CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Great Harvest Bread Company on Kings Drive in Charlotte hired Gabriel Mabek Chol to bake bread, even though he can’t use his left hand to knead the dough. His attitude outshone his disability, the result of an untreated gunshot wound as a boy in Sudan.
Gabriel’s lifelong passion for human rights in his homeland won him a high-profile friend, the actor George Clooney. Gabriel says he and Clooney were arrested on the same day protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Gabriel says matter-of-factly that Clooney will drop in on Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention.
How does he know?
“Well I talk to him,” he said. The actor has long used his status to draw attention to massive human suffering in Darfur.
Gabriel already has his ticket and plans to be present to hear President Obama speak next week as well. He hopes the Darfur region is not forgotten.
“We hope the President will talk about it and definitely he's concerned,” Gabriel said.
Gabriel said the President is well-received in Africa.
“To elect a black man to the White House that was a signal to send to the whole world,” he said.
But he sees racism creeping back in to the American political process.
Now an American citizen, Gabriel said he will vote for the President.
“I want my voice to be heard,” he said.
He knows his friend George Clooney can bring attention to Sudan that he can’t. “He’s a big man,” he said.
But with a powerful presence and a winning smile, Gabriel Mabek Chol, this former “lost boy,” is a big man, too.