Watching Conflict In Sudan From Iowa
Sudan has experienced widespread violence, economic collapse and protests for political change in recent months. As the political future of Sudan shifts, so does life for Iowa's large Sudanese population. This hour, host Ben Kieffer talks with Arab Americans about Sudan's path to civilian rule.
Iowa City Councilwoman and Sudanese American Mazahir Salih experienced the conflict firsthand while visiting her home country this summer. She talks through the timeline of escalating events this summer, culminating in a constitutional agreement on Aug. 4 and the trial of ex-president Omar al-Bashir.
West High School Student Razan Hamza wrote an op-ed for her school newspaper describing how the Sudanese revolution has impacted her individuals in the midst of revolution. She reads a portion of her essay.
"These protests have turned into a massacre as the military council attempts to suppress opposition to the government in the capital," Hamza says. "The situation is not only frightening to everyone in the country but every Sudanese person outside of the country such as myself, who fear for their family and friends back home with every waking moment."
Later on, the Iowa Leader for the Arab American Institute and key organizer for Iowans for Democratic Sudan Newman Abuissa discusses the movement in Iowa to raise support for a peaceful Sudan, including the Democratic Sudan Million March on June 30. He discusses the diaspora's role in building bridges between Iowa economies and the Middle East.