Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sorry, but this blog is now closed.

It's somewhat bittersweet to write those words after having ranted and raved, moaned and marvelled, and generally obsessed about Darfur for so long. Of course, it's not that I have run out of things to rant about.

In this case, it's merely personal circumstance (an agreement with my employer to be re-deployed to another crisis after having completed my mission here in Darfur) that brings an abrupt end to my brief but passionate stint as an anonymous Darfur blogger.

Letting go is never easy - and I'm bemused to discover that leaving Darfur is filled with just as much stress, frustration and heartache as living here has been. This blog has provided relief to me not just in terms of self-therapy (at the end of the day, we all just want to have a good rant), but also through the virtual friendships, offers of support, and thoughtful comments that reached me every day through that shaky satellite connection.

But this blog was (I hope) less about me, and more about Darfur, so with that bit of self-reflection out of the way, it's worth getting back to the point. Darfur. And writing about it.

Well, I am hoping that one of my friends or colleagues who are still working in the region will be persuaded to begin another blog - if anything, to provide all of you with a new opinion, perspective, and plenty of real-time information about the things unfolding on the ground. The mails I've gotten and comments on the site have really made it clear to me that people are looking for this kind of commentary.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any new Darfur blogger who's willing to accept this job just yet - but I'll let you know as soon I do, and I'm pretty hopeful they'll come along eventually.

In the meantime, I hope you keep reading the excellent Darfur news coverage by Reuters, the BBC, the New York Times, and the Sudan Tribune (to name just a few); the NGO websites that show how people in Darfur are trying to live in the midst of this conflict; the thoughtful Darfur reports produced by people like the International Crisis Group or Human Rights Watch; and also other smart, funny blogs from all over the world - like This is Zimbabwe, My Heart's In Accra, Sabbah's blog, Bestiaria, India Uncut, and of course the tales of my favourite fellow aid workerette Vasco Pyjama in Afghanistan.

Thanks for reading and good-bye.