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To President Obama, From Darfur

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To President Obama, From Darfur

Posted by Omer Ismail on April 1, 2009

On Monday, I was among a group of activists visiting the White House to meet with President Obama and his Special Envoy to Sudan, Major General Scott Gration. The president spoke about how the situation in Sudan is among America’s top priorities and emphasized the strategic objective of ending the crisis through a negotiated settlement. His detailed knowledge of Sudan’s problems was very impressive, and his thoughts about what needs to be done were very clear.

When I had my chance to speak, I told President Obama that it is good that my mother – who lives in my home town of El-Fashir in north Darfur – didn’t know I was going to meet with him. “She would have had ten things for me to ask you to do,” I said. Of course, I knew what would be at the top of her list: Bring peace to Darfur. She wants to see an end to the war, and to see me return home after being away for so long. She wants to see her grandchildren in Sudan reach their full potential and live in the peaceful Sudan she’s always dreamt of. When I finished, President Obama smiled and made a gesture of understanding. I left the White House knowing that he will work hard to end the misery in Sudan, and one day my mom will tell her grandchildren about her son who delivered her message to the President of the United States.

This Friday at 1 pm, I’m going to join Jerry Fowler of the Save Darfur Coalition and Ruth Messinger of American Jewish World Service to debrief other Darfur advocates on our meeting at the White House. Please join the meeting by calling in: 218-936-7979 (The access code is 998296#.)

Now that we have President Obama and General Gration’s attention, it is important that we keep up the momentum of our movement. Visit our Take Action page to learn about other ways to get involved.