Fish-Painting by Dr Taha Malasi

A painting with felt pen - Red Sea Fish


I was born in Port-Sudan, our house was about 300 meter from the red sea and the sea was my life. Since I was able to walk I spend all my time playing in the sea shore. There was much to do catching small fish, collecting corals, swimming, and watching colorful fish in the crustal clear waters of the Red Sea. It is traditional for port Sudan Families, men women and children  to visits and bath their children in the sea  in celebrations.      

Before port sudan was build by the British my grand parents and parents Lived In Sawakin City, it used to be the only port for Sudan, connecting it , as part the OttomanEmpire to the the rest of the world. After the build of Port-Sudan Sawking died as a port and as a city.  The  ancient history of Sawakin is surrounded by mystery . Some native believes  the name derive from (Sawagin) i.e. prison  in Arabic .This was associated with the believe that Sawkin  was build by King Solomon(Suliman-in Arabic) especially to imprison naughty devils in special a bottles and keeping them from harming people. As a modern city Sawkin used to very prospurus  and the inhabitant were quite rich and lived in high rise houses build with white stones very much like Greek Islands. Most of the great buildings now in ruin, but Sawkin is growing fast again and is becoming a turist attraction because of its old buildings and . Also because of its rich and beautiful sea with its Corals and magnificent varieties of fish and other marine animals it is visited by famous people like Jack Cousteau to make under water films and many others for scooper diving .      

Sawking cats, worse to be mentioned , believed by the local people to be a member of the Jinn , transforms by night to people and enter people homes to steal food. People believe they can talk. To be honest they are quite scary, they are extraordinarily huge, larger than the average cats and lacks fear or respect to humans altogether.       

 My father was the 2end man in the port I was allowed to fish in the port and the pears. Also with my older brother Ismat and cousin Mustafaas well as my sisters Zenab and Huda and younger brother Abdulrawuf and the little gangs little of boys in our area we roomed the beaches and explored the best places for swimming and fishing.  The crystal clear waters was amazing long and teamed with amazing varieties of colorful sea creatures and corals. I was hooked to fishing from a very young age , I spend most day from early morning until sunset in the sea and some times carry fishing by night until my mother drag me out or send a messenger to bring me back.    

 Almost all the fishes in that place was colored , amazing beautiful multi colors that can not be described. I spend hours and hours watching and contemplating enjoying the sea through the pristine clear water and learning about the diverse types of fish and corals and I loved every moment of it. I still love fishing but I would not kill coral fishes and feel sorry that I did in my childhood,  as I used to catch hundreds of them everyday because of their huge number. Now with environmental changes and over fishing Coral reefs and its beautiful inhabitant are disappearing fast and endangered>  

Because of my childhood experience at the shores of the red sea painting or trying to paint beautiful fishes is and obssetion and but trying to copy nature beautiful colores and creation has illuded me as I feel it is unatainable. So nature colrs and diversity is the only refuge to my aching heart and yearning for satisfaction with colors.

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