Darfur Fast for Life

We fast in solidarity with the hungry and starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan
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Archive for April, 2009

May 1 – Day 5 of Mia Farrow’s Hunger Strike

April 30, 2009 By: Admin Category: Front Page Updates

Friday: 67 people fasting with Mia and in solidarity with the people of Darfur

UPDATES

April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Courageous, Strong, Empathy, that adjectives are ongoing……There is no way in which I will ever truly understand, but in saying this I have a glimpse, a connection – howevver small. I am sick and I am hungry but I have a home, freedoms and an end…….I watch my husbands moods level and spike and it is continuous, he is hungry and he wonders how; it hurts my heart…..and yet this is not my child. I watch him -my son- eat, run, play and learn and wonder how the mothers in Darfur sustain a strength I could never know, watching their own children suffer. I am constantly asked why, who, what, where and I wonder how they answer the same questions when asked. My beautiful son “Mama we have to do something”, how does a six year old understand this and our leaders do not? I watch the videos, and all I see is hope, fearlessness and again, again strength amazing strength. I feel a connection to this community, the other fasters help to give me strength and courage, when right now I am sick and want to stop. The refugee’s give me tremendous reason, these beautiful people and their ability to give, smile and see hope. I am commited, connected and will not accept inaction, that is not a possibility. The questions that are ongoing in my head the faces that I see when I am hungry, they give the strength to continue….

Stephen and Alysha

April 30 – Water-only

April 30, 2009 By: Gabriel Category: Gabriel Stauring

We drove from Fargo, ND to Minneapolis, MN today. For most of the drive, we could see billboard after billboard advertising food joints, with pictures of juice burgers and stakes and fries and tacos and coffee and more. It would be so easy to take any of the exits and be eating in less than 10 minutes. Fast food is fast here in the US.

When we did stop, it was to go to the restroom at markets that every gas station has next to it on the road. Katie-Jay and I have been drinking lots of water today. My mouth still feels dry, though. We are now on a plane flying back home to the Los Angeles area. For once, I am grateful that they do not give free food in almost all domestic flights. So, more water in flight and more doing multiple trips to the restroom.raouda-inside-home

I do not know where are flying over right now, but it looks a little like the view when flying from the capital of Chad to the east of the country, towards where the refugee camps are. There is nothing but browns and darker browns–no greens.

The traveling and the fasting has had me thinking about specific children I have met at the camps. Raouda in particular keeps coming to mind. I imagine her, wide-eyed, waking up in her village to the sound and feel of bombs. Her grandmother calling for her to start running, but Raouda running towards grandma and hanging on to her dress.

They had a long way to travel. I do not know Raouda’s precise exodus story, but I have heard it over and over again from so many other of her people.

raouda-and-hassanya

They run without being able to grab food or water. They walk during the night and hide during the day. They take risks at time and venture over to a dry river bed and begin digging for water to drink, but I imagine their mouths remain dry, always. How many family members and friends did not make it across the desert?

I have not felt hungry, but I still have another four hours to go on this 24 hour water-only part of my fast. I am lucky that my travel has been on car and plane. Raouda and her grandma walked. There are still no exit signs for when Raouda might end her fast.

April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

Day 4

Day 4: Mia Farrow: Hunger Strike for Darfur – April 30, 2009

Day 14 – Thursday, April 30

April 30, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Have lost 8 pounds, although it fluctuates – my body has definitely gone into hibernation mode. I am continuing the fast – Darfuris want peace but they want justice more. They need food, they want justice more. We hear this over and over. I am on the side of the Darfuris on this one.

Going to surf today with a dear friend – I need to get in the water even if don’t catch too many waves. The ocean is healing.

Day 13 – Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 30, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Was appreciative this morning to be able to eat some rice and have a cup of coffee. Going without food yesterday was hard. My legs were shaky by the end of the day. My thoughts are with Mia, who is finishing day 3 and with Gretchen Steidle-Wallace, who started a full fast with us a few days ago. I’m also thinking of Shannon, who eliminated her refugee rations today in solidarity with Mia and Gretchen and the dozens of others who are fasting in solidarity with Darfuris.

Today I received several e-mails from folks telling me that fasting is not the way to advance change, and that they were worried about me. I replied with as much grace as I could. But I also reiterated the firmness of my convictions in carrying out this fast now and why I am so committed to it. I am under no illusions as to the realities of my life. At the first signs of health problems, I have access to a physicians. I can get someone to be with the kids while I rest. And I can simply eat something out of my pantry if it comes to that. Millions of people do not have this safety net. Hundreds of millions are hungry every day with inadequate nutrition and access to healthcare.

I have heard Gabriel and KTJ tell stories of their recent visits to Chad, where children they met in camps were smaller and thinner than the year before. My own children are taller, and weigh at least as much, than a year ago. We must value the health and safety of every child on the planet, not simply our own. As I think about this, I wonder what would it take to reach the tipping point for action on Darfur? How many men, women, and children must die? What horrific act would force the Obama Administration, the United Nations Security Council, and other global leaders to stop the murderous actions of the few who hold power in Sudan? At what point will the international community come to understand the falseness of using sovereignty as an excuse for abuse and murder of innocent civilians? What would it take in Sudan — and other countries that so badly need justice, including Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, the DRC, and others?

While I fast, I am also trying to push for action towards real peace and justice in Sudan. What do the words real peace and justice mean? In short, the international community must hold the government in Khartoum accountable for its commitments and agreements, including the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the various Darfur agreements (including past agreements with the U.N. to facilitate humanitarian access in Darfur), and the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement. The latest agreement on restoring humanitarian access in Darfur needs to be more broadly understood, monitored closely, and respected in its entirety in order to avoid the humanitarian catastrophe we all fear is immanent.

Perhaps most importantly, the United States must shed the failed policies of the status quo and begin anew in leading a coordinated and comprehensive international effort to build a roadmap for sustainable peace in Sudan. This process must include Sudan’s key economic and political partners, including China, Russia, and Egypt. The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, must strengthen the Sudan sanctions committee, focus on better enforcement of the arms embargo, and begin to hold accountable those responsible for violating the sanctions regime. Until the international community shows better coordination on Sudan policy, progress is unlikely to be made.

