July 16, 2024

In loving memory of Sifa Nsengimana

November 25, 2012 I just received the heartbreaking news that my beloved friend and inspiration, Sifa Nsengimana, has been killed in a car accident in South Africa. Death is hard to handle no matter the circumstances, but for this world to lose someone who had survived so much, who had managed to see the worst […]

After 9/11, An East Village Mosque Reaches Out To Its Neighbors

Rebecca Hamilton THE LOCAL, EAST VILLAGE For much of America’s Muslim community, the 9/11 terrorist attacks changed their relationship with the rest of American society – for the worse.  Broad government surveillance and discriminatory law enforcement policies, combined with an increased suspicion of Muslims by the general public, left many feeling that daily worship had […]

East Village & overcoming the bystander effect

Not the usual fare for this blog, but a little vignette I wrote up for my local paper – quite a change from my usual subject matter. As one comment writer noted, “The most interesting part is that a number of people will stop to help once one person does.” I think that is true […]

Atrocities Prevention Taskforce: my hopes & fears

I’m sharing here a graf from the conclusion of Fighting for Darfur that I feel much more hopeful about now than when I wrote it, with today’s fantastic announcement by the Obama administration of an Atrocities Prevention Taskforce which, according to the NYT, will “be assigned with coming up with a range of American responses […]

Democratizing the media

I just had the thoroughly enjoyable experience of “guest hosting” (which really just means throwing in a couple of lines here and there) The Stream, an Al Jazeera English show on serious current events that are being discussed in the social media, but are under-covered in the traditional media. I may do a separate post […]

Must-watch video on Southern Kordofan

As many of you know, the Sudanese government has blocked journalists from entering Southern Kordofan, making verifiable information difficult to come by. But a pair of Al Jazeera journalists managed to get in illegally last week, and have produced what is by far the most comprehensive first-hand documentation to date of the impact of the […]

Clooneyization of the South Sudan story

The New York Times, which has two correspondents in Sudan right now, chose – on South Sudan’s independence – to run a story from there that starts and ends with George Clooney, who is not in Sudan right now. JUBA, Sudan — On the desk in his office in Juba, the capital of what will […]


I write this, five hours into the life of the Republic of South Sudan, not from the new nation’s capital Juba, but from – New York. Not being in Juba was a conscious choice. Being in New York was not. I decided a while back not to put myself in Juba for the celebrations. My […]

Peace agreements

So you can read them for yourselves: I’m uploading the signed agreement on Abyei (from June 20), which provides for the deployment of Ethiopian peacekeepers under a UN mandate. It is worth paying particular attention to para. 2 of this agreement. The reference to the 1956 border is another way of saying that Abyei belongs […]

Raising the alarm

Something I wrote in Fighting for Darfur feels particularly salient at this moment, as my inbox fills up with increasingly panicked messages from those with friends in Southern Kordofan: “As has been clear for some years, and was true in the case of Darfur, a lack of information per se is not what accounts for […]