Recent Articles

Otaak Band brings East Sudanese soul to the west bank


By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer


It was a glimpse into a world nearly lost. But the rituals, the traditions, the passed down legacies and teachings from ancestors were still evident in his being. Ahmed Said Abuamna, from Otaak Band, sang as though the music was shooting up from the ground through him, his voice sounding transcendent of earthliness. Watching the smooth and effortless way in which movements flowed from Abuamna’s limbs and in the way songs poured seemingly unencumbered from his soul at the January 29th performance at the Cedar Cultural Center, became a reminder of the importance of keeping a people’s culture and traditions alive. Otaak Band is the collaboration of Abuamna who hails from Eastern Sudan, and Miguel Merino, a percussionist from Indiana. Continue Reading →

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A Civil War looming in South Sudan







By Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Contributing Writer


The escalating crisis in the South Sudan, a country only constituted in 2011, has brought with it growing concerns that a nation-state formed with such hope may now be on the verge of civil war. The crisis involves a factional struggle between the president (Salva Kiir) and the dismissed vice president (Riek Machar). Tensions have been simmering for quite some time. These factional battles have also been interlaced with ethnic tensions between the Dinka and Nuer peoples. The South Sudanese factional battle has taken many people by surprise. Continue Reading →

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NAPS volunteers find purpose in service

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A  group of young missionaries are finishing up a nearly-two month stay in the Twin Cities. Their goal is simply to change people’s lives for the better. Around a dozen National Association for the Prevention of Starvation (NAPS) volunteers ranging in age from 18 to 31 have visited local churches and juvenile detention centers since their arrival in mid-May. Many of them currently are college students and hail from various parts of the country. NAPS was established in 1978 in Alabama as a nonprofit volunteer relief organization. Continue Reading →

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