Sunday, May 24, 2009

Courageous Journey:Walking the Lost Boys' Path from the Sudan to America by Ayuel Leek Deng, Beny Ngor Chol, and Barbara Youree

Reading books like Courageous Journey: Walking the Lost Boys Path from the Sudan to America just seem to make me more and more aggravated with which countries the U.S. seems to feel it needs to intercede with and which we leave alone! It is hard to argue that it is not about oil...even though there is oil in southern Sudan, where the troubles of this book take place. It is even shown that Osama bin Laden was the person who started the conflict in Sudan between the Muslims of the north and the Christian in the south of Sudan.

I include, here, a long excerpt from this story of the Lost Boys of Sudan that talks of the hope these children had from their fellow Christian nations:

"Beny picked up the story: "Tiop said, 'You are small children, and most of you who made it here to Itang are boys. It is good for you to know why you left your homes where you were eyewitnesses to so much death. The Arabs want you to have Islamic names, like Mohammed.'...'They want to force you to be Muslims--they demand the boys and men dress like them and the girls and women dress like their women. They want you to say that you are Arabs, take on a whole new identity and not be Dinkas or Nuers, Christian or Animist. They want to rule over you, despite your qualification, if you are not Arab Muslim. But we have no right to rule over them.

"'In addition, now that they have found oil under your land, they are forcing you out, not only from Panrieng, Gokrial, and Bor, but all over southern Sudan. hat is why we took up arms and fought against them. That is why you see people here who have no hands, no legs--like me. We were wounded in the war fighting to free you from radical Arab Muslims who are yirabian--evil terrorists. They bomb us and use machine guns and tanks against us. All we have are AK-47s...'

"I interrupted him and asked where they got all that heavy military equipment. He said, 'From their Muslim brothers in other countries.'"

"Samuel broke in and said, "I asked Tiop where our Christian brothers were. I thought maybe the other Christians in the world didn't have guns or didn't know how to make them. But Tiop said, 'Oh, that is not the case. They have guns, tanks, bombs and all of that. Christian brothers in other parts of the world know how to build guns that are more powerful than what the Arab Muslims have.'

"I said, 'What are they waiting for? Why don't they help us? If they see what's happening to their Christian brothers, why don't they give us guns?'

"'Ah, that's where your part comes in,' said Tiop, setting down his cup of mou. 'They don't understand us because we speak a different language. They only understand English. You must go to school and learn English so you can tell your Christian brothers that the Arabs are trying to change the whole world to their beliefs whether we want to change or not. Then you can tell them we need guns to fight against this oppression.'

"...He [Tiop] did his part by fighting and losing his leg. Now, we've got to do our part and get an education."

Deng, Ayuel Deng, Beny Ngor Chol and Barbara Youree. Courageous Journey: Walking the Lost Boys' Path from the Sudan to America. (2008). New Jersey: New Horizon Press. 218-220.

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