If you want to know what it feels like, ask a patient not a doctor. (Arabic Proverb)
My name`s Adam Abdallah and I belong to Fur tribe; the largest tribal group in Darfur.
Darfur ,which means the house of Fur, was named after the Fur tribe. It was a kingdom until 1916. It lies in the extreme west of Sudan. The Republic of Chad, Libya, and Central Africa are the neighbouring countries. The area of Darfur is approximately 196,404 sq miles and it occupies one fifth of the area of Sudan. It is larger than Egypt and it equals the area of France. So many tribes live there such as Fur, Masalit, Zagawa, Borno, Dajo,
There are some tribes intermixing with Chad, Libya, and Central Africa . Darfur Region has never been known to refuse people from outside Darfur. Thus it became an intermixture of different tribal and ethnic groups. These inhabitants, with all their different Arab and African roots, are 100% Muslims. This made the region more colourful.
Some experts describe the Darfur conflict as a tribal war, saying that it is just between the farmers and the cattle breeders. If it is just as they say, why is the government involved in that fight ?
Since I was a child, our parents in the village often told us not to leave the village while they were away for fear that we might be kidnapped. That was in early 1960s. In the country, it is quite usual that adults do not stay at home during the day. They either go to the farms or to the neighbouring villages for one reason or another. Children were kidnapped by the above mentioned nomads. Soon after that, it was in early1980s, another phenomenon emerged: Armed Robbery. People in military uniforms, from cap to boot, robbing on the roads, attacking and burning homes and villages, raping women and girls, even burning children alive, looting animals and killing these simple and traditional peasants in the cases of resistance. There was also a deliberate destruction of crops and cattle. Community leaders, merchants, teachers, and the most outstanding people were targeted. They have been detained, tortured, and killed. It`s been six years since the war started, and Darfurians have become either displaced or refugees in other countries. Despite the international demands to end the brutality, the government of Sudan and its Janjaweed continue restrictions on humanitarian assistance, attacking aid workers and expelling aid organizations. Diseases spread and the situation is totally worse.
My personal story:
I was born in a small village called Sulo.This village no longer exists. My father died when I was a primary school boy of 7. It was my mother alone who brought me and my seven sisters up. When I graduated from Khartoum University in 1988, I went back home to work as a teacher and support my family. I was appointed as a community leader. The same year, in november 1988, a war started between the Arabs and the other tribes in Darfur. On 25/11/1988 my village was attacked. It was early in the morning while we were fast asleep. The Arab miltia surrounded the village and set fire to the houses. Of course, houses in Darfur are huts. They`re made of grass and straws, so they are easy to burn. 154 people were killed and dozens of them were injured. My mother was killed that day and I was wounded. Others ran away to the mountains and other villages to seek protection. Everything was taken from the village: goats, sheep, camels, cows, horses,
Despite Adam's warm regard for Israel, it's important to remember that the Darfurian refugees who arrive here are not necessarily treated well: many people in the society don't want them here, and the government often takes actions that impede their moving here, such as the IDF's previous policy of "Hot Return," which allowed border patrols to immediately return any Darfurians who have crossed the border within the last 24 hours and haven't gone farther than 50 kilometers into the country. The government also makes moves against their staying here, such as the infamous "Gadera-Hadera Law," which prohibited African refugees and foreign workers from living in the central area bound by Gadera in the south and Hadera in the north, essentially blocking out Tel Aviv. Thus it's clear that, while Darfurians have found a shelter in Israel, it is not necessarily a cooperative one. Israeli society is very conflicted about the issue.