The Roaring Bashoum is Still Alive among Us!

The intimacy of colleagues is usually an everlasting tie that connects the two separable bodies in the one felt soul. Prof. Mahmoud in displaying the bereavement of Bashoum; the late, he made his pen inked dolorous, anguished, brokenhearted, aggrieved, and cheerless kind of diction. Hopefully these dripping words of tears serve as clouds that hide the super-sunny weather that bereavement created. Not to spoil the ink prof. Mahmoud decant for that clean slate, I will let you with it!
Bereavement
Fall of a Great Edifice
Bashoum, really impressed me at SELTI
He is my favorite fellow ever. He was one of the very few teachers, I was destined to encounter, who were capable of instilling confidence and making learning a fascinating challenge. When he learns a bit of fresh information his eyes were ablaze with excitement and joy. His eyes readily betray his composure or self-possession. What sets him distinct from all those I have met is his ability of explaining the more complicated things in a moderately simple and astonishing manner. When I met him for the first time in 1990 he made me discover things about myself that were obscure or vague to me. In fact he coached me into exploring my inner professional self. His remarks were heartily, real and encouraging. He was not aloof. He was friendly the matter that made his classes more enjoyable and popular. Bashoum was actually endowed with multiple teaching and social talents. One of his students once told me that what she likes about Bashoum among many other merits is his ability to bring to your attention the relevance of your learning in astounding way by providing practical examples so convincing to his all audience.
Bashoum, despite the harsh realities of our country, was progressively developing. He is always full of fresh ideas for fun and learning. Upon my arrival at SELTI that evening in 1990 Bashoum was teaching one of those general English courses for the public. Abdel Aziem Salim, who was head of the General English Department, was reclining on an angareeb and fuming with anger as one of those teachers was absent or couldn’t come on time to start her class. I greeted them with all the respect on me and asked for classes on hourly basis. Abdel Aziem daggered me with a suspicious look laden of all the doubtfulness of the earth that I would be successful in professionally handling their SELTI classes. I was young and full of all the arrogance that University of Khartoum could fill its graduate with. Upon detecting his mistrustful look I asked him in a challenging manner to attend my class lest he may learn something. Bashoum was watching the whole scene so closely when suddenly started to laugh and begged Abdel Aziem to join me. In fact Abdel Aziem fetched a chair and took a hiding place outside the classroom where he could see things quite evidently and hear every single word. By the end of the lesson Bashoum came and politely asked me to round up my class.This episode cemented my relation with Bashoum who readily asked abdel Aziem to absorb me in a full teaching schedule. He even surrendered some of his classes to me. By the way in one of those classes Bashoum and I taught Traji Mustafa.
We do need teachers like great Bashoum to push the country up the slopes of academic success and improve our tragic educational realities to which Al-Ingaz has dealt a deadly blow. We need teachers who are adorable and create an atmosphere of awe and wonderment in classroom settings. They are sure to change forever their students’ ways of viewing the world and life. Bashoum was one of those who were empowered with their faith and dedication to instill in their students and colleagues a love for knowledge and a passion of understanding. He was mystic in the strict sense of the word. Worldly things never lived up to his imagination or sense of possessing. He has a big loving and kind heart. Once I was hiding behind a tree and thinking over my late mother who terrible sick. He saw me and came just as I was beginning to cry. “What’s wrong Mahmoud, What’s wrong with you?” I told him the whole story. Alas, the man started crying so bitterly and that I could hardly control him. His sad feelings are so contagious and easily passed around that suddenly a huge gathering of the trainee teachers took up the crying chorus without knowing what is what.
He was always seen having his nose on his books and computer but his heart was throbbing with kindness and wondering elsewhere with the needy and his students. The school and institution of learning have formed his world. He delivered his classes with very great enthusiasm and professionalism that made the subject come alive whatever it is. Bashoum loves children so greatly and cared about them as human beings. He believes children to have their intelligent and neat world though they can scarcely express it verbally like the elders. My son who was six was taking a beginner course with Bashoum. He went to the front part of the room to ask for a clarification. He swooped him up near to his head and put it in close adjacency to his head and told him to think the answer out of his head. He admired the process. It was such a lasting infectious and energizing impression. He believes teaching is a helping profession and should never be viewed along calculative lines. It requires a great deal of self-sacrifice.
Undoubtedly, classrooms are infernos particularly in Sudan with oversize classes or underprivileged classrooms, excessive paperwork, tiring bureaucracy, irresponsive students and above all very much poor pay. However, teachers like Bashoum consider this depressing situation of teaching in our country as more rewarding than any other job in the world of commerce or banking. That is why so many people believe that teaching is such a demanding profession and calls for a specific type of persons. Hence, a teacher is born not made. My dear friend Bashoum is the right caliber for this profession. He is very proud of it as he knows that he is one of the privileged few that shape the minds of a huge portion of young people of our country. He watches them open up , grow and become more competent and more powerful only to assume influential positions and hence inject the changes their teachers have dreamt of.
His death has been heartbreaking and calamitous to many of his colleagues and students. Death of a teacher is death of a nation. This man was a great edifice in the field of education. He was a teacher who taught at the different levels of education in our country right from the primary school to university. He was a trainer of trainers, a text-book writer, a poet, educator, a translator and an outstanding storyteller. To converse with Prof Bashoum you are instantly taken up by surprise at his implausibly huge breadth of knowledge. As an interlocutor your eyes starts to light up with the wealth of knowledge you begin to absorb as he starts talking. Every bit of information count and adds to your legacy of education. He is very pleasant to sit with and talk to. Switch on a lovely topic, let him take the lead and you are left speechless with awe.
In our country, quite a big number of educators, students and colleagues are grateful to this gentleman. They treasure up the academic services he rendered them across their research projects. He never asks for a pay but enjoys those moments when his students meet him in a function or street after they have left university or a training course and start telling him how they benefited and appreciated his learning, classes and what he taught them. He rejoices those rare moments when one of his students sends him a thank-you note. They often do. Teachers in general thrive on commendation and recognition of their labors and efforts. The best professors at the most reputable universities and highly praised and acclaimed surgeons, engineers, journalists among others are greatly indebted to teachers who spared no time and effort to prime, shape and cultivate their desire for learning. All those prominent figures in the community such policymakers and thinkers have been taught by a teacher at some point in their lives.
May Allah bless him with Jannah and reward him for all the assistance and services he rendered his students and colleagues and give his family Sabr. Please do pray for Bashoum in your prostration.
Mahmoud
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