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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

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Even in hell...

The little girl, maybe 6 years old, was shoeless in the scorching sand.  I looked closely at her feet, struck by how old they appeared, wrinkled and calloused gray, and it occurred to me, she’s probably never worn a pair of shoes. 

I saw her near Nyala, in Sudan’s Darfur region, in a camp for displaced people called al-Salam, Arabic for peace, it is a place surrounded by war.
Darfur
Now, 700 camps like this one dot Darfur, and the majority of the people in them are children. Glimpsing a brand new baby in one camp, when the wind caught the fabric of her mother’s headdress, I wondered how one keeps a child alive in this hell.

The feet of children -- old and worn by the sands of Darfur.
Photo by NBC News

For more than three years, Darfur has been tortured by a war started when the government included Arab militias into its police and armed forces while trying to put down a rebellion amongst its black tribes.  Hard to control, these militias are blamed for a kind of terror the U.S. has called genocide and the International Criminal Court calls crimes against humanity. 

The ethnic Arab tribes were historically slave traders in this region, but in the years since, they have intermarried and lived so closely with ethnic black tribes that it is sometimes difficult to tell the two groups apart. 

Called to arms, the ethnic Arab nomads were already motivated to push into new territories. The Sahara desert is moving south, perhaps because of global warming, drying up lands they once used to feed their herds. 

Video: Ann Curry travels to Darfur

When the history of Darfur’s tragedy is written, the outside world may see it as a firestorm sparked by politics, fanned by a thirst for resources on a tinder of long-forgotten ethnic tensions.

Like most wars, this one too has lost meaning and clarity as the violence spirals. Now, the government is fighting several rebel groups and appears to have lost control of some of the Arab militiamen within its ranks. There are even reports of Arabs attacking Arabs and blacks attacking blacks. 

Stuck in the middle of this horror is Darfur’s future -- these children who, along with their parents, are experiencing a kind of suffering that traumatizes.

They are the first to draw near to you, an alien with your clean clothes and Thuraya satellite phone. Sudan2_2 Looking at them standing there, dirty and hungry, their clothes in tatters, you wonder what hope there is for them and for the future of Darfur.  Then you realize, they are looking at you for something to make them smile.  And so you try and BOOM! You discover that even in hell, a child can laugh. 



One of the children Ann Curry met in a camp outside
Nyala in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Photo by: NBC News

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COMMENTS

I would just like to say if there was a way for me to care for everyone of them children there I would be the first in line. It is a shame that I can't but still they are all in my thoughts and prayers. They Are all wonderful HUMAN BEINGS regardless of how they are living....And They ALL DESERVE A BETTER LIFE....GOD sure knows how we are living over here in AMERICA and I hope one day they will all be living a BETTER LIFE and Have A BRIGHTER FUTURE. HOPE LOVE PEACE to all in Darfur. GOD BLESS

Dear Miss Curry,
My name is Forest, I am writing an I-Search paper on Darfur. I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions for my paper. I would realy appreciate your time.
1} Why do you think Darfur is accuring?
2}Are the people in charge doing anthing about it? If so what?
3}Who is in charge?
4}What are the crimes people are doing?
5}Who are the crimes targeted against?
6}What is happening to people who do crimes?
7}Who is helping them with the situation?
8}Is the United States willing to help inthe Darfur Sitution?
9}Do the people in Darfur want are help?
10}How are the attacks effecting their everyday life?
11}Was the interview with the leader of Africa heated or tense? Can you describe it?
Thank you for your time. Please send your response to hollyscamera@yahoo.com
thank you!
Sincerely Forest Ashley

Thank you, Ann for your very courageous and heartfelt reporting. You set an example for all to follow.

I noticed Sheila in MS said we should 'all run to their rescue yesterday', but wonder what she did to help? Did she do ANYTHING except write in telling someone else to do something? This is the problem - we all think someone else will take care of it. Ms. Curry's courage in reporting this now challenges us to do something - but what? I agree 100% with Mike in NH that until these people do something to help themselves, there isn't much we can do. We don't want innocent children to suffer, but the best thing anyone can do for them is teach them how to help themselves and pray!

Is there an address to send infant and toddler shoes too? As parents we all know how quickly a child's feet grows and most of our used shoes are still new. Is there a foundation or place we can collect and send these shoes too?

