Local News

'Tents of Hope' Project Raises Awareness About Darfur

Posted February 24, 2008
Updated February 25, 2008

— A group at Meredith College brought attention Sunday to the Darfur region of western Sudan.

Mass murders, rape, torture and the destruction of property occur daily in the conflict-wracked region, according to grassroots activist organization Amnesty International.

“This is the greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st century,” Raleigh/Durham Interfaith Coalition Founder Flo Singer said.

To help get the word out about what is happening in Darfur, Meredith College hosted "Tents of Hope" Sunday afternoon. The project aims to use tents as focal points to advocate humanitarian assistance in Darfur. The tents painted in Raleigh will be sent to a nationwide "Gathering of Tents" in Washington in September.

Mohamed Yahya, a Darfuri refugee who says he has lost 21 family members to the conflict, was the event's keynote speaker.

"They destroyed my village along with 50 other villages in one day and they killed 21 of my family members, buried two of my grandparents alive, assaulted two of my sisters, two of them raped. My brother and brother-in-law were killed,” Yahya said.

It is estimated that 2.5 million people have been displaced in Darfur.

The conflict stemmed from the people of Darfur, mostly black Africans, feeling that they were left out of the Sudanese government and discriminated against. In 2003, African rebel groups began attacking government buildings and leaders in Darfur.

In response, Arab Janjaweed militias, fighters backed by the Sudanese government and opposed to religions other than Islam, began attacking African villages and forcing people to flee their homes.

"The government of Sudan, which considers itself an Arab government –  Muslim government – and is targeting other Muslims, who are black Muslims because they are not Arabs,” Yahya said.

“I think for evil to exist, people of good will need to do nothing,” Singer said.

"Tents of Hope" participates hope the project will promote awareness and raise funds for Darfurians.

"This is a test, real test, for the international community to get up and stand up and do something for Darfur, before it is too late,” Yahya said.

"Tents of Hope" events are being held all over the United States.


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  • PikeMom4real Feb 25, 2008

    We have our own little Haiti's right here in the US,and we can't seem to do anything about it right here!!! Until people are taught values and learn how to act more like a human than and animal,this will continue to be a problem.

  • TheAdmiral Feb 25, 2008

    It's nice that they want to get involved. These are the same people who want to save the world but walk by the kid or the family on the street who need help.

    Please, if your not willing to assist those in need in your back yard, just say so - but to make it look like everyone else is heartless because they are cracked in the head and ignoring the issues here in the US is just as irresponsible.

  • fedupwithitall Feb 25, 2008

    Wow, there are some negative Nancy's in here. These people at Meredith are simply trying to get involved. It does not impact you in any way, so if you don't like it, get over it. At least they are trying. Some of you have posted that we need to help our own country first, and to an extent, I agree, but what in the world are you doing to help anybody? Are you becoming involved in anyway? Probably not. So, get over it, stop whining, and if you think a certain group needs help, then by all means, get involved and help them. Wouldn't that make a lot more sense than you sitting here complaining?

  • enigma1469 Feb 25, 2008

    So the big question is really who cares? The article tells nothing about the small amount of support and attendance for this event. Even if all of Raleigh showed up how does a finger painting on a tent help. I bet 99.9% of the people in this country can't even point where the country is on the map.
    What a waste of time and money. Why don't these people move over there to help out instead of sitting here telling people what needs to happen. The real reason is they really don't care just like me.

  • feyerdncr Feb 25, 2008

    "I was reading a story recently about how almost ALL of the darfur stories are absolute hoaxes and how many of some of the top journalists and writers (Samantha Powers comes to mind) were lied to and translations doctored"....

    Yea, and I guess you think the holocaust was a hoax as well? No, the United States cannot save the world, but we also cannot sit idly by and watch as millions of people are murdered.

  • bettyboopr2 Feb 25, 2008

    Where are the Tents of Awareness for the people here in the United States that may need them? We have to take care of our own first. Let them fight the battle they have been fighting for hundreds of years themselves.

  • iamforjustice Feb 25, 2008

    America can not save the world and we need to leave other people's problems alone and focus on our own. Sudan will take care of itself. When people get tired they will stop. Famine will soon be the biggest obstacle and when there is no food or water, then you will start dying without bullets. Religion can be a dnagerous thing. Why do people ostracize others for not beleiving the way they do. Religion is all man made anyway. It's all about what you believe to make yourself feel good and less guilty about certain situations.

  • cadetsfan Feb 25, 2008

    They're also raising funds, not just 'raising attention'.

  • G-Dawg Feb 25, 2008

    Most of these folks are probably liberal, so I guess they want our military to intervene with genocide?

  • misslaurap Feb 25, 2008

    How wonderful to provide these poor folks with some sort of shelter, since they have none as it is. It seems however that these tents would be doing a much better service in Darfur rather than on display at Meredith College. How many more days of show and tell will be taking place before those homeless people in Darfur get a shelter over their heads? Maybe I am crazy but if I didn't have a "home" I don't think I would care if the thing was painted with rainbows and stars or not, I would just take the plain ol tent and be happy! Maybe this is just another case of "Look what I AM DOING to make the world a beter place", instead of "Look what we DID,and now the world is a better place....", why do people need constant recognition for doing something right, just do it and let the joy in your heart be enough, don't do something just to display it to the world to gain appreciation. Consider this: While you were being appreciated the people in Darfur had no shelter last night!