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Darfur Refugee Shares his Story of Survival


Randolph High School welcomed refugee El-Fadel Arbab to share his story of survival from the genocide in Darfur. Mr. Arbab is a speaker and educator who lives in Portland, Maine. At the age of 12, Arbab’s village in Darfur was attacked by both the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed militia, injuring him and separating him from his family. For the next 15 years, Mr. Arbab struggled to survive and reunite with his family. He now works to educate others and facilitate action to end the genocide in Darfur.


Ethnic cleansing in Darfur was first reported in 2003. As the first genocide of the 21st century, more than 400,000 people have died and more than 3 million people have been displaced as a result of the conflict. The conflict has not ended. Mr. Arbab continues to devote his life to raise awareness of the crisis in the Sudan in the hopes of bringing peace to the region. He believes that today’s youth have the power become catalysts for change in ending violence around the world.


“It is really amazing to be here even though the tragedy and genocide is a crime against humanity and against my people in the Sudan. I am so glad to be in your school. For you as students you are everything for us. You are our future generation of leaders. If there is anything happening anywhere around the world, we are citizens of the world and we have to care. We have to help each other and support one another. That is our responsibility as people.”

- El-Fadel Arbab


Randolph’s mission is to empower all students to reach their full potential as unique, responsible and educated members of a global society. Connecting with leaders like Mr. Arbab prepares students with the agency, knowledge, and compassion to solve real problems affecting people around the world. While Mr. Arbab’s story is one of tragedy and loss, his message of hope has and will continue to create tangible change. We are humbled and grateful that he was able to share his wisdom and insight with our learning community this week. We wish him well and safety as he plans to travel back to the Sudan to speak about peace and democracy. Thank you for the impact you have created for our students and for countless others around the world.