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Topic: Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur

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Subject: Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,405
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Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir Link

Put this on your WL today, better yet, go to your local bookstore on Sept. 9th and purchase a copy.  I have a review due tomorrow morning and I'm stuck because I know that there is nothing that I can say that will do this memoir justice.  I finished this three days ago and have been walking around with this story resonating in my soul like a bell tone that refuses to fade. 

The book is beautifully written, when Bashir tells of her life in Sudan before the genocide began you can not only see Africa, but hear and smell it as well.  The Darfur of Bashir's childhood, while not easy by our standards, was a beautiful, magical, loving place and the reader feels as if they are there.  In turn, this makes the retelling of the horrors of the following genocide, of torture and rape, feel personal.  This book is not for the faint of heart.  I cried.  I felt physically ill a number of time while reading this.   From the retelling of providing treatment to raped schoolgirls, Bashir is a medical doctor, and of her own subsequent rape,  a punishment for said medical care, to the massacre of her village, the horrors of the genocide in Darfur rise from the pages of the memoir with a life of their own. 

In a way, I wish I hadn't read this.  I wish I didn't know how beautiful and simple and free life was for the Zaghawa before the genocide. I wish this horror and sadness and pain of the genocide was not rolling around in my head.   But then, that may be why so many turn their heads from the tragedy that is Darfur.  It is so horrible, so painful, and so wrong, that to even think on it causes pain. 

Some books are just books.  Some change how you see yourself, how you see the world.  Halima Bashir and her Tears of the Desert  have changed how I see and they will never leave me.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,057
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Thanks for the recommendation!

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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Thanks for the rec!  It sounds bittersweet...a heartbreaking work by a phenomenal woman who can also write eloquently.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Just added it.  Thanks so much!