Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur

Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur

by Halima Bashir

Tears of the Desert is the first memoir ever written by a woman caught up in the war in Darfur.

It is a survivorâs tale of a conflicted country, a resilient people, and the uncompromising spirit of a young woman who refused to be silenced.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.

With her love of learning and her fatherâs support, Halima went on to study medicine, and at twenty-four became her villageâs 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.

Raw and riveting, Tears of the Desert is more than just a memoirâit is Halima Bashirâs global call to action.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Rating: 4.17
  • Pages: 316
  • Publish Date: September 9th 2008 by One World/Ballantine
  • Isbn10: 0345506251
  • Isbn13: 9780345506252

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An example of a pc person: someone who agrees that there must be no racial-profiling allowed in security screenings at airports. It's the Arab Government and its supporters versus the Black Africans who are the victims. The British Government do support the UN on this in theory, but the book is very scathing about their policy towards Black Sudanese asylum seekers (see Mende Nazer's Slave for more on that). Its not an intellectual or political book but one of an educated woman (the author is a doctor) who has sadly, lived through the most terrible circumstances that could befall anyone, genital mutilations, gang rape, torture, murder, loss of her entire family and right until the end, no safe place of asylum.

The book starts very gently, depicting the beautiful community in which Halima grows up. As the war comes closer Halima is drawn into caring for fighters who come down to her village to have their injuries tended to - this places her in the firing line with the government forces.

I had attended each and every one of my lectures and he knew that I stood to do well. As I stood before my tutor and the outside examiner, I felt confident that they would back me with a strong recommendation. The external examiner asked me a few easily answered questions and then turned to my tutor to ask how my attendance had been at lectures. "If truth be told, there were many times where she failed to attend. In fact, I can't think of a single lecture that I missed..." I saw the examiner scribble a note onto my viva. The examiner's been put there by the government and the tutor is scared of him." Several of the other students agreed. I had been marked down as a shirker and a liar in my viva -- that's how they got me in the end.

And they do..and it rips your heart out if you have any human compassion...That Dr. Bashir somehow escaped does not make up for the lost lives and destruction and famine unleashed in the name of religious and ethnic intolerance.

I highly recommend this book to all those wishing to know more about the Darfur Conflict / Darfur Genocide that began in 2003. The guerrilla conflict is between the blacks and the Arabs of Sudan. You learn both about the genocide and the traditions and customs of the black villagers, the people of the Zaghawa tribe.

bashir is a brave woman, and i pray that her country will one day be restored to peace.

Good Earth, and Snowflower and the Secret Fan territory here. Halima tells her own life's story in this non-fiction memoir of her girlhood in Darfur and the events she experienced until 2011. Reading like an Anthropology Ethnography of her Zaghawa tribe from the Sudanese desert, it yet reveals stupendous levels of detail and base cognition of her own world. Her connection with and support and love by her Father is explained and celebrated to the point it deserves. A fair and savvy man in herding, trading and with intelligent good intent as his base, his character became Halima's support and empowerment. Schooling is SO different in various cultures, that all of these years were enjoyable to read about. (And believe me, not any different than areas holding 4 or 5 ethnic and racial divides on the South and West sides of Chicago in this and the last century.) Over some years Janjaweed (Arabic Islamic Jihad) topples the short lived democratic government and Halima's life becomes more difficult. The last quarter of the book tells of her girl school's raid and her doctoring of the victims, her village's fate of her witness, and the aftermath to her escape out of Africa. Opening her difficult and so deeply revealing life's story, may help the world to know what cores the tragedy that is prevailing.

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. 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. I wish I didn't know how beautiful and simple and free life was for the Zaghawa before the genocide.