Former Sudanese “Lost Boy” John Bul Dau will speak about his journey from growing up in war-ravaged Sudan to his position now as a prominent public voice raising awareness about the plight of the Sudanese on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Frostburg State University Lane Center Manicur Assembly Hall.
In 1987 Dau’s village was attacked by government troops involved in civil war between the Muslim-controlled government in Northern Sudan and the non-Muslims in Southern Sudan. The attack scattered his family, and Dau was forced to travel for three months on foot to reach relative safety in Ethiopia. Dau stayed in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for four years until civil war broke out once again, and he was forced to flee. He wandered hundreds of miles and faced disease, starvation and violence before finally arriving in Kenya. After several years in a refugee camp in Kenya, Dau was sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church in Skaneateles, N.Y., arriving in the U.S. in 2001.
Despite the initial culture shock of such things as seeing women driving cars and huge stores filled with food, Dau has succeeded in the U.S. He has been able to bring his sister, mother and fiancée from Sudan, works 60 hours a week as a security guard and received an associate’s degree at Onondaga Community College. He is pursuing a degree at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Additionally, Dau has begun two non-profit organizations to help Sudanese youth in Syracuse and throughout the United States. His move to the U.S. and early experiences in Sudan are the subject of the film “God Grew Tired of Us,” and he is the author of a memoir by the same name.
The event is free and open to the public. For information, contact the Office of Student and Educational Services at 301-687-4311.
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