Day 10: Aug 10, 2008

Games and life

The exhaustion of Oure Cassoni has caught to me. Now in Abeche, I slept almost the entire day, and slept well through the night last night. I have the privilege of retreating to another town closer to an established culture, closer to a market that sells bread and cheese, and where a restaurant will serve me an omelet sandwich. With my exhaustion, I can rest.

Our friends living the camps do not have this privilege or even the rights to resettle in a different location. They are, in the minds of the international community, refugees who must sit and wait their turn. Their next move will be determined in the international game of life, where resolutions, Security Council meetings, and money-making, back-breaking deals. Their voice is a disposable token in this playing field where our leaders have already been appointed to play a game whose winners will be determined by their accumulation of wealth and military, not by the treatment of humanity.

We must change this.

If there is nothing else that we attempt to change in this world, before we leave, it is that all voices of Amira, Izeldeen. Mohamed, Maht, Abdulsalam, Husna, Ismail, and Shephaldine must be heard. We need to urge our leaders to put down their token promises and fight for real progress in this region, for Darfuris displaced at home, and refugees across the border.

We cannot allow our leaders to play the card which says that Peace before Justice. There is no peace and no peace process right now in this region. And no matter how many leaders claim that behind big oak doors on a silver platter lies the process ready to begin, I will not believe that peace should come before justice.

Instead, I will listen to our friends.

“Justice is above us all,” he told us. And we need to be their voice.
“Why give al-Bahsir 12 months, when for 5 years we have had no peace,” another voiced.

These are the voices that need to be at the table helping to determine what cards our leaders play.

And we need to be their messengers. Even though our daily reporting is over for now, the Olympics, and the international back-door game of trading lives for money continues. We are closer then ever to bringing peace to Darfur. And we can not give up on the future of Darfur.

Please continue to stay active in your own life. When you need a voice, re-watch some of our videos, and reread their stories. When you feel we can’t make progress, remember that all night the women of Camp Oure Cassoni stayed up hooting and hollering when Ocampo made his evidence public. They still have hope, and we need to give them more.

Humanity before Politics is not just a motto, it is a way of life.

Peace, ktj

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One reply on “Games and life”

Dearest Katy-J:
Working today on my deck in Lagunitas, California, painting, with the huge San Geronimo Valley tent of hope set i[pfilling most of the space. My friend Joseph from Rwanda is back home in Africa and will start painting a tent of hope with Rwandan refugees in solidarity with the people you work with. I was supposed to be there photographing but was in a very bad car accident a month ago and am home healing and also dealing with my new life as a single mom after 30 years with my husband. So another kind of loss, but it is actually a good change.

My 15 year old daughter is doing well and has worked on three tents of hope. My friends in New Orleans are working with children in the lower 9th ward who went through the worst of Hurricane Katrina painting some tents of hope. So tell people we are working for their freedom and futures here in the states and abroad! Looking forward to meeting you some day, would love you guys to do a tent! Elly

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