Going back. An interview with Yassir Kori
Author: Peter Krupa
Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 05/12/2005
Yassir Kori is one of the first people I met at the University for Peace. One day on my way home, he sat next to me on the bus and we exchanged stories about what brought us to this little corner of the world in Costa Rica his was by far the better one. From his easy-going demeanor and friendly smile, you would never guess the trials that have led him from his home in Sudan, on foot through several African
countries, and finally to the United States, where he has lived as a refugee for many years.
In this interview, Yassir talks about the passion that led him to enroll in the International Law and Settlement of Disputes program at UPEACE, and also about where that passion will take him after UPEACE. Yassir is currently applying for entrance into doctorate programs in Public Administration.
I have been engaged in many various political activities, basically and primarily for human rights activism. The second thing, as a result of this activity there was a lot of persecution. Because of this belief and because of religious belief as well, is to me the reasons that led me to leave the country. But the basic one that let me leave the country permanently, which was the last, was the political activities in the area of human rights issues.
Of course, I have a mission to serve my people by any means. It s doesn t matter to save my life, myself, like that when others are suffering there. It makes me think about them all the time – how to sensitize, encourage them to serve one another. So I m going to go back whenever there is peace and stability. I will go back if there is, but if not, of course I m here, and I ve been admitted to stay in the United
States permanently, as a refugee of course. The meaning of refugee is somebody protected by another government to remain there permanently. So I m working towards my citizenship, and even if I get my
citizenship I can go and help my people by any means. Being an American working among the people is OK. I can work with an international organization that’s serving the refugee area. I would like to do that.
And if there s peace, it would be good for me to go back and set up the new government, especially since there is an agreement that has been signed between the rebel part and the government to give self- determination to the people of the south and other marginalized regions as well. (Those regions) have been given self-autonomy for a 6-year period to decide if they want to be part of the south or the north, or if they want to have independence. My region is part of that, so if my region happens to become an independent state, who will organize the government in that region? I will be targeted to do that. So I want to
prepare myself, get a degree that will give me knowledge to organize a better government and create better governance in comparison to other developing nations.