A Breakfast Meditation

April 30, 2009 By: Admin Category: Gretchen Steidle Wallace

This morning I decided that each day of my fast I would do two things – one personal and one for social change. I invite you to join me:

1) A breakfast meditation: During the time you might normally have breakfast, consider doing a 5-10 minute meditation. It will help clear your mind and bring awareness to your connection to those suffering in Darfur. Here is a short explanation on how to do a meditation. I will later try to record this as a video that it can serve as a guided meditation while you actually sit:

Sit cross-legged on a mat, pillow or carpet or sit in a chair with your two feet on the floor. Rest your hands with palms down on your legs or loosely together in your lap. Try to sit in a way that is noble, with your spine straight, as if there is a string pulling on you from the top of your head. Now, close your eyes. Draw your attention to your breath. Take a few deep cleansing breaths, and then relax your breathing. Try not to hold your breath or even pause between the in-breath or out-breath. Notice where they connect if you can. Take a few moments to bring exquisite focus to just your breathing. If a thought arises, just notice it. Say to yourself “there is a thought” and then let it go and refocus on your breath. Next, bring your attention to your body. Feel your sitting bones placed firmly on the earth or your chair. If on a chair, feel your feet planted squarely on the earth. Feel this connection with the planet and other people walking on this same soil. Draw your attention to your face and release any tension in your forehead and jaw. Next, draw your attention to your neck and shoulders and release any tension you find there too. Keeping your spine straight, release any tension in your back, arms and legs. As you sit relaxed and breathing, take note of what you sense in your immediate environment – the temperature, smells, sounds, any breeze passing over you. Now notice your internal emotional space. What are you feeling right now? Allow these emotions to arise and bring to you any wisdom or clarity. Do not try to push them away if they are uncomfortable, just be with them.

As you completely embrace your self as mind, body and emotions, allow your attention to consider the people suffering in Darfur. Drop for now all defenses and open to your knowledge of that suffering. Let it come as concretely as you can…concrete images of your fellow beings in pain and need, in fear and hunger, in IDP and refugee camps. Relax and just let them surface, breathe them in…the vast and countless hardships of our fellow humans. Notice how this affects your body, breathing or emotions. Just be with that awareness without too many thoughts. Breathe in that pain like a dark stream, up through your nose, down through your trachea, lungs and heart, and out again into the world yet…you are asked to do nothing for now, but let it pass through your heart…keep breathing…be sure that stream flows through and out again; don’t hang on to the pain…surrender it for now to the healing resources of life’s vast web. If you experience an ache in the chest, a pressure within the rib cage, that is all right. The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe. Your heart is that large. Trust it. Keep breathing. Shantideva, the Buddhist saint, guides us by saying: “Let all sorrows ripen in me.” We help them ripen by passing them through our hearts…making good, rich compost out of all that grief…so we can learn from it, enhancing our larger, collective knowing.

Now, as you breathe in, imagine that you are breathing in the brightest light into the crown of your head and down your spine into your sitting bones that are touching the ground. When you breathe out, let that light flow back up your spine again into your heart and then let it radiate outward to the people of Darfur. Let it radiate out to those who are perpetrating the genocide. Let it radiate out to the decision-makers who are paralyzed with fear, apathy or indecision. Continue this light-breathing until you feel a sense of peace and completion, that you no longer hold onto any anger, grief, pain or suffering. Open your eyes.

2) An act of social activism: Each day following your meditation, take the time to do one act of social activism for Darfur. Take a look at the Act Page of this site and then call the White House, text Secretary Clinton, contact the media or email your friends and family.

Each day approach this fast from the inside and the outside.

The Miracle of Water

April 30, 2009 By: Admin Category: Gretchen Steidle Wallace

This morning I woke up extra early to a slight stomach ache. Day 3 of my water fast. I admit that I have allowed myself a cup of coffee, as I haven’t been sleeping well and I think I need a bit of caffeine to function. And yesterday I had a small glass of tomato juice (70 calories). This is not easy. But what I’m thinking about even more so than the lack of food is the access to water. We have access to cool clean water to help keep us hydrated during this time and help fill our stomachs. But when I was at the refugee camps, I saw women lining up all day to wait for water rations that would fill their single jerry cans.
thirstywomen

I know in Rwanda a family uses at least 2 jerry cans a day for drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning. But in Darfur and Eastern Chad, where finding water is already almost an impossible task, they also have to deal with the intense sun and heat – temperatures that frequently climb above 100 or even 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Not to mention, in the refugee camps I visited there were few sources of shade. The only choices were some spiky trees, sitting in your tiny and sweltering UNHCR tent, or gathering under a lattice roof made of twigs. How do they manage not to get so dehydrated! What is happening to their access to water now?

And why can’t the US or UN initiate an air drop of food rations? How could we get them water from the air?

April 30 – Day 4 of Mia Farrow’s Hunger Strike

April 30, 2009 By: Admin Category: Front Page Updates

Thursday: 70 people fasting with Mia and in solidarity with the people of Darfur

UPDATES

  • NEW: Day 4 Video from Mia — Mother’s Day idea
  • Gretchen Steidle Wallace gives a breakfast meditation
  • Shannon Sedgwick Davis writes about her day of having only water after 2 weeks of refugee rations
  • Pam Omidyar reflects on friends, her own children, and the children of Darfur
  • Yesterday Gabriel received a phone call from a refugee camp in Chad, it was his friend Ali.
  • Read comments from the community that is fasting in solidarity with Mia and the people of Darfur
  • Follow Darfur Fast for Life on Twitter: @DarfurFast

April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Day three, has been more difficult for my wife and I as weakness, headaches have set in. Even more we are less inclined, or lack the motivation to effectively communicate. Further, my wife and I have major mood swings as a result of our fasting. A continuous cloud hangs over us as we try to stay focused on family, work and school. Also, with the smallest child growing we are constantly feeding him, and it plays havoc on the hunger meter.

Realizing that food is so close, makes it difficult to sustain will power, but one thing that has worked well for my wife and I during this fast, is that we hold each other up during the hardest times. I do have to admit that this is more difficult than I ever thought. The ability to function is difficult, but my wife has stipulated that her mind and spirit are in Darfur. That is the purpose…and has helped us to sustain.

The camps and displaced have been our constant conversation, the questions that continue to arise about awareness, support, voices… The never ending why/how questions….

