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Tears of the Desert(CD)(Unabr.) [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Halima Bashir/Damien Lewis
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 9 2008
Born into the Zaghawa tribe in the Sudanese desert, Halima was doted on by her father, a cattle herder, and kept in line by her formidable grandmother. A politically astute man, Halima’s father saw to it that his daughter received a good education away from their rural surroundings. Halima excelled in her studies and exams, surpassing even the privileged Arab girls who looked down their noses at the black Africans. With her love of learning and her father’s support, Halima went on to study medicine, and at twenty-four she became her village’s first formal doctor. Yet not even the symbol of good luck that dotted her eye could protect her from the encroaching conflict that would consume her land. Janjaweed Arab militias started savagely assaulting the Zaghawa, often with the backing of the Sudanese military. Then, in early 2004, the Janjaweed attacked Bashir’s village and surrounding areas, raping forty-two schoolgirls and their teachers. Bashir, who treated the traumatized victims, some as young as eight years old, could no longer remain quiet. But breaking her silence ignited a horrifying turn of events. In this harrowing and heartbreaking account, Halima Bashir sheds light on the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives being eradicated in what has surely become the most terrifying genocide of the twenty-first century. Raw and riveting, Tears of the Desert is more than just a memoir – it is Halima Bashir’s global call to action.

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From Publishers Weekly

Writing with BBC correspondent Lewis (Slave), Bashir, a physician and refugee living in London, offers a vivid personal portrait of life in the Darfur region of Sudan before the catastrophe. Doted on by her father, who bucked tradition to give his daughter an education, and feisty grandmother, who bequeathed a fierce independence, Bashir grew up in the vibrant culture of a close-knit Darfur village. (Its darker side emerges in her horrific account of undergoing a clitoridectomy at age eight.) She anticipated a bright future after medical school, but tensions between Sudan's Arab-dominated Islamist dictatorship and black African communities like her Zaghawa tribe finally exploded into conflict. The violence the author recounts is harrowing: the outspoken Bashir endured brutal gang-rapes by government soldiers, and her village was wiped out by marauding Arab horsemen and helicopter gunships. This is a vehement cri de coeur—I wanted to fight and kill every Arab, to slaughter them, to drive them out of the country, the author thought upon treating girls who had been raped and mutilated—but in showing what she suffered, and lost, Bashir makes it resonate. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


This is a brave book ... [Halima] leaves us with hope and awe in the face of her courage. Mia Farrow 'The genocide in Darfur has found its Anne Frank ... TEARS OF THE DESERT is a searingly frank testimonial of a war crime that deserves all our attention.' Tim Butcher, author of Blood River vivid, poignant and brutally candid Washington Post A harrowing and beautifully written tale of a rich life, untold suffering and impossible hope told from the heart of a fellow African sister. Mende Nazer, author of Slave and Freedom This memoir helps keep the Darfur tragedy open as a wound not yet healed. Elie Wiesel A rare glimpse behind the statistics into the personal horror of Darfur. TV news too easily turns the whole nation into anonymous victims; Damien and Halima remind us they are people. David Loyn, BBC Foreign Correspondent Halima's story is fantastic and exhausting ... I can see and hear and feel the people and places she describes. Lisa Blaker, author of Heart of Darfur Halima Bashir has bared her soul to help stop the bleeding of her people in Darfur. Attention must be paid. John Prendergast, co-chair of the ENOUGH Project and co-author of Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent first person account Aug. 26 2011
By mozygrl
unlike books on sudan that are written by outsiders, this is an excellent first person account. the author does a good job first describing the normalcy of life in her village, with her family, and attending university - with the back drop of the country's conflict...the reader is very invested in the survival of her whole family by the time the conflict reaches them...an extremely powerful work...would also rec'd They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky by Deng, Deng and Ajak
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very personal and powerful June 21 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was written from a deeply personal point of view. Halima Bashir chronicles her life beginning with her childhood within a remote village in Darfur and it ends with her fleeing the geneocide of her people to seek asylum in England.
Skillfully, Halima interweaves all the subtlety and nuances of family and village culture into the story. She communicates in a balanced, yet powerful manner...her experiences of extreme pain within the context of the religious and socio-policital climate surrounding her development.
Despite the many social & political challenges, Halima accomplished her goal of becoming a medical doctor. She took joy in reaching this goal. Halima took great pride in serving anyone who needed her skill as a physician.

Sadly for Halima, it was through her professional calling that she experienced first hand the surges of what would become an overwhelming genocial tsumani. A tsumani of inhumanity which eventually wipe out her village and her family unit.

Miraculously, Halima survives and is she manages to escape the country to take seek asylum in England...only face many more heart breaking challenges along with other refugees.

This is a must read for any one who cares about what is happening in different parts of our world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READ April 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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