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Published:July 10th, 2006 05:14 EST
Darfur: If you aren't Outraged, you aren't Paying Attention

Darfur: If you aren't Outraged, you aren't Paying Attention

By Amanda Carleski

Darfur.  Is it the latest clothing trend? Maybe it is a new movie coming out. Lately it has been everywhere, from shirts, to a video game, and has even been featured on E.R. To us, Darfur is obsolete, but to many who have to live in this country everyday, it is a nightmare that all would like to wake up out of. Many have even gone as far to say that Darfur is the third biggest humanitarian crisis in the history of UN and has been compared to the Rwanda genocide, which occurred in 1994.
 
Haven`t heard about this genocide? You`re not alone. The three biggest television networks: NBC, ABC, and CBS have devoted less than ten minutes of their daily evening broadcasts to this moral conflict which has been overshadowed by the war with Iraq and reality TV.
 
The Darfur region (meaning "Land of the Fur`) is located in the western part of Sudan between the Janjaweed, which roughly means "evil horsemen` in Arabic and the Baggara tribes, which are tribes of small farmers. The government, in order to defend itself, created the "Janjaweed` as a "self-defense` militia. According to Mia Farrow, a United States Goodwill Ambassador, up to 90 percent of the villages of Darfur have been destroyed. " The remaining survivors, approximately two million men, women, and children are living in humanitarian camps. 
  
Numbers from the Coalition for International Justice estimate that since the genocide`s inception in February 2003, more than 400,000 innocent people have died in this massacre, and numbers rising everyday. Men are simply killed in mass executions, while women brutally raped and disfigured while traveling to find running water and products for survival. Even if these refugees are lucky enough to survive all of this, most will die of curable diseases or starvation.
 
With the notoriety that many celebrities receive, many are using their celebrity in order to help the people of Sudan. Actors such as Angelina Jolie, Mia Farrow, and George Clooney are using their celebrity clout in order to raise awareness. If we turn our heads and look away and hope that it will disappear then they will-all of them, an entire generation of people. And we will only have history left to judge us. " Says actor George Clooney on www.savedarfur.org
 
Want to experience what is happening to the refugees of Darfur? Well, now you can. Several California students created Darfur is Dying ", where your mission is simply to survive (www.darfurisdying.com). MtvU says that more than 700,000 people have already played the game, which was designed to increase both awareness of and activism around the situation in Darfur ", along with raising discussion about this complex problem. 

There are many ways to contribute to seeing further action taken to save this already dying country. If you are still outraged, you can lobby our elected officials and let them know that the people care and want more action taken. If you want to get involved on a more grassroots level, two students from Case-Western Reserve University are organizing "Cycle for Sudan`, a 450-mile bicycle tour from Cleveland, Ohio to Washington D.C. to raise awareness and funds for the crisis in Sudan (www.Cycleforsudan.com).  

Mia Farrow, United States Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF encourages even giving just one dollar to relief organizations such as UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, or Save the Children to support the efforts for this relief. One dollar does something "when the story of Darfur is recorded; you want to be able to tell your children "Well, I did something worthwhile, even if it was a drop in the bucket."