I'm glad we are celebrating the passing of a decade since the publication debut of a Sudanese newspaper which, despite difficulties, continued being published nonstop with high quality. I'm biased to English journalism because I'm indebted to it; the reason being that English journalism is where I learned journalistic work.
I began working as a journalist in 1949 when I joined Sudan Star, an English newspaper published by a British company which had been established during the war in response to a belief by the Britons that there was a need for an English newspaper to convey news about the World War II to Sudan, considering there were many British soldiers and Pakistani soldiers who were stationed in Khartoum and were in need of an English newspaper.
After the war was over, the Sudanese began enrolling in journalistic institutions. The first of those was Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil and he was followed by Bashir Mohammed Saeed who later left the Sudan Star newspaper to join the Faculty of Law in Khartoum University and I was contacted by the late Kamal Mohammed Ahmed who worked for Khartoum University College and suggested that I join Sudan Star. I worked under a British editor-in-chief who was among the best there was in the business and it was from him that I learned the principles of journalistic work.
Following independence and the establishment of Al- Ayam newspaper, I was assigned the position of editor-in-chief of the Morning News newspaper which was published concurrently with the Arab version of the Al-Ayam newspaper by the Al-Ayam publishing house.
Later it became difficult for English papers to stay published for over a year or two and that is why I say our brothers in Sudan Vision have realized a miracle by continuing to publish the newspaper for 10 continuous years.
We are really glad that we are here today celebrating the day the newspaper put a decade behind it, said Salih
He added that he is also extremely glad he met different journalists from different generations in the hall of celebration.
"Journalism is my tribe, one which does not bear arms to make a point, but pens, in order to unite the people of Sudan." stated Salih.
He went on to say that sometimes an off-tone voice is heard undermining Sudanese unity but these voices are not original and they fade away, adding that they have learned to accept opinions and counter opinions even if they were a lie because logic will prevail as long as the weapon we use is the pen.
I'm glad he continued to see a young generation here from this tribe, a generation on which we count on to carry this profession into the future, a profession dating back 110 years.
The iconic journalist went on to say: "The first newspaper in Sudan was published in October 6th 1903 and now we are nearing October 6th 2013, that makes a history of 110 years, a history which must have by now led us to have better journalism, institutionalism and economics, but the shifting phases in Sudan have not allowed that to happen. Despite all that, I'm optimistic that this profession will survive and the young generation will rebuild it succeeding in what we have failed to do and will complete what we have succeeded in."
He seemed happy to have that many journalists at his side while he was being honored as an iconic journalist.
He also called on the young generation to learn from its predecessor, saying that they have learned from theirs.
We hope, he said, that this generation and the next ones will walk the distance and rebuild the unity of Sudan and pledge to work absolutely sincerely and courageously and audaciously, despite the difference of opinions and directions, to uphold sincerity in defending the interests of our homeland and to respect the profession of journalism, and commit to its rules, principles, and morals. We are not going to be lost in the way if we uphold these values and it is, he added, the clashing of thoughts that builds nations.
He thanked Sudan Vision newspaper which honored him, saying that Sudan Vision wanted to honor the generations which built the past that people have built their present day on and he expressed his thankfulness to the newspaper, Sudan Vision.
By Najat Ahmed
(Sudan Vision Daily)