Stephen & Alysha

Wednesday, April 29

April 29, 2009 By: Admin Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

8:39 PM

Today was my water only day. I thought it wouldn’t be that tough since I had already gone so many days on such few calories on the refugee diet. I was wrong. Today was really tough; I did pretty good till around 2 and then felt really hungry. By 7 tonight I started to get really dizzy and lightheaded. It baffles me that people live, survive and care for their children on so much less. It is truly convicting. I am going to go to bed soon because of the dizziness and wake up back on the refugee rations. Mia, I am so impressed with you and thinking of you constantly today as this is incredibly difficult.

DARFUR FAST FOR LIFE poster

April 29, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Download this poster and post it online and in your community.

PDF – DARFUR FAST FOR LIFE

JPEG (med) – DARFUR FAST FOR LIFE

JPEG (large) – DARFUR FAST FOR LIFE

To Cook or Not to Cook…

April 29, 2009 By: Admin Category: Gretchen Steidle Wallace

I’m having people for dinner tomorrow night. This was arranged long before I decided to do the fast. Though it is an opportunity to create a dialogue around the Darfur crisis, I can’t help thinking I’ll feel weird and awkward sitting there not eating when I have guests. Why does that make me feel uncomfortable? Why do I have to eat in order to experience community? What will cooking be like? That will be quite a test. Day three and cooking a feast in which I will not partake….

ON GRACE

April 29, 2009 By: Admin Category: Gretchen Steidle Wallace

As I was nearing dinner time last night, I was reminded of the grace my family used to hold hands and say – sometimes almost on automatic – before we’d dig in. The word “grace” conjures up a meaning for me that is a combination of gift, abundance, magic, gratitude and loving-kindness. Rather than “saying grace” before dinner, I think the essence underlying that intention was actually to give thanks for Grace. Although, we now often forget to do that when we get together…

Another family I adore simply takes a moment of silence before they eat. I always appreciate that. I could feel all the tension from the day’s hectic pace just slip away. We’d close our eyes and take a deep breath, then open our eyes again and just look at each other in silence.

In a Buddhist retreat I attended a few years ago, we would eat in silence, contemplating the food and where it came from and how it connected us to the earth and to those beings’ suffering, as we allowed the food to nourish us. Here is a short grace that is resonant with that same intent:

At this time of Thanksgiving we would be aware of our dependence on the earth and on the sustaining presence of other human beings both living and gone before us.

As we partake of bread and wine, may we remember that there are many for whom sufficient bread is a luxury, or for whom wine, when attainable, is only an escape.

Let our thanksgiving for Life’s bounty include a commitment to changing the world, that those who are now hungry may be filled and those without hope may be given courage.

I’m also thinking more of what bounty and abundance actually means. I went into a grocery store to buy water yesterday, as I wasn’t in a place to refill my bottle, and I really noticed the beauty of the vegetables and fruit. What abundance there is all around us! Once a friend who had been having money troubles took some time to meditate on her concepts of abundance and the wealth she desired. She reached a place of clarity, deciding that it wasn’t that she needed more abundance in her life to be comfortable, but she needed to find a way to see that she already had “just enough”.

Certainly the people of Darfur do not have enough of many things – safety, security, food, water, sanitation, justice, freedom and other fundamental human rights. And we know they experience an abundance of violence and hardship. Yet I recall how humbled I felt when I heard their stories during a visit to eastern Chad. They openly shared their experience as well as their hope with me. But they would always end their remarks with “Inshallah” or “God-willing” – seemingly with profound acceptance that their fate was tied to something greater than themselves. Is this too Grace?

g-and-refugees

And so as I continue this fast, I am holding a vision for the possibility Grace might allow a sharing of abundance so that we never have prolonged, unnecessary suffering and so that everyone has just enough.

April 29 – Day 3 of Mia Farrow’s hunger strike

April 29, 2009 By: Admin Category: Front Page Updates

April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

Day 3


Day 3: Mia Farrow: Hunger Strike for Darfur – April 29, 2009

What I am going through now is nothing compared what the people of Darfur are facing. As things were, before the humanitarian expulsions, the rations for refugee were barely the minimum caloric requirement to sustain life-1000 calories per day. But soon more than one million people will not receive even that meager ration. The situation is urgent and dire. So, when I feel hunger pangs and my head aches, I think of them.
Here’s a site, which, along with the 1-800-GENOCIDE number, allows you to easily find and contact your elected officials. Use it to tell the President, your Senator, and your Congressperson to find a way to get the humanitarian agencies back into Darfur or otherwise fill the gap, to vigorously pursue a process that will bring peace to Darfur and to fully fund the World Food Programme. http://takeaction.lwv.org/lwv/dbq/officials/

So many people have been asking how I am. Thank you for that. I am fine. Sometimes its hard, but I am determined and I think it has been worth it. Day one was crammed with radio and TV interviews. Good Morning America’s Chris Cuomo began the segment with “Darfur is back in the news–” And at the end he read out the staggering realities. This is what I hoped for, to bring focus to Darfur. Larry King’s satellite dish rolled down my dirt driveway at 8:30pm. It looked like something out of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. By then I was a little loopy. I went on the air at 9:50 . I was tired and I hadn’t eaten for 29 hours. I felt the enormity of the responsibility that came with the extraordinary opportunity to reach many millions of people around the world. I wanted to do my best for the Darfuris. I tried to say what they would want me to say -or what they would tell you if only they had the chance. So it was scary that my mind was muddled and swimming so. I hope to God it was OK.

Before I began this fast David Blane (magician and endurance artist) called me. So kind of him. He told me a little about how to prepare and what to expect. He said after 6 days I wont feel hunger. He told me to drink 4 liters of water. Do you know how much water that is!

Day 2

April 28, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

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This is day two of my hunger strike. I said I would try to blog each day but honestly it seems more appropriate to keep the focus where it belongs-with Darfur’s courageous people

22-girl-with-shocked-baby-798882-798914

I met these little girls at Zamzam camp. Their parents had been killed when their village was attacked. The big sister had become the parent. “No one will hurt my baby,” she told me. But the baby had not uttered a single sound since the day they saw their parents killed.

Welcome Oregon Community

April 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

May 4, 2009

This section of the website for the Oregon community of activists is still under development. Please feel free to leave your comments here. We will be adding more information here shortly. Thank you very much for you dedication and support for the people of Darfur.

