Portrait of Ahmed Zakaria and his wife. Copyright Rashid Photo Studio.
Portrait of Ahmed Zakaria and his wife. Copyright Rashid Photo Studio.

Rashid Photo Studio

Premiere for 'Hopes & Dreams' at Omdurman's national cinema. Copyright Rashid Photo Studio.
Rashid Photo Studio

The Al Rashid Studio in Atbara is the largest private photo studio in Sudan. The studio includes over four million negatives dating back to the 1940s of public, private and family events, as well as of local industry, politics and movements. Atbara was at the centre of Sudan’s railway industry and regarded as the cradle of the Sudanese trade union movement and of Sudanese communism.

The studio’s founder, Rashid Mahdi (1923-2008), was a Sudanese cameraman, film producer and director ,and a self-taught photographer. Following his graduation from the industrial school in Omdurman, he bought his first camera. Rashid Mahdi then returned to Atbara to establish his own studio and what was Atbara’s first photo studio in 1939, with his self-built ‘illuminate camera’ constructed of wood. Rashid Mahdi and his studio thrived and was continued by Amin El Rashid (1945-), son of Rashid Mahdi, up to the mid-1990s.

Amin El Rashid is passionate about preserving the studio’s collections, for both the studio’s legacy but also as a cultural heritage of Sudan, especially of the cosmopolitan city that was Atbara, and as a resource for researchers. For, as stated by Amin, ‘a country without a history is a country without a future’. Amin has been working with Sudan Memory since 2017 to record a large part of the studio’s archive.

What is presented here is a selection of scanned materials that showcases this collection. For more information on the collection, please contact the collection contributor.

Atbara, Sudan

Mohammed Al-Sayed Othman, the deputy director of the railway authority

A group of worker affairs employees at the railway authority

A photograph of Asia Abd Al-Majeed

Judge Jalal Ali Lutfi

One of the Ethiopian women in Atbara

A photograph of Hassan Ali Hassan

Protest procession at the Mwlid Square in the city of Atbara

The railway police marching band with Mohammed Fadul Almawla

A musical festival, independence

Siddig Hamd

A number of people from the city of Atbara

Atbara's municipal officials mediated by chief officer Mohammed Abu Bakar

A photograph of Abd-Allah Khalil addressing the Municipal Council

A Sudanese family with Tabs's wife in the city of Atbara. The portrait illustrates Sudanese religious tolerance between Muslims and Christians.

The late Ahmed Abd Al-Salam Abed

A photograph of a crowd in Atbara celebrating independence day

A photograph of Suleiman Mujeeb

The house of Governor Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah with a number of citizens

The teachers from Atbara's Eastern side school for girls

A photograph taken during the tour of the Administrative Secretary

A photograph of Imam Sheikh Majzoub and Khairy Abd-Almajeed at the ceremony of the Atbara Alumni Club

Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa

Evacuation celebrations Evacuating the British and Egyptian soldiers from Sudan, and the first steps for independence.

Mohammed Khalifa

A photograph of the masonic society

A wedding portrait of Malik Al Sheikh Mohammed Saeed and his wife

The player Abdallah Ebied and the members of "Al-Seer" club on a Nile cruise

A photograph of Abd Al-Moniem Atabi

Photograph of one unit of the artillery forces of Atbara

Family of Al-Khawaja Azmy

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