
(94.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.8
(71.2)
24.4
(75.9)
27.8
(82.0)
31.0
(87.8)
32.0
(89.6)
31.1
(88.0)
28.6
(83.5)
27.4
(81.3)
28.5
(83.3)
29.7
(85.5)
26.4
(79.5)
22.9
(73.2)
27.6
(81.7)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 13.7
(56.7)
16.1
(61.0)
19.6
(67.3)
22.9
(73.2)
24.7
(76.5)
24.5
(76.1)
23.0
(73.4)
22.5
(72.5)
22.3
(72.1)
22.6
(72.7)
18.7
(65.7)
14.9
(58.8)
20.4
(68.7)
Record low °C (°F) 4
(39)
5
(41)
9.7
(49.5)
12.7
(54.9)
16
(61)
16
(61)
11.5
(52.7)
13.7
(56.7)
14.9
(58.8)
12.5
(54.5)
8
(46)
4.7
(40.5)
4
(39)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.2
(0.01)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.00)
4.8
(0.19)
17.2
(0.68)
39.0
(1.54)
122.2
(4.81)
139.9
(5.51)
59.9
(2.36)
17.7
(0.70)
0.2
(0.01)
0.0
(0.0)
401.2
(15.80)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.5 1.9 3.2 8.3 9.9 5.8 2.4 0.1 0.0 32
Average relative humidity (%) 24 19 15 17 28 44 61 70 62 40 25 27 36
Mean monthly sunshine hours 300.7 266.0 272.8 264.0 241.8 228.0 195.3 192.2 225.0 272.8 303.0 310.0 3,071.6
Source: NOAA[8]

Sports

As of 2015, the Sudanese Premier League team Al-Hilal SC (Al-Ubayyid) plays in El-Obeid.

Religion

The town is predominantly Muslim. However, it is also the seat of a Roman Catholic Diocese, which is the only other one in Sudan next to Khartoum since the partition in 2011,[9] and of an Anglican Bishopric.[10]

The Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Africa in El-Obeid is considered to be one of the largest and oldest churches in Sudan.[11] It was founded in 1872 by Daniele Comboni, an Italian Roman Catholic bishop, who worked for the Catholic missions in Sudan between 1858 and his death in Khartoum in 1881. The present building was constructed between 1961 and 1964 in Italian style.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "El Obeid" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 297.
  2. ^ "Al-Ubayyiḍ | Sudan". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  3. ^ "Member Universities". Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  4. ^ Hassan, Faiz. "The French Center in El Obeid: 30 Years of Cultural Programming". Andariya. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  5. ^ UNMIS homepage
  6. ^ "Khartoum to Darfur – a road trip of rediscovery for Radio Dabanga". Radio Dabanga. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  7. ^ "Sudan: North Kordofan's El Obeid Besieged but Electricity Restored". Dabanga. 2023-06-14. Retrieved 2023-06-17.
  8. ^ a b "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991-2020 — El-Obeid". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  9. ^ "Pope Francis appoints new Bishop for Sudan's El-Obeid diocese - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". sudantribune.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  10. ^ Office, Anglican Communion. "Anglican Communion: Diocese". Anglican Communion Website. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  11. ^ Hassan, Faiz. "Religious Coexistence in Al Obied". Andariya. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  12. ^ Omer, Khaled. "The Art of Architecture in El Obeid". Andariya. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
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El-Obeid
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