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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Oregon Community


Knowing the simple truth that we are all dependent on the existence of one another, we have come together, as Oregon activists, to fast in solidarity with the people of Darfur. Coming together as a small community of activists, we remember that we are a part of a much larger global community in which everyone is important and deserving of life.

“In fasting, our goal isn’t to replicate the starving and brutalized Darfur refugees’ experience. We simply have no way of going through what they are going through. Our goal instead is to first send them a message that they are not alone. Our fast is our message of love and solidarity that cuts across boundaries of race, creed, nationality, distance, across all kinds of false lines that split humanity into self-concerned factions. Second, our fast is a message to our leaders. A message of absolute commitment to change. Real change, not one of mere words but of deeds. It is a message that says, ‘we mean business!” Najam Haq, Portland, OR

“The power to endure the hardship associated with this fast truly lies in the surrounding support of those around, and the depth of one’s own heart for those that are suffering. We take for granted the fundamentals that enable us to survive, but only how it effects our lives. The one thing that we all should have in common is food, clean water and safety, it should be a priority for all. Culture, religion nor geographic location should ever separate us from our roles in humanity nor the efforts of our fellow humans to sustain life for one another.” Stephen Atma, Portland, OR


For all matters related to the Oregon community please direct your emails to the special address for Oregon: oregon@fastdarfur.org

July 31, 2009

July 31, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I am proud to be part of a community that has such strength and commitment. Oregon is still fasting, some every Wednesday and others in their own private ways. Oregon is committed to affecting change, we believe and feel our connection to the people of Darfur. Our fast has brought us together in so many ways, some have become lifelong friends and others partners in this mission. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to stand together, to bring our different and hard working organizations together. The fast has deepened our connection and renewed many who have been working so diligently and at times have not seen the change they so wish for. We believe in our hard work and small sacrifices because we know how much the people of Darfur are suffering, we hear their words and admire their strength. They are continually teaching us perseverance and most importantly about humanity and forgiveness. Our connection to them is bound by common love, family and strength of community. Their voice and needs will continue to resonate within us and we will continue to yell loudly for them.

— Alysha

Stop Genocide Now Writes Open Letter to Obama to Help End Bloodshed in Chad

June 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

In today’s Salem-News: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june022009/obama_lsetter.php

“Last weekend you upheld your promise to Michele to take her to dinner and Broadway performance in New York. What about your promise to the Darfuri people?” -Alysha Atma, Stop Genocide Now

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – The group Stop Genocide Now reports that one of the refugee camps in Chad has been bombed.

“Not only is Al-bashir embolden enough to starve his own people by expelling the aid organizations he is now bombing them, AGAIN,” they report.

The group’s Alysha Atma says people have the opportunity to use their voices for those that so desperately need it, and she is begging for the world’s assistance in reducing the rampant violence there.

The group has drafted an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama seeking intervention and assistance:

Dear President Obama

During your campaign you said that you would listen, that all voices would be heard. Did that mean only those voices closest to you at that moment? I am yelling and many of my friends and family are yelling, LOUDLY, for Darfur. We asking that you now use your voice, to reach back into those fundamentals that ran your campaign on, to STAND UP and YELL for Darfur.

I listened to you and believed in you, that you would be the change. You said that if we did not act for Darfur it would be a stain on humanity. Darfur is bleeding and those still fighting for peace believed in you and trusted you to YELL LOUDLY for them.

I know that I am not the only one asking this of you, 600 people from 33 countries are fasting for Darfur. Fasting in solidarity for Darfur, standing together to act because we believe those in positions of authority who know what is right and just, could and should do more to alleviate their suffering and bring peace, protection, and justice to the people of Sudan.We fast for Darfur’s courageous people —because we yearn for a world where human rights are respected and a life of dignity is the legacy for every man, woman and child.

Al-Bashir believes he is stronger rather than weaker or isolated–after blatantly starving his own people, he now feels emboldened to even bomb refugee camp areas. I cannot imagine what our friends at camp Oure Cassoni might be going through, as Sudanese aircrafts repeatedly bomb that border area.

