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Gordon of Khartoum

February 5, 2017

The name associated with Khartoum will always be General Charles George Gordon. The painting of him standing at the to of the stairs, pistol in hand, as the Mahdian hordes storm the palace and finally spear him. Whether that is what happened is opn to conjecture but he was a larger than life character at the time bigger than TE Laurence was to become a few years later. He died 26th Jan 1885.
The Mahdi had aroused the nation into standing up to the Egyptian soldiers who at that time had a garrison in the city and parts of the countryside. And Gordon, who had just returned to once more take the Governer-Generalship, was the only man the British new that could hold the place together. He was liked, even by the Mahdi and some of his followers. There was a saying amongst the Mahdian troops that Gordon would be the perfect man if only he was a muslim.
The Mahdi lasted only 5 months after Gordon’s death. They thinkk typhoid killed him. But his place was taken by Abdullah Khalifa and it was his house we visited today that had been turned into a small but interesting museum. It stands opposite the Mahdi’s impressive masouleum on the west bank of the nile. Many of the objects date back to the late 19th century and includes Gordon’s native cloak. Entering the mud brick structure the temperature drops some 5 degrees. Very pleasant. While there Joan was inundated by a large group of school girls all clamouring to have their photo taken with her. The star attraction.
One of the unexpected driving hazards in this city is having to check behind your vehicle before reversing out, for pedestrians but also the odd driver who has spread his prayer mat behind your car and is saying his prayers to his God. You just have to be patient.
I am getting used to driving in this city but it can be quite strenuous. You have no comfort zone around the vehicle and the number of dented cars you see on the road show the results.

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