I would just like to add to this, by saying > No amount of aid will help the situation in Darfur, unless you understand three things : 1 ) The aid will not get to the needy, as long as they have to go through a corrupt regime, to reach them [ Unless we want to take our troops out of Iraq & "Police" Sudan ! ]. 2 ) The aid will have to continue forever; as long as we continue to have a global overpopulation problem & the Sahara Desert continues to expand, due to pervasive air & water pollution issues. 3 ) The overpopulation problem will continue, as long as these people remain uneducated &/or culturally ignorant; especially regarding birth control. This is the reality of Darfur ( & Somalia, before that. ) that people must accept, for real change to take place.

Hi Ann, My church is Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in McMurray, PA. The youth (headed by Miss Blaire Volbers and Pastor Broome) have organized a walk for Darfur on April 22 to start at 1:30 PM.

The Walk for Darfur is a five mile walk on the Arrowhead Train, beginning at Peters Creek Presbyterian Church on 250 Brookwood Road in Venetia.

In February they held a Pancake supper the Sunday before lent and raised more than $300.00. Won't fix things but will certainly help and I thought someone should know and I saw you discussion.

Thank you for excellent reporting- on issues that matter. We should all run to their rescue- yesterday!

Unfortunately, the world has a long way to go before reaching its human potenttial. Beating swords into plowshares is still an ailen concept to too many.

Thank you Ms. Curry for your willingness to go and see first hand the atrocities and the gross mistreatment of our fellow human beings in a ravaged country. I have been to Africa four times and I am going back in June. I love the people. It is simply inexcusable how we can just overlook such tragedy,but we did it in Rwanda as well. Keep up the good work Ann. God bless you.

Where are the US black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? All the bags of food shown in the video were from the USA, what happened to Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, why can't they donate food?

Thank you - and FOX media - for pointing out the horrors in Darfur and elsewhere in the world. But what about the crap going on in the U.S.?

Katrina was NOT an isolated incident. And dont think foreign terror groups are not aware of this.

When are we going to realize as a nation and as a world that there are no "us" and "them" problems? The plight of our next door neighbors or the next continent all affect us, and our insensitivity to the suffering of others is the shortsightedness which will be our own undoing. Please remember that Global Warming has led to the drought which has led to the fighting over land in Sudan. Please remember that those feeling Global Warming most acutely are those who have participated LEAST in its' creation! We drive our huge cars and consume, while the least of us is consumed by our excess. "Getting and spending we lay waste our powers. . ."

Ann... thank you for keeping this terrible tradegy in the news. I am a senior in high school and I have been traking this genocide in Darfur for three years now. Our high school in Michigan has been selling bracelets to raise awarness. The sad part is no one knows what was even happening... even some of the teachers. I tell people around the community and some do not even know what a genocide is... much less care. It is so disheartening.

Because of people like you and the information you post I want to make a difference. Peace Corps here I come!!!

"If the world has learned anything from the horrific tragedy of Rwanda and all previous genocides, we must not commit the same mistake again."

STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT!!!!!!!
Even if it means, just writing your senator or making a ten dollar donation. buy a braclet... or a t-shirt, get the news out.

Are they somehow less human then us?

www.savedarfur.org

so even tho this story appears on national news still people shake their heads and say "someone should do something". a bunch of kids in a small town in iowa have decided to do something. they are having an awareness march today to raise awareness that what is happening is not right and to raise money for relief efforts. my students at st. benedict's school in decorah iowa have decided to stand up and talk a walk for what is right, and the local nbc news affiliate won't even come one hour away to cover their efforts. maybe the kids are the ones in this world who have their priorities straight. keep talking about this ann, someone is listening. thank you.

No quick answers. No silver bullets. But real choices have real consequences. Bashir and China continue to play their hands. I hope those who can, will. And I hope they do it sooner than later. Now is already too late for 2 million.
Remember Darfur in prayer and action. And remember it tomorrow too.

