It’s amazing, but true: Compassion
Radio, an evangelical Christian ministry, is pioneering the development of a
transformational secular, comprehensive university in the Islamic bastion of
Khartoum, Sudan. And it is doing so at the request of the popular former
president of Sudan, Jafaar al-Nimeiri.
This seemingly improbable project is
moving forward with the approval of the Sudanese government. Over the past
year, two “institutes” have been held in Khartoum, involving scholarly
exchanges between American and Sudanese academics. The American contributors
have included faculty members from such universities as Rutgers,
Northeastern, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Mercer, and the
University of Jos in Nigeria. Among the attendees (and expressing approval
of the endeavor), has been Sudan’s Vice President, Ali Osman Muhamad Taha.
The University project has grown out
of a friendship between Norm Nelson and a leading Sudanese economist that
began in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both Norm and the economist, a devout Muslim,
describe their meeting as “providential”.
Norm comments, “We will continue to
move ahead with this project as long as the Sudanese government cooperates
with our efforts and remains supportive of the statement of principles which
both our American and Sudanese committees have affirmed.”
university is to be named Nimeiri University, in honor of the former
president, and its campus will be built on government-donated land in
Omdurman, across the Nile River from Khartoum.
Norm has invited Dr. James Jennings,
an evangelical Arabic-speaking specialist in Islamic history to be
administrator of the project. Dr. Jennings has taught at Wheaton College,
the University of Akron, and the University of Tennessee.
Previously on Sudan: "A
Step Toward Peace in Darfur"