Category Archives: Korean

These posts were created by the Korean Team.

Don’t Cry Me Sudan

by Aaron Choi, staff blogger

Whenever I’m free of the pressure from any impending ‘gradable experiences,’ I usually surf the news to see if there are any worthy happenings in this world to take a glance at. And tragically, majority of these headliners are testimonies of authority corruption or some other forms of moral decay in this crazy society.

This week, however, I ran across a documentary that boldly stood against the odds. How appropriate that I happen to stumble upon this video during a week I spent so fervently lamenting the serious lack of selflessness in our world (woah, I almost sound like Holden Caulfield.)

This 50-minute movie documentary, so to say, is centered on a South Korean doctor/priest named John Lee. As a graduate of a prestigious medical school in Korea, Lee troubled his proud mother when he announced to his family that he was going to relinquish the security of his future to become a Catholic priest and visit Africa. Few years later, he kept his words and for the first time set his feet on the continent of Africa. Having settled in the broken city of Tonz, Sudan, Lee stood aghast at the miserable conditions in which the indigenous people were surviving in. This experience took a toll on Lee’s already radical perspective of the world, and Lee firmly decided to dedicate his life for the people of Tonz (Sounds a lot like Albert Schweitzer, huh? That’s his nickname, in fact).

He started small by becoming familiar with the costumes and traditions of the people. Next thing you know, he was already constructing a hospital in the middle of a barren African savanna. From then ’till his death, Lee literally lived among the Tonz people and offered them 24-hour medical care. He as the only staff and doctor, the hospital was open to any one and in a nation whose people were and still are broken by warfare and malicious diseases, it was a haven and Lee was “an angel.” He refused to turn down patients and once a week set out to seek for the sickest of the sicks in a specially abandoned village (the “Untouchables” if one insists).

He self-taught himself all the different instruments of a musical band and in turn taught these instruments to the youths of Sudan. Before that, Lee constructed a school and a boarding system for the many far-underprivileged students in the village.

I’ve read about many luminaries who gave up their promising careers in order to help the needy (for instance, Dr. Paul Farmer of Haiti and of course Mother Theresa etc.)

Not to discredit the greatness of their work, I was personally touched to know that a person of my nation, of my heritage stepped outside his comfort zone to administer to the needs of others. His passion for the people of Tonz might not have been infectious but it certainly tingled something inside me.

Here’s the week’s food for thought. There are subtitles in English, though not provided by GOAL.

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The People Who Couldn’t Leave

Like a bully cornering his helpless victim, rages of fire slowly choked the already rundown building. As the fire truck squirts out water in vain, cocktail bottles rained from the sky and lit on fire, doing nothing but helping the fire.

This is just a glimpse of the story of Yongsan Massacre. The Korean team helped translating a human rights documentary regarding the Yongsan Massacre. Titled “The People Who Couldn’t Leave,” this documentary was created by the South Korea Human Rights Coalition, and it featured a controversial human rights incident that happened in 2008. The incident involved tenants who illegally lived in a building in Seoul who were in conflict with a city beautification project. The conflict between the tenants and the city police escalated to a point that involved violence and eventually a fire that killed five of the tenants. The Human Rights Coalition became involved afterwards which sparked the making of the documentary that GOAL helped translate. It was an event that would have otherwise remained obscure had GOAL not joined the effort to spread the word out to the rest of the world.

GOAL is unfortunately not mentioned in the translation credit.