Interviewer: Mohamed Saad Kamil
Translator: Haneen M. Osman
Sudanese cafe visited by geeks and crazy People
When you first enter the place, you realize the small space, traditional, modern furniture, and its walls that are covered with stunning fine paintings, the amazement itself makes you fly inside this world, the things found in it make you feel that you are not in a coffee shop or an ordinary café, but in an oasis of elegance and beauty, in the presence of the heritage that decorates the place and allows you to see all the Sudanese cultures around you. This is the Someet a great place located in the suburb of Riyadh-Khartoum.
Our host Mr. / Ahmed Mohieeldin- owner of the idea of the cafe.
–Why there is always an emotional attachment to the past and always symbolizes the kindness and warmth of feelings, if I well described it?
Sudanese are emotional, with of almost 90% of Sudanese society. The past is not a subject to changes, so it is guaranteed and the emotion in it is sustained. As for the present and the future, the changes occur frequently in compare to the past, so it is reclining for many people, even painful events in it become memories, there is a very beautiful characteristic in the Sudanese, they have the ability to transfer sad and painful memories to Funny comic scenes, they remember it without being affected by the sadness it caused them at that time. And through it a recall of emotion and kindheartedness, and that is the core that formed Someet.
- -Are there any ideas that support the past with its guarantees is better than the present or vice versa?
In fact, there is no guarantee. We cannot favor the past over the present or the present over the future. The future itself will be the past of other people. We decide its importance and beauty.
-Do you think that taking advantage of human passion commercially in relation to Someet is a type of commercial intelligence?
I do not think so, it is not a commercial intelligence as much as it is a special uniqueness because I am a “collector “ I love collecting old antiques or any unique piece from the beautiful time to the point that my house became busy with these unique pieces, the reason that made me think of a special place that I can make a studio for painting at the same time I enjoy collecting and keeping my precious pieces from the past, the people are the ones who encouraged me to go into this commercial field because most of my visitors to someet are very much like me in its beginnings and still till now they love things from the past and they prefer to keep them, because they are emotionally related to these things. They come daily to someet to drink coffee that was offered freely for visitors of the studio at that time and then they asked for activating the commercially service to be more comfortable and avoid the embarrassment of daily repeated visits, from here and caring for their feelings came the idea of commercial coffee shop.
-I read in some researches that collectors are relatively psychopath, how do you comment on this idea?
Ahmed replies, laughing if it is a disease then its benign. Indeed, there is an illness of collecting things without focusing on specific things and accumulating them in one place. Often the person with this illness is obsessed with collecting things without benefiting from them. But my obsession with collecting old and unique things is only for my artistic taste or things that are related to a story that affects me even if it’s not from the past. I am obsessed with stories, for example, when I go to Cairo, you see stories anywhere when you open your window overlooking the street, that is why I am so moved and obsessed with collecting past things.
-Is the only reason for someet’s success is the collective passion and our need as a community for warmth of the past, or there are other causes such as management, staff, and others?
I think this is the core of success, i.e. any project on the level of the world, there must have a concept of its own to distinguish it from the rest of the projects. What distinguishes someet is it’s taste from the past but there are other assisting factors which are the type and quality of the drinks served as well as the unique treatment, any person who comes to someet looking for warmth of passion and kindness that is found inside the place, which is not found somewhere else. This is the reason why I was keen to train the team how to deal with care and interest to the story of every antique present in someet.
-Do you follow a specific method for collecting antiques and old objects?
As you know that the collectors of old things are originally crazy, I used to go to all the places of auctions and search for unique things, and after a while I became familiar to auction dealers and they helped me collect the things that I want to the point that they reach the cafe and sometimes to the house, which made it very easy for me to gather a lot of stuff. On top of that, the old houses in ancient neighborhoods such as the Omdurman, Burri, and others.
–Is there any support that can come to you as a kind of gifts or donations related to this antique from a fan of your idea?
Rarely such things happen, it happened once or twice during the time that we worked in the café, as most people who visit Someet and see the amount of interest and appreciation to the pieces found in it and the unique way of display, automatically they conduct the same interest and degree of appreciation and even more for the old things that they have to uphold and well take care of It.
-Why there is no attention given to such interesting historic things at the level of the state?
pieces are I think that the regime that ruled Sudan lacks passion, antiques and ancient
called financial culture which is a process that needs money and a research team around Sudan to collect them. For example, Darfur holds thousands of antiques dating back to ancient civilizations thousands of years ago. but money and special exploratory teams were not provided to search about cultural history and relied on repeated culture in a vulgar way.
-What kind of visitors frequently visit someet Café?
Most of them are obsessed and this is a rare characteristic in regular cafes, but they are of different classes there is a common factor between them is that they are very emotional people who are obsessed with emotional madness and getting out of the box, for example a young man who came all the way from Port Sudan to Khartoum only to drink coffee in someet is there more obsessive!!!
-How do you see the future of Someet?
I can see someet “1”, “2”, and “3”. Firstly, what distinguishes Someet is its invisible location that calls people who specially target Someet and not others. Secondly, the small space that made me manage it the way I want and I can be creative in the decoration …etc. Thirdly, the cost was limited Because of its small space, which made it very unique and successful at its beginnings, but now it has become a reason for not expanding it further, so we are thinking about branches around the three cities of Khartoum, Bahri, Omdurman and the different cities of Sudan.
-How do you promote for someet, is it through oral advertising, direct contact, or through “Social Media”?
There are currently two channels for the initial announcements: oral announcement and direct contact from visitors to the place.
The second channel is the social media, on which we are completely dependent, we have a very active Facebook page and it has a huge turnout of over 20,000 fans, so I consider it the main channel in promoting Someet.