"Kassala" Kassala by maykal
Kassala Travel Guide: 53 reviews and 38 photos
Kassala was my home from December 2002 until October 2004...I started as an English teacher at Kassala University, then moved to freelance teaching and translating in the second year. Kassala is probably the most talked about destination in Sudan by backpackers and locals alike, although few ever get to see its surreal mountains, fertile fruit gardens and thronging souqs...and there is very little information in print or on the web about this dusty but loveable town in Eastern Sudan...I'm setting out to change that!
I have such a lot to write about Kassala...yet so little time to write it...this page will be under construction constantly, and I will update it whenever I find the time.
First of all, where is Kassala and why is it special? Kassala is in Eastern Sudan, close to the Eritrean border. On one side, the town is overshadowed by huge bizarre-shaped mountains, on the other, desert stretches as far as the eye can see. The people of Kassala are a real mix...Haddendawa, Beni Amir, Shergest and a hundred other tribes, plus Eritrean refugees, a large Indian community, and me...a lone khawaja volunteer.
If I'd listened to the British Embassy staff, I'd have never come here...it is technically a war zone, lying so close to the frontier where there have been one or two slight skirmishes (read "small war") in the past year or two. Security is high, due to a large military presence, and at first you might think it isn't the safest place to be....but once you get past the military checkpoints which surround the town, you soon realise that it is perfectly safe.
Kassala isn't the most wild town in the world...after visiting the lively souqs and sipping coffee on Jebel Totil, there isn't really anything else for a visitor to do. Still, it is where I lived, I love it there (even though it can be dull at times, and is always a trifle too hot), and I'd encourage any traveller in Sudan to make the effort to come here...
Please don't forget the travelogues...I have written about the devastating 2003 floods which hit Kassala and went almost unnoticed in the world media. Also, I have written about my houses and housemates, so you can read about my daily life.
#### If you think the main picture above looks a little familiar, then you are probably an avid reader of the Sudan Tribune. I almost choked on my sandwich when I saw my own photo decorating one of their articles. Apart from feeling slightly flattered, I also feel very annoyed...nobody thought to ask if I minded my photo being used for a commercial purpose, and what's more, I'm not even credited for the photo. I will not provide a link to the article, as the Sudan Tribune has not bothered to include a link to my page...but if you want to see the crime scene, it shouldn't be too hard to track down.
Oh, and a little message for my "friends" at the Sudan Tribune: Ya 'ayb 'aleykum ya haraamiyeen! Either give me credit for the photo and add a link to this page, or remove my photo from the article. And next time you want a pretty picture of Kassala, ask me nicely by e-mail, or go to Kassala and take one yourselves! Shukran wa yubarek allah fiikum.
Walking through as-Sawagi, you might come across big clumps of mud and rock which look as if they are just part of the... more travel advice
Running in Kassala is possible, but not an easy pursuit. For a start, the weather is just too hot most of the time. Then... more travel advice
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