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Vol. XXXIII No. 17
THURSDAY, December 28, 2006
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Sawtooth o v
. situation is
dire in Sudan
Mohamed Yayha asks Americans to
pressure elected officials to help
BY TODD LUCK
Mohamed Yayha, a native of Darfur, addressed the
Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem last week,
giving (hose in attendance at the meeting a personal
account of the atrocities currently happening in the
African province, which is located in western Sudan.
Yayha is one of the founding members and execu
tive director of Damanga, a group which advocates for
peace and human rights in Darfur and aH of Sudan.
Darfur has seen more than 400,000 people die and
millions displaced since 2003 in a conflict in which
Sudanese government troops and Janjeweed, pro
Photo by Todd Luck
Mohamed Yayha speaks to local
ministers last week.
supported by the
have been tar
the audience the
back long before
2003. He said
his small village
in Darfur was
with many oth
ers in 1993. He
lost 21 family
burned alive in
their grass and
wood huts. His
two sisters were
raped. He said
rape is a great shame in Darfur society, and that it's
n<Jw being used as a weapon in the province.
Living as a student in Cairo in 1995, he joined
with other Sudanese students to advocate for action in
Darfur and together they sponsored many refugees
that fled Sudan. Yayha has been speaking against the
atrocities in Darfur ever since. In 2002, Rearing
reprisal from the Sudanese government, he sought and
was granted political exile in the United States.
Yayha said the people of Darfur share the same
culture, language and many of the same traditions.
Most even share the same religion: Islam. He said the
conflict was all about race, with Arabs killing blacks.
He repeatedly showed disgust that Muslims could do
this to other Muslims.
"I've studied Islam. I've studied Christianity. I've
studied Judaism. I've studied other religions, all reli
gions and none of them ... support this evil, this mal
ice," said Yayha.
He said that it is a great shame that the internation
al community can not stop the killing. The Arab
League, a Cairo-based organization made up of Arab
states, doesn't want to speak out against an Arab coun
try like Sudan, he said. Yayha added that the United
Nations is hesitant to call the conflict genocide, which
See Darfur on All
Life & 'Liberty'
Local woman starts
new 'healthy' career
BY LAYLA FARMER
When Tanya Ford's job was jeop
ardized by outsourcing, she decided
to "take her destiny into her own
hands," leaving behind a 17 year
career as a lead analyst programmer
at a local bank in search of something
more spiritually satisfying. What she
found was Liberty Fitness Women's
Health Club and the opportunity to
own a piece of the magic through
First lady and head of the
Women's Ministry at Beulah Baptist
Church on Trade Street, Ford says she
has always been passionate about
helping women, and that opening her
own women's health club just seemed
to make sense.
"I wanted to make a difference in
women's lives," she commented. "1
knew I wanted to do something with
women, and because I struggle with
my own weight, I decided, let's do
something with the weight loss."
The club opened it's doors in
November of this year amid much
excitement and anticipation from the
Photo by Jaenofi Pitt
See Liberty on A5 Tanya Ford sits in the lobby of the new Liberty Fitness.
Photo by Kevin Walker
Laverne Crews, Wanda Crews, Cheryl Lindsay and Brenda Crews all came to a recent memorial service at Hooper Funeral Home to
honor their late brother, Ricky Crews, who died earlier this year. The funeral home -holds the holiday service each year to honor those it
has serviced throughout the past few years. To read more about the event, see page B12.
A Day with the Girls
in a leader
Students have learning lunch
BY LAYLA FARMER
It's no secret that kids today face enor
mous social pressures. The world, growing
ever smaller oecause or tecnno
logieal advances, can be a confus
ing place for a young person to
navigate, especially if he or she is
not prepared for the challenges
life presents. That's why Rev.
Ron Harris, the youth pastor at
New Hope Baptist Church, began
his program for a small group of
hand-picked boys at Mineral
Springs a few years ago.
Harris, who has been youth
pastor for more than 25 years.
designed this program to help boys who
were especially at risk of traveling down the t
wrong path in life.
"It's a whole lot better to impact ... peo
pie when they're young and keep them going
in the right direction, rather than rescuing
them when their life's in shambles down the
road," Harris said.'i believe that we have
encouraged them to stay in school
and to focus on doing something
with their life and realizing that ...
no matter what their situation in
life, they can riSe above it and be
successful contributors to the
community and leaders in the
Inspired by Harris' example,
Keith Travis, Mineral Spring's
head counselor, and Tamela
Guess, the school social worker,
began a similar leadership pro
gram for 10 fifth-grade girls at the
''Each week, we would cover topics like
self-esteem, social skills, etiquette, how to
See Girls on A3
rul Memory of Our
Carl H Russell, St
"Growing and Still Dedicated to Serve You Better"
fcssslj Jfmtmtl ffSgme
?s to Thank Everyone For Their Support
822 t ?rl Russell Ave.
(at Martin Luther King Dr.)
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Fan (336) 631-8268