Thursday, September 18, 2008

BBAW Guest: Natasha of Maw Books on Darfur

Darfur ChildrenDarfur, Sudan is currently the scene of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Did you know that? Did you know that hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children have been killed by their own government? That millions more have been forced to flee their homes with just the clothes on their backs? Children are growing up in a world of fear. Rape is a way of life for women. Livelihoods are destroyed. Villages burned. Men are tortured.

After the Nazi Holocaust the world vowed, "Never again." We said the same thing after Bosnia. And again after Rwanda. So how come for the past five years the world has done nothing? How come we have ignored the people of Darfur who are crying out for our help? The phrase, "Never Again" is full of empty promises. As one Darfurian said, "I’m quite sure if this happened in Los Angeles from your own government or in Newcastle from the British government . . . all the world will hear you and help would come. But our case is different. Nobody is listening."

So why should you care? Read this story as reported by Nicholas Kristof, “The Face of Genocide,” The New York Times, Nov. 19, 2006 and then ask yourself if you should care. Nobody deserves to go through anything like this:

Halima Abdul Kalima and her 10 year old sister, Sadia, were gang raped and tormented for two days. Before leaving, the attackers shot and killed young Sadia for refusing to give-up her donkey. Halima and others fled the village. But several months later, once Halima had given birth to baby Noorelayn, the janjaweed attacked and captured Halima along with six other women while they were collecting firewood. They threw her baby to the ground, raped, beat her and yelled, "You blacks are like monkeys. You are not human.'"

Darfurians are reaching out for our help:

So what are you going to do about it? You can't do anything until you know about the problem, so I urge each of you to learn about the conflict. Raise awareness, beginning with yourselves. Darfur Awareness

As a lover of books, you can help raise that awareness. Visit the Maw Books Blog and learn about the current awareness campaign taking place during September, visit links to outside sources to help you learn more, and get a reading and video list to help you get started.

You can make a difference. No matter how small that difference, it matters. It matters to the people of Darfur who need to know that they are not alone.

When the genocide in Darfur has ended, what will you say you did to stop it?

(Note from Amy: The first three people who go to Natasha's blog, pledge help, and then come back here and comment to tell me you did will get three book sets of With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman, Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn, and Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky--if you are uncomfortable making your donation public--send me an email. All my comments go to email and I'll know who's first.)


Ruth King said...

Amy, I left a comment letting Natasha know that I would be supporting her with this.

Mari said...

I pledged to spread the word awhile ago. I have posted on my blog and am reading Darfur Diaries at the moment to review at a later date this month. She is doing a wonderful thing.

Traci said...

I had already pledged my support and blogged about this, so I guess I don't qualify, but I think this is great what you're doing.

Anonymous said...

Hm, I'm already on this bandwagon as well! So important.

hannah DOT free AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I am reading Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir right now and it is heartbreaking.

Serena said...

I wish I could support the cause financially, but I would be happy to post about the tragic events in Darfur.

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