Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sisters, Victims, Heroes



So I’m bunking with George Clooney in a little room in a guest house here in eastern Chad, near Darfur in Sudan. We each have a mattress on the floor, the “shower” is a rubber hose that doesn’t actually produce any water, and George’s side of the room has a big splotch of something that sure looks like blood.

He’s using me to learn more about Darfur, and I’m using him to ease you into a column about genocide. Manipulation all around — and, luckily, neither of us snores. (But stay tuned to this series for salacious gossip if he talks in his sleep.)

The slaughter in Darfur has continued for six years largely because world leaders have been complacent and preoccupied. In the coming weeks, the International Criminal Court is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, for orchestrating the killings — and that will give the world a new opportunity to end the slaughter.

But to seize that opportunity, world leaders will have to summon some of the same moral courage that Darfuris show all the time.

Take Suad Ahmed, who is in the pantheon of my personal heroes. I introduced her to George in her little thatch hut.

Suad, 27, fled from Darfur to a refugee camp in Chad five years ago with her husband and beloved younger sister, Halima, who is now 12 — if she is still alive. Read more >>>>>>>>>

No comments: