They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture
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They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture
Civil war and Genocide have burdened Sudan, but has not brought down the strong culture of the Dinka people.
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Sudan country profile

Sudan country profile | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
Provides an overview, basic information and key events for this African country
Nick Little's insight:

War torn Sudan, once one of the biggest African nations has been divided by civil war and genocide since 1983. As of July 2011, Sudan was officially split into two countries after the people in the South voted for their independence. Tensions are still continuing between these two new nations of Sudan due to disagreements on shared oil revenues.

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theypouredfire.jpg (486x725 pixels)

theypouredfire.jpg (486x725 pixels) | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
Nick Little's insight:

"They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky" takes place in a genocide-ridden Sudan sparked in 1983. The Sudanese People's Liberation Army(SPLA) is a rebel group fighting the Sudanese government and the people of Sudan find themselves in the crossfire of this war as the government troops either can not differentiate the Dinka people of Sudan from the rebels or they choose not to try. The novel focuses on Benson's escape to a refugee camp in Ethiopia and Alepho's route to Yirol and then to southern Sudan and Kenya. Benson experiences an unwelcoming Ethiopian people in Panyido when he finally completes the long trip to this refugee camp. Meanwhile the city of Yirol is bombed daily and Alepho has near death experiences because of these bombs. The SPLA takes the refugees further south as the boys and rebels are constantly chased away by government troops. Specifically Alepho recalls having to cross the river while in the crossfire of government and SPLA troops and all the death he encountered that day. The Boys eventually reach a camp in Kenya and join the Lost Boys from Sudan to be able to come here and settle in the US.

 

I really enjoyed "A Long Way Gone" which is why I chose to read another book with a similar setting. I loved this book and the culture was very interesting to read about. It is amazing how there is so much violence, yet the culture of these Sudanese people still thrives abundantly in their own little towns and villages.

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Nick Little's insight:

This article from the Daily News Egypt newspaper discusses the story of two then children sharing their experiences with a UN council, who were displaced from their homes and families by war. The article compares the story of Alima(now 21) who was displaced by Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Joseph(now 32) who was just seven when Sudanese government soldiers tied him and his mother up in a burning hut and left them to die. Joseph said they were lucky and maybe it was an act of God, but it started to rain and they survived the ordeal. Joseph was later separated from his mother at the age of ten and began traveling with SPLA forces to survive. He was reunited with his father who was a rebel soldier in the SPLA. Joseph says, "They were like my parents. Wherever they went I would go. If they went fighting, I would fight in the war zone". He talks about experiencing the deaths of many innocent people and then being separated from his father. He then joined about 30,000 other orphaned children on a trek to refugee camps along the border of Sudan and says, "We survived by eating rats and bats".

 

I think the world's focus has been on the middle east while the same attrocities are occuring in Sudan. The author did a great job of relating the two stories and tying it all together. Joesph's story was very touching and eye opening on the genocide occuring in Sudan.

 

 

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Nick Little's insight:

This article talks about how Sudan has been at war essentially with itself for longer than any other African nation(about 56 years). Genocide has been an occurrence in Sudan since the 1980s starting in the south, then the Nuba Mountains in the 1990s and Darfur in the early 2000s. The Writer goes on to say, "Now, it is the Nuba Mountains again, where bombing by the Sudanese air force has forced entire villages to retreat to mountaintop caves, leaving fields un-plowed, markets empty and people on the brink of starvation". Genocide has put the Sudanese people and children in the crossfire of civil war with "no where to run". Thousands of soldiers opposing the government have accumulated now in this Nuba mountain region and the writer says they are hunkering down and plan to never give up or throw down their arms until the oppression of the Sudanese government comes to a halt.

 

I read about these genocide bombings in my novel but it still amazes me that this is happening. The Sudanese government is bombing villages and killing hundreds and even thousands of innocent people. Action needs to be taken by SOMEONE to end this violence that has been ravaging Sudan since 1983.

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ALLIANCE FOR THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN - Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan

ALLIANCE FOR THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN - Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
Help lost boys of SUDAN, lost boys of sudan, lost boys foundation,lost boys film, lost boys book, help sudan, lost boys of sudan foundation, JOAN HECHT, BOOK ABOUT THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN, THE JOURNEY OF THE LOST BOYS,LOST BOYS OF SUDAN,LOST BOYS BOOK...
Nick Little's insight:

This is an organization focused on rebuilding the war torn Republic of South Sudan through education. Education meaning; educating Americans on current and past conflicts in Sudan, providing school supplies to schools in need in southern Sudan, and providing tutoring and other educational help including scholarships to local Lost Boys of Sudan. The organization describes the history of Sudan and how the civil war killed over two million innocent people and displaced millions of others, seeking refuge in camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. People can donate money or supplies to this foundation, and volunteer time for tutoring.

