Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some useful Sudan links

Last night I gave a talk before a great audience at St. Vincent de Paul in San Francisco. During the question period someone asked about "what to do next", and I rattled off a couple suggestions. I thought I would put them here for other budding Sudanists and activists and humanitarians.

First, I would heartily recommend the very readable What is the What, a kind of novelized autobiography of Valentine Deng as written by Dave Eggers. Great prose, and great weaving of the story of one person, and his friends, an innocent victim of a brutal civil war, with the larger story of what that war is about, and the aftermath of war, as people put together new lives in entirely transformed circumstances. After reading that, I recommend Deborah Scroggins' Emma's War, Francis Deng's War of Visions, and Katherine Applegate's lovely Home of the Brave.

That covers the south. For Darfur, although I disagree with many of his policy points, there is no better initial reading than Alex de Waal's (and Julie Flint) A New History of a Long War.

For charitable work, there is The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation working in South Sudan, and Sister Marilyn Lacey's Mercy Without Borders (whose website and Facebook page seems to be down... not the best sign!). The Darfur Peace and Development Program seems to be recommended, though I have never looked carefully at their activities.

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