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Washington DC Panel Talk – South Sudan Voice for Freedom Organization

February 11th, 2009 1 comment

Attendees Arriving - Panel Talk Luncheon at Hedref Publications

Attendees Arriving - Panel Talk Luncheon at Hedref Publications

Danielle Goldberg, Jimmy Mulla and Richard Greenberg (Washington Jewish Week Associate Editor)

Danielle Goldberg, Jimmy Mulla and Richard Greenberg (Washington Jewish Week Associate Editor)

Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom (SSVF), a Washington based advocacy group, presented its findings on the plight of Sudanese refugees in Israel at a panel discussion held February 11, 2009 at Heldref Publications.  Panel speakers included the following:

George H. Knerr, Jr.  Charlotte, N.C.  a volunteer who is working on the ground with Southern Sudanese in Israel.

Jimmy Mulla, President, Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom (SSVF), Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization

Simon Deng, a New York-Based Sudan Activist

Tally Kritzman, is a Hauser Research Scholar at New York University School of Law. Kritzman has been a part of the Refugee Rights Clinic in Tel Aviv.

Representatives from the following organizations attended the discussion: USAID, Ant-Deformation League, Institute on Religion and Democracy, Hebrew Immigration and Aids Society, Beja Congress, the RFK Center for Human Rights, Nubia Project, and the Sudanese Workers Union

Panel Speakers - (Left to Right) Danielle Goldberg, Jimmy Mulla, Tally Kritzman, Simon Deng and George Knerr (not shown)

Panel Speakers - (Left to Right) Danielle Goldberg, Jimmy Mulla, Tally Kritzman, Simon Deng and George Knerr (not shown)

Panel Talk Speakers & Guests

Panel Talk Speakers & Guests

Isaac Pel from South Sudan & The City Of David

February 3rd, 2009 No comments
Isaac & George near the Western Wall

Isaac & George near the Western Wall

Hezekiah's Tunnel Entrance

Hezekiah's Tunnel Entrance

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Isaac Coming from Behind in Hezekiah's Tunnel

I met Isaac Pel earlier in my trip in front of the Jaffa gate.  Isaac had been talking to some IDF personnel when I noticed his tribal markings and decided to introduce myself, I thought they were Dinka and he corrected me and told me he was from the Nuer Tribe.  I’ve seen Isaac several times since and today bumped into Isaac on my way to the City of David and asked Isaac to join me on my adventure today and a great day it was for Isaac and I.  The ruins of the City of David where great but I must say the highlight was Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  Here is the sign that greeted us at the entrance:

Hezekiah's Tunnel Warning Sign

Hezekiah's Tunnel Warning Sign

Isaac Just Inside the City of David Park Gates

Isaac Just Inside the City of David Park Gates

Inside Hezekiah's Tunnel

Inside Hezekiah's Tunnel

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George Knee Deep in Hezekiah's Tunnel

Categories: Israel Travel, South Sudanese Tags:

Tel Aviv South Sudanese Friends & Kite Surfing

January 31st, 2009 2 comments
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I visited Santino, Matthew, Simon and Bol in Tel Aviv spending much time talking about the issues they are facing, enjoying some great cookies that Simon’s girlfriend baked and saying my fairwells.

On my way back I stopped by the beach and took some pictures of kite surfers taking advantage of the very windy day.

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Categories: Israel Travel, South Sudanese Tags:

Students for Sudanese Refugees Symposium

January 28th, 2009 No comments
Gabriel Speaks at Hebrew University

Gabriel Speaks at Hebrew University

 

 

 

Mollie Gerver & Students Hebrew University Auditorium

Mollie Gerver & Students Hebrew University Auditorium

 

 

 

Sara, a Student Member, Speaks

Sara, a Student Member, Speaks

 

 

 

