Reconstructing Gwen

deconstructed woman

Photo credit: Flora Borsi

Gwendolyn Anders was being deconstructed. No one else could tell the forty-five year old divorced woman was falling apart. She couldn’t afford to let anyone know. She had to keep moving, go to work each day, make sure her two kids got to and from school, did their homework, ate healthy meals, made it to soccer practice.

She did her best to adhere to the “supermom” stereotype, and as far as the rest of the world was concerned, she was successful.

Inside where no one could see, she was bleeding to death.

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Darfur Misspelled

Bashir

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, president of Sudan, sits in the Plenary Hall of the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 12th African Union Summit Feb. 2, 2009. The assembly endorsed the communique, issued by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, to defer the process initiated by the International Criminal Court to indict Bashir.

Ali Garang Salah stared into the black mirror and saw his past.

He was only five years old the first time he was raped. They murdered his Father right before his eyes, then raped and murdered his Mother and three sisters. The Sudanese soldier took a liking to little Ali, or so he said, and spared his life.

The little boy “served” the soldier, who he was ordered to call “Master,” until he was seven and old enough to use his rapist’s own knife to slit his throat.

He was found by foreign aid workers when he was nine and working as a prostitute in the back alleys of Juba. They put him in an orphanage, but he ran away. He was put back again after a hospital reported him. The beating he’d taken from one of his “customers” was worse than usual. A broken arm this time.

An American woman, a physician from something called “Doctors without Borders,” took pity on him and convinced her husband they should adopt him. It was a miracle that only a year passed before his survival instincts told him it was better to pretend to adapt to life in suburban home in San Diego.

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