 

When reading "They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky" the three boys talked about receiving a basic education at the refugee camps. I am glad there are organizations like this geared towards helping rebuild Sudan through education. Building schools and sending supplies will help educate the young people of Sudan about the past and how to improve the future of this now divided country.

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The Lost Boys of Sudan

The Lost Boys of Sudan | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
The tragic and inspiring story of four Sudanese refugees who make their way to the US to rebuild their lives.
Nick Little's insight:

After looking over reviews and the summary of this book, I would recommend reading this book if you enjoyed "They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky" or if you are interested in the topic of genocide in Sudan. This book focuses on the story and journey of four 'Lost Boys of Sudan' and their resettlement in Atlanta GA post 9/11. The author takes you through their touching stories of a war torn Sudan and their new, very different lives in America.

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damaged_village_loc_thumb.gif (318x364 pixels) | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
Nick Little's insight:

This is a great map of Sudan and a mapping of where genocide is most often occuring. The Darfur region on the west side of Sudan is almost completely covered with circles showing villages destoryed by government troops. The wide spread and continuous destruction of genocide is shown in this map and it is really eye opening.

 

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Genocide in Darfur | United Human Rights Council

Genocide in Darfur | United Human Rights Council | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
Darfur is a region in Sudan the size of France. It is home to about 6 million people from nearly 100 tribes. Some nomads. Some farmers. All Muslims. In
Nick Little's insight:

This website discuses the genocide in the Darfur region and how conflict started in Sudan. Sudan is about the size of France and home to about six million people. Conflict originated in 1989 when Omar Bashir took over Sudan by military force. This conflict allowed Muslim and Arab tribes and militias to struggle for political control in the Darfur region. Groups like the SPLA took up arms against the Sudanese government and the government responded by sending these Arab militias called the "Janjaweed" which translates to 'devils on horseback'. Since then over 400 towns and villages have been destroyed, half a million civilians have been killed, almost 3 million people have been displaced, and nearly 5 million rely on humanitarian aid. Now president of Sudan, Omar al Bashir, Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior Ahmad Harun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb have arrest warrants by International Criminal Court(ICC) for "directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage" against the Sudanese people in Darfur.

 

Many factors have been fueling this war in Sudan. Politics, war, religion, and oil have separated a once united Sudan. I was surprised by the effects religion have also had on this civil war and genocide.

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Video -- From Sudan to the United States -- National Geographic

Video -- From Sudan to the United States -- National Geographic | They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: Genocide and Dinka Culture | Scoop.it
Sudan's civil war forced over 25,000 Lost Boys to trek across sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety. Hear their stories from Kakuma Refugee camp.
Nick Little's insight:

This National Geographic Documentary, "God Grew Tired of Us: From Sudan to the United States" talks about the Civil war that broke out between the North and South in 1983. Two million people lost their lives in this civil war of Sudan. Religion and Oil sparked conflict in Sudan, pinning an Arab and Muslim North against a culturally strong African south. About 27,000 'Lost Boys of Sudan' traveled to Panyidu Ethiopia who took refuge there for 3 years. Civil war then broke out in Ethiopia and these boys traveled once again through Sudan to the Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya. The UN provided these boys a basic education at these camps. With war and genocide still occurring in Sudan, with their homes destroyed and families killed or lost, the United States agreed to resettle some of these 'Lost Boys' in America.

 

I think the majority of people are unaware of the the whole picture of the genocide and civil war in Sudan that has been ravaging this African nation since 1983. This is a very different situation from the use of child soldiers and rebel groups attacking the government. The Sudanese government has been attacking innocent people and rebel groups like the SPLA fight against these war crimes and opression.

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Nick Little's insight:

The Dinka people are mainly settled in southern Sudan and think of themselves as African rather than the Arab-Muslim Sudanese government. The Dinka culture includes story telling and has many connections to animals they come in contact with in their villages and the African wild. Boys often start to tend to goats and sheep at young ages while the men are responsible for the cattle. Cattle are central to the Dinka culture and economic/social status. The Dinka people are very community and family oriented as men have multiple wives and children. Wedding traditions include licking the mans blood in sybolism that only death would break their relationship. Men are viewed in this culture as the backbone to society and the guardians of their family and neighbors. Also, Men are expected to act with courage and bravery in order to gain social respect in these Dinka villages. In addition, the Dinka expect an individual to be generous to others in order to achieve status in this cultural society. They base their life on values of honor and dignity. Teeth removal and circumcisions are common practices of these people and they believe these acts measure ones courage and honor.

 

It amazes me that these people are so culturally strong in such a war torn country. Life for these people in Sudan is much different compared to a life style we are used to living here in the US. I found their marraige and social traditions very interesting as well as economic status relating to cattle.

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