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Our Humanity in the Balance

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OHIB Featured Member

Paul (UK)
Music Producer and Filmmaker

I am a Health, Safety, Security and Environmental advisor who has worked in the oil exploration business for 32 years. I have played guitar since the age of eight and am involved in the production of music. I am also a documentary camera operator. My most recent work was with Flamenco Musicians in the town of Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia Spain.

When I was eighteen my mum was the victim of vicious hit and run incident which broke every bone on her left side. She suffered from her injuries for the rest of her life, enduring many follow up operations and procedures. But she was full of life and mostly suffered in silence. She passed away in 2001. Last year I met a young lady Doctor called Halima Bashir. Halima too had a very traumatic experience, but went on to survive. Halima made me laugh when my friend Neneh asked her how old she was. I instinctively put my fingers in my ears as, you know, ladies often don’t like us to know. Halima made the sign of 30 with her fingers in the air. I said I didn’t need to know. Halima smiled and asked, "How do you know I am telling the truth?" My mother, when asked her age, would say "Plenty Seven". I returned home from that meeting and began to read her book Tears of the Desert co-written by Halima and Damien Lewis.

I got to know Halima’s mother and drew many similarities between her mother and mine. Before my mother’s accident, but more noticeably after, I was her protector. I wish to make my Mother proud by standing up for women’s rights and especially the mothers and families of Darfur and greater Sudan. It makes me humble to be part of Our Humanity in the Balance.

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