April 28

April 28, 2009 By: Gabriel Category: Gabriel Stauring

There are so many people joining Darfur Fast for Life. People from all over the world. The comments are so supportive and inspiring. What a community that is coming together!

ali-profile-in-classroomThis morning, my cell phone rang, as we were arriving at North Dakota State University to set up Camp Darfur and give talks about our friends in the camps. I saw the number calling me, and I knew it was a Chadian number. “Is Ali!” the voice on the other end said, “Ali from the camp.” We met Ali about three weeks ago at a refugee camp close to the Chad-Darfur border. He was helping out at one of the primary schools at the camp, School Obama. The refugee changed the name of their school, after Obama became president. They feel hope.

Ali said that he is well and so is his family. He asked about how my teammates and I were doing, remembering the names of Katie-Jay and Yuen-Lin. Ali and other in the camp want to feel connected to a larger community. They have felt forgotten for so long. I wanted to tell Ali about Mia and Darfur Fast for Life. They all know Mia in the camps. They don’t know that she’s an actress or celebrity, but they respect her so much. The phone connection was lost, though. I was able to tell Ali that we’ll be returning in June, and he sounded happy, “In June!”

Ali is a cool kid. He helps at school, but there is no more education for him, since he finished primary school. I’m not sure what his future is, if we don’t act like one human community and do what is right for Darfur.

Recent comments

April 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

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On Day 100 of Obama’s administration

April 28, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

Please contact President Obama at 1-800-GENOCIDE (1-800-436-62433). He and his administration must do more for Darfur’s people.

Tell President Obama and your elected officials to:

1. Make a concerted effort to get the needed amount of aid back into Darfur for the displaced civilians.

2. Complete the Sudan policy review in order to move forward with a comprehensive and coherent policy on Darfur.

3. Ensure that Special Envoy Gration has the support he needs from the State Department.

4. Bolster UNAMID in all ways possible.

5. Bring other key players in the international community into the foreground, especially Europe (including Russia), in order to further discussions about a no-fly zone, increased sanctions, and enforcing the arms embargo.

Mia on Larry King Live

April 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Monday, April 27

April 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Gretchen Steidle Wallace

I’ve decided to commit to a water-only fast for as long as I can, but I am aiming for a week to start. I’ve fasted before, but never beyond 5 days and never without juice, tea or broth. So that I set about doing this from a conscious place, I decided to write down why this fast is important to me. First and foremost, a fast for me is a personal choice to step back for a moment and to bring mindfulness to a specific purpose through personal sacrifice. I don’t think fasting always has to be publicized. It can be a very intimate, sacred opportunity to reflect. It gives our bodies a rest from constant digestion. It gives our emotions a chance to filter upwards from where we might unknowingly stuff them with unconscious eating. It allows our minds space for new wisdom to arise when we invite more time into our normal schedules of eat, work, eat, work, eat…. Physically I also feel refreshed by a fast when I can detoxify all those naughty things I like to eat and drink and start over again with some thoughtfulness to the food I buy, grow, cook and enjoy.

But this fast is more than personal and should be public. I am committing to fast to try to break down the disconnect that separates us in the West from those suffering in Darfur. To remind myself and hopefully others around me that a million people are now or soon will be without food and water since the aid communities have been expelled from Darfur. It is about recognizing and honoring that we have choice – that we can choose to eat just as we can choose to vote and choose to act. (Non-action is also a choice.) It is about feeling the interconnectedness of all people, allowing my friend Adam Mussa who has been living over 5 years in a Darfur refugee camp, to stay on my mind and help guide me to find compassion and inspiration daily. And it is about being a part of a collective movement to continue to pressure those in a position of power to intervene to end this crisis.

There are also some things that this fast is not, and I have to remind myself of this. It is not an ego-driven competition to see how long I can persist – it is not about me and my will-power (or possible lack thereof). It is not about collapsing into guilt because of my privilege, but it is finding the wisest way to leverage my unique place in the world to create change. It is not about PR for the sake of publicity or shame, but it is about consciously raising awareness and inviting dialogue that can be constructively channeled into action.

So with these thoughts, I am standing in solidarity with those in Darfur and those in other corners of the world who have joined the Darfur Fast For Life.

Tuesday, April 28

April 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Pam Omidyar

Today I am going to fast without food like Mia. Filling my re-usable water bottle and getting the kids ready for school.

Monday, April 27

April 28, 2009 By: Admin Category: Pam Omidyar

Day 11

Today was the official launch of the Fast for Darfur. It is heartening to see so many people sign up in solidarity.

But I am disheartened to see some of the comments in reaction to Mia’s statement on the Larry King Live blog. Mia is not out for attention, and she truly understands the complexities of the crisis in Sudan, including traveling to the refugee and IDP camps at least 11 times. She works tirelessly on behalf of UNICEF and is one of the most selfless people I know.

Fasting has many ends. Some are personal and private. Others are public. Because of her high profile, Mia can garner large amounts of media attention and raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur through her fast. And perhaps this can do some good.

Please look at the “About” page on this website to see what Cesar Chavez says about fasting. Our fasting, in whatever form, will not change the behavior of the Government of Sudan. But perhaps it will grab the hearts and minds of people — people who collectively can encourage the government here in the United States to exercise the political will to push the international community to begin anew in crafting a coordinated and comprehensive roadmap for peace in Sudan. To date, the status quo has failed to stop the bloodshed in Darfur. Yes, we should continue to work all other avenues. But why not try this fast as well?

Monday, April 27

April 27, 2009 By: Admin Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

Spoke at Q Conference this afternoon. Had a chance to mention the fast and I am hoping many here will join. The Swine Flu is flooding the press. It is incredible how able America looks responding to this, I am so thankful for that. I wish we could find a way to show up like this in Darfur as well. There was so much creative energy in the room today at the Q Conference, my prayer is that people will reach deep inside themselves and look for creative solutions to the problem. The truth is just by being American citizens we hold more power in our hands than we realize. We must mobilize; use that power to persuade our leaders to take concrete action steps to end the ongoing tragedy in Darfur.

Please text Secretary Hillary Clinton at 90822 asking her to, “restore aid to Darfur.”

Watching Larry King Live right now on CNN waiting on Mia’s segment.

