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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Day 1

July 09, 2009 By: Admin Category: Naheed Simjee

The only type of fasting I have ever done involves giving up something in particular or fasting between certain hours.  I don’t think I have ever given up food completely for more than a day.  So needless to say, this three day fast will be a challenge and I’m hoping a wake up call to myself and those that have food readily available to them, freedom of choice and the ability to make a change.  I am thankful that my friend John Whitledge passed me the baton.

The morning started out relatively easy since I hit the ground running and was too busy to even think about food.  My usual morning routine involves going for a run, eating a piece of fruit and drinking a cup of tea or coffee.  But instead, I drank a large glass of water and went about my day.  Then I went out for an errand at around noon and drove through the fantastic smell of fresh warm tortillas lingering in the air.  This definitely made me think of food, but I had somewhere to be and it was only a momentary thought that quickly passed.

By about 2:00 this afternoon, I’m feeling low in energy and slightly moody.  I have mentally accepted the fact that I am not going to be eating, but it’s like my body is saying “what’s going on here?”

I like to try and understand the cause and effect of everything.   On physical and emotional change.  My 70 year old father insists that fasting once a week regularly is good for the body and soul.  He has become quite used to it.  Not me.  It’s close to 10:00 PM now and I am wanting to just go to sleep to combat my shakiness and inability to focus on one thing for too long…like this journal entry that I am trying to finish but I keep going off into a blank stare at my screen.

I am making a commitment to do this fast because it is important to me to reach anyone who is not fully aware of what is happening in Darfur.  It is not about my struggle but I do want to experience if for only three days, what the people in Darfur and the world are going through although I know I cannot even imagine what it is like.  I know that this is something I volunteered to do.  Unfortunately, those in Darfur and in refugee camps all over the world DON’T have that option.  I know the issue is not just the starvation, but the climbing death tolls, rapes and murders and so many other things that make you ask yourself “do humans really treat each other this way?”

I spent much of the day working alone and had various thoughts enter my mind. You may or may not be afraid of death.  It might not something you talk about often.  You might wonder how you are going to leave this earth, what will be the cause?  But I realized today that starving to death is not something that I ever feared because I have never been put in a situation where having food just wasn’t an option.   Even when you’re broke, you can find a way to eat some crappy fast food that will suffice your hunger.  There is food everywhere I look.  Even the homeless in the city have soup kitchen’s or shelters that will provide the basics.  I drove by hundreds of dining options today in such a small radius.  I tried to imagine what it must be like to have to wait for someone to distribute your rations.  To not know if there is even going to be a next ration.  I felt sadness and was reminded just how much the world we live in consumes and wastes while others are being denied their basic human rights.

4 Comments to “Day 1”


  1. Angie Marr says:

    It is an outrage that these courageous people are not a priority of the worlds governments. Human life is becoming so worthless to so many, the small can be heard in numbers together we can hopefully help alleviate some of their suffering and bring a little peace to their long struggle.

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  2. Fauzia Simjee McClure says:

    Robert and I are so awed, inspired, and humbled by your endurance and dedication towards bringing awareness to the human struggle in Darfur. Such awareness is absolutely imperative in order that each one of us do our part towards making a positive difference and bringing needed change to our world …we support you all the way…you never cease to amaze us, kiddo!

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  3. Aneesa Pike says:

    Naheed, I am soo amazed at your willingness to do this. I would like to support the cause, but nursing really challenges me at fasting. I however will support you through this..Be strong..I love you!

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  4. A. Latif Smjee says:

    Naheed,I and your mom support you whole heartedly. Keep up the good work.
    God bless you.

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