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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Mia Farrow


Mia Farrow, an actor has long been an advocate for human rights. Her focus is on conflict-affected regions in Africa. Twice she has toured the Central African Republic and this fall, as a Unicef Ambassador, she visited war-ravaged Congo.

Since 2004, Farrow has traveled to Darfur twice and made nine visits to refugee camps in eastern Chad. She has written extensively about the Darfur crisis, and her photographs have appeared in publications and exhibitions around the world. She posts relevant articles and analyses on her website www.miafarrow.org. She has spoken about the Darfur crisis on campuses across the US, in Senate and Congressional hearings and at the UN Security Council.

‘Genocide Olympics’, a WSJ piece co-authored by Farrow and her son Ronan Farrow, brought public attention to Beijing’s economic, diplomatic and military support for the genocidal Khartoum government. The piece evolved into a campaign, Dream for Darfur, which used the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as leverage to urge China to assume a more responsible role in Sudan. During the Beijing games Farrow was in refugee camps, broadcasting interviews with Darfuri survivors.

She is currently working on her own project, The Darfur Archives, documenting the traditions and culture of Darfur’s major ethnic tribes.

In 2008 Mia Farrow was selected by Time magazine as one of the “most influential people in the world.”

Day 3

June 20, 2009 By: cory Category: Mia Farrow

My thoughts are with the refugees in Chad and Darfur today. It is National Refugee Day on Saturday and our leaders in Washington seem to be rallying to the cause. Unfortunately, Secretary Clinton broke her elbow yesterday on a way to an appearance with Angelina Jolie to commemorate the day. Hope this amazing woman, who has done and is doing so much to bring the plight of refugees into the public eye, makes a quick recovery.


Again, Gabriel Stauring’s video from Day 5 in the camp and the teams’ blogs really inspired me to stay on the fast for MOST of the day. The picture of the children, unsmiling, fighting for crumbs of cookies is heartbreaking.


Now let me be honest – I did break my fast 4 hours early. I am at work, on my third 14 hour day. Hypoglycemia, I am realizing, really IS a real thing. I got dizzy, lost concentration, and broke down in tears in my trailer. After my cry I had a banana and some peanut butter crackers at my boyfriend’s urging. (Or should I say – at my boyfriend’s threat of committing me to a mental institution.)


Since I am now a bit more lucid, I am thinking about all I’ve read about women and children, whole families in Darfur being burned out of their homes and having to walk for weeks or months with little or no food. I think of a 12 year old boy’s courage who watched his brother and best friend die of starvation and dehydration on the long lonely march. I picture him sitting under a tree, exhausted and without hope but in the end choosing to go on.


You, little one, are inspiring me to go easy on myself for having “failed”. I will probably never experience anything close to the horrific challenges you continue to endure. But if I do, I hope that I will be as brave and strong like you and like all of the people of Darfur.


I will meet you one day. I will share cookies with you under a tree. I will celebrate your hard won freedom. But right now, I Thank-you.


You have given me hope.

Mia and Darfuris heard by Congress

May 19, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

May 19, 2009

Once again,the Congressional Black Caucus led by Congressman Donald Payne STEPPED UP !!!
Several members of the CBC spoke, some had even traveled to Darfur. Some had been arrested last month -protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy.

The sun was shining and the sky was clear blue. The press conference was held on the steps of the Cannon Terrace Hill-on Independence Avenue- with the Capitol buildings behind us. Congressman Payne-who has long participated in non-violent protests, has been honorably arrested three times. He read out the names of those who will fast in solidarity with the people of Darfur and as a symbol of their commitment to end the suffering and slaughter of innocents. I had the great privilege of standing with the Caucus which included John Lewis, my long-time hero !!

Darfuris, Omer Ismael and Mohammed Yahya spoke wonderfully and movingly about Darfuri’s need for justice. We did not bring them peace, protection or an end to their misery -but we did support justice through the ICC. Both men said they represent Darfuris in the millions who would rather die than forfeit justice.

That my (very personal) decision to fast has led to such a moment in DC is more meaningful than I can say.

Earlier I met with Senator Harry Reid. He promised to bring up Darfur in the Senate. He wanted to know what could be DONE. The vagaries of “more” and “priority” really don’t fly. So I said, ‘ China’ and our need to support the ICC-( this is the time for a change ) He took notes. His chief of staff seemed very on-board!

US Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration is leaving for Beijing tomorrow. He should bring the message that China has a constructive role to play- not only in getting the aid agencies back into Darfur with unrestricted access to populations, but in the vigorous pursuit of a legitimate and comprehensive peace process; also in reconsidering China’s arms sales to Khartoum. The US gov holds key cards but China has the full deck.

