Uncomfortable

Abdulaziz had a small plate with cookies at the end of our live event with DC. UNHCR brought some for the refugees, and our teacher friends wanted to include us in the snacking. Everyone from i-ACT, in chorus, said no thank you and please give to the children that were still crowding around our makeshift movie theater.

In a matter of seconds, the moment Abdulaziz turned around, a cloud of sand kicked up from all the children rushing the plate with a few cookies, the cookies flying in all directions, and the children diving on the ground, pulling and pushing to get one little morsel. They had a serious, intense look in their eyes. There was no laughing.

It felt very uncomfortable to see that. Abdulaziz immediately asked the children to move back and put the plate up high, where they could not reach. The little boys and girls stepped back. As soon as Abdulaziz turned around, children crawled on the ground and started to dig through the sand to grab any crumbs that were left behind.

It makes me uncomfortable to even write this and have the images, so very clear, jump in and out of my mind.

Gabriel co-founded Stop Genocide Now in 2005, which gave birth to i-ACT in 2009.

He became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change.

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Category: Day 5: June 19, 2009 · Tags: , ,

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One Response to “Uncomfortable”
  1. Lisa Goldner says:

    Gabriel,

    You were all trying to be generous and considerate. This story was heart-breaking. It is hard to imagine (and even harder to witness) how even a morsel of such an innocent treat becomes the main objective of each child in a hungry mass of children. Your situation reminded me of a story my father shared when he returned from the Vietnam War. A group of servicemen had innocently tossed some candy to a group of refugee children waving at their military vehicles from the side of a road. Sadly, the smaller children were being hurt as they got trampled in the frenzied attempts to get a piece. Like yours, this image haunted him. It’s terrible that such intense hunger persists despite all the effort of the humanitarian aid groups.

    We’ll continue to pray for improved aid to end such suffering, and restoration of peace for the Darfuris to return to a better life in their homeland.

    Paz,

    Lisa

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