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Voices from Darfur

Voices from Darfur featuring Darfuri refugees Abu Asai Abu Asai and Ibrahim Musa Adam


The Martin Institute and Save Darfur Coalition join together to host Abu Asal Abu Asal and Ibrahim Adam, who escaped the genocide in Sudan and now help raise awareness about the situation there. This free event will include the screening of a brief documentary, talks from both men, and a q-and-a session.

The following is a synopsis developed from press releases issued by the UI Communications and Marketing Department; additional comments in italics

Mohamed Abdelrhaman and Ibrahim Musa Adam spoke about the genocide they personally endured in Darfur. Both speakers are refugees from Sudan’s western region of Darfur and want to speak out on behalf of their people about what is happening in Darfur.

The program will begin with a short documentary, followed by an address by each of the speakers. Following the presentation there will be a question-answer session.

“In Darfur, as many as 400,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced from their homes and villages,” said Elisa Briesmeister, coordinator of the event. “Our goal is to not only increase awareness, but also to give students and community members a chance to hear about genocide for themselves, and decide personally how they will respond.”

Abdelrahman grew up in Darfur and went to university in Europe. He moved to Chicago six years ago. His family still lives in Darfur and contact with his family is extremely limited by the violence he said. He currently is serving as president of the Darfurian Association of Illinois.

Adam, a native of Northern Darfur now living in Illinois, lost 20 family members when his village was burned by Janjaweed militia working with the Sudanese government. He is waiting for safe conditions to return and rebuild Darfur.

For the first time, planning for a Martin Forum was handed over to a pair of student interns, Elisa Briesmeister and Sarah Hipple. Thus, not only was the event itself profound and moving, it was terrific to see our students handle all of the details so well.