Abdurrahman Swar Al-Dahab

There are times when a single man can change the life of millions. To be able to muster the courage to take that first step is all it takes. Abdurrahman Swar al-Dahab lighted a torch to enable Africa stand on its own feet. Regardless of his old age 82-year old man continues to expand the network of kindness in his country and across Africa.

In 1956 Sudan became independent from the United Kingdom. However it quickly found itself in an ethnic and religious conflict supported by Western countries which was the cost of getting that freedom. For around thirty years it had to fight rebel forces.

Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab was a Sudanese who was born into Sudan’s civil war. He used to witness thousands of people die everyday. The number of casualties was increasing daily. Millions of people died during the revolts and conflict while thousands had to flee their homes. As the years passed by African continent was pulled into harder times.

According to Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab Africa and Sudan in particular had rich oil reserves so much so that there were oil deposits in almost every corner of the country. 70% of the global gold reserves are located in Africa. Nile, which feeds the world’s fertile lands, flows through many African countries as well. However colonial policies disguised as modernization prevented the use of national resources in countries like Sudan. Therefore despair and poverty were growing bigger daily in Africa.

People’s lives became unbearable as Western colonizers’ seized the country’s resources. People were hungry and thirsty. Nile was running through their country but they were living deprived of water. Although it had fertile soil, Sudan was unable to cultivate it due to colonization. They were living in adversity. Innocent civilians were driven hungry and thirsty. Happy smiles have long disappeared. Rich African soil was colonized and innocent civilians were paying the cost.

With the colonization policies in force resources in Africa were taken to West and the locals were forced to work as slaves and labourers in humiliation.

The country would receive aid from foreign countries time to time. However Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab thought that one swallow does not a summer make. His conscience would not let him accept this situation as it is. Hence he racked his brains to find a solution to this terrible injustice.

Munazzamah al-Dawah al-Islamiyyah

It is a charity organization established in 1980 in Khartoum in Sudan. In 1987 Abdurrahman Swar al-Zahab resigned from his office as the prime minister and became the chairman of the organization. From that time onwards the face of Sudan started to change. The country had its own charity organization giving support to the destitute. Munazzama al-Dawah al-Islamiyyah became an organization run by local Sudanese people. They were opening water wells and building orphanages.

The organization’s mission was as follows: promoting tolerance and understanding among Muslims and believers of other faiths in Africa, giving support to Muslim African tribes in education, healthcare and social services and contributing to their economic and social development, helping young generations to be able to comprehend and explain the fundamental concept of tawheed according to the principles of Quran, and Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) while applying it to their own personal and social lives. And this goal was achieved step by step.

Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab did not remain indifferent to the troubles of the continent he has been living. He was fully aware of everything. Although there were water resources people were suffering water deprivation due to lack of wells to make it available. The equipment and technological means required to dig up a well were not in place. Therefore opening a well even today takes six to twelve months.

Drought, despair and pollution made sources of potable water unavailable to the people. Lack of water means a rise in diseases. Contagious diseases were threatening the lives of locals. First potable water was needed.

One in ten people in the world had no access to water and majority of these people lived in Africa. Africa was rich in natural resources. If cultivated its fertile lands were able to feed all the hungry people in the world. However thanks to the colonizer countries its soil was empty and arid. Due to the colonization systems, which turned African countries to needy recipients of external aid, the local people were unable to enjoy the beauty and benefits of their countries. On the contrary they were fighting with hunger, thirst and diseases in order to survive.

Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab started off working toward making Munazzamah al-Dawah al-Islamiyyah a place that serves its country and Africa at large in order to turn the clock for his country, which has become needy of even water. And in thirty years the organization has undertaken charity activities in primarily Sudan and in other African countries.

The organization has seventy members from Sudan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Nigeria, Uganda and Malaysia. It has 17 branch offices in Sudan.

Munazzama al-Dawah al-Islamiyya has four branches outside Sudan; Qatar branch which opened in 1987 and has been very active ever since; Yemen branch which opened in 1988 and currently has multiple offices; Bahrain branch and UAE branch. Munazzamah al-Dawah al-Islamiyya did not remain exclusive to Sudan. Through those international branches it became a more systematic organization that caters to all Africa.

In over forty countries the organization opened 55 high schools, 150 elementary and secondary schools, 2000 masjids, 1000 water wells, 10 water tank filling facilities, 14 hospitals, 800 health clinics, 120 maternity and infant care centres, 6 hostels for orphans. Over 3000 preachers and imams work within the organization. In the last four years 35.000 people embraced Islam through their efforts. It has taken active role in caring and providing education to over 30.000 orphans and homeless children and contributed immensely to the future of Sudan through radio broadcasts and publication of books.

The organization also focuses on staying current and using tech savvy methods while distributing radios and books. Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab, who thought for the best of his country, lighted the torch of kindness and set off the road. To this day he is the chairman of the foundation.

His dream was to end the predominant colonization and the resulting despair that has been going on in African countries for years; to be able to put the abundant natural resources, which they were prevented from exploring, to the use of his own people; to stop foreign countries exploiting his country’s natural resources while employing the locals as hard labourers.

Contrary to the popular belief even a small development in African countries was not received well by the colonizer countries. The bombing of a medicine factory, which is built in Sudan in 1998, is a fine example of it. Having a factory in Sudan that produces medicine for treatment of illnesses and contagious diseases was going to create hope for Africa. Medicine was not going to be purchased from Western and foreign countries at a high price, as people would have access to locally produced medicine at a lower price. This factory that opened in Sudan had the goal to cure its people. However USA bombed it with the pretext that it was producing chemical weapons.

When the factory located off of the capital Khartoum was destroyed vulnerable people were left without means for treatment. Medicine was especially needed in big floods. When the waters of Nile ebbed after it surged malaria would appear. And that is exactly what happened following the bombardment of the medicine factory. Nile surged and swallowed houses leaving many homeless as the locals’ mud brick houses just melted away in the water. This would lead to fast spread diseases. Before the factory was bombed all kinds of medicines were being produced there, as it was meeting majority of Sudan’s need in medicine. So its destruction affected everyone old and young because it was the biggest medicine factory in Africa.

Nonetheless good things have been happening too. Munazzamah al-Dawah was growing daily. Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab made Sudan able to heal itself with his superhuman efforts.

There are times when a single man can change the life of millions. To be able to muster the courage to take that first step is all it takes. Abdurrahman Swar al-Dahab lighted a torch to enable Africa stand on its own feet. Regardless of his old age 82-year old man continues to expand the network of kindness in his country and across Africa.

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