By D. Robinson
Have you ever witnessed genocide survivors embrace each other with tears of joy and hope? This happens almost every year at the Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) Annual Symposium. I have experienced this incredible moment time and time again, and it is something that I will carry with me forever.
The DWAG Symposiums are always phenomenal. Through attending these symposiums, I have been able to connect with activists, leaders, and survivors from all over the world. The defining moment for me was during the 2014 symposium, when President, Founder, Survivor, and Women’s Rights Extraordinaire Neimat Ahmadi gave the closing remarks for the event. She stood gracefully as everyone gave her a standing ovation for her tremendous efforts in empowering women in Sudan. After a moment or so, she bowed her head and the gratitude that flowed from her was almost magnetic. Then something incredible happened. Elfadel Arabab began walking towards her. Elfadel survived an attack on his village when he was 12 years old by following the light of the moon. He ended up in Khartoum, where he was forced to live on the streets, and after making his way to Egypt, he eventually came to the U.S. Elfadel, who had survived the worst type of horror as a child and now works to bring awareness to the situation in Darfur, embraced Niemat, whose life story is also a tale of survival, perseverance, and supernatural strength.
The moment was beyond magical. It literally felt as if time stood still. They looked at each other as if to say “we made it”.
Becoming involved in the efforts of DWAG is a must for anyone who wants to make an impact on the ground in Sudan. DWAG is so well-connected to the situation on the ground that they were able to organize calls to action to help thwart upcoming attacks. The activities of the symposiums are relayed to survivors living in camps in Chad and Sudan, and in that way, they can see how we are still fighting to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. It is no question that this gives them hope, which is something that they so desperately need.
It’s more than just a symposium. It is a life-changing event.
February 17 - 2021
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