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Read Around the World: South Sudan


Fun facts about South Sudan provide by this website.

The country went through 50 long years of spasmodic civil wars. It was only in 2005 that North Sudan and South Sudan signed a cease fire and the fighting finally stopped.

It is one of the youngest countries in the world. It was only in 2011 that South Sudan declared itself as an independent nation when it spun-off from the country of Sudan.

Interestingly, the South Sudanese government considered numerous names such as Nile Republic, Azania and Kush Republic. It finally settled for what it thought was the safest choice- the Republic of South Sudan also called Ross.

South Sudan is one of Africa’s most linguistically-diverse countries. It has several hundreds of language groups.

NBA players, the 7’7”-tall Manute Bol and the Chicago Bulls-player, Luol Deng both hailed from Southern Sudan.

Before the country broke-off from Sudan, area-wise it was the largest country in all of Africa. South Sudan has a predominantly Christian and tribal government while the Islamic Sharia law prevails in North Sudan.

Today, though a large number of ecologists head for South Sudan it offers practically zero tourist infrastructure, no paved roads and the communications infrastructure is almost non-existent.

Around 83% of the country’s population lives in circular stick and mud structures called “tukels”. These rustic cottages generally have no windows are tall and have thatched roofs.

The Boma National Park, situated close to the Ethiopian border is a vast expanse of wilderness that is home to wildlife including migratory herds of over a million Mongalla gazelle, white-eared kob, tiang and antelope.

Nimule, the small but breathtaking national park was home to the now-extinct white rhino. Today a large number of hippo, the Ugandan kob, buffalo and elephants live here.

While I was looking for information about South Sudan I stumbled across the Taste of South Sudan blog. This is a fascinating look at South Sudan which includes step by step recipes, articles about beauty and South Sudan culture. In the spirit of travelling the world vicariously I decided to put one of these recipes to the test.

And this is what I produced…


I have to say this was very tasty and yes I will make it again.

In terms of reading the world the book I choose was Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela. My reasons for choosing this book? The other South Sudan books I could get hold of were largely memoirs written by men who had grown up as boy soldiers. I am not a fan of non fiction and I was feeling too wimpy to read about the atrocities humans are capable of, a cop out I know, but that’s where my head was at.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Lyrics Alley is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country and the near-tragedy that threatens the legacy they’ve built for decades.

Their fortune threatened by shifting powers in Sudan and their heir’s debilitating accident, a powerful family under the leadership of Mahmoud Bey is torn between the traditional and modern values of Mahmoud’s two wives and his son’s efforts to break with cultural limits.

Book Worm’s Thoughts:  4 Stars – I enjoyed this story about a man caught between 2 women and 2 cultures, I liked the descriptions of traditional Sudanese living and the kind of open homes that Sudanese women kept.

This book could be described as a family saga it has all the ingredients romance, family feuds, tragedy, hardships to overcome and triumphs. It wasn’t until I read the afterword that I realised this was a family saga, the authors family, for me this made the read even more interesting.

What book did you read for South Sudan?

Next up on our world tour Lithuania – let us know what books you intend to read.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gail #

    Thank you for all the fun facts. I ended up reading Beneath The Darkening Sky by Tulsa. It was not a memoir of being a child soldier. It was fiction but nevertheless it was about the transformation of a young smart alecky child into a child soldier. I wish I found this family saga instead but I did learn a lot about the country. Thank you for sharing the recipe also. My husband said: “hmmm….sounds good”.


    March 24, 2019
    • Book Worm #

      You should give it a go it’s actually really simple to make and very filling 🙂


      March 24, 2019

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