I myself am quite the portrait lover, for different reasons. They tell you alot about a person, give you insight into another's life. Portraits can make you question personalities, and so forth.
How do you define a portrait?
What do you like about portraits?
Sorry...I know this doesn't relate to your question, but since you asked what Darfur is and the comment box is too small, I thought I'd post my answer here. :o)
Darfur is a region of the Sudan in Africa that is currently (and has been for years) under siege by a terrorist government/militia. People are being massacred, women raped, families displaced, children enlisted into fighting regimes. It's a full-fledged genocide, and neither the UN nor the US government are doing enough to help. Much of the problem is that our citizens have no idea what's going on, so there is not enough momentum to move our politicians to action. Do a Google search for Darfur, and once you've read up on it, I'm sure you'll be as passionate as I am about saving it.
I dont know they are just good hey? Personally i love Van Gogh's, in fact i love anything of his, so maybe thats a bit bias hehe. My teacher taught me that if you ever want to get someones attention with art just paint eyes, because no matter what humans are always drawn to eyes, and if its in art thats where you'll always look first. try it, its freaky as even when ur not trying to do it.
anyway... how that would relate in is because portraits have eyes, so we just can't help but stare at em'
also, they are much cooler when they are self portraits because they offer a small glimpse into that persons mind about how they feel about themselves and the world around them.
also. the best portraits i think are done by those artists that are a little bit... strange.. resulting in controversial type paintings eg. brett whiteley, Frida Carlo, van gogh.
also, yes i have even more to say :P is that portraits are like a time portal, you can find out a lot about the place, the people and the type of world it was by studing portraits.
enough from me, that was like an essay.