Link to Darfur Fast for Life!

April 27, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

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April 27 on Refugee size Ration

April 27, 2009 By: Gabriel Category: Gabriel Stauring

I ate my first meal at 2:30pm today.  I am in Fargo, and Katie-Jay and I spoke to two classrooms, one after the other, and then set up a Camp Darfur tent here at North Dakota State University, as a preview for tomorrow’s full camp.
Grain at camp.
My meal was one cup of steamed rice, plain.  It’s not the exact same food they eat at the camps, but I’m sure it’s as bland.  When visiting the camps, my team and I always notice that we just never walk in on people eating.  Here in the US, if you would visit homes at random times, as we do at the camps, you would for sure see lots of food and lots of eating; you just can’t avoid it.  The refugees have been eating the same thing for six years, so I wonder how their experience of sharing a meal has changed over the years.

My rice was not all bad; it was not good either.  It just…was.  I will be eating less than 1,000 calories today, probably a third of what I normally eat.  For Mia, it’s just the start of her 21 days.  When she cannot continue, we must keep it going.  Our leaders must know that we are serious about lives, no matter where they are, are a priority to us.  We do not accept 4.7 million people living on aid, when they used to be self-sustaining.

Hunger strike. Day one

April 27, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

He did not have a choice. We do

img_1051-717174-717199-med1Today is the first day of my hunger strike. I have never undertaken anything remotely like this and so I have little sense of what to expect and although I have set a goal of three weeks, I really don’t know how long I will be able to continue. I will be drinking lots of water.

Despite the fact that for six years the world has taken no effective action to protect Darfur’s people it seemed that the expulsion of the aid agencies, the severance of the lifeline to more than 4 million people would surely trigger a response. But while the US Envoy Scott Gration said, “We need to come up with creative ways immediately, and when I say immediately I mean in the next weeks, to be able to compensate (for the expelled aid agencies) “ The weeks are passing and word from the camps is that people are already suffering; the water pumps at well sites are breaking down because there is no one to repair them, latrines are overflowing, food stockpiles are dwindling and there is no medical assistance. How can this be??!!

Hussein Abu Sharati, spokesman for a network of refugee-camps leaders sent a letter to President Obama.

“Mr. President,” Abu Sharati wrote, “We need quick and immediate intervention to save us from the imminent death:… (the expulsion of humanitarian organizations ) is the regime’s final goal and the deadly blow to accelerate our death by slow motion through starvation and diseases.”

Non-action is an act of acquiescence

I’ve been told that over 60 people are fasting with me today, including fellow advocates Ruth Messinger, Pam Omidyar, Gabriel Stauring, Nell Okie and John Prendergast.

I will try to blog every day. Honestly I have only the vaguest idea of what to expect since I’ve never done it before. I woke up a half hour ago, earlier than I normally would because I feel either excited or nervous-I cant tell which. I said prayers for the refugees and prayers for those who are responsible for their suffering. I’m hoping this whole fast can be a prayer.

Saturday, April 25

April 26, 2009 By: Shannon Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

Just back from the Invisible Children Rescue. I spoke about the fast there and hope fellow San Antonians will join us. It was such an inspiration to be there and see the dedication and passion on the faces of all those present. It gives me an immense amount of hope for the situation in Darfur. So many care and we must all find a way to unify our voices to protect those that are suffering at the hands of evil. Sending a great big shout out to all the organizers for the San Antonio event, they did an incredible job. Praying in desperation tonight for the Darfuri people. Praying that they will soon see a world that no longer allows the injustices they face. Praying that it stops and stops now, that we fight every day for it to be the last day these courageous people have to endure the pain of injustice.

Friday, April 24

April 26, 2009 By: Shannon Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

Susan Smylie (a GI Net Karl Wilkens fellow) joined the fast from here in San Antonio, I am so glad that there are others in my hometown participating in this. Susan is wildly passionate about seeing a lasting change for the Darfuri population and it is contagious. I hope we can all be contagious in our passion for justice and a lasting peace for the incredible people of Sudan.

April 22-24

April 26, 2009 By: Shannon Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

In Washington DC for the Global Philanthropy Forum, meeting with many of the incredible advocacy groups that exist to bring attention to the issues in Darfur and change the state of play there. I pray for continued collaboration between these groups and effectiveness within their missions. It is incredible to see the sacrifice of all of these people who have rallied around this cause. There is so much left to do. I am deeply discontented with a world where my three year old can play games on an iPod that does incredible things while our brothers and sisters in Darfur suffer and die at the hand of such evil. How does one reconcile these things? I look at my two sons and think about the gravity of love I have for them and know that the mothers in the wretched refugee camps care equally for their children and are forced to watch their children suffer under such terrible conditions.

Sunday, April 19

April 26, 2009 By: Shannon Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

I passed out tonight, surely it wasn’t from the lack of calories, I think it had more to do with toxins flushing from my system.  I thought a lot tonight about the mothers in Darfur.  I saw many of them over a year ago and have never lost the image of their strength from my mind.  They are the most courageous women I have ever met.  Day after day they sustain themselves and their children on so little and now even less.  Where is the outcry?  How can this be permitted to continue.  How do we show up for our fellow world citizens…..  for fellow Moms.  I wrestle with the statement our inaction makes about the world.  A devastating reality, I am ashamed.

Saturday, April 18

April 26, 2009 By: Shannon Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

Day 2, was pretty tired but got through the day fine.  It is my prayer that this terrible injustice unfolding in Darfur would come to an end and that those who have suffered would see the justice they so richly deserve.  My family went out to dinner; I stayed home to stick to my refugee diet.  I have been starting to share what I am doing with some friends and family.  I have received a wide range of opinions and thoughts.  Most people express concern for me and my health.  This seems a bit silly to me as I think about the small period of time I committed to this and the safety that I will always have immediate access to my “rations food.”  What about the millions who are fasting day after day with no choice?  What about the moms who go days without eating in order to give their small allocations to their young children?  No concern belongs here with me, the concern should be for them, those heroes who despite all odds being stacked against them survive and fight for the day that their lives will be whole again.