Security asks me to test my camera

Security Asks Me to Test My Camera

Students for Sudanese Refugees (4asylum.org) held a story telling symposium at Hebrew University.  Speaking at the symposium were Gabriel Kuol Makes South Sudan), Maleth Duoc (Darfur), Abudermed Ahmed Abedel (Darfur).  The Symposium was attended by a number of students and faculty.  Mollie Gerver, leader of the Students for Sudanese Refugees opened the symposium and introduced Gabriel the first speaker.  Gabriel opened with his experience as a South Sudan war refugee, his time in prison in Khartoum, his escape into Egypt and eventually the almost identical religious and racial oppression in Egypt forced Gabriel to seek safe haven in Israel.  Gabrel then interpreted for Maleth and Adudermed who had similar stories but from a Darfurian perspective.  Members of the Students for Sudanese Refugees then gave testimonies as to their involvement.  Mollie Gerver then asked for volunteers and many students signed up to help. Side Note – I briefly stepped away from the meeting to see if I couldn’t meet the Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who was accompanying Tzipi Livni, acting prime minister of Israel,  and speaking at Hebrew University at the same time as our Sudanese meeting.  Security was tight and I spoke with Aljazeera English who were also outside waiting to get in past security.  I eventually talked with Israeli government security who were kind enough to escort me in for a couple of pictures.  The event were for Hebrew University students only and the “real” press.  The two Israeli government security officers I spoke with were actually very kind and I was surprised at their generosity.  Being thourough in their job they made me take a picture with my camera, asked me if I had any weapons (you get used to this question in Israel) and then escorted me personally inside the auditorium where I was able to take a few pictures of Tzipi while she spoke.  The top of the auditorium was packed with press.  The pictures are poor in quality because of a week flash and my distance from the podium.
Sudanese Symposium

Sudanese Symposium

 

 

 

Abudermed Ahmed Abedel Speaks on Darfur

Abudermed Ahmed Abedel Speaks on Darfur

 

 

 

Maleth Duoc Speaks to Hebrew University Student

Maleth Duoc Speaks to Hebrew University Student

 

 

 

Tzipi Livni Speaks at Hebrew University

Tzipi Livni Speaks at Hebrew University

Israel Tour with Union for Refugees

January 5th, 2009 No comments

I have been traveling with executive officers of the South Sudan Union for Refugees in Israel. We’ve been to Eliat, Arad and now are in Tel Aviv. I will catch up my past days blogging soon, before the memories evaporate too much from my memory.

Categories: South Sudanese Tags:

ESL Book Order

December 24th, 2008 No comments

Will Smethers and I went to the printer to order the printing of 20 more ESL books that Will purchased for the classes at Gabriel’s that Will and other Hebrew University Students are teaching.

Categories: South Sudanese Tags:

ESL Class at Gabriel’s

December 23rd, 2008 No comments

eslatgabriels2eslatgabriels1Will Smethers a student at Hebrew University is volunteering along with others to teach English to South Sudanese and Darfurians at Gabriel’s apartment. Will has also funded the purchase of 20 ESL (English as a Second Language) books for these classes.

Categories: South Sudanese Tags:

Arad South Sudanese School

December 22nd, 2008 No comments
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We stayed overnight at Joseph’s apartment and left for the Sudanese Center (school) in Arad, a school created by the South Sudan Union for Refugees in Israel. Here we met some of the staff and a few of the children. Most of the mother were off work so they kept there children at home. We also delivered the ESL books and clothing. The children began to come and we spent time playing with them and having fun. aradschoolchild1

 

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Arad, Israel Trip

December 21st, 2008 No comments

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Made it back to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in time to rent a car from EL Dan, met Gabriel and Sara (left) and picked up the ESL books from the printer for out trip to Arad near the Dead Sea. A number of Sudanese live here and take a bus to the resorts on the Dead Sea for work. The ESL books were to be delivered to the Sudanese Center a school for the Sudanese supported by the South Sudan Union for Refugees in Israel. Before leaving Jerusalem we stopped back by Gabriel’s to pick up clothing donated by Sharon a student at Hebrew University for the Arad South Sudanese. We stayed at Joseph Kuc’s apartment, the Secretary General of the South Sudan Union for Refugees. To the right you can see us eating with Sara and Joseph the the left and Gabriel and I to the right.

Categories: South Sudanese Tags: ,

Hebrew University Talk

December 18th, 2008 No comments

AM: Met with Victor Kalisher Director of the Bible Society in Israel. We shared the work that both of us are doing with the Sudanese refugees. I shared the ESL curriculum with Victor and the quote I had for printing and Victor was able to take me to a printing place and save me about 1600 ILS. Victor has an ESL class in Tel Aviv and is interested in using the curriculum also. I made the order for the ESL curriculum which will be ready Sunday afternoon.

Hebrew University Talk - Simon and MollieHebrew University TalkPM: We, along with 4 Darfurians and two South Sudanese attended the Hebrew University talk set up by Mollie Gerver also a student at Hebrew University. The Darfurians and South Sudanese where not permitted to enter the University without more pre-aprroval, hence the talk was held outside overlooking the Jordan Valley and Mountains. Mollie has been instrumental in many efforts to support the South Sudanese here in Israel. The talk featured Gabriel Kuol and Simon Deng, both sharing their experience as a result of Muslim oppression and their concerns for the South Sudanese refugees in Israel.