Last weekend you upheld your promise to Michele to take her to dinner and Broadway performance in New York. What about your promise to the Darfuri people? What about your promise to the American people about what is right and just in the International community? What about your promise to me to use your voice for those that need it, to stand for change? How many must starve and die in refugee camps? How many must run and hide from the bombs being droped on the only 20% of villages left in Darfur? When will NEVER AGAIN mean NEVER AGAIN?

I am using my voice, I need yours….

Sincerely

Alysha Atma

Stop Genocide Now

stopgenocidenow.org

fastdarfur.org

Email: alysha@iactivism.org

Email: oregon@fastdarfur.org

Skype: Alysha.Atma

Phone: 503-901-8103

Stop Genocide Now (SGN) is a grassroots community dedicated to working to protect populations in grave danger of violence, death and displacement resulting from genocide. Through active education, advocacy and policy change SGN resolves to change the way the world responds to genocide. SGN is currently focused on creating awareness and action to stop the genocide in Darfur and deal appropriately with its aftermath. All of our projects focus on and utilize the strength and power in grassroots connectivity.

Alysha

May 24, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

why is this effort is important to you?

I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. The people of Darfur have strength that I could not even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present.

How did you come to this view?

I came to this view because that is my heart, mind and soul. I believe in our common humanity and that geographic location shouldn’t dictate if my family dies because of religion, race, creed or ancestry or most importantly human greed. I agree absolutely with knowledge comes responsibility, that one must choose. We as Americans have the freedom to make choices everyday, from the type of toothbrush we use to the news we watch, the books we read and most importantly to stand for others who may not have the ability or choice. I believe in that power of choice, the power of knowledge, we again can choose to educate ourselves further on issues or simply walk away. I choose not to walk away but to act with the knowledge that I have, knowing that I have opportunities, a voice and connection to others who own the same. I continue to look because I continue to act, I don’t always like what I see and at times I feel helpless. I believe however that as we all love and have compassion, can breath and feel that we have a responsibility to reach into that commonality and bring to the surface a loud response when others are in such desperate need.

Alysha — Day 25

May 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Day 25 of fast- today I am battling a raging headache and serious mood issues. Meditation and quiet breathing help to bring me back into focus – the beautiful faces, the strength and hope that is constant, never wavering. Why is our powerful administration not upholding their promises, why do we still say wait……….isn’t the loss of 450,000 people enough?

Alysha — Day 16

May 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Day 16 fasting4darfur, I’m really tired today, my normal 6 miles a day of walking has dwindled to about 1.5. Women in Darfur don’t have the choice of slowing down, they must continue. Everyday they walk miles for firewood, hand grind the wheat while standing and walk to get water. The daily stress of attacks, the unknowns of living in refugee camps while still keeping hope that we will stand up and ACT!

May 26 – The Devil Came On Horesback screening

May 20, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

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Alysha – May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I read the following comment at a time when I needed some inspiration. I was feeling………..hungry, tired, helpless. John was able to really make me feel his emotions. He was able to put into words how I felt, the reasons for my fast and every ounce of compassion/connection that I have. This has been a truly personal journey, but one that I am not alone in. I have the immense pleasure of walking this road with amazing individuals, both that I have met and those that I can only read and feel. Thank you John, your words affected me, made me stronger, brought me back into focus. Thank you to all my fellow fasters who are standing up, lending their voices and energy, shouting for those who are in such need. I have learned so much about strength from each one of you, and take away a feeling of companionship and know that I am not alone in thoughts and actions. At times when we feel discouraged and lost it is a wonderful asset to have all of you here to remind me that my voice is part of yours and will make change.

Completed my commitment of one day on water and four on camp rations. I broke fast tonight with a pear, the best I ever tasted.

I was hungry.
I was hungry. No, still understand nothing of true hunger. A refrigerator full of food has been around the corner all week. My brother hungers.
I slept. In a bed. In a secure home. No worries of soldiers with guns or gunships with bombs. My sister sleeps not.
I dreamt. Free from nightmares of violence, images of war. My brother dreams of a home, a village in ashes, a brother lost.
I had the luxury to work. My sister earns no wage and has no choice of work.
I talked with blood relatives by phone. I know exactly where they are. My brother knows the lingering silence following separation by violent death and forced dispersion. He longs to know where his aunts and uncles and cousins are, if they live, if they are safe.
None of my daughters went hungry today. None made the choice of whether to risk rape to gather firewood. My sister makes impossible choices.
Yet sure and certain hope endures. The laughter of a child is one language. Love is indistinguishable.
Never again. Never now.

– John

May 17 – Darfur Awareness and Solidarity House Gathering

May 15, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Download the PDF flyer with more information and directions

Sunday, May 17th at 5:30pm
RSVP Appreciated – oregon@fastdarfur.org
Children Welcome
Susan, Najam and Zamir’s House

Lincoln High School STAND

May 15, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Lincoln High School STAND
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today, between 10 and 15 of our club members fasted for 24 hours. We wore armbands to school and told everyone about the reason for our fast as a way to raise awareness of the hungry refugees.

Ketone Analysis for Informed Fasting

May 13, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Ketone Analysis for Informed Fasting from Njmalhq on Vimeo.

Metabolic Phases During Fasting

May 13, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Metabolic Phases During Fasting from Njmalhq on Vimeo.

Camp Darfur – Monday May 18th – Park Blocks

May 12, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

campdarfur-or

Lyla Peterson – May 7, 2009

May 08, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Seriously if we can try to encourage one another to keep going. Today was a helpful day to me in slowing down, in being more aware of the situation and of how much time I usually spend eating, cooking or going out to eat and it helps to focus and clarify the thinking. I will never forget a couple Septembers ago I was in New York City and there was a group of people there with a huge photo on the sidewalk. It was of their beloved leader who was arrested in Mrynmar (Burma) after being democratically elected and has been on house arrest for several years. They were such sweet people and they said that 18 of them were fasting for her (they were> right by the UN). I have followed the situation much more closely and did a little reading up on it after that event. All that to say that it did have an impact that I will carry with me and if there is ever a chance to vote for something to help Burma those folks have my vote. Just want to send out a word of encouragement to all those who are fasting today and especially those who are on long fasts. I was going to do water only today but modified it a bit due to being at the tail end of a cold. But even the few things I have been doing has helped raise my awareness and thoughts of those in Darfur and has given me an even greater admiration for those of you in for a longer haul. Thank you for what you are doing and hopefully your inner strength and resolve will grow even as your body may feel weaker. Just know that it is important what you are doing and we can hope and pray that a critical mass will grow of awareness and concern for those who don’t have the option of fasting, but it is forced upon them by their daily situation. Also wanted to pass on the info that I got a phone call from Mercy Corp today and their rep said they although they have had to pull out of Darfur they do have refugee camps in South Sudan and some of the Darfurians are fleeing there for help. Wasn’t able to get more details, but if anyone is so inclined their phone number is: 800-292-3355 or an email question can be sent to: donorservices@mercycorps.org Thanks for all of you and your commitment to this important mission.

Alysha – Lesson Learned.

May 07, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

White House (202) 456-1111

Clinton Text 90822

I want the Obama Administration to uphold his promises of action for Darfur with unstinting resolve!

Work to get aid back into Darfur!

Create multilateral peace plans for all of Sudan!

Work to isolate Al-Bashir from his allies and support the ICC!