Friday, April 17

April 26, 2009 By: Shannon Category: Shannon Sedgwick Davis

Started refugee rations diet today.  Thought I would start a bit early as I just felt compelled to get going.  SO grateful for Mia and her commitment to this cause, her heart and passion to see change is an inspiration and I hope she feels supported with our presence in this.  Grateful for Pam, I am blessed beyond measure to have such a dear friend, fellow mom and soul sister in this endeavor.  It has been so difficult to watch the unraveling of the situation in Darfur.

And we start.

April 26, 2009 By: Gabriel Category: Gabriel Stauring

Whenever I go to visit the refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur border, I have lost between nine and fifteen pounds. This last time, it was nine, since it was a relatively short two week trip. I’m sure that a lot of it is loss of liquids. I’m always thirsty and feel dehydrated out there, while drinking as much water as I can. Even so, during the past few years of doing “Darfur work,” I’ve gained almost 20 pounds–from not working out as much as I used to and from being so much on the road and not eating as healthy as I used to.

achta-guisma-adef-3When out at the camps, it is so strange to think about so many of us having to watch our calorie intake, in an attempt to not become overweight. The people in the camps, they never get enough, and their efforts focus on finding enough to stay alive and not too weak. On going back to see our friend Adef during our last trip in March/April, it was so disturbing to see his children so much skinnier and even more disturbing to hear that their youngest daughter, Marymouda, had died. They live so on the edge that illnesses that would be nothing for one of my children kill theirs.

I so admire Mia for embarking on this journey, which is going in to the unknown for her. She has spent even more time than I have hearing the stories from the survivors from Darfur. Fasting next to Pam and Shannon and the many others that are joining makes me feel part of a community that reaches across the ocean and includes Adef and all the people of Darfur.

I don’t know what will come from this fast. I’m hoping that it will be part of finding a solution. I am proud to be in some way coming in contact with Cesar Chavez, whose fasting is an inspiration to us. I met him many years ago when going to college. He is Mexican-American, as I am. His movement had a huge effect, going way beyond the initial farm workers he was working for.

Fasting is personal expression. Fasting is joining in community. Fasting is not accepting status quo. We won’t stop doing other work. All angles must be worked until there is change, real change on the ground. That is when we’ll stop.

Sunday, April 26

April 26, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Day 10

Having warm tea. Thinking of Mia and all the fasters who will voluntarily start tomorrow and of the millions of displaced Sudanese for whom fasting is not a matter of choice, but something forced upon them by the government in Khartoum.

Convinced there can not be lasting peace, true healing over time, without fair forms of justice.

Preparation – April 24, 2009, 02:02 PM

April 25, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow


Preparation – April 24, 2009, 02:02 PM

Adef’s food rations

April 25, 2009 By: Admin Category: Adef


Adef’s food rations

Saturday, April 25

April 25, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Day 9

Today is the Invisible Children “Rescue Me” event. I love to see students passionate about global human rights issues, especially when it concerns youth like them.

I am trying not to eat. Had some coffee with some rice this morning. Kids helped me make and decorate an angel food cake for a friend. I didn’t even lick the spoon like I usually do. Made the kids pancakes for breakfast.

p4250064-medStaying hydrated is tough. My head has a continual odd buzz—sort of lightheaded, not really dizzy, but just hums. I am definitely off kilter.

Spent all afternoon and evening at the Invisible Children RESCUE ME event and shared my Tupperware of rice and lentils with a friend. It was inspiring to see so many dedicated young people. We had fun, although it was cold and windy and we huddled under sleeping bags waiting for government officials to come “rescue” us. And they did. A rare promise kept by politicians. It was heartening. We need to care about the health and well-being of all children on the planet. Child soldiers are something that should never exist. How are they even conceivable? And, yet, thousands of children suffer in the most hellish of abuses every day.

Friday, April 24

April 24, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Day 8

This is why I am fasting, on refugee rations, for Darfur:
(From Mia Farrow’s website. Used with her permission.)

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img_0235_3-782033-782036

These are some of the children of Darfur. They were being treated by Medicins San Frontieres (MSF) until then the Government of Sudan expelled it and other aid organizations. Also, please see http://www.stopgenocidenow.org/. As Gabriel, KTJ, and others on the team have done so much to visit with Darfuri refugees and bring their stories to the rest of the world.

Please tell me why the lives of these children are less deserving of proper nutrition, peace, nurturing, and unlimited opportunity than those of other children around the world?

At what point did we become so numb to the now ubiquitous refrain attached to every media story on Darfur?

“The UN says 300, 000 people have died – many from disease and hunger – and 2.7 million have been made homeless by the Darfur conflict which erupted in 2003. Khartoum puts the death toll at 10 000.”

Granted, this is a newer version from one that was floating around in previous years. It changed in late 2008, when the UN did revisit the numbers. But how do we see this line and not demand the world do something? This applies to other horrific emergencies as well: Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Iraq. There are others. How do we prioritize whose lives are worth saving? Why if people die due to natural disasters does the world respond with overwhelming force? Yet, as death comes to millions at the hands of other men we helplessly do nothing. I can’t stop a hurricane or a tsunami or a flood. But I would hope that as a person, I can ask my fellow citizens to stop mass killing and violence.

As President Obama said in his Inauguration speech,

“To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.”

I think of this line often in my work. Why do world leaders get away with inaction, even as their citizens cry for something to be done? In the case of Sudan, Bashir came to power in a coup almost 20 years ago. Since then, has he improved the standard of living for the people of Sudan? Why do we not listen more to citizens and civil society during times of crisis? Yes, the war between the North and the South is over, but there has been little implementation of the CPA agreement, a form of restorative justice. And there has been no accountability for the millions who died in South Sudan, nor for the more than 4 million displaced for so long.

Why do only those holding guns get a place at the peace table? How do we bring all forms of peace and all forms of justice to all of Sudan?

Thursday, April 23

April 23, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Day 7 – Woke up at 4:30 AM, in part because our littlest one had a bad dream. Kids crying puts a shot of adrenaline into my body. He is sleeping, I am wide awake.

5:00 am – Decided to make some hot tea and finished the first morning flurry of emails.

Thinking about justice and the paths to peace. Am struck that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia has spent her life working towards progress in that country and she has never picked up a gun. That is not even true of Mandela. I guess it is possible to achieve peace through peace.

Will wait to eat later in an hour or so. It is going to be a long day.

2 pm – got light headed this morning when kneeling down to talk to preschoolers this morning. So drank a lot of water and herbal tea this morning. Feeling better – amazing how food, even a little, balances and calms us.

