Saturday, May 24, 2014

An Exchange of Emails Between Steve Gooch and Hafiz Kheir - March and April 2013

From: Steve Gooch
Sent: Monday, 1 April 2013, 16:05
Subject: Sudan Embassy

Hi Hafiz,

 I thought I would drop you a line. We met outside the Sudanese Embassy having a smoke on Sunday. Hope you remember me. I hope your family wedding went ok!

I am interested in your area of work and what it is you actually do in the media. I think you might be interested in my story from Sudan of Unity High School and how it was stolen by the Bishop of Khartoum on the back of the disappearance of a donation to the church by the British Royal Family back in the 70's...there is plenty of info and documentation here if you want to take a look: If you follow that 'corruption in the school' tag you will find a lot of very interesting info that is all pretty much cross-referenced. The Director of the school has already been in jail twice over this but seems to have been let out on both occasions. It would be interesting to know what the school has done with the $4,000,000 that it had in its bank accounts at the end of the tenure of Principal Dr Marina Hitchen also.

 Anyway, I thought you might be interested in that story. I am working on turning it into a novel right now.
 But that aside, it is always good to connect up with other writers and creative people. My link below will give you a bit more about me. One book under my belt, editing a journal on Reiki and working on a novel right now. Be in touch.

 Steve Gooch

From: Hafiz Kheir
Sent: 05 April 2013 16:10
To: Steve Gooch
Subject: Re: Sudan Embassy

Hi Steve, and thank you so much for your email...

Hope all went well with your embassy papers(!)...

Sorry for the delay responding; I don't have a reliable net connection here...

The wedding went good, am enjoying a lazy Cairo time with family...

the Story of the Unity School is very interesting indeed, and I can clearly see a documentary there!
I am reading the background and documents in the link you sent, but lets talk a little bit more, when
I get back to my base in Virginia, to see what we can do together...

If you're still in Cairo, maybe we can meet for Coffee and chat one evening, before I travel back on the 10th (of April..)

You can call me on my cousin's mobile number: xxxxxxxxxxx Cairo

All the best and let's keep it up!

Hafiz Kerr

Fri 05/04/2013 20:06

Hi Hafiz,

Glad that the wedding went fine and you are now chilling out. Yes, got my papers sorted at the embassy eventually.

Yes, you are right, there is definitely potential for a documentary  in all that material for sure. I think it goes deeper than we were able to investigate fully. Almost certainly - but without any substantive evidence right now, there is another school: KIPS (Khartoum International Preparatory School) involved in this in the early days too - also 'stolen' it seems: not BY the church, but FROM the church (the last I heard they are still fighting this in the courts and have been for over 40 years now): maybe it was this that gave them the idea to take Unity - an eye for an eye maybe? But KIPS is involved in this somehow. My ex boss would possibly know a little more on that as she saw documents on a visit there once that were swiftly removed from her sight by a lawyer at the school I think...

And if KIPS IS involved - and for sure it would seem to be - then a royal donation made by the British Monarchy in the 70's (which paid for the building of KIPS I think) is also implicated. That donation - made by Princess Ann seems to have largely gone missing also.

Oddly, even though we did not get a chance to search ALL the documents held at the school, it does seem to be the case that the entire file of minutes of various meetings in the school has disappeared - possibly now held in the Sudan Archive at the university of Durham in the UK. That file would cover the royal donation - possibly the argument between the Principal of Unity at the time over monies expected to be paid or given back to her 'associate' (lover? friend? colleague?) by the school council on receipt of the royal donation - this money was denied by the council and not long after, KIPS was taken by someone who walked in with some documents and claimed the school as his (forged Trust Deeds maybe?).

Anyway, the rabbit hole is deep and what you see on the archive is the tip of the iceberg. And all of this going on in the school that was at the centre of the international news in 2007 over the Teddy bear that was named Mohamed. It is a MASSIVE story when you factor that into the equation along with the royal donation and the head of the Anglican community in Khartoum being a suspected thief!

Sadly I am not in Cairo now. I live in Alex at the moment and am back here now. For sure get in touch any time and if you think there is mileage in this, lets work on something. I am keen for the school to be returned to a legal body of Trustees and for sure you could count on the support and active participation of the Principal at the time we discovered all this corruption: Dr Marina Hitchen.

Hope to hear from you soon.


(Note: So far this story has not been taken up by Hafez - 3rd November 2013)


  1. I have to admire your resolve. Many would have shrugged their shoulders and walked away but you and Dr Marina keep on trying to get to the bottom of the scandal and I hope that your book and the documentary get made one day. I am sure that once you start making your documentary you will be given more information from the many people who have been sickened by the corruption. Good luck!

  2. Lets hope so. This evening, I have been sitting talking to Dr Marina about the problems at Unity and how the corruption and scandal have still not been resolved. In fact the problems seem to deepen by all accounts and I have heard anecdotal information this evening that the parents of the school are raising a petition to have the current Principal removed. There was sadly an inevitability of this type of outcome in the end.

    I have in my possession many documents relating to the sale and transfer of Unity High School back in the late 1930's and the problems that then ensued over the failed transfer of the properly once the sale had gone through. This problem, much of which the eventual theft of the school was based on, went on through the 1940's and the 1950's.

    When I get the time to edit and crop these images from the CMS Archive in Birmingham, I will post them up here.


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