Al-banan grew up in the town of Nyala in southern Darfur. After teaching himself English from CNN and BBC Radio, he got a computer degree in Khartoum in 2002. By the end of that year he was working as a translator for an aid organization.
Around that time is when Al-banan began to hear stories of attacks on Darfurian villages. He warned his family, but they had trouble believing the stories were true. Before long, Al-banan began translating for investigators from the African Union who were trying to find out what was going on. He saw and documented was happening, talking to the survivors and coming face-to-face with the horrors of the genocide.
Then Al-banan was given an opportunity to make a lifelong dream come true - he learned about a chance to get a scholarship to study in America . . . but first he had to get a student visa on his own. Al-banan spent months traveling from Sudan to Cairo, to Nairobi and back to Cairo, to get the visa and traveling papers. He finally arrived at college in North Carolina last fall after classes had already begun. At age 27, he’s having some difficulty adjusting, but he keeps himself going with dreams of being able to return and help his people in Darfur.
- Read Al-banan's suggestion for learning more about the situation in Darfur
- Read Al-banan's American sponsor's suggestion for learning more about the situation in Darfur
Walking While Working
Chuck Hackett is a futures trader, and he used to spend every day plopped down in his chair in front of his computer, talking on the phone. He heard about a study at the Mayo Clinic that put people on treadmills while they worked, and he decided to try it for himself.
Dick Gordon talks to Chuck from his office, while Chuck is on his treadmill.