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

A photograph of the welcoming of Al Awad Hamid Jabr Al-Dar, Director of the Northern Directorate

Haj Al Rayeh, the Mayor Siror, the Director of the Directorate and an unidentified male

A photograph taken during the visit of the Egyptian ambassador to the city of Atbara

A photograph of Salah Mohammed Othman and his fiancée

A portrait of Saeed Saleh and his wife

A photograph of a Sudanese male citizen

A photograph of Mohammed Khier Khowjaly alongside his two children, also shown is Hassan Arabi and another unnamed friend

Khalaf Allah Mohammed Saleh

Al Zayn Hasan Altayb

A photograph from the protest demonstrations of the Legislative Committee

A photograph of a Sudanese citizen named Ahmed Mohammed Alsuhaeli

Ahmed Abdallah Alsayeed

A photograph of Emad Abd-Alhameed Abu-Dahab

A photograph of the children of Karar Jaffar

A photograph of an advertisement billboard for Camel Beer, one of the oldest modern Sudanese-made alcoholic drinks

Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Mohami

Mohammed Mohammed Ahmed

The visit of the Egyptian ambassador to Atbara

Mr. Gargossen, the General Director of the Railway Authority, stabilizing the foundation stone for the Labor Middle School.

A photograph of members of the youth sports club in Atbara

Eva and Najwa, the daughters of Hilmy Shenouda

Abu Bakr Alsiddiq

A photograph of Salih Dahab

Mr. Ismail al-Azhari, the Prime Minister of Sudan, with the commander of the Artillery Forces and Mr. Abdullah Mohammed Al-Amin, the director of the Northern Directorate, during their visit to the city of Atbara after the October revolution.

The rail traffic and cargo staff at the railway authority

A photograph of Maryam Ibrahim, and three others

A photograph of Al Sir Ali Al-Sobki

A photograph of the Railway Police Department’s musical troop and Mohammed Fadul Al-Maula

A photograph of the Industrial Academy at the city of Atbara, including member Kamil Ghandour among others

Madam Nasr Ahmed

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