Unity High School: 'A photo speaks a thousand words'
This photograph shows the Unity High School for Girls graduation class of 1948. Margo is the only Jewish student in her class, standing alongside her Greek, Armenian, Coptic and Sudanese classmates.
Left to right:
Top Row: Margo (Jewish), Desphine (Greek, Christian Greek Orthodox), Irene (Egyptian, Coptic), Anna Heid (Armenian, Christian).
Bottom Row: Aziza (Sudanese, Muslim), Fatima (Sudanese, Muslim), Mrs Junor (British, Head Teacher), Mrs Williams (British, English & French Teacher), Madeline (Egyptian, Coptic) and Mary (Greek, Christian Greek Orthodox).
The girls are all dressed extremely fashionably in Western style clothing. Their sandals are equally as fashionable, not to mention spotlessly clean. It would be safe to assume all had had their pure white dresses made for the occasion, and their hair beautifully done for their graduation photograph. The girls have been taught to sit like ‘ladies’, one ankle carefully placed over the other one, pointing inwards to the middle of the photograph and knees tightly pressed together. Save for the cross necklace that Madeline wears it is impossible to tell the religion of each girl; all are equal in their faith, all come from an economic background that allows them to pay the Unity High School fees, and all have been taught by the British! They have received a good British education in a good British school and proudly display their crested diplomas. The absence of any Italian students or teachers in a photograph taken only three years after the Second World War is also revealing.
In short, this single picture of eight graduates and their teachers is a beautiful microcosm of upper-middle class Sudanese society in 1948, and that is why I felt I had to share it!