Voices of Darfur

Monday, November 5, 2007

 

           “Our people are dying,” Sudanese refugee Daoud Hari grimly explained to a captivated audience of 102 students, faculty members, staff, and community members on November 5, 2007. Hari is a survivor of the ongoing genocide in Darfur, an area in Africa’s western Sudan roughly the size of Texas. In 2003, when two rebel groups challenged Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, he responded swiftly and brutally.

            Al-Bashir has sought to quell any rebel activity by wiping out entire villages, destroying and poisoning food and water supplies, and systematically murdering, torturing, and raping hundreds of thousands of Dafur citizens. One woman from Darfur revealed in the video presentation that she was raped by five different men. Another man explained how he was forced to watch the murder of his family by military forces. It is important to note that these genocidal efforts, seeking to wipe out the Darfurian population, are actions that occur with the direct support of Sudan’s government.

            Hari and Motasim Adam, two of Darfur’s survivors, travel the country trying to spread awareness of the frightening events taking place overseas in Africa. They present their experiences to the college audiences, with hopes that mobilization efforts will encourage policymakers to support their cause. Hari and Adam implored their audience to urge their representatives to make change.  As many as 400,000 innocent civilians have been killed in al-Bashir’s attempts to wipe out the Darfur region.  Without the government intervention that Hari and Adam are hoping will come from America and other developmentally advanced nations, many more may become victims of the Sudanese government’s ethnic cleansing.

            As a result of Hari and Adam’s moving and deeply disturbing presentation, some voices have indeed been sparked. The Townhouse Hall Council has enlisted their residential community in writing letters to legislators, encouraging them to take action. On November 30th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, the Townhouse Hall Council will be collecting letters to state representatives and paying for all postage to have the letters mailed. Addresses of legislators and/or Presidential candidates will be made available to anyone who attends the letter-writing drive. Students who cannot be present but are interested in writing letters in support of Darfur are still encouraged to do so. Letters can be sent via e-mail to Christopher Keogh at CK95339p@pace.edu.

            More information about the Save Darfur campaign can be found at www.safedarfur.org.

 

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