As long as the wealthy sitting on top of the majority of disposable resources in the earth are more willing to spend money on chemotherapy for their 11 year old dog rather than on children that cant afford shoes or one meal a day or shelter, this problem is going to continue to exist. Once we learn to deny ourselves of excess and unneeded pleasures and realize that our excess is at the expense of other humans elsewhere, we will then start to see a change in the world. Alas, man's greed has always been his downfall.

ann GBU ILOVE YOU SO ISAID THE TRUTH FROM MY HEART IAM NOT ACTIVE IN POLITCAL SO WHY YOU NOT PUT MY IDEA . IT IS THE truth , if we need to solve the case /we must change the system not only ahmad HARON? but if you love the oil you keep stand with albashir? if you you want the truth you can not ask? it is clear but now you are looking up to the earth of darfor not the children . iam soory ilove the truth. put what iseand to you this day about albashir ? you are saying it is freedom . it is my idea put it ? at that tim iwill truth in you? GBU ANN

GBU ANN/again iwrite / what is going on is from satan.after 24 years of war in soth sudan in the name of GOD,the ledar of the islamic part HASAN ALTRABY.the one who made all this war .came and saidto us new idea about islam and regeme. thr lair is alair from the bigining . for me and for sudan all we need new regime new syestm . no poeple start hate in khartoum ,iam from north and there are alot of from north said the islamic part will guide sudan to the hell,so no one stand with us at that time , but after BLADEN DID bad thing to usa, the WHLE world cray , alot of kill in soth sudan ,alot of has been bush from north in this dairty war.no one stand with domacrcy no one stand with freedomin sudan , so now it become clear what is going in sudan will hart USA AND URO.what is runing will not solve this case .we need sudan to be to all sudanese, we need to said it clear the killer is the killer , and we can not make peace with satan. GBU ANN YOUARE GREAT ILOVE YOU GOOD SUDANESE LOVE YOU .

Ann,
You are the journalist!! You risk your life for this but yet really want to do it. I admire you LOUDLY! I think you should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. You rise above all the other female journalist. Mayce Christian Annapore.Gi Ann.

GBU Ann what you did is great . pls now you tell the earh . it is truth it is like the sun . but the un. do nothing about this gevrment all of them must be out of the regeme in sudan .now the case enter khartoum . it will be more bad . we need new regeme in sudan . sudan is not blong to one or three tribe not blong to islam only .it is for all and the people of darfor are the orginal. weneed usa.and uro. to stop treat sudan gvernment as legel regeme. they are moving by satan.they kill alot of they will do it again thank you GBU ANN

Ann deserves tremendous credit for her reporting on Darfur. We can't all do what she does to oppose the genocide there, bur we can all do something.

Here are two things everyone can do.

Visit The Darfur Wall - http://darfurwall.org - and light a number on the wall. Join thousands of others in opposing the genocide.

Visit the Fidelity Out of Sudan website - http://fidelityoutofsudan.net/ This divestment project is gaining speed. If we can make Fidelity divest if will make a real difference.

Thanks,
Dan

Ann,
Thank you for your reportage. I was in New Orleans recently and walked through the wreckage that is still there and I was deeply moved (depressed actually), so I can't imagine the profound effect of walking through the human wreckage of Darfur. And you were in a camp. Imagine what it's like outside the camps.

Looking at the photos accompanying the blog, I remembered the words of Bianca Jagger from her forward in the photography book *Solomon's House*... *After we have looked at every picture and (we) ask ourselves ?s, there is one critical ? remaining - how can we possibly choose apathy and inaction now that we have been made witness to this suffering - now that we are no longer ignorant.*

The last line of your blog, has spurred me to act, to tell everyone I know, that its not good enough to make the children laugh, we must ensure they grow up to laugh another day, and another, and another...

A caring, soft spoken intelligent woman with power can make a difference.

Let me see you work to bolster our capacity to aid the needy through timely reporting of the facts.

Let me see you refuse to spend a minute of your airtime on an "Anna Nicole tragedy" that does not have broad consequences.

Every reporter that reports on meaningless stories with helicopter footage is wasting our time.

Every minute covering Congressional Democratic antics way before the Presidential election year is a waste of time as well.

Be the only reporter that covers bare facts as they occur and leaves the interpretation to the voters at large. Facts will educate the populace. I don't want to know your biases.

Ann, you may be one of our best hopes in broadcasting.

Good luck :)

Ann, we have to make sure the US never gets involved here Unilaterally. Remember the fuss the entire world made in other instances. We are now finished with these 3rd world ignorants. The sooner they die off the less will have to be dealt with. And it makes fewer "martyrs" available for beheadings later.

Until someone finally lets the world in on the fact that eventually Islam will have to either go through a Reformation or they will simply have to be thrown either into the sea , or under a bus. Whichever is closer and quicker.

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Even in Darfur, laughter equals life By Ann Curry, NBC News Correspondent Anchor The little girl, maybe 6 years old, was shoeless...

Posted on Mar 23, 2007 10:25:11 AM at: WorldBlog