SUDAN WATCH: Boston Globe on Sudan and Eric Reeves: Ailing professor fights for Darfur's dead

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Boston Globe on Sudan and Eric Reeves: Ailing professor fights for Darfur's dead

The Boston Globe has a great piece today featuring an interview with American professor of English and Sudan expert, Eric Reeves. Regular Sudan watchers will know of Eric Reeves' reports and his website at sudanreeves.org.

Often in our writings, many of us bloggers give off quite a lot about ourselves, warts and all, which is what makes the blogosphere so special and unique. If you follow a blog closely enough, you get a good sense of the person behind the blog, even without speaking in person or seeing pictures.

Now, today through the Boston Globe interview, we get a real glimpse of Eric Reeves, the person. The article tells us about his twofold battle. One with Darfur and mortality rates, and the other with leukemia which he was diagnosed with in 2003, shortly after visiting the Sudan. It came as a shock and made me feel sad. I had no idea he was ill.

Last summer, I emailed him to check population figures in Darfur [around 6.5 million by the way] and he kindly replied straight away. I have frequently linked to his reports over the past year, even though I've not always agreed with the push for military intervention. [I agree with a British government official when he said such a move during the past year would stir up every jihadist - it could set the tinderbox of Africa alight and cause a bloodbath. I am however very much in favour of John Garang's suggestion that the SPLM, Government of Sudan and AU/UN each contribute 10,000 troops for a joint peace mission in Darfur - and I love Jim Moore's great idea for us in the blogosphere to support such a mission along with the Genocide Intervention Fund.]

Although nobody close to me has been diagnosed with leukemia, most of the symptoms seem identical to the illness I've suffered since 1999 [a severe form of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, known in the U.S. as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, for which there is currently no treatment or cure].

My heart goes out to him and I applaud him and his drive and his laptop for being a great example to anyone - even those suffering long term chronic illness - who, through the right use of today's communications technology, need not be defined by class, colour or physical ability but what is in their heart and mind.

God bless you Eric Reeves. You are a great inspiration. Here's wishing you all the very best. Long may you continue to stay strong and speak up for those in the Sudan whose voices will never be heard.

Full story at Boston.com April 24, 2005: 'Ailing professor fights for Darfur's dead'.

Eric Reeves

In another fascinating piece on Eric Reeves [see Smith Alumnae Spring 2005: 'I Couldn't Leave These People'] Elsie Gibson writes:

"Eric Reeves explains, the Sudanese crisis is a manmade disaster that is complicated by politics, religion, poverty, racism, breakdown of rule of law, geographic isolation, lack of infrastructure, decades of conflict, and, not insignificantly, oil development.

For Eric Reeves the tragedy in Sudan is so horrific, so morally wrong, and so ignored by the world that he just can't sit by and watch it unfold. With words - and the Internet - as his tools, the English professor has thrown himself into awakening the world to one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history."
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Darfur's Real Death Toll

Note, Eric Reeves is credited in a report at today's Washington Post titled Darfur's Real Death Toll.

Further reading:
 
April 27, 2005 The Man Nobody Knows by Eugene Oregon at Coalition for Darfur blog.

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