MARCH 2020 BULLETIN

NEWS ON THE HEART OF NUBA FILM AND SOCIAL IMPACT CAMPAIGN

Dear Friends,

If you have been following the news on Sudan, you may know of an exciting recent development — a member of Sudan’s ruling council stated recently that the council had reached an agreement “to hand over those facing arrest from the International Criminal Court.” Omar al-Bashir, the nation’s former President, overthrown by a popular uprising last year, is under indictment from the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed against his civilian population, including the people of the Nuba Mountains.

Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir stands in a defendant’s cage during the opening of his corruption trial in Khartoum on Aug. 19, 2019.

If extradited, al-Bashir could face trial for genocide and crime against humanity in the Hague, something the human rights and NGO community have long called for.

As you may recall from The Heart of Nuba, Dr. Tom Catena has been documenting the war crimes he has witnessed against the people of Nuba in the course of his work in the hospital. We believe this documentation will help put to rest any doubts about the effect of al-Bashir’s actions against his own citizens:

We have been in touch with Dr. Tom, who as you may recall said in The Heart of Nuba that he was recording the cases of children and adults bombed, injured and killed by Sudanese forces under Sudan, “as evidence for his trial for war crimes.”

While we are all cautiously optimistic, Dr. Tom suggested that we wait and see how this plays out. The country’s ruling council is composed of both civilian and military leaders, some of whom were appointed by al-Bashir and could possibly, if he is extradited, face criminal charges themselves for their involvement in earlier atrocities.

The NGO community, many of whom have been invaluable partners on our social impact campaign for The Heart of Nuba, have our endless admiration for the continual work they have done to raise awareness on the atrocities being committed by the al-Bashir government against his own people, and for bringing al-Bashir one step closer to justice.

Sudanese Prime Minister Hamdok’s recognized the power of the activist movement in comments last November:

“… the campaign here in the states and elsewhere in the world created that momentum which helped our people inside the country to topple the dictatorship. So the struggle here, the Darfur movement, Enough, Save Darfur, and all these efforts over the years which helped us to reach where we are now, and I think we are very appreciative and we owe it to that effort.”

The NGOs have also been essential to mobilizing humanitarian resources for those injured, displaced and cut off by the atrocities around them. Dr. Tom has said more than once that he does not know how the Mother of Mercy Hospital would be standing today if it were not for this kind of support.

We are proud that The Heart of Nuba has played even a small part in helping to raise awareness and generate life-saving support for the Sudanese people.

Thank you for being a part of this community. We will keep you informed as events develop.

THE KIND OF DAY WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR IN THE NUBA MOUNTAINS

Ryan Boyette has dedicated his life to reporting on and providing assistance to the people of the Nuba mountains. He recently shared an event on his Facebook page that marked a moment in history for the people of Nuba:

“A historic day in #Sudan . This morning the new Prime Minister of Sudan landed in Kauda of the Nuba Mountains he was met by the leadership of the SPLM-N including Chairman Abdul Aziz and approximately 40,000 people from Nuba. The feeling was extreme joy and happiness and especially hope for the future.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, the people saw this as a giant step forward. The first time that a head of state in Sudan has visited the people of Nuba. Their voice was heard and the message was clear. They want freedom in their country and for all marginalized people of Sudan and they want peace. “As I ponder this day many images rushed into my head. I see the images of the many people that have suffered under the bombings of the previous regime, the people whose homes have been burned down and they had to live in caves for years, and the many children who starved and died and could not go to school. The contrast of those images to the images of joy, cheers, and hope-filled faces that today brought is a true answer to the prayers of the people of Nuba and the prayers of many people throughout the world. Praise God.”

REFLECTIONS ON AN EARLIER INTERVIEW

On March 27, 2018, Ishay Sesay of CNNi did a riveting 20 minute segment wtih Kenneth A. Carlson and Dr. Tom Catena about The Heart of Nuba. Carlson and Catena both talk about their aspirations for the Nuba people, which included al-Bashir being brought to justice and the opening of the humanitarian corridor.

Though there is certainly more road to be traveled, sometimes it is good to just reflect on how far we’ve come.

Watch the interview here

HEROIC AMERICAN SURGEON DR. TOM CATENA EARNS TOP MEDICAL MISSIONARY AWARD

Dr. Tom Catena has been honored with a top medical missionary award, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Catena will be presented with the Gerson L’Chaim Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Missionary Service at an awards ceremony in New York City, April 14.

“Dr. Tom Catena has given up everything that we in the U.S. take for granted in order to bring healthcare to more than a million people who, without him, would otherwise not have access to any medical care,” added Mark Gerson, co-founder of AMH and benefactor of the Gerson L’Chaim Prize.

AMH has been supporting mission hospitals in Africa since 2010. It launched the L’Chaim (Hebrew for “to life”) Prize in 2016, which comes with a $500,000 award, the world’s largest annual award of its kind dedicated to direct patient care in Africa.

The $500,000 award will go towards the Nuba 2020 campaign, led by Dr. Tom to raise $7.5 million to keep the only major hospital in Sudan’s war-torn Nuba Mountains fully operational for the next two decades.

read the press release

CRAZY AMAZING HUMANS WITH KATRINA CARLSON FEATURING DR. TOM

Katrina Carlson has always been a front-line supporter of Dr. Tom and The Heart of Nuba, writing and performing “Bloom,” the original song for the film, and traveling across the globe to perform at special screenings.

So we are excited to announce the recent launch of Katrina and Jefferson Denim’s “Crazy Amazing Humans” podcast featuring Dr. Tom Catena and director/producer Kenneth A. Carlson discussing Dr. Tom’s work at the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains, the making of The Heart of Nuba, and the immense impact it has had on the region.

Watch Episode 1 Behind the Heart of Nuba – Dr. Tom Catena and Ken Carlson here and subscribe here.

WANT TO USE THE HEART OF NUBA AS A FUNDRAISER FOR THE HOSPITAL? LET US KNOW. WE’D LOVE TO HELP.
COMMUNITY & EDUCATIONAL SCREENINGS

If you are interested in bringing The Heart of Nuba to your community, school or place of worship please visit https://www.tugg.com/titles/the-heart-of-nuba to arrange a screening through Tugg.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Just a reminder, if you aren’t following us on social media, you can find us here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHeartofNuba/

Twitter: @TheHeartofNuba

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theheartofnuba/

REVIEWS: THE HEART OF NUBA

LA TIMES calls The Heart of Nuba “gripping, inspiring documentary.” read

TRUTHDIG: A moving view of The Heart of Nuba through the eyes of the Director/Producer, Kenneth A. Carlson…” read

NPR’S FILM WEEK: Podcast calls the filmmaker’s work “praiseworthy, almost Nobel Prize praiseworthy.” transcript | listen (segment on The Heart of Nuba starts at 10:46)

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: “Saints don’t always look the way you’d expect…” read

NEW YORK TIMES: “A Surgeon Performs Miracles in Sudan in The Heart of Nuba…” read

SISTER ROSE OF NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER: “Catena’s respect for the dignity of the Nuba people is profound…” read

BOSTON GLOBE: “Dealing with Life and Death in Southern Sudan…” read

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

We would like to thank our coalition partners for their tireless work in promoting and protecting human rights, providing humanitarian aid, and advocating for the people of Sudan.

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