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Samara Carroll

Samara Carroll at the Anti-Deportation Protest

A young man from Darfur leading the protests,”1,2,3,4 Deportation No More.”

Winnipeg's Samara Carroll is New Israel Fund of Canada's 2012-13 Canada Social Justice Fellow

by Rhonda Prepes, April 4, 2013

[Editor's note: Readers may remember that Winnipeg's  Marshall Carroll and three other Canadians vied for the title of Canada’s Smartest Person on a two hour special that aired on CBC television on Sunday, March 18 at 8 p.m. The show, hosted by Comedian Gerry Dee  pitted  Carroll against three other contestants in a series of challenges aimed at testing six areas of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Although Carroll did not win the contest, we hope there is a re-test! Samarra Carroll, who is written about below, is the daughter of Marshall Carroll  and Sharon Chisvin.]

Samara Carroll is working with refugees in Israel, focusing on community development and grassroots organizing as part of an internship for the New Israel fund of Canada,

The New Israel Fund of Canada supports projects and programs in Israel that strengthen and safeguard civil and human rights, bridge social and economic gaps, and foster tolerance and religious pluralism for all of its citizens. It helps advance the development of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Carroll, who is a former director of Camp Massad took part in an anti- deportation protest in Tel Aviv on March 4, 2013 in Habima in the public square. It came the night after then Israeli Interior Minister Eli  Yishai of the  ultra-orthodox Shas party announced plans to deport 1,000 South Sudanese refugees back to Sudan, saying that they were "infiltrators." 

“Sending these people back to South Sudan would endanger their lives. This was an act of solidarity with the refugees we’re working with every day. We decided that we were not going to keep quiet after the Ministry’s decision,” said Carroll in an interview with Orit Sarfaty of the New Israel Fund.

“The refugees that protest are either the strongest or the most vulnerable. Civil protesting is something they do to speak up for their community. It has been a learning curve being neither Israeli nor Sudanese and jumping into an NGO where you work and live in Hebrew.”

Some 60 Israelis and about 20 refugees were at the protest that Carroll attended. Due to the civil war in Sudan,the majority of Sudenese refugees had been living in Egypt since the 1990's. Hoever, due to the deteriorating economic situation in Egypt, and the killing of  28 Sudenese asylum seekers by Egyptian police in 2005, since 2006 more and more Sudenese refugees have crossed into Israel. Israel has become a desirable destination since it is also perceived as a bridge to Europe, and it has strong economy compared to neighboring countries, such as Egypt and, Jordan. 

Through her work as an intern, Samara met a Sudanese refugee, Idris.

"Refugees like Idris were professionals back home. They’re doing menial work here, so they’re desperate to get involved in education and be challenged."

 "When people say racist things about the refugees, I want to introduce them to these people," she noted in the interview.

 "They take a lot of classes through NGOs just to exercise their brains. They’re taking Hebrew and English classes, gardening, whatever they can get their hands on." 

The refugees from Sudan and elsewhere in Africa en route to Israel face torture, organ theft, rape and assault by bedouin traffickers in the Sinai who hold them for weeks, and sometimes months, to demand more money to enable them to pass into Israel.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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