Monday, February 1, 2016
The Radio Dabanga team is shocked and saddened by the news of the sudden passing of their colleague Amel Hamza, who passed away (aged 41) at her home in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, after suffering a stroke last Wednesday night.

Amel worked as a journalist in Sudan for many years, and joined the Radio Dabanga team at the central desk in Amsterdam three years ago. She was very dedicated; in spite of faltering health, Amel continued to exert all her efforts to provide the people of Sudan with news and information.

Amel HamzaBorn in Omdurman on 8 January 1975, Amel graduated from El Ahfad University for women in Khartoum. An interest in gender issues in Sudan prompted her to start her first writing. In 2000, she enrolled as a journalist for El Sahafa daily newspaper in Khartoum. For three years, she covered economic affairs while developing her skills in newspaper reporting. During those years, Amel rapidly expanded her network as well as the number of articles to her credit. This was to the dismay of the Sudanese Intelligence and Security Service, who followed and harassed her.

In 2003, she made the tough decision to leave her family and work in Sudan. She travelled to the Netherlands to seek asylum but continued her efforts to provide the Sudanese people with news, this time as a correspondent for El Sahafa and El Ahdas newspapers.

In 2012, a former colleague at El Sahafa in the Netherlands introduced Amel to Radio Dabanga. She joined our editorial team, producing broadcasts from Amsterdam. During her years of serving the people in Darfur and Sudan with important news, she conducted uncountable interviews with displaced people, politicians, students, medical doctors, and researchers. Under the nom de plume Amel Sit El Nafar, she worked actively with the station’s correspondents on the ground. Her compassion and professionalism resulted in many conversations with displaced people in the camps in Darfur. She contributed enormously to our ‘From the camps’ programme, a favourite of many listeners.

Her last interview, with a man who was forced to flee from the aerial bombardments near Nierteti in western Jebel Marra after losing his two daughters, was aired on Radio Dabanga on Friday 22 January. Radio Dabanga received heart-warming messages of condolence from dozens of journalists and listeners who heard the sad announcement on Friday afternoon.

Amel’s remains are to be repatriated for burial in Sudan. The team wishes to express its sorrow and extend condolences to Amel’s family in Omdurman.

إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون (inna lillāh wa’inna ileihi rāji'ūn)
“We belong to Allah, and to Him we shall return.”
(Koran: verse 156 of Al-Baqara).

Our sister will not be forgotten.

The Radio Dabanga team