Words of Encouragement

68I know how I feel about Darfur, but I always like to hear what others think. So I spent the last two hours sifting through quotes spoken by various individuals about the crisis. Here are a few I found worth sharing –

“The news media’s silence, particularly television news, is reprehensible. If we knew as much about Darfur as we do about Michael Jackson, we might be able to stop these things from continuing.” 

Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times Writer

“I care about Darfur because I am human, I care because it is the right thing to do, and I care because I believe positive change is possible.” 

Kelly VanderBeek, Olympic Skier

“I want to touch it. I want to feel it. I want to make it real and bring it to as many people as I can.” 

Derek Fisher, Professional Basketball Player

“We can’t give up. We are going to keep fighting and we are going to win. And we will win.” 

Donald Payne, NJ Congressman

Tears of the Desert, a memoir of survival in Darfur

Nicholas Kristof writes about an upcoming memoir by Dr. Halima Bashir, a young Darfuri woman whom the Sudanese authorities have tried to silence by beatings and gang-rape.

Halima soon found herself treating heartbreaking cases, like that of a 6-year-old boy who suffered horrendous burns when the state-sponsored janjaweed militia threw him into a burning hut.

Then the janjaweed attacked a girls’ school near Halima’s new clinic and raped dozens of the girls, aged 7 to 13. The first patient Halima tended to was 8 years old. Her face was bashed in and her insides torn apart. The girl was emitting a haunting sound: “a keening, empty wail kept coming from somewhere deep within her throat — over and over again,” she recalls in the book.

Halima found herself treating the girls with tears streaming down her own face. All she had to offer the girls for their pain was half a pill each of acetaminophen: “At no stage in my years of study had I been taught how to deal with 8-year-old victims of gang rape in a rural clinic without enough sutures to go around.

This has to stop.

Calling the Darfur crisis a “genocide” is not enough. Our leaders, the international community… all of us need to do more. I agree with Mr. Kristof and “hope President Bush accelerates the process and invites her to the White House, to show the world which of the two Bashirs America stands behind.”

Read the entire article here.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

Nicholas Kristof speaking at Chapman University

I just found out that two-time Pulitizer prize winner, Nick Kristof will be speaking at Chapman University next Tuesday, September 2nd at 7pm.

Mr. Kristof is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. He was one of the earliest (and consistent) voices to shed light on the genocide in Darfur. It was reading his regular columns on Darfur that inspired me to become more active on Darfur. I for one am really excited about seeing him next week.

Nicholas Kristof talk at Chapman
Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 7pm
Memorial Hall, Chapman University

For more information, call (714) 744-7026

See all details regarding the event here.

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Read articles on Darfur written by Mr. Kristof.