Abdel Halim Muhammad Abdel Halim
The physician who rose to occupy senior health service roles in Sudan Dr Abdel Halim Muhammad Abdel Halim also became a grandee of his country's foot-balling and Olympic administration.
After qualifying as a medical doctor from Sudan, he became the first Sudanese to obtain membership, in 1948, of the Royal College of Physicians in London. He was first native to rise to hold the position of senior physician in Sudan Medical Service during British rule and at independence he went on to hold the equivalent position in the Ministry of Heath.
Dr. Halim developed medical services and led the development of the new teaching hospital in Khartoum. He was the first president of the Sudanese Medical Association.
A man of diverse interests Dr. Halim was Mayor of Khartoum, president of the Sudanese Football Association, founder member and president of the African Football Association and president of the Sudanese Olympic Committee. He also served on the International Olympic Committee. He was Chancellor of Khartoum University.
As a man of letters Dr. Halim was a leading member of the Hashnab and Dawn reading groups in 1930s. Together with similar reading groups it laid foundations for the Sudanese Graduates Congress, which itself heralded the creation of the main political parties. And that led the movement for independence from British rule that finally brought Sudanese independence in 1956.
After the overthrow of the first military dictatorship of General al-Abboud in 1964, Dr. Halim became one of the members of the Sudan Presidential Council, which presided over the interim coalition Government. That paved the way for general elections.
Dr. Abdel Halim Muhammad Abdel Halim was born in Omdurman, the native capital of Sudan, into a distinguished family of religious scholars, writers and politicians. He himself was elitist in his tastes.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan