Darfur Fast for Life

We fast in solidarity with the hungry and starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan

Maria Bello

Maria Bello is an actor and long time activist. She majored in Peace and Justice Education at Villanova University and worked with the Women’s Law project in Philadelphia, before deciding to pursue a career in acting. In NYC she co-founded the Dreamyard Drama Project, an arts in education program for underprivileged children in Harlem.

Maria has worked with the SaveDarfur coalition since its inception. Most recently she spoke on a panel at the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC about rape as a weapon of war and an instrument of genocide. She worked with Senator Barbara Boxer’s office to help organize a special hearing for sexual violence against women in conflict zones. She has lobbied congress to pass legislation for the protection of women in times of war. Currently she is working with Vital Voices, an NGO that works to promote women leadership around the world.

An Award winning actress, Maria has been nominated for 2 Golden Globes and SAG awards for her roles in “The Cooler” and David Cronenberg’s, “A History of Violence,” for which she won the New York Film Critics Award.

Her other credits include Oliver Stone’s, “World Trade Center,” “Thank you for Smoking,” “Assault on Precinct 13,” the soon to be released “The Yellow Handkerchief” and Rebecca Miller’s, “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.” She is currently shooting “Grown Ups,” a comedy with Adam Sandler and Kevin James and “The Company Men” with Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones.

Maria’s Second Blog

June 18, 2009 By: Admin Category: Maria Bello

June 18, 2009
Fast day 2

Maria Bello’s Fast for Darfur from fastdarfur on Vimeo.

I’m hungry and a bit bitchy today. Couldn’t sleep last night as empty stomach makes for noisy head. Noisy with petty concerns and vivid memories of times I have let down the people I love most. Funny, how when we are not “stuffing” our emotions with food, we are faced with icky feelings that we’d rather not look at.

I tried my best to focus on the suffering people of Darfur. I read Gabriel’s blog and watched the videos from the last 4 days in the camp. And he wrote me about Achta, his friend who had lost two babies, one during their escape from Darfur and one at the camp. He was going to see her because she just had a new baby and she named it after him!

And I emailed my Darfuri friend who has inspired me to do the fast. She has gone through so much and still would do anything to help her people. She reminded me that there is a straw that breaks the camel’s back, like in Iran right now. Enough tiny voices speak up for enough time that they will eventually become a loud chorus and that chorus will eventually drown out the evil and the change will come.

Now at work, I am slowly but surely feeling better. Hypoglycemia is a real thing. It can make one crazy. But so can seeing your husband killed with a machete in front of you or your baby impaled with a sword and thrown on a fire.

With that thought, maybe I’ll keep going for another day….



June 17, 2009 By: Admin Category: Maria Bello

Maria Bello

June 17, 2009

Today I begin my fast for Darfur. My friend Blake Mycoskie passed the baton to me, so here I am. Fasting.

I have done fasts in the past, (mainly to shrink my ass or enlarge my spirit!) but have never done one in solidarity and protest. Never drank only water for three days without some kind of selfish motivation to see me through. Now, here I am outside of Boston, Mass. doing one of the funniest movies I have ever been in and I am choosing to start this fast today.

I have been so happy lately, which is somewhat rare for me. Laughs a minute with Adam Sandler and Kevin James and the crew. I live at the beach and have the day off today to just kick around. I should be eating lobster at Lobsta Land. But NOOOOO, instead I am trying to mix things up by drinking very hot, warm, lukewarm or cold water throughout the day, hoping that my body functions that are usually awakened with caffeine will be woken up. And Why?

Because people are dying.

Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Darfur have been systematically murdered in Omar al-Bashir’s campaign of genocide and millions have been left homeless. Now, after years of continuing suffering, these courageous people have to face starvation on top of murder, mutilation, displacement and rape.

So I am fasting in solidarity with my friend, Niemat Ahmadi whose family and friends are hungry and displaced in the camps in Darfur. I am fasting for the 40 young girls (as young as 4) who were brutally raped by the Janjaweed militia as reported in Halima Bashir’s incredible book, “Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur”. I am fasting because I am a mother and a human being, and because I know that if I am not apart of the solution I am apart of the problem.

After 18 hours of not eating, I am now staring at the bag of sourdough pretzels on my kitchen counter. I am salivating. I am “starving”. ( Like I will ever really know what starving is really like. )

I don’t know how much this fast will accomplish. Maybe a person or two will feel moved to go to the website and find out what they can do to help to stop the genocide and with enough of our voices we can finally put an end to it. Or maybe it will simply wake me up out of the haze of being a working mother, who is constantly worried about being able to support her son in this economy and if the new lines on my lips mean my career is over.

Either way, today the people of Dafur stand clearly and strongly in my mind and I just want them to know, they are not alone.

Mia, Richard, Pam, Blake, Rabbi and all the rest of you around the world who are joining this fast, I’m humbled and honored to be apart of this club.

More tomorrow.

Maria Bello Joins Darfur Fast For Life

June 17, 2009 By: Admin Category: Maria Bello