My lesson learned today:

I have called the white house on many different numbers over the last year and I have NEVER gotten through, either busy signals, lots of ringing or my least favorite – please hold for the next representative. At this point I often hang up as I am busy and know that my other option is to text – this I do several times a day. I have been assuming that I will be on hold for a long while, this is my regret – ASSUMPTION!!! I was encouraged to wait on the line with Vicky and sure enough to my surprise it was less then a minute and someone came on the line. I said the above message, they said thank you and I was SO THRILLED. I got through, I got my message in! It was easy, fast, quick and definitely painless as I already knew what to say. The above message came from www.stopgenocidenow.org I keep it in my phone to text Clinton everyday, this is a great option as my six year old can hit the send button and wait for the automated response, there for taking his own action. The moral of the story is patience and the thrill of action. As I learned today – by the way I did it again by myself and again the wait time was less then a minute – taking action is our responsibility, give a voice, a message and support.

Vicky – May 7, 2009

May 07, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Hi All, I posted on my blog yesterday the number to call the White House (202) 456-1111.

My brother Dan did just that and left the following message on my blog:

I just called the Whitehouse and talked with them for about 5 minutes. Darfur is way up on “their-list” she told me. One can’t leave a name with them via phone, as they simply put your comment as a hash-mark on various topics. Apparently, Darfur is up there on the lists they have. I’m going to write a letter now to the Prez – got the address. She said he reads approximately 20 letters a night. Keep do’n what you’re do’n Vic…I treat you to lunch when you get back to eating again. Love your brother, Dan

So be inspired everyone! And call the White House and use your voice. It matters. And to those in Darfur, it is everything. Day 11 begins.

Vicky

Karen – May 7, 2009

May 07, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Yesterday on water only was very hard, but I did it! I’ve always stayed away from fasting because I always felt it was something I just couldn’t do. I love food too much. I always gave money instead. Well, what an experience. It threw me right into the experience, right alongside the Darfurians — right into the trenches with them.

I woke up at 4:00a.m and couldn’t wait to resume my liquid diet… Only to find out I couldn’t guzzle down the cranberry juice like I thought, so I sipped.

I am so humbled. This really is a great experience.

Karen
Reedsport

Lane County Darfur Coalition’s Message

May 07, 2009 By: cory Category: Oregon Community

Sarah Stark – May 5, 2009

May 06, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this comes at such an important time for me–I may be at the bottom of my “hope tank” and it’s hard to remember why we keep doing what we are doing for Darfur when things seem so bleak. I appreciate the inspiration each and every one of you have provided me. I look forward to connecting with you by fasting in solidarity, and hopefully connecting with a reservoir of hope and energy I did not know I had.

Thanks so much, everyone.
con paz,
sarah stark

Tod Hunter Foulk – May 4, 2009

May 05, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I have undertaken the water only as of 11 pm Saturday night. it isn’t fun and its only been 35 1/2 hrs. truth is I already have no energy and I don’t know how long I can keep this up as I take care of an elderly mother and maintain several properties’ yards and gardens and I have absolutely no energy already. I don’t know how the refugees can contend. I stand with you and no matter if I have to go on the refugee fast I will still commit to whatever day we choose as a consensus. I have started a running blog on the Semper fashion MySpace describing our endeavor and seeking support from Portland’s fashion community. again it is an honor to undertake this fast and be associated with you like minded individuals. thank you.

Tod Hunter Foulk

Victoria Trabosh – May 4, 2009

May 05, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Hi Tod – I’m on day 8 of a liquids only fast (about 400 calories a day). The first few days are the worst – if you can get through this it will get better. I’m blogging at http://victoriatrabosh.com/blog One of the ways I stay inspired is to continually watch videos (not like continually – but whenever I’m “weak” (hunger, attitude, spiritually, emotionally)) and I’m renewed in my commitment. I also work full time but am taking care of myself because if I become ill I’m doing those who suffer no good. I’m thinking that after this fast ends of the 17th, I may move to the refugee diet. But whatever you do or I or others do, it matters. Don’t compare yourself to others or think you need to do more. You need to do whatever you can do. Thanks for your words – they inspire me!

