BnaiDarfur: Interview with Adam Yousif

  1. Tell me about yourself

I am from West Darfur, a place called zinlingi, the village of Maura, I was living there at the time in 2003 and the war started and my village was burned in April 2003, the janjaweed came in the morning and I lost my cousin and my uncle. Every one from the village ran away, we walked 5 hours on foot to an IDP camp. It was still not safe especially for young boys who lived there because the government and the militia would come into the camp they would kill them, at 15 when you are strong they accuse you of being a part of the rebel group. My family told me I needed to go to the safe place in Khartoum to study and be safe. I was living in Khartoum with my uncle and from there I went to study and go to school, I got my high school certificate. It was still not safe because many Darfurians formed an association to help people in camps and raised money and buy things to send to the IDP camps. I was involved in many Darfurian student organizations. We are living in very terrible conditions. If you come from Darfur, the government accused you of supporting the SLM. I was tortured and arrested for months during this time. I went to jail because they accused me and interrogated me about my involvement in activism. I went to Egypt and then went to Israel. When I came here I was working hard for the community. I was a former spokesperson for another organization Friends of Darfur organization. Also, I work in Azum family organization and I work for Bnai Darfur financially secretary.  Last year in 2014, other guys started to collect Darfurian activists and leaders to come back and reform Bnai Darfur, we realized that its better for us to have one organization. First organization that was founded since Darfurian came to Israel. Even if there are others they can still work under Bnai Darfur. I am now on the board of the organization.

  1. Mind set about the organization

The organization is very important. We are in a critical condition. All over the world Darfurian have left there home. Here we have a body to organize. We can sync together as Darfurian to do our thing. You need an association to connect you. You cannot really do anything without an association or organization. Darfurian who are living here in Israel have a good people to manage all the issues and run the work of an organization. We need to have very strong relations with other organizations. Cooperation is the most important. We like to connect Darfurian with social and cultural activities. If we have a good foundation we can jump to the next issues. We can use this to gage the other goals. Also, we can find the means to get good education for all. This we can use for building the peace.

  1. What are your main priorities

Right now, the things were are focusing on is Cultural and social activities. Show the people that Bnai Darfur is working seriously. We need to empower the people.

New project on Education. People need to have a good education no matter where they are. We are trying to find the means to get education.

Help to those in the IDP Camps, We also need to have a good connection with them.

Connect with other Darfurians outside of Israel and create good relations with them.

Rebuild our relations with other organizations who were once supporting Bnai Darfur. We need to rebuild because it has not been very active. We need to try to regain the parts.

  1. How do you think Bnai Darfur can reach the community?

We can reach them through our active serious work, through our vision and our goals and our act.  We understand our community very well and we understand what means we can bring to help them. Also, through membership so that we will have things that they can come to and influence.

  1. How do you think that this organization will work to benefit the Darfurian community in Israel

The community will benefit from the organization because they are basis of the organization. Bringing them together is what gives power to the organization. We are the building point. We are able to provide benefits and then we benefit from them being a aprt of the organization. The sources of the association. They community benefits from having this because we can manage their issues. We can have leaders working  on solutions to issues like the general issues of Darfur. This is one of the most important things we would like to focus on. The near future of figuring out the issues and the far future of building a community and being able to go back to our homeland.

  1. How do you think that the organization will work together with other Darfurian/ Sudanese organizations with the same values?

I see that Bnai Darfur, is the first Darfurian association and all our things are focused on Darfur, not Sudan we have War in our area. Yes we can work together because we are in the same country and some of our goals overlap. We can help each other and we have similar goals. We also have good cooperation and relations with some international organizations that share our goals and vision.

  1. How will bnai Darfur reach displaced people inside the camps in Darfur and how can they work with other refugees in neighboring countries of Darfur (Chad, South Sudan)

In Chad, we can try to get some help and we try to help them the people in the IDP camp, one of the things they need stuff of life, like clean water. All these issues it is not easy but we have a cooperation with other organizations will help us. It will be easy to try to send some help when you have a bigger organizations that work with refugees because they understand the situation and they can help us and we can give them our support. Chad is a very big bad situation. In south Sudan people are not living in IDP camps, they have many things we do not and their goals are different. They have good schools and help influence good unity and discussion of issues to do what is needed. We will try to open a branch in Bnai Darfur in south Sudan to help implement our goals and our vision.

Bnai Darfur to reach the IDP camps, we in Israel do not have permission to travel and to get them help, we need to travel. We need to have someone to have status. If we have relations we might be able to help those in the camps. Food clothes etc. we can try to send them and they cab receive easily.

  1. How do you its best to present and advocate for the problems in Darfur? (theater, speeches, music) How do you personally present the current issues in Darfur to the rest of the world and the public in Israel ?

The best way to advocate is to focus on uniting all Darfurians based on social and cultural system. This is the first step. We also need to give awareness of Darfurians on the problems that have been occurring since 2013. People are living in worse conditions in IDP camp and Khartoum where they are being tourtued and discriminated against by the government. We have many people living in Holot, these people escape genocide and they are still living in a really bad condition. All the people from Darfur are suffering. This is one the main issues we need to address. It can eased with clear vision and goals, cooperation, unity and enable the people to envision the biggest goal of returning to the homeland.

  1. Can you explain how your life has been improved/changed since leaving Darfur

I think my life when I was living in Darfur was much worse; I came to Khartoum and my life was changed because I got a basic education because for me education is very important. I got my high school certificate when my family sent me to the city. My hope is not yet completed because I want to study in college also. I strongly stand for it. My life is changed because I was living in a bad condition and had no education. I come to Israel here and my life was also a little bit changed because I realized that our problems in Darfur our not easy and we need many things to help. Israel is a first world country and the life is totally different. The country’s system is very good. Here you have freedom you have move and walk and go to school. I see my life in a much more positive way then before.

  1. What have you learned that others might not know about the issue and circumstances in Darfur

For example, I know Darfurian unity and education is very important for the community. It is also very important for the people to have a good action. You need to work hard and cooperation. You need everything to help enable you to reach your goals.

Most Darfurian are not educated because we are very marginalized, not just in our government but all over. We need a strong people and a good education to empower you.

  1. What kinds of goals do you think that the organization can work towards?

Social community, education and unity. We want to focus on having good relations and we want to focus getting help to IDP camps and internal displaced people. These people need help so we need to help them.

  1. Did you ever have any doubts

No I didn’t have any doubts working with Bnai Darfur or joining the movement. We need to work on many things. Humanitarian issues, social and political associations. This is priority, we cannot ignore this. This is our issue and our homeland.  Whenever its necessary it’s important and we do not have the opportunity to deny these things.


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