Fledgling university brings hope to men and women of all tribes and beliefs

New University Brings Hope to War Zone in Nuba Mountains, Sudan


KAUDA, NUBA MOUNTAINS, SUDAN: Dec 27, 2016 – As students listen attentively to a lecture describing strategies for reforestation others are outside listening for approaching Antonov bombers, fearful that aerial bombing could resume in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains.  The classroom can be evacuated in a quick scramble, as students and faculty take cover from the risk of barrel bombs. 

This fledgling school of 1,100 students, called Kush State University, is located in Kauda, one of the strongholds of Sudan’s rebels, who claim control of 80% of the Nuba Mountains. The school envisions itself as an antidote to the Arabizing and Islamizing tactics of Omar al-Bashir, the who has ruled Sudan since 1989, the only head of state in the world under indictment by the International Criminal Court.   

Photo: NBA legend Manute Bol, one of the tallest players in history

The current needs include compensation for professors, curricula, laptops, and satellite internet connections and air time. Sudan Sunrise, the US-based non-profit known for their work with the late NBA legend, Manute Bol, is KSU’s US partner and can provide speakers, further information, and channel gifts.

Photo: Bishop Andudu (l) and Khalid Abbas (r), a Muslim and the leader of KSU, both seated following a meeting with KSU’s staff, faculty and volunteers.

Khalid Abbas, one of the founders, describes KSU as a secular university for men and women, and students of all tribal and religious backgrounds.  A particular aim of KSU is to provide university education to the underserved marginalized black African populations from Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile, who fall outside of Bashir’s utopian dream of imposed unity, due to their darker skin or non-Muslim faith.

“We believe our diversity is our strength, and by working together we will unlock the door to a better future”, says Khalid. 

Photo: Working together in solidarity to help men and women of all tribes and beliefs: Political science lecturer, Tutu Kalifa (l) a Muslim and Anglican Archbishop Andudu Adam Elnail (r) discuss KSU’s future.

The need for KSU is the result of the emphasis on education by Nuban leaders, who first began providing primary schools, then secondary, and now see KSU as the means to provide university education for more than 3,000 students who have completed secondary school. 

While all Nubans have suffered under the bombing and ground attacks, Christians have been especially singled out.  Sudan’s Armed Forces have leveled schools and burned a number of churches in the region.  Without Khartoum’s interference, Nubans are known for religious harmony.  KSU is determined to maintain and expand that religious harmony, by fostering cooperation among Muslims and Christians, standing for religious freedom and growing mutual respect through education. 

“We can’t build until we have a peace agreement because Khartoum will simply destroy it,” says Khalid.  “But we can teach.  My dream is that KSU can show not only the marginalized but all of Sudan, what we can accomplish if we work together in peace and mutual respect.” 

Available for interviews

Khalid Abass, Kauda, Nuba Mountains

Juma Seif Shaibu, US Representative for KSU, Nashville, TN

Gavin Gramstad, former aid worker in Nuba Mountains, Chantilly, VA

Tom Prichard, Executive Director, Sudan Sunrise, Reston, VA

To schedule an interview contact

Maria Sliwa

M. Sliwa Public Relations and Freedom Now Communications, Inc.


973-272-2861 (call), 202-750-1684 (call and text)