Voices of Central African Refugees: Mr. Omar’s Story

The refugees in Camp Sahr, Chad, have escaped from Central African Republic (CAR) holding nothing but the hands of their children as they ran for their lives. Their stories go beyond hair-raising.

Mr. Omar, who broke into tears as he sat down to talk with Zakat Foundation of America field representative about his experiences. Mr. Omar said he was crying from the horrors he saw in CAR.


As tensions escalated, Mr. Omar sent his wife and children to the Chadian embassy for evacuation. An auto mechanic, he stayed behind to look after his tools and equipment, and to settle his debts.

During that time, he said, he saw people killed before his eyes. He could not believe that neighbors he knew for 32 years had turned against the Muslim population.

When Mr. Omar left CAR, the army escorted him and other Muslims to Kakabondo for safety. In Kakabondo he witnessed the murder of a woman and her child. Mr. Omar wept as he recounted removing their bodies and burying them. He swore never to return home.

The trip to the camp took nine days, with little food aside from some bread given to them by Muslims they met along the way.

On March 23, Zakat Foundation of America distributed food packages that included flour, sugar, and oil to 507 families; the most vulnerable families also received small cash stipends. Mr. Omar graciously thanked Zakat Foundation of America for remembering him. But when this food runs out, he and the growing number of refugees fleeing CAR will need more.

Your donation supplying basic aid to refugees like Mr. Omar is urgently needed today.

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