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Tears of the Desert: One woman's true story of surviving the horrors of Darfur Hardcover – 10 Jul 2008

15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (10 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340963565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340963562
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 3.4 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 612,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

This is a brave book. And a valuable one. Halima's story of the atrocities and immeasurable losses she has endured must be told. [She] leaves us with hope and awe in the face of her courage (Mia Farrow)

Book Description

The first memoir from a woman born and raised in South Darfur. An incredibly powerful first-hand account of the horrors of the genocide.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chelli on 11 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Halima describes a very happy childhood growing up in the remote deserts of Sudan and I was intrigued by her detailed descriptions of the life and customs of the Zaghawa tribe of which she was part. She was an ambitious and talented young girl who trained to be a doctor in order to help the people of her village, but the first worrying signs of racial hatred of the Arabic people against the native Sudanese started to show during her time as a student. By the time she had qualified the country was at civil war, with the Janjaweed's sickening attacks of rape, torture and murder on the tribal people of Sudan becoming a regular occurrence. Halima herself was subjected to the most horrific attack of rape and torture and was witness to some truly shocking attacks such as the Janjaweed's mass rape of a school full of pre-adolescent girls. Halima's life was under severe threat and when she does eventually manage to escape the Sudan and arrives in the UK she complains that the asylum process is difficult and that she doesn't like life in Britain. This does seem ungrateful, but after what she's been through I suppose she's just angry at yet another injustice happening to her.
This is an extremely distressing story of the evils of genocide and racial hatred, but it's also the story of one girl's amazingly unshakable determination and courage, and a fascinating insight into the lives of a Sudanese tribe. I thought the book was brilliantly written, well detailed, shocking and engrossing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. B. Medlock on 22 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Halima Bashir's is an incredible story. As a description of family life in rural Africa this book is fascinating and thought-provoking. As a depiction of the atrocities of a genocidal regime it is shocking and harrowing. As a testament to courage in the face of extreme evil and suffering it is inspiring and uplifting. Read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on 7 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read a book as quickly as I read this one - I was gripped reading about Halima Bashir's life, the culture in Sudan and the events that happened to her. Halima manages to recount the events - the happy moments - and the horrific moments with such detail. Her ambition and determination as a child growing up, working hard at school to become a doctor is a wonderful story. Her father's dreams for his daughter, his insight and wanting his daughter to make her own life for herself. That this woman managed to pull herself through horrific life threatening events and survive all the odds blows me away. She wants to see the innocent people in her country free from war. It is astonishing that the violence and ethnic cleansing in Sudan could not be stopped.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ray Newton on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was at the Edinburgh Book Festival when Halima and Damien, who helped her with her English, commented on the book, The book is detailed and and every page fascinating. Unfortunately, her story is typical of the millions who suffered and are still sufferering eleven years later from President Bashir's military coup in Sudan and now wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide. I later discovered that she now lives in London under another name and campaigns with others for women's rights in Darfur.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Benoy N. Shah on 8 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am absolutely astonished by the two reviews so far. Let me give an alternative take on this book.

To say that Bashir has been through a lot would be the biggest understatement of the century. It is a tragedy of epic proportions that a human being can go through what she has in the 21st century.

The book starts off describing her life in Darfur when it was just another part of Sudan. Peaceful. She details the customs of her people - the Zaghawa - and village life. She reveals her hopes for the future, and the village/cultural mentality that constantly puts hurdles in front of her.

She then goes on to describe how things slowly begin to change in her homeland and, before she can understand why, she is suddenly a target in her own country. What she reveals can only be described as genocide...the systematic attempts to abolish black Africans in Sudan by the Arabs. What she sees...and then experiences...is horrific. There are barely words to desribe what she endured, and must still be haunted by.

When she finally makes it to England, she simply passes comment about things which she sees and disagrees with or doesn't understand, because they are so different from her traditions back home. She notices that people in London seem in a rush and rarely offer a smile to strangers, unlike in her village. She doesn't understand when she sees two young people making out in public. And she has litle sympathy for a middle aged woman who has become an alocholic after her husband left her because she was fell pregnant after sleeping wih her son's best friend...20 years younger than her! These are not the words of a bitter or ungrateful person. And it doesn't mean she has no gratitude towards this country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrs a weight on 1 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
what an amazing brave and caring woman. heart breaking to read in places. we are so lucky here in the uk.in our reasonable safe country, how we take it for granted. we can not take away the hurt and anguish that has happened to her but hope she has a more secure and happy life now.
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