Sound Off: Ismail Gamaradeen Abaker

Ismail Gamaradeen Abaker (#30) is a Darfuri Refugee from Camp Farshana in Eastern Chad. He’s one of 5 reserve players for the Darfur United soccer team. This is part of an ongoing series called Sound Off. Please join the conversation.


Here’s a short video of the goalie tryouts. You can see the condition of the field and the clouds of dust that are thrown up by the end of every practice. Hundreds of people gather round to watch.

Soccer at Dawn

The players and coaches must wake before sunrise for tryouts to avoid the midday heat. Every morning there’s a stillness that seems to break all at once as the camp comes to life. Over the past few days, the Darfur United hopefuls have joined that cycle. They...

The Sixty

See photos of the sixty greatest players in all the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. We had to tell 41 of them that they didn’t make the squad today. I think these photos give you a glimpse at their unique personalities and you can see why it was such a...
Darfur United Podcast: Hit the Ground Running

Darfur United Podcast: Hit the Ground Running

In this episode, we finally land in Goz Beida and travel to Djabal camp to see the 20 or so players who have already arrived. We meet them at their temporary tent camps and then see what they’ll be eating at the local restaurant. Coaches Mark and Brian even get...