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Enass Muzamel (1981-2024)

It is with tremendous sorrow that we note the passing of our dear friend and beloved colleague, the fearless and steadfast Sudanese pro-democracy activist and human rights defender Enass Muzamel.

As her cherished country descended into brutal conflict last year, Enass did not waver in her commitment to her nation’s future. Her personal safety threatened, she sought safety abroad and spent nearly every waking hour serving the cause of peace and a more democratic future. She worked to bring the world’s attention back to the cause to which she devoted her too brief life.

As the co-founder and managing director of Madaniya, an organization that promotes civic engagement, she was instrumental in the 2019 pro-democracy movement that led to the ousting of Omar al-Bashir. Even while displaced, she led critical relief efforts and connected survivors of sexual violence to healthcare, medicine and basic services.

In long and cherished conversations, she often reflected on life in Khartoum, and her wish to return home in the weeks and months ahead, all too aware that this dream seemed to fade further in the future as the conflict continued to rage. We will cherish those conversations, her gentle soul and kindness of manners, and perhaps most of all her fierce and determined commitment to the cause of democracy and a lasting peace.

We were fortunate to be able to recognize Enass in October of 2023 as a recipient of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award. The memory of her striding with overwhelming purpose to accept her award on the stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. will for all who knew and worked with her at Vital Voices remain indelible, a cherished testament to her indomitable spirit.

We had thought that evening was just one brief stop on a very long journey ahead.