September 16, 2005

'Save Darfur Focus' Will Feature Refugees of Sudanese Genocide

"...We hope by having Mark Bixler, Jacob Magot and Mohammed Yahya in our company that concern will be ignited into passion, and passion will be fuel for action in fighting for justice for the people of Sudan..."

Save DarfurAlthough campus and national attention remains focused on refugees of Hurricane Katrina, Samford continues to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan, especially in the Darfur region of that country. Samford's Save Darfur Focus at the end of September will include opportunities to meet and talk with refugees of the Sudanese genocide.

Since the late 1980s the world has been captivated by the plight of the so-called lost boys of Sudan, war-orphans who had to flee first their own country and then Ethiopia before finding their way to a refugee camp in Kenya. Many died in the process, but some of the survivors finally settled in the U.S. in 2000 and 2001. On Monday evening, September 26, author Mark Bixler and Jacob Magot will lead a discussion of the documentary film The Lost Boys of Sudan. Bixler is the author of the acclaimed 2005 book The Lost Boys of Sudan and Magot is one of the former lost boys whose life Bixler traces in the book. Bixler and Magot will visit Samford classes on Monday and Tuesday.

At 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel on Thursday, September 29, a special convocation program will feature Mohamed Yahya, a Sudanese refugee whose native village was destroyed, along with his extended family, by the Janaweed, a genocidal militia in the employ of the Sudanese government. Yahya is now chairman of the Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy, which he founded in the hope of bringing international attention to, and action against, the Sudanese genocide.

Director of Student Ministries April Robinson said Samford students last semester helped raise campus-wide awareness of Sudan's plight with a letter-writing campaign and Save Darfur bracelets. "For several years," Robinson said, "Student Ministries has had an active Social Concern and Cultural Awareness Committee that has been committed to educating the campus about various injustices in our global community and providing opportunities for response. We hope by having Mark Bixler, Jacob Magot and Mohammed Yahya in our company that concern will be ignited into passion, and passion will be fuel for action in fighting for justice for the people of Sudan."

Contact April Robinson for event details:
(205) 726-2927

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