Victoria Trabosh

Lyla Peterson – May 4, 2009

May 05, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

Wow, I’m awed and impressed to hear of what you, Tod, and the others are already doing. It seems like some people are expressing in having Wed be an ongoing fast day, for whatever way we are able to participate. I feel a sense of excitement and enthusiasm about that and it is something I can ask others to join in. Even if people eat a modified diet or say give up coffee for the day, water only, or the fruit and yogurt meal, or refugee rations. What a wonderful thing to bring our energy and focus together when this has been such a long and frustrating battle. Perhaps we can summon new energy and solidarity among people and find a way to come together to express our support for those suffering in Darfur!

Lyla Peterson

Nancy Grant – May 4, 2009

May 04, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I have a heart for Africa. It started many years ago when I dreamed of going there on a safari. In more recent years it has evolved to a love of the African people and a desire to do service work there. I’ve been appalled as I’ve learned about the genocides, the brutal rapes – often with a strategy to spread aids, and the displacements that too many African countries have experienced. I’ve also been inspired by the glimpses I’ve read and heard of their resilience, their spirit, their determination, and their forgiveness. Seven years ago I went to the holocaust museum in Washington D.C. and bought a pin that said “Never Again”. Not long after I heard Vicky Trabosh speak and first learned that in 1994 800,000 Rwandans were killed in just 100 days and the world did nothing to stop it. I thought of that pin. Never again? I’m appalled that genocide is happening again – only this time it’s Darfur and is slower. It started in ’03 under the Sudan presidency of General Omar al-Bashir. By 2005 nearly half a million people had died. A year ago it was an additional 300,000 people. 2.7 million people have been displaced. On March 4th the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir for crimes again humanities and war crimes. He retaliated by ousting 16 humanitarian aid organizations which has created dire conditions for the millions of displaced camp dwellers. President Obama appointed an envoy for Sudan and is doing a policy review. He has made it clear his administration will work vigorously to bring an end to the war, but there is no time left. The policy review needs to happen immediately and humanitarian aid needs to be returned or these people will die. Speaking of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, a senator said that if 100 people from each district had called their elected officials, the genocide would have been stopped. You are one of those 100 people. I hope you will be inspired to stay informed. I ask you to take action.

What can you do?
Call the White House and your elected officials at 1-800-GENOCIDE (436-6243) between 9 – 5 EST. You’ll receive instructions on how to choose the elected officials you want to call and what to say. It’s simple. It’s important.

Nancy Grant

May 2, 2009

May 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

I am feeling hopeful today, I am watching people talk, ask and learn all around me. I am watching my calendar begin to fill with people wanting to educate themselves and I am watching the blogs, comments and the beautiful connections grow. I am hopeful that we will make a difference, I know that we will change things, I know that we will continue to educate, empower and act for those that need our voice. I am hopeful that as we continue to grow as a community and connect that we will succeed I am hopeful that all of us will not stop trying, empowering and educating until we see change. We are committed to changing the status quo…….Thank you Mia, Thank you Gabriel/KTJ, Thank you John for leading and inspiring our community and beginning the change.

Stephen & Alysha

May 1, 2009

May 01, 2009 By: Admin Category: Oregon Community

It seems there was a change that happened last night………I am no longer consumed with hunger and thoughts of food, those have been replaced by hunger for knowledge and action. I am quiet today, a place of compassion……I want to act, I sent texts to Clinton, I sent press releases I am emailing my team mates, restaurants, FB…..but I am quiet, listening….I have read and been inspired by every blog, comment, story and experience. I feel connected to Darfuri’s, I feel as connected as if I were touching them. This will forever change me for the better, I will NEVER FORGET, I will forever be grateful for Mia’s bravity, courage, experience, and self sacrifice. I will forever be grateful to SGN for giving me the opportunity to push myself and my family, for helping me to empower and educate others. Yesterday I was unsure if I could follow through with my three weeks, today I know I will extend. today I will act, my son will act, my husband will act, tomorrow we will act and again and again. I am responsible for the Darfuri as a fellow human, how can I not acknowledge our interconnectedness, how could I sit and eat my dinner knowing that while doing so others are dying, sickness is spreading, starving children are in agony. I will act, educate and empower others to do the same. I WILL NOT QUIT….

Stephen & Alysha

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 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

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.