Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mia Farrow endorses campaign on Darfur advocacy

From The Canadian Jewish News, Thursday, 19 November 2009, by SHERI SHEFA, Staff Reporter:

TORONTO — Actor and humanitarian Mia Farrow has endorsed another Canadian Jewish organization working to raise awareness about the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Mia Farrow spoke about the importance of distributing literature such as Canadian Jewish Congress’ Darfur: A Jewish Response to galvanize citizens to advocate for the victims of the Darfur genocide.

...the CJC campaign on Darfur advocacy, ...is led by Ottawa-based lawyer Amichai Wise, as well as volunteers, including university students, professionals and religious leaders from across the country.

...“The response of the Jewish community in America, in England, here in Canada has been immediate and everybody stepped up, and it’s just amazing. Without Jewish advocacy in America, we wouldn’t have the Save Darfur Coalition, we wouldn’t have the STAND [Students Taking Action Now: Darfur] groups – we wouldn’t have anywhere near the focus that we have been able to shed on another genocide,” Farrow said.

“And, of course, it is because of the Jewish people, who tragically know better than anyone, when we say the word genocide… what it means. It is the Jewish community again and again who have stepped up,” she said.

Going even further with her praise of the Jewish community, she called herself a “Jewish wannabe,” and added that she “always wanted to be Jewish.”

...The book also includes graphic images from the region, including a photo taken by Farrow during one of her 11 trips to the region.

Farrow took her first trip to Darfur in 2004, about a year after a conflict over land between African farmers and Arabic nomads began. The conflict escalated into a violent war between African guerrilla groups and the Janjaweed, which led to the murder of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of about three million people in refugee camps, some of whom are dying from hunger and disease.

Farrow said that books such as Darfur: A Jewish Response are so important because “to reach the governments you have to get to the citizens.

...Farrow, who said her family motto is that with knowledge comes responsibility, said that the first step in becoming an advocate is to get informed. “[Ask yourself] what is being demanded of you, what is in your sphere of capabilities to give, to do, to join, to become involved, to lend your voice.”

She said that while she has gotten discouraged in the past by people’s apathy, she has a lot of hope when it comes to the younger generation of activists....

For more information or to join the Darfur Action Committee, e-mail CanadianJewishCongress@cjc.ca.
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