Khartoum

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Khartoum

(kärto͞om`), city (1993 pop. 947,483), capital of Sudan, a port at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. Khartoum is Sudan's second largest city and its administrative center. Food, beverages, cotton, gum, and oilseeds are processed in the city. Manufactures include cotton textiles, knitwear, glass, and tiles. Construction of an oil pipeline between Khartoum and Port Sudan was completed in 1977. Khartoum is a railroad hub and is connected by road to the heart of the adjacent cotton-growing region. The city also has an international airport. Founded in 1821 as an Egyptian army camp, Khartoum developed as a trade center and slave market. In the war between Great Britain and the forces of the MahdiMahdi
[Arab.,=he who is divinely guided], in Sunni Islam, the restorer of the faith. He will appear at the end of time to restore justice on earth and establish universal Islam. The Mahdi will be preceded by al-Dajjal, a Muslim antichrist, who will be slain by Jesus.
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, Gen. Charles GordonGordon, Charles George,
1833–85, British soldier and administrator. He served in the Crimean War, went to China in the expedition of 1860, taking part in the capture of Beijing, and in 1863 took over the command of F. T.
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 was killed there (1885) after resisting a long siege, during which the city was severely damaged. Khartoum was retaken by H. H. KitchenerKitchener, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl
, 1850–1916, British field marshal and statesman. Trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (1868–70), he had a brief period of service in the French army
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 in 1898 and rebuilt. During the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, thousands of refugees from other African nations (especially Chad, Ethiopia, and Uganda) settled in Khartoum. Foreign aid packages to feed and shelter the refugees were inadequate, resulting in the growth of slums in the city. An educational center, Khartoum is the site of the Univ. of Khartoum (founded 1903 as Gordon Memorial College), a branch of the Univ. of Cairo, and Khartoum Polytechnic. The city's Sudan National Museum has important archaeological holdings. Bridges link Khartoum with Khartoum North and Omdurman.

Khartoum

 

the capital of the Sudan; the largest financial, industrial, and cultural center of the country. Khartoum is situated at an elevation of 390 m at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The climate is tropical, with an average January temperature of 23°C and an average July temperature of 34°C. Annual precipitation is 160 mm. Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North form a single metropolitan area with a total population of 1 million (1976; including suburbs).

Khartoum was founded in the 1820’s by Ismail, the son of Mehemet Ali (Muhammad Ali). By the second half of the 19th century it had become the country’s most important administrative and commercial center. Khartoum was taken by storm by Mahdist troops in January 1885 and was destroyed on orders from Khalifa Abd Allahi. In 1899 the city became the administrative center of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and was gradually rebuilt. When the independent Republic of the Sudan was proclaimed on Jan. 1, 1956, Khartoum became the capital; since 1969 it has been the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan.

Khartoum is a river port and a junction of railroad lines and highways. It has an international airport. Its chief industries are the manufacture of textiles and knitwear and food processing, chiefly flour, beer, and confectionery goods. The city has enterprises for the production of leather and footwear, glass, pharmaceutical supplies, and metal utensils.

The center of Khartoum is a rectangular network of streets lined with administration buildings, such as the Republican Palace (1899), the University of Khartoum (c. 1885), and a state hospital, as well as multistory hotels and apartment buildings and two-story cottages and villas. Other buildings of note include the Great Mosque (1900) in the southwestern part of the city and a community center and a tuberculosis hospital (begun 1964; plans designed by Soviet architects) on the Blue Nile. The old sector of the city has narrow streets, traditional Islamic houses, and a market.

Khartoum’s educational institutions include the University of Khartoum, a branch of the University of Cairo, and institutes of polytechnical, mechanical, and textile engineering. The city has a higher technical institute and a higher institute of business, as well as colleges of fine and applied art, forestry, and medicine. The city’s scholarly institutions include the National Council for Research, the Industrial Consultancy Corporation, the Sudan Medical Research Laboratories, the Educational Documentation and Research Center, and the Philosophical Society. Scientific research is conducted at the University of Khartoum’s faculties of agriculture, engineering and architecture, science, medicine, pharmacy, and hydrobiology. The principal libraries are those of the University of Khartoum and the Institute of Polytechnics. The city’s main museums are the Sudan National Museum, the Ethnographical Museum, and the Sudan Natural History Museum. Khartoum’s theatrical life is centered on the Modern Sudanese Theater and the Khartoum Troupe.

Khartoum

, Khartum
the capital of the Sudan, at the junction of the Blue and the White Nile: with adjoining Khartoum North and Omdurman, the largest conurbation in the country; destroyed by the Mahdists in 1885 when General Gordon was killed; seat of the Anglo-Egyptian government of the Sudan until 1954, then capital of the new republic. Pop.: 4 495 000 (2005 est.)