Oh, weighed myself this morning – down 5 pounds from the start – to 137.

April 23, 2009 By: Admin Category: Darsalam


Darsalam

Selma talks about her hope for education

April 22, 2009 By: Admin Category: Selma


Selma

April 22, 2009 By: Admin Category: Ateib


Ateib

Share your own fasting experience here

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Share fasting experience

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For those fasting in solidarity with the people of Darfur, we encourage you to share your experience here by leaving comments.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Amouna

amouna

Amouna is one of a group of refugee women that volunteers to improve sanitation in their camp, Kounoungou. Women do most of the work in the camps, and they are also the ones that go out collecting firewood, which is very dangerous.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Abdalhakim

abdalhakim

Abdalhakim works hard with his father, Adam, to build a library in Camp Kounoungo to educate the next generation of leaders, his peers. He is one of the lucky few young teenage boys to have escaped the attack on his village. Like his father, he has not given up hope for a peaceful Darfur, and continues to work hard at his studies and in his community to make peace a reality.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Nima

nima

Nima has a sister and two brothers. We met them outside of their home in refugee camp Kounoungo, in Eastern Chad. Nima, her family, and millions of other Darfuris have had to flee their homes in order to stay alive. Nima’s father, Adam, is building a library in camp Kounoungo. He believes in helping others, so he sold some of his remaining animals to build the structure, out of mud, where he hopes to teach others about the outside world. Adam told us that only the international community can help peace come to Darfur. He would love to take Nima back to Darfur, where they used to have a nice home with papaya and mango trees around it.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Raya

raya

Beautiful Raya is a refugee that now lives in Camp Kounoungou, in Eastern Chad. Her father, Adam, pleads with the international community to save his daughter and all of the people of Darfur. They are counting on us and ask us not to give up hope. They ask us not to give up hope on them!

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Abalajim

abalajim

Abalajim is a young refugee boy that lives in refugee camp Kounoungou with his family. He’s very lucky. His father is still alive. When Darfuri villages are attacked, the Janjaweed target the men and older boys for killing. Abalajim’s father, Adam, is teaching his children English. He wants them to know about the outside world and be ready to go back to a peaceful Darfur.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Abakar

abakar

Abakar lives in Camp Kounoungou. This camp is close to the border with Darfur and has been in the middle of a lot of trouble, including conflict between tribes and between the government and rebels. New refugees have recently arrived because the government of Sudan continues to destroy villages in Darfur.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Leila

leila

Beautiful Leila lives in refugee camp Gaga, in Eastern Chad. She and thousands of children continue to know of no other life outside of a camp. They live off of the aid that reaches them, and now even that is in great risk. At times it is reduced, and at times it cannot reach them. They are counting on you to help.


For The Camps – by Greg Lawson

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Anima

anima

Anima, part of a large family of women who walked for days to reach Camp Kounoungo, attends school to fill her days in the camp. She is shy, but laughs when she is with her girlfriends at school, especially the day we went to school with her.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Saleh

saleh

Saleh loves to play football (soccer!). He lives in refugee camp Mile, in Eastern Chad. He and his family had to escape Darfur’s violence, which has been raging for over five years now. Saleh’s mother has built a mud hut, so that he could have a room with his brother.

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Asha

asha

Asha lives in Camp Kounoungou. Most of the refugees in that camp have been living there for almost five years, after fleeing the destruction of their villages. Asha was welcoming and energetic. She volunteers, helping improve sanitation around the camp. The women of Darfur are the power that keep the camps running.

Monday, April 20

April 20, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Breakfast
The usual. I am using both yellow split peas and lentils as protein sources. To be honest, I use them often in my cooking anyway, but usually with fresh tomatoes, other vegetables, or lots of spices. People forced into camps don’t have that luxury. This morning I’m thinking about a question: At what point does the rest of the world accept 30 to 35 million forcibly displaced people as business as usual? We go on with our lives while so many have no home, no livelihoods.

Lunch
Rice. Just re-heated leftover rice in microwave. I am feeling tired, too tired to put yellow-spilt peas in a pot.

April 20, 2009 By: Admin Category: 4.7 million more

Adam’s story

April 20, 2009 By: Admin Category: Adam


Adam’s story

Ahmat

April 19, 2009 By: Admin Category: Ahmat


Ahmat

Oumar

April 19, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oumar


Oumar

Donations

April 19, 2009 By: Admin Category: Donations

Although the purpose of this fast is not specifically to raise funds, we wanted to make that option available to anyone wanting to send direct help to those in need. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees oversees all activities at the camps, and they can distribute funds to where it’s most needed, given recent events, and these donations will be targeted for nutrition. You might want to send what you would have spent in food, if you were not fasting; a suggestion is $25 per day.

Please make check payable to USA for UNHCR with SGN/Nutrition in the memo line to:

SGN
1732 Aviation Blvd #138
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

We will forward it to USA for UNHCR and make sure that 100% of your donation* goes towards nutrition.

*Your donation is worth double, thanks to a dollar-for-dollar matching grant from anonymous supporter of UNHCR.

You can also make online donations directly at USA for UNHCR’s website. We will not be able to track these online donations, though, but they will be used effectively for the people of Darfur.

Sunday, April 19

April 19, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Morning
Spoke with Shannon. She has lost two pounds. I haven’t weighed myself yet. Having coffee instead. Waiting on breakfast as long as I can because I have to go out with the kids and be social and I want a bit of food in me so I can resist the temptations that will be around. I smell and see food everywhere—on every corner, in the Starbucks, at McDonalds, 7-11, and in the supermarket.

[Afternoon?]
It was a nice day. I went over to a friend’s and she made me rice, lentils, and some rooibos tea. We shared the meal together and it reminded me how grateful I am for caring friends.

My Hunger Strike for Darfur

April 19, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow


Mia Farrow’s Hunger strike for Darfur

On April 27th I will begin a fast of water only in solidarity with the people of Darfur and as a personal expression of outrage at a world that is somehow able to stand by and watch innocent men, women and children needlessly die of starvation, thirst and disease.

The Darfur crisis deepened on March 4th when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president President Omar al-Bashir for his essential role in the murder, rape, torture and displacement of millions. Al-Bashir retaliated immediately by expelling thirteen key international aid agencies from Sudan, including Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, CARE, Oxfam and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) along with three highly respected Sudanese agencies.

