Wednesday, March 28, 2007
It was around 6 am, during my morning ritual I saw a lad of about 7
or 8 years old setting up his stand to sell something. When I passed
back about 5 others had gathered. One had a baby in his arm. I reckoned
this explained the pervasive marketplaces throughout the Arab / African
world. At the very earliest age they start business.
After the morning exercise, Yahya gave me a report on the various meetings
of yesterday and last night. Unfortunately, still they had not achieved
unity. The thought occurred to me later, why not start at another point?
With what are they in agreement? These are the areas to be considered:
If there is an area where there is consensus start there. Or, start
with the easiest areas where agreement might be obtained. Then, I thought
to myself, they probably covered these ideas. Anyway, I would discuss
them with Yahya.
We ate breakfast together. Everybody around the table ate from the same
platter. Whoever came in was free to join us. There is always water
close by to wash for eating and prayer purposes.
Everybody’s fingers go into the foodstuff. I don’t mind
the hands in the platter; my uneasiness is how people eat. Some people
snack their lips, other open their mouth while chewing that gives a
squashing sound. More and more, however, I like the practice of eating
from the same platter. It forces a kind of togetherness.
After breakfast, Yahya, Waleed and the Brooklynite, rushed away. (I’d
learned, the Brooklynite had 16 to 17 members of his family killed and
his wife lives in N’djamena. I felt horrible once I heard and
to think I was suspicious of him.) The Ambassador was in a talkative
mood. I had met him earlier as I was going out for a walk. He was returning,
“I do 30 minutes every morning,“ he said. “No wonder
you look so fit,” I replied. And he did look fit. He is tall,
maybe 6’6”, with an evenly proportioned structure, dark
face, and keen eyes. He always wears white.He asked me what did I think
of Darfur? I said, “I’m still trying to learn and understand.
I really can’t speak intelligently about anything except everybody
has been very hospitable and accessible. I would only express my concern
for unity. The leadership must find unity.” I thought that was
a safe response.
He leaned back in his chair, paused and said, “Yes, unity is the
big question. Everybody, all the big powers, are waiting for unity.
If they don’t unite, the government has an excuse not to do anything.
We keep talking and eating, go away, come back, talk and eat, but we
achieve little.” He paused; his face had a troubled look. He continued,
“I’m very concerned for the future. This area is so important.
What we do here could have an impact on the region. There is Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Central Republic, Chad and Libya
all surrounding Sudan.” Slowly he shook his head, dropped another
curb of sugar in his tea, leaned back again and whispers, “We
have got to find unity.” Interrupting our conversation was the
lawyer. They greeted each other and commenced conversing in Arab. Where
upon I took my leave.
Around 8:30 am Yahya returned. He wanted a picture of me. The only one
I had was on the cover of my book, No Monopoly On Suffering. He had
been in touch with the Interior Minister; it was he who wanted the picture.
Hopefully, this will end the bureaucracy and we can be on our way to
the refugee camp today.
About an hour later, Yahya returned. He said, “Get ready we are
going to see the governor when he calls.” It was after 10 am when
the call came. In a few minutes, we were at the governor’s office.
It was unbelievably plain. We entered a walled yard. There was a reception
area that led to the governor’s office, a 12x20 space. All of
the buildings were made of stone and mud. On our way to the governor’s
office, we passed a white man. We learned he headed the Norway delegation.
We were asked to allow him to ride with us. He had on trousers, shirt
and tie and a suit jacket. He was red faced. He was blunt and formal,
and said, “I’m here to find a solution. We can help the
Darfurian people,” he declared authoritatively. “Oh yeah,”
I thought to myself.
Inside the governor’s office were two men. Upon our entrance,
we were motioned to a couch. The governor came in. He was dressed in
blue traditional garbs. He wore gold-rimed glasses that set upon a narrow
black face. He was slender, too slender, I thought. I saw the pack of
cigarettes on his desk. I wondered if he was sick. He moved slowly,
he seemed to be walking in chewing gum. He greeted everyone warmly,
especially the white man. He asked a few questions, which I understood
not. After about 15 minutes the paperwork was done. We were told he,
the governor, would call us after 12:30 pm. It was now 11:00 am.
To be continued…
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday Night Community
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Join Operation Life Line if you need assistance or know someone who
needs assistance with their mortgages as it relates to foreclosures,
predatory lending and/or subprime lending.
Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum Focus on Africa the 2nd Saturday
from 2pm to 4pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House
of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @
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On Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 2pm the 30th Annual Randolph Evans Memorial
Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held at the House
of the Lord Church. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will be the keynote
On Sunday, June 29, 2008, Evangelist Dawnique Daughtry-Pemberton, Pastor
of the House of the Lord Church in Bergen County, NJ, will be the guest
preacher at the 12noon Worship Service at the House of the Lord Church,
located at 415 Atlantic Avenue.
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