Daoud Hari lost a way of life in Darfur. But amidst the carnage and turmoil, he found a new calling...As a Zaghawa tribesman in the Darfur region of Sudan, Daoud Hari grew up racing camels across the desert, attending gloriously colourful weddings and, when his work was done, playing games under the moonlight. But in 2003, helicopter gunships ...Read MoreDaoud Hari lost a way of life in Darfur. But amidst the carnage and turmoil, he found a new calling...As a Zaghawa tribesman in the Darfur region of Sudan, Daoud Hari grew up racing camels across the desert, attending gloriously colourful weddings and, when his work was done, playing games under the moonlight. But in 2003, helicopter gunships swooped down on Darfur's villages and shattered that way of life for ever. Soon, Sudanese government-backed militias, attacking on horseback, came to murder, rape and burn. To drive the tribesmen from their lands.When Hari's village was attacked and destroyed, his family was decimated and dispersed. He escaped and together with a group of friends roamed the battlefield deserts, helping the weak and vulnerable find food, water and a path to safety. And when international aid groups and reporters arrived, Hari gave his services as a translator and guide. To do so was to risk his life, for the Sudanese government had outlawed journalists, punishing aid to 'foreign spies' with death. Yet Hari did so time and again. Until, eventually, his luck ran out and he was captured..." The Translator" is a harrowing tale of selfless courage in terrifying conditions.Read Less
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Daoud Hari's memoir of his experiences as a native of and translator in Darfur help to put a name, a face, and a personal history onto a story that lingers on the back pages of American newspapers. I really don't understand why the US and the rest of the world hasn't taken stronger measures to put a stop to the horrific genocide taking place. Hari does not try to explain, at least not to any extent, but relies on his simple but moving story to move his readers to action. He speaks lovingly of a gentle people trying to eke out a living in their harsh but beloved homeland--a description that makes the horrible events that have taken place in Darfur all the more devastating.
My only criticisms of the book are:
1) I would have appreciated the inclusion of a map. It would have helped me to visualize where Daoud moved and the geographic relationships among the various groups mentioned in the book.
2) The writing might have been tighter--but this may be a problem of translation or of editing. There was quite a bit of circling back to the same moments, and I don't think that was done intentionally for impact.
But overall, a moving and significant book that I hope more people will read.
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