Sudanese U.N. Ambassador Abdalhaleem claimed his government would have no problem filling in any gaps created by the expulsions. But U.N. humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes spoke honestly about the desperate realities: “We do not, as the U.N. system, the NGOs do not, and the Sudanese government does not have the capacity to replace all the activities that have been going on. This is a decision which is likely to have a major impact on millions of people in Darfur who are in need on a daily basis, of life-saving humanitarian assistance.” According to the UN, as of this May more than a million people will be without food aid, medical assistance, and drinkable water.

The United Nations humanitarian agencies issued their joint plea; “The suspended NGOs account for more than half of the capacity for the aid operation in Darfur. If the life-saving assistance these agencies were providing is not restored shortly, it will have immediate, lasting and profound impacts on the well being of millions of Sudanese citizens. These organizations provide a lifeline to 4.7 million people.”

I undertake this fast in the heartfelt hope that world leaders who know what is just and right will call upon the Government of Sudan to urgently readmit all of the expelled agencies or otherwise insure that the gap is filled, giving aid workers unimpeded access to the populations before they begin to die in numbers that could dwarf the Rwandan genocide. I also call upon President Obama and other leaders with influence to help build a credible peace process that can end the suffering in Darfur.

I hope human rights advocates and citizens of conscience around the world will join me in some form of fasting, even if for one day. And when I can no longer continue, I pray another will take my place, and another– until finally there is justice and peace for Darfur’s people.

Saturday, April 18

April 18, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Morning
I had a cup of coffee. I decided early on, as important as this fast is to show solidarity with Darfuris, I need caffeine. I feel guilty, but then again, to say my life is a comfortable one is an understatement. OK, I am not going to Starbucks, just making coffee at home (no sugar or milk).

This morning I’m thinking about how important this fast is. Its goal is to push the world’s leaders—however possible—to exercise the political will to bring meaningful peace to Darfur and prevent further war in all of Sudan. And justice is important for peace. Will this fast bring the guilty to justice? Probably not. But hopefully it, and the media it generates, will tell the world that to allow the suffering of millions is NOT acceptable. Not anywhere. One hundred million people in the world are at risk for severe malnutrition today. Darfuris represent 1 percent of that number. Surely we can all do our part to take better care of each other.

If we can help bring peace and justice to Sudan, which has a far more functional government than, say, Somalia or the Democratic Republic of Congo, it will help stabilize the entire region. If the government of Sudan can build a $2 billion dollar dam with the help of China, they can certainly also do more to bring reparations, peace, and development to other parts of the country. Peace is always cheaper than war. Development helps prevent rebel attacks. “Rebels,” after all, are simply people who are marginalized and whose basic needs have also been ignored for far too long. Their only option is to pick up a gun, and they do so in no small part because they see that strategy being employed elsewhere. Sadly, they do not seem to understand that real, sustained progress can only come in the form of peace. Just ask Gandhi, or King, or Cesar Chavez. It was peace, not guns, that empowered the great revolutionaries of the last century.

5:30 pm
p4180052-medI had some of the leftover rice and yellow split peas for lunch, and took a photo. Cooking dinner now for the kids. Making a lot of brown rice in a rice cooker and a Persian dish with red kidney beans and greens. Since we are already vegetarian, I didn’t add the lamb or beef that typically goes into the dish. (I learned to make traditional Persian food from my mother-in-law, and it is wonderful.)

I will have the brown rice and some lentils. Even with this limited diet, it is more than most displaced people in Darfur have in the IDP camps.

Friday, April 17

April 17, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

Friday morning, 6 AM

Today I am starting my refugee rations fast. Little time to reflect as I need to get the kids ready for school. Our eldest’s alarm clock went off at 5:30 AM, which in turn woke up our 3 year-old. I have no idea why the alarm was set so early, but she was already downstairs playing Wii before sunrise. Needless to say, sleep is more on my mind than food this morning—that and the fact that my kids should not be playing video games before school.

If you care, I weigh 142 lbs and am 5’9”

Will this fast work? I don’t know. Why am I doing it? The truth is that I do not know what else to try. I have participated in activist events, met with members of Congress, pleaded with world leaders, supported the efforts of The Elder’s to work toward peace, founded and guided an entire private foundation called Humanity United, which is dedicated to ending mass atrocities, including those in Sudan, and I have funded numerous other efforts, either via Humanity United or just by writing checks on my own.

Lots of people care about Darfur. But for some reason this passion has failed to bring about the political, economic, and social solutions that are needed to secure a lasting peace in Sudan. This has gone on for far, far too long. We too often forget that the pattern of conflict in Darfur is one that existed for decades between North and South Sudan. How do we bring lasting peace to Sudan and, in turn, the surrounding region? Perhaps this fast will help focus my own mind more clearly on that question.

1 PM
I went surfing and drank a full bottle of water—two things refugees don’t get to do. As we do this fast, physician friends told me to drink lots of water. Refugees’ No. 1 ask is for more clean water. With the expulsion of the aid organizations from Sudan, the lack of water is being used as a tool of war to kill Darfuris. The government in Khartoum has knowingly done this. Oxfam, which has been expelled, provided the major water infrastructure for the region.

Cooked rice and yellow split-peas in water are in a pot on the stove. I added no oil to the recipe, but did add some dried herbs. Made enough for future meals. I know refugees get cracked wheat. I am going to eat rice (I have a wheat allergy), yet another luxury of choice we have when we are not dependent upon others.

Made some herbal tea this afternoon. Tonight I’m going out to dinner with friends, to a new Himalayan restaurant. I know they will have dahl and rice. I will avoid the bread and the vegetables.

8 PM
Had a nice dinner with friends. Ate only water, rice, and dahl, and some padaman bread (very thin crispy bread made with lentils and flour), but admittedly probably ate more than a refugee gets in a meal.

Husna receiving monthly rations for her family of 5

April 16, 2009 By: Admin Category: Husna


Husna receiving monthly rations for her family of 5

A visit with Adef’s family

April 16, 2009 By: Admin Category: Adef


A visit with Adef’s family

When the extreme becomes the normal.

April 15, 2009 By: Admin Category: Dajhima


Dajhima