I am Kyuma Abdallah Gumaa, a genocide survivor from the South Darfur State of Sudan. Beginning in 2003, government-sponsored Janjaweed militia shelled my village, looted properties, killed more than 200 people including my grandparents and uncle, and burned what they didn’t want. The militia kidnaped and forced me to fight as a child soldier against my own people.
I fled my homeland as a teenager with little food and water and crossed by foot almost all the way to Israel where I have been living as an asylum seeker since 2011. I left behind my beautiful family in the Utash U.N. refugee camp for internally displaced people; life is unsafe there, too.
I love my country with its natural resources like oil and rich farmland; however, internal conflicts including war crimes, ethnic cleansing, gross violations of human rights, and political instabilities have intensified poverty, downgraded education, and ruined human lives, livestock, and property.
Living in Israel as an African asylum seeker is complicated because the government usually denies asylum seekers refugee status despite having survived genocide and heinous human rights violations.
With all the challenges, in 2023 I will receive my BA diploma from Reichman University, Department of Sammy Ofer School of Communications where I majored in Visual Communication. Since childhood, I have been a talkative person and obsessed with communication as key in relationships.
I am enthusiastic about my studies, and I have made friends from different cultures who have inspired me to explore the world. As a volunteer on the ASO Communication Team working with people from different backgrounds I am proud of my fellow ASO members for helping each other and encouraging others to go to school. I also volunteer with the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) and Jerusalem African Community Center (JACC) and take pride in achieving what I can.
I am excited to begin my studies for a master’s degree in International Affairs from The New School in New York City, in August 2022. I hope to help my people by acquiring knowledge, skills, and approaches in social and political problem solving and promoting development in economic, education, social, and agriculture sectors.
Some fun facts about me. I speak six languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew, and three native languages including Tamok, which is my mother tongue. I love Asida, a millet-based African porridge paste, the World Cup, and working out in the gym. I read history books, true stories, and journals on productivity and gratitude.