1. Only the refugees are always here.
Thousands of staff working for humanitarian agencies and the UN Refugee Agency have come and gone through the camps. Not one remains that is still around from my first trip in 2005. The refugees, they’re still here, only more of them.
2. Life can get harder, and families can get stronger.
Guisma’s mother, Achta, received me with warmth and affection. She sat with me and had her children come greet me, all of them smiling. She gave me a gift for Katie-Jay. There was a group of women sitting on other mats at her home, and more were coming with food. Achta’s mother died last week, and they were mourning in community.
3. I don’t want to hear this again: “They’re better than they were before they came here.”
That’s not necessarily true because you can’t measure freedom. Besides that, “before” should not be the standard by which we measure.
4. From a distance, even the desert is beautiful, rich, and inviting.
Walking next to those that live there gives you a less romantic perspective, but it might still be beautiful, rich, and inviting.
5. Real Madrid vs. Barcelona divides the universe.
6. Ideas, concepts, and plans can be very exciting.
Meeting the actual little ripples that are the motivation and reason for all the work makes it all not be work anymore.
7. I don’t always care what studies say.
Eastern Chad is a rough, harsh environment. It’s hot, dusty, and I am always thirsty. I don’t care how many studies say it’s bad for you, I love and miss my DIET soda with lots of ice (coke or pepsi, does not matter). If there was one of those 7-11 soda and ice machines out in the refugee camps, my work rate might double during the trips, and I’d be so much more happy.
8. It is invaluable to be able to wake up every morning knowing you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
9. If Umda Tarbosh lived in my neighborhood, we would be friends.
And I would take him out for burgers or tacos as often as possible, so I could hear more of his stories and how he sees the world.
10. Beautiful is beautiful.
Gabriel and the team visit Guisma’s family in camp Djabal. She has grown a lot since Gabriel first met her but is still much too small for a girl of her age due to the meager rations provided to the refugees. thankfully, her knowing smile is as wide as ever.
You can learn more about Guisma and her family’s story at thisisdarfur.com
“Angels in the Sand” is the story of the people of Darfur, in the refugee camps in Sudan and Chad, who have endured atrocities and hardships most of us would be unable to even imagine. The animated slideshow provides a glimpse into the consequences of one of the darkest chapters in human history. But it also shows another side of
the story which is its real essence – the spirit of the brave Darfuris, the dreams and hopes of the beautiful children, and the epic struggle by human rights groups like i-ACT to ensure that the candles of hope keep burning in this rugged land.
Every photo in the slideshow has a story to tell – whether it’s the picture of the refugee mother cradling cradling her baby, who chooses education for her children over her own needs, or the picture of beaming face of the refugee child who proudly shows off her sketches. They portray a story of pain, loss, and despair – but also more important: one of resilience and hope.
The slideshow is interspersed with facts and actions through which we encourage the visitors to not only be aware but also to take a stand and promote activism. We believe that correctly showcasing a humanitarian situation and encouraging global public action has the potential to deter such human rights abuses from continuing. Our
multimedia campaign is a humble initiative to provide such a platform. We dream of a future when the collective voice of humanity would silence the sound of the guns and the roar of the bombers.
Subhajit Choudhury is with the Olivewave Team. They believe “the aim of all social movements, uprisings or campaigns for change by people is to create a better world for themselves and their next generations. The final culminating result of all efforts would lead to a world that symbolizes harmony and peace. Olive is the color that signifies growth, harmony and peace. Today we try to provide a unified platform to all the waves that encompass the dream of a single peaceful world” – The Olive World.
Guisma’s eyes have seen what no child should ever see. Her home was destroyed. Brothers and sisters died. Most of her life lived as a refugee, with little hope for a safe and nurturing future — but Guisma still smiles. Guisma is Darfur, bombed and oppressed — but still beautiful and resilient. You have the opportunity to participate in creating a better future for her and all of Darfur. By participating, you shine a light on Guisma and Darfur’s road to peace. Episode 1 begins to tell Guisma’s story, when her life drastically changed. Episode 2 coming soon.
Peace, Protection, and Justice for Guisma and all innocent civilians in Darfur is the goal, and conditions on the ground is the only measuring stick. Sign on to this campaign in demanding immediate action by our leaders, using Sudan Now’s Darfur Roadmap to Peace as a guide: sudanactionnow.com/?node/?80
NOW ACT! sudanactionnow.com/?take-action
The story is based on information collected from a Darfuri family now living as refugees. The animated images are inspired by drawings by Darfuri refugee children.
For more: thisisdarfur.com