1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/El Obeid
EL OBEID, chief town of the mudiria (province) of Kordofan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and 230 m. S.W. by S. of Khartum in a direct line. Pop. (1905) about 10,000. It is situated about 2000 ft. above the sea, at the northern foot of Jebel Kordofan, in 13° 11′ N. and 30° 14′ E. It is an important trade centre, the chief articles of commerce being gum, ivory, cattle and ostrich feathers. A considerable part of the trade of Darfur with Egypt passes through El Obeid.
El Obeid, which appears to be a place of considerable antiquity and the ancient capital of the country, was garrisoned by the Egyptians on their conquest of Kordofan in 1821. In September 1882 the town was assaulted by the troops of the mahdi, who, being repulsed, laid siege to the place, which capitulated on the 17th of January 1883. During the Mahdia the city was destroyed and deserted, and when Kordofan passed, in 1899, into the possession of the Anglo-Egyptian authorities nothing was left of El Obeid but a part of the old government offices. A new town was laid out in squares, the mudiria repaired and barracks built. (See Kordofan, and Sudan: Anglo-Egyptian.)