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Bringing the Olympic Dream to Darfur
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
"One World One Dream," the theme of the 2008 Summer Olympics, was first announced on June 26, 2007, at a grand ceremony in Beijing. It was chosen from the over 210,000 entries, sent in from all over the world, because it reflects the Olympic spirit of unity, friendship, progress, harmony, participation, and dream. Now, over a year later, just days before the games begin and millions of people tune in to watch the competitions, let us reflect on what it truly means to live in one world with one dream.
Many human-rights activists have suggested that this theme stands in direct contradiction to China's own track record on human rights. Many groups have used the leverage of the Beijing Olympics to bring attention to China's financial, material, and tacit political support of the genocide in Darfur. Dream for Darfur (of which UUSC is an allied organization), for one, brought sustained attention to this issue. As a result, many more people know about the connection between China and Darfur.
In the coming weeks, as you are inundated by images of the Olympics, we ask you to consider who is watching the Olympics in Darfur? What world do they live in? What are their dreams?
Imagine if NBC ran 3,600 hours of coverage of the genocide in Darfur, instead of 3,600 hours of Olympic sporting events. Imagine if news agencies covered the struggles and triumphs of women in Darfur in the same way that they cover those of world-record breakers.
Last May, the world saw China's firm, coordinated response to its own humanitarian crisis, the earthquake in Sichuan Province. It was a testament to China's capacity to support disaster survivors, at all levels of society. But the government knew that, with the Olympics approaching, the world was watching.
What if China knew the world had its eyes on Darfur?
Over the coming weeks, UUSC will be sharing with you stories about the experiences of women who are surviving the genocide in Darfur. You will hear from Khadija, of Alashir; Hadija, of a camp in south Darfur; and other heroic Darfurian women and girls.
We invite you, during this Olympics, to discover, along with us, the true strength, resilience, and heroism of Darfur's women.
» Download a variety of resources about Darfur, including fact sheets, policy positions, slideshows, curricula and training materials, and publications
» Read more about Darfur and the Olympics, from the Dream for Darfur coalition