Darfur is located in the west of Sudan in Africa, a region that has been witness to severe violence and unrest from the devastating famine in 1987 to the conflict between the government and the militia including the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice for equality movement.
Several aid agencies including the United Nations and Medecins Sans Frontiers have been active in providing relief and medical care for the inhabitants against insurmountable odds. In a land where basic necessities remain scarce the inhabitants turn to alternative ways of seeking protection and health.
Darfur is home to many traditional healers or “Fakis” whose methods are inspired by the verses from the Quran and are highly respected in their communities. Many Fakhis have extensive knowledge of local herbs and plants while others claim to channel spirits within their bodies which possess healing powers.
Sidig Ahmad Mohamed, a "Faki" (religious healer) from Abu Shouk (North Darfur), reading the Holy Quran before preparing the "Bakhra", a traditional treatment against mental illnesses. The patient has to inhale the smoke that comes up from a piece of paper (with Quran sentences written on it) fired with charcoal, roots and species. ? Photo by AFP
Sidig Ahmad Mohamed selects a root during the preparation of the "Bakhra.? The patient has to inhale the smoke that comes up from a piece of paper (with Koran sentences written on it) fired with charcoal, roots and species. ? Photo by AFP
Sidig Ahmad Mohamed draws some religious symbols during the preparation of the treatment. ? Photo by AFP
Sidig Ahmad Mohamed holds a blanket to cover his client for the Bakhra. ? Photo by AFP
Sidig Ahmad Mohamed holds a smoking pot during the preparation of the "Bakhra.? ? Photo by AFP
A "Faki" (religious healer) makes "hijabs" (leather amulets) in his small stand in Kassab market, North Darfur. ? Photo by AFP
Musa Mohammed, a "Faki" writes a sentence from the Koran on a piece of paper that will be embedded into an amulet. ? Photo by AFP
Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed, a ?Faki? cleans a wooden board after writing sentences of the Koran. His specialty is the "Mahia", a popular potion made with water and the ink that he uses to write sentences from the Koran. This beverage gives special protection to the people against arms, dangers, diseases and even a broken heart. - Photo by AFP
Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed teaches his son Adam how to write on the wooden boards. ? Photo by AFP
A member of the rebel movement Sudan Liberation Army wears several "hijabs" attached to his gun machine for protection against the enemy. ? Photo by AFP
Sidig Ahmad Mohamed, a "Faki" recites the Quran. ? Photo by AFP