Darfur remains a stain on Beijing’s reputation as a preeminent emerging power. They should use their considerable influence to bring about an end to the anguish that currently defines Darfur– and by extension, them.

Since my first visit to Darfur in 2004, countless people have told me their stories of terror and pain and loss. They hoped I would return to my country and tell ‘the world’ what they have endured and what they are facing still. And they always express the hope that if the world only knew what is happening in Darfur, surely someday, someone will care enough to save them.

Over and over again I have promised them I would do my utmost to tell ‘the world’ what is happening in Darfur. And I have tried. Every day I try- but their suffering continues. Rations of hope are now more meager in Darfur than rations of food.

But today, on the steps of one of our nations greatest buildings, in the company of some of our most powerful and respected leaders, Darfuri voices were heard.

I am at the airport heading home. I will sleep soundly tonight. Tomorrow we must try harder.

– Mia Farrow

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Fast is Over – May 08, 2009

May 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Fast is Over – May 08, 2009

Mia’s end of fast message.

May 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

I have been instructed by my doctor to stop my fast immediately, due to serious health concerns—including possible seizures at any time. I am fortunate. The women, children, and men I am fasting for do not have that option.

When beginning this fast, 12 days ago, I said that when I could go no longer, I prayed another would take my place, and another, and another, until the expelled humanitarian agencies are readmitted and there is finally justice and peace for the people of Darfur. Hundreds people around the world have joined me in fasting, and I am humbled by the outpour of support for the cause and mission of this fast.

Richard Branson, when hearing of my health situation, immediately said, “Stop. I have started fasting.”

Day 11

May 07, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

I’m really struggling today.

Day 10

May 06, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Day 10: Mia Farrow: Hunger Strike for Darfur – May 06, 2009

Lots of people have been telling me they can’t reach the White House because the line is always busy. (202 456 1111).
This seems the best way to email Pres. Obama – http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/

without food or safety

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I did the Larry King show last night with the wonderful Mohammed Yahya. He conveyed the realities on the ground-far more powerfully than I could. He had just spoken to his mother in Darfur. She told him that the Government of Sudan continues to bomb villages- and the bombings are followed by janjaweed attacks. The expulsion of the aid agencies is unspeakably horrible but even if they were readmitted (which they wont be) -a return to the status quo is unacceptable. Shame on Egypt, Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Qatar for receiving Omar Al-Bashir, a genocidal thug wanted by the ICC for the murder rapes, pillaging and forced displacement of millions of his own people. Shame on the world for permitting this to unfold before our eyes.

Strangely I am feeling fine. I realize we don’t need to eat every day. And we certainly don’t need 3 meals a day. I feel so well that I’m bored. I cant really go out. I was told not to do the stairs (but I do anyway)

Day 9 Video – CALL THE WHITE HOUSE

May 05, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Call the Whitehouse


(202) 456-1111

Day 9: Mia Farrow: Hunger Strike for Darfur – May 05, 2009

“No food for 9 days” this boy told me

May 05, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

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Refugee camps

The photo below is of a refugee camp for Darfuris. When their villages were attacked, many perished, many were raped and mutilated. Two and a half million fled into camps such as this where they are barely surviving. The camps have been attacked by the Sudanese army and by their proxy murderers, the Janjaweed.
These traumatized, vulnerable and courageous survivors have been sustained by humanitarian aid workers. When 16 aid agencies were expelled by the genocidal Sudanese president (who is wanted by the ICC), the capacity to provide essentials was halved, leaving more than a million people without food, water and medical assistance. Disease has always stalked the camps but now the situation could not be more desperate .

Look carefully at this photo and ask yourself how long you could live in such a place. They have been there for 5 years. They are there now, waiting for help.

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Please, please contact the White House. Leave word that it is not acceptable for you to watch a million or more Darfuris die of starvation, thirst and disease. This the time to stand up, not stand by. President Obama and all world leaders should be working urgently to get the 16 humanitarian agencies readmitted or replaced by equally capable ones. They must be given unrestricted access. They should be doing everything possible to bring about circumstances under which 2.7 million people can safely return home and being to rebuild their villages and their lives.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
Comment line 202-456-1111

And never think your voice won’t count. The government considers that every single call represents 10,000 people (voters).
The late Sen. Paul Simon said, of the Rwandan genocide-if just 100 people from each district had called or written, our government would have taken action to prevent the slaughter in Rwanda.

