Khartoum: A new Sudanese map was unveiled at all the ministries and government offices as well as educational institutions in Khartoum and other parts of the country on Sunday, marking the beginning of a new era after separation of South Sudan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started making available the new map to all the embassies and diplomatic missions accredited to Sudan, a source at the ministry told Gulf News. The maps were also dispatched to embassies and consulates in various countries across the world.

One of the first prints of the map was donated to the office of the secretary-general of the Arab League. The map of united Sudan that could be visualised by all Sudanese and that was being hanged on the walls of offices, schools, universities and houses of the citizens within the country and abroad as well as in books and publications ceased to exist as of today and becomes part of the country’s rich heritage.

The new map loses a total area of about 700,000 square meters from the original geographical area covering 14,291,469 sq. meters, which is 70 times larger than that of the area of Lebanon, three times than Syria, five times than Tunisia and more than three times than the entire GCC region. Sudan is no more the largest Arab and African nation.

The realisation about the new Sudan triggered some sort of a feeling of sorrow and outrage among a large number of local residents at least in Khartoum, the capital city. It is painful for them to keep into oblivion the visualisation of the favourite map of Sudan ever since the declaration of Independence in 1956.

Both teachers and students were in tears when they replaced the map in their classrooms. Speaking to Gulf News, Ijlal Haseeb, teacher of a school in Fotaihab area in Umm Darman Region said: “The new map of Sudan is disgraceful. It also evokes grief and pain. We can neither draw it nor visualise it. As for students, they are also struggling to adapt to it after saying goodbye to the old favourite map,” she said. Reacting to the comments that the new map is sweet and beautiful, she shouted: How can the doctor say that your physical appearance is beautiful after chopping off either your feet or hands and that you are more handsome than earlier?

Noted lawyer Alam Mohammad Hassan Salem said that the map of the Arab nation has changed tremendously with losing many organs of the body Sudan. On his part, prominent columnist Dr. Abdul Latief Al Boni told Gulf News that I would be a liar if I say that I am not sad because of the change that happened to the map of Sudan. “The old map of Sudan was deep-rooted in our conscience and we can draw it with both eyes shut. As for the new map, it is repulsive, and the new political reality is painful,” he said, while noting that separation of South Sudan is not the child of July 9 but rather it is the outcome of the developments piled up over a period exceeding a century.