Darfur-Road to Genocide : Road to Genocide, by Arabie, Bahar
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- ISBN: 9781468575675 | 1468575678
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 5/30/2012
Beginnings Darfur: a name synonymous with disaster, tragedy, crisis, atrocity, suffering, and survival. Since 2003, Darfur has been under siege by its own government with no sign of cessation of hostilities in sight. Hundreds of thousands dead; millions displaced and on the brink of death, countless peace agreements were made, yet non was honored. While governments argue about Darfur and the human rights violations committed there, the humans continue to face violation, starvation, and death. How Darfur came to this is my story. It is Based on historical oral tradition and corroborated by documented events. It is also my own observations and participation in these events, a recounting of my contribution to the struggle of the people of Darfur towards self-realization and freedom. I write so that truth will be known to succeeding generations Before I became the teller of this tale, I was Bahradin. Like many Zaghawa families and households who commemorate the nobles and notables of the land, I was probably named by my father after the Sultan Bahradin of Dar Massalit, or Amir Bahradin, son of Sultan Ali Dinar. To the rest of the family, I was simply Bardin. My mother often called me Derea - the shield - and Amir - the prince - of the family, which is what I became when I was grown. I am the son of Hoqi Eram, Arabicised to Faki Ibrahim, a prominent religious healer in the cluster of villages in the locality of Oro of Dar Toweir. He was the son of Arbi, the son of Hesien, the son of Adam Borme, the son of Tejero, the son of Hoqi, the son of Midoye, great-grandson of Karta the son of Nedy, great-grandson of Deqin the son of Omat - better known as Mahamat Bornawe, the son of Haj Ali. My mother, Gania (changed to Khatra in Arabic documents), a women of strong will, rare courage, and independent opinion, was the only child of her mother Hawa Hari. She is the daughter of Haron, the son of Njorom, the son of Arko, the son of Bodi, the son of Adalla, who was also great-grandson of Karta from whom my father's family descended. In Zaghawa tradition they are distant cousins. My grandmother Hawa Hari was the sister of the legendry Esakha Hari, better known as Esakha Tamara the Red-Headed, the venerated and charismatic Eladegain leader. When I was a child, my grandmother and the other village elders told stories about Tamara and the many battles he fought to defend the fatherland from marauding Arabs who sought to seize the land and enslave its people and in the service of Sultanate of Darfur's army. My name, both Arabic and Islamic in origin and meaning, reflected my father's deep respect for the Darfur Sultans and their descendants. When I enrolled at the primary school, it was further Arabicised in the quest by Khartoum authorities to Arabize every non-Arab group and person. in the Sudano Lavantine tradition of standard Arabic, I was called Bahreldin Ibrahim Arabie, known in later years as Bahar Arabie. Due to the absence of birth records, I do not know my exact birthday, but it could be any time between 1954 and 1957. I adopted 1957 as the year of my birth and chose January 1st as my birthday, as do most of Sudanese without a birth certificate, because January 1st is the day of Sudan's declaration of independence. My mother had two girls before me: Zerga the eldest, and Sonda, who later went by the Arabicized name of Aisha at school. After me, Mother had six other children: Eshaq, Nora, Deli, Aziza, Hawa, and Farah. Deli, Aziza, and Hawa died before the age of five from the measles, whooping cough, and lack of adequate medical care. Nora, whom I dearly loved, died tragically, but that dark event comes later in my story. Zerga, my mother's first, was the pillar of the household until she was given away in marriage .She was a rare human being of light spirit and an easy going sense of humor. She died in a motor accident at age 57 and was survived by many children. My father combined religious healing with other means of Zaghawa livelihood. He was also a herder and farmer, and at times the village Imam and trader in sugar, tea, and palm dates. I was his favorite companion and accompanied him on many of his various travels, whether to markets outside Dar Zaghawa to sell rams and camels and purchase millet for the family in bad years, or on his healing contracts to various parts of Dar Zaghawa, or to buy sugar and tea leaves from another trader in a far away village. Politically, he was an Ansar, a supporter of Almahdi's family and the Umma party. Almahdi, also known as Mohammed Ahmed Abdalla, who led a religious war from the village of Jazira Aba on the White Nile against the Turco-Egyptian authorities in the Nilotic Sudan in 1885. He defeated the Turkish authority in Sudan and established the Mahdist state, which was overthrown by the British in 1998. After Sudan gained independence from the British in 1956, Almahdi's son, Abdulrahaman Almadi, established the Umma Party. My father spent many years of his youth at Jazira Abba, where he was initiated to Ansar's sect and committed Almahdi's Ratib to memory before returning to Dar Zaghawa in the early forties. In his presence he will not allow anybody to speak ill of Almahdi's family or the Umma party. Our family is from the Ela-deqin or El-degain clan of the greater Zaghawa tribal group, traditionally from Northern Darfur and Northeastern Chad, but presently spread to all corners of Darfur. My clan is called Ela-degain