Sunday, May 30, 2004


Ayen Dinka (not her real name) arrived Australia with her family in 1999, full of hope. She thinks the world of Australia and she is ever so grateful for the generosity the people of Adelaide have shown towards her family since arrival.

Ayen is only 18, (friends call her Nefertiti because of her immense beauty), a sweet and delightful girl who loves music and art and is totally comfortable with her status in Australian society. “There are lots of opportunities here”, she says; “Australian women have a great deal of freedom and equality” compared with women in patriarchal Africa. Her principal aim is to go to the university, study law, and “fight for women rights in Africa”. I think she needs all our love and moral support.

In fact, Ayen sees the world with the sweetness and skepticism of an Angel. She welcomes the peace agreement between North and South after half a century of civil war in her native Sudan, but is greatly disappointed that a separate conflict in the Western region of Darfur will prolong the agony and despair in that country.

This, in a very small nutshell, is the beginning of the record of Ayen’s life and times in Australia. May all her dreams come true.
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