Day 8 Video

May 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Day 8: Mia Farrow: Hunger Strike for Darfur – May 04, 2009

May 3, 2009

May 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Kalma Camp population 90,000

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Not a tree or a blade of grass. It has been attacked by the Sudanese Army at least once . There is an outbreak of meningitis at Kalma. And no doctors to help 90,000 people.
What will happen to this child when there is no water?

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Refugee child getting water for her family

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Oxfam installs and maintains water-point

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Water point in a refugee camp.
Although Oxfam/Great Britain, which had been doing a lot of the work has been expelled, Oxfam/USA is still in Darfur. If you are able to offer any support they are at www.OxfamAmerica.org

Day 7

May 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

In this photo we can see a doctor from MSF (Doctors Without Borders) treating severely malnourished children. MSF is gone from Darfur now. So are the 15 other key humanitarian agencies expelled by Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. The lifeline to some more than a million people has been severed. Astoundingly, the world has scarcely reacted.

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A doctor will be coming to visit me tomorrow-thanks to my concerned friends. But no doctor will be there for at least a million people in Darfur. There will be an end to this for me- but not for them.

Some people are interested in what it feels like to be without food for 7 days. At this point I don’t think about food. I am weaker and I am mostly in bed. I am clear minded. I sleep less. I have increasingly less tolerance for TV although last night I watched Schindler’s List all the way through and I couldn’t stop crying. I am more emotional. I listen to music- mostly Bach and Mahler-the slow movements only. I read when I am able to. After rereading Siddhartha I am now halfway through Autobiography of a Yogi. Next will be Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore.
Alongside my bed is a large window through which I can see the sky, a lake, trees, birds, and at dusk the deer. I am at peace and busy with my thoughts

Messages from Mohammed Yahya a respected and beloved Darfuri leader living in DC.

May 03, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

“We exist until we stop this ongoing genocide, and bring all the killers to justice, then Peace, Freedom, Democracy and dignity will overcome.”
Mohammed Yahya has committed to fast ” in solidarity with Darfuri refugees who are suffering now due to shortage of food, medicine, shelter, water and security because Al-bashir has expelled over 16 aid organizations from Darfur.”

Dear Mia Farrow,

I just wanted to thank you so much for your noble initiative on behalf of people of Darfur.
your fast and hunger strike were inspired all of us. Therefore, I have decided to share with you these great moments and fast with you to support Darfur.

God bless you.

Mohammed

Saturday – Day 6

May 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

I find I am needing less sleep. Hunger and headaches have gone. I feel clear-minded and somewhat emotional. Also spiritual. Except for the visits with my family, there is nothing but my thoughts. I do have a TV in my room and sometimes I watch it but more and more I feel inclined to read, meditate and pray.

Day 5 video

May 01, 2009 By: Admin Category: Mia Farrow

Mia Farrow’s 5th Day of Hunger Strike

Day 5 – My children

May 01, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

the children will die first

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I awakened from a light sleep feeling somewhat faint but I drank water and am better now.

People have asked how my children feel about my fasting for such a long time. Initially they were worried and opposed to it but I have been successful in assuring them I will end the fast if anything goes wrong. They phone me every day and they support me. One of my sons, Fletcher lives next door with his little daughter and wife Gillian who is one of my closest friends. They are here for me.

My 17-year-old son Isaiah is at a nearby boarding school. This is part of an email from his teacher and advisor.
” A couple of days ago, Isaiah announced (in a very mature and professional manner) that he was going to join you for one day on a hunger strike to bring attention to Darfur. As promised, he went for 24 hours without eating, and he did it very stoically. “

I am a very proud mother.

Death of a child

May 01, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

Day 4 is ending. Some people are interested in how I am doing, but we need to be thinking of Darfur’s people. If my hunger brings focus to where it belongs, if more people know what is happening in Darfur and will raise their voices , then what I am going through now is well worth it.
In the camps Darfuris are already experiencing food shortages; grain is stockpiled at Port Sudan but with 50% of humanitarian aid severed, the remaining aid workers are not able to deliver it to all the camps. The port is very far from Darfur. In the camps the water pumps require maintenance but with Oxfam expelled that isn’t happening. Sanitation is a growing problem. Disease is stalking more than a million people.

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I have received wonderful, amazing support from my family, friends, colleagues and from strangers. I am more grateful. Than I can say. And no support has been more meaningful than that of the Darfuri community here in the US.
Thank you everyone who has taken the time to come to this site.

April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow

Day 4

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

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

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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.

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


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.

Preparation – April 24, 2009, 02:02 PM

April 25, 2009 By: Mia Category: Mia Farrow


Preparation – April 24, 2009, 02:02 PM

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.