Abdallah and Griselda visiting Suakin. Copyright Griselda El Tayib.
Abdallah and Griselda visiting Suakin. Copyright Griselda El Tayib.

Griselda El Tayib

Abdallah and Griselda visiting Suakin. Copyright Griselda El Tayib.
Griselda El Tayib

Items in this personal collection were contributed to the Sudan Memory Project for digitisation by Dorothy Griselda El Tayib MBE, from her home in Burri, Khartoum. The material mostly relates to Griselda’s life with her husband, the late Professor Abdallah El Tayib, the renowned scholar of Arabic and Islamic studies. Abdallah and Griselda are household names in Sudan, each on their merit, but also as a couple whose devotion to each other is often celebrated in Sudan’s media.

Griselda’s collection includes a filmed interview about her life, from 1920s England and throughout her time in Sudan. Collection images include a selection of 35mm Slides dating from 1963-1967 and several photographs taken at various other times documenting the couple’s life in Sudan, Nigeria, Morocco and their trips abroad. 

One group of photographs shows Professor El Tayib receiving awards and attending academic conferences. Other photographs show a theatre production of one of Professor El Tayib’s plays performed by Khartoum University’s amateur dramatics society in the early 60s. Further photos show the process of securing the plot of land and constructing the couple’s house in Khartoum’s ‘New Extension’ (Amarat).

As a graduate of Art’s college, painting continues to play a big part in Griselda’s life and she has taught the subject in Sudan, at the Omdurman Teacher Training College and the Khartoum Girls Secondary School among others, and abroad in Nigeria. Her teaching years are captured in a group of images and a short audio clip (GET-0000196).

Now in her 90s, Griselda continues to enjoy painting for leisure with her weekly painting group and the collection contains a couple of her drawings and a number of the illustrations of traditional Sudanese costumes that appeared in her 2018 book on this topic.

The final part of Griselda’s collection is a selection of newspaper clippings, mainly from the Sudanese press, and mainly about the death of Professor Abdallah in June 2003. These include photographs of the funeral, articles about his life, obituaries and memorial verses.

Khartoum, Sudan

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