Darfur Fast for Life

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

Saturday, April 18

April 18, 2009 By: Pam Category: Pam Omidyar

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.

1 Comments to “Saturday, April 18”

  1. Eric Angel says:

    I appreciate what you wrote about “rebels”. I visited Sierra Leone in 2005 and talked with a former “rebel” from their bloody civil war. He was no different than you and me, except that he found himself living during extreme times and he was “forced to sin” — to borrow a line from Emmanuel Jal. Sierra Leone is a personal source of hope for me. I met so many beautiful people that despite the horrendous bloody times that they survived, are still so hopeful and optimistic for their future — even with the poverty and slow rebuilding efforts. Their country still has many problems, but they *do* have peace, and you can feel how much they appreciate this. I hope that some day very soon all of the people of Darfur and Sudan will live in peace with each other the way that the people of Sierra Leone now do.