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Inline and Ice Speedskater Joey Cheek in China for Darfur

roadskater's picture

While working on the site a bit I heard a story on NPR about George Clooney and Joey Cheek and others visiting Egypt and China in an effort to get some attention and aid for the refugees in the Darfur region of the Sudan. It is amazing how long we have let this go, myself included, without taking any real action. I am glad someone has time and focus to apply to this, and I am happy that a skater is converting fame to benevolent action.

More importantly, I am glad these guys are not letting me forget the issue. I believe the awesome Don Cheadle (Boogie Nights, Traffic, Crash) is involved, and how could he not be after playing that part in Hotel Rwanda. Maybe the USA, or at least some of us, can find a way to help.

I wonder if there is a way to go help for awhile or if it is simply outrageously dangerous even for the aid organizations. (A quick search indicates yes, international aid organizations have left the area.) Does anyone here know anyone volunteering to go to refugee camps to help? I wonder what it would be like financially to donate a month or more of life to this.

The audio from the segment should be up after 7:30pm today.


Also see this article...


Kenyan marathoner Tegla Loroupe is part of the group as well.


timv's picture

George and Joey in China

Thanks for posting that, Blake. I read it a week ago and just got around to following up and checking the links. I have to say that after reading that L.A. Times article and looking at a couple of WIkipedia articles on Darfur and the conflict, I'm really not a whole lot clearer on what's happening there other than there's a pretty serious humanitarian crisis going on, that people in Khartoum seem to want it to continue, and that there probably isn't all that much that we as individuals can do about it.


But good for George Clooney, Joey Cheek, and Tegla Laroupe for going to China and Egypt to raise awareness about what's happening and to put pressure on parties who seem to have some influence on events in Sudan. This isn't a very good time for showing up with an attitude of, "We're from America and we're here to solve your problems," particularly so in the vicinity of East Africa. But China has a lot invested --financially and otherwise--in the upcoming Olympic Games, and maybe what those good folks are doing is one of the few effective avenues open. I wish them well.

profjb2000's picture

Joey Cheek

Joey is a good guy. I met him this past June in St. Louis when he was in town for the Sportsman of the Year award. Joey agreed to take time to meet with our MSA (Missouri Speedskating Association) speedskaters. He spent a time meeting everyone, particularly the kids. He talked about skating, work ethic, plans after skating, and giving back while he circulated his gold medals for everyone to see and touch.  I made a few of the photos available at http://photos.yahoo.com/profjb2000.

The conflict in Darfur is racial, religious, and financial. The north consists of Arabs Muslims and the south consists of Black Indigenous and Christian religions. These differences aside, oil revenues are also at stake (It always seems to be about money doesn't it?). A fair explanation can be found at http://www.religionlink.org/tip_061024.php. Also, BBC has put together a nice timeline going back to the start of British control in the 1800s.


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