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The Last Camel: True Stories about Somalia Hardcover – 1 May 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Red Sea Press,U.S. (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156902040X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569020401
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,148,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 April 2001
Format: Hardcover
as a somali related person, this book was fabously well presented as well as to pin pointed accuracy. the details are maginificant, and i thank the author of the book by giving your perception about somalia and its people...thank you
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Engrossing stories about an exotic life adventure. 8 Nov 1999
By J. Jiumaleh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
D'Haem's adventures as a Peace Corps volunteer are absorbing and full of startling twists and turns. She tells stories not only from her own perspective but also from the point of view of some of her Somali friends and acquaintances. This underscores her point that listening and understanding (perhaps even to the extent that one can get inside another's head?) are crucial to cross-cultural communication. D'Haem writes with the benefit of decades of hindsight; she seems to be foreshadowing Somalia's present problems and filtering her youthful adventures through a mature understanding of human nature. If she had written immediately after these events took place in 1969, this might be a very different book. Readers may start with any chapter to enjoy an absorbing and complete story but read from cover to cover to get the best picture of the personalities she writes about. Her stories are sometimes painful and disturbing but provide lots of food for thought about the human and political state of our world.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An insightful, fascinating account of life in Sommalia. 1 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Last Camel is told with skill which takes the reader on a journey through the lives of the inhabitants of Arabsiyo, a small village in Northern Sommalia. Jeanne D'Haem lived there in the late sixties as a Peace Corp volunteer who taught at the village school. She tells the story of the village by telling several stories from the perspective of some one living in the village. She links the stories by telling some of the same events in each story, but giving a new perspective each time. The book opens when young Jeanne arrives in the tiny village. She is invited to a wedding that night where she meets to her surprise a young Sommali woman who speaks English complete with English accent. In the next chapter we hear this woman's story. On the night of the wedding when she met Jeanne she was on her way to be with the bride, her friend who is to be "cut open" in preparation for her husband... ...D'Haem's skill as a story teller is admirable. She draws the reader in by allowing us to hear what it's like to be a Sommali woman and endure this torture, but never judges or condemns this barbaric practice. She just tells the story which comes directly from the young bride's mouth.
Other stories are of Jeanne's nightwatchman who used cunning and stealth to support his family. The outcast woman who overcame great adversities to support herself and her daughter. The children in her village and the culture of the dessert.
A thoroughly good read, highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
About as good as "A Spirit Catches You..." 22 Jan 2012
By gudruncita - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book, and am so glad to have found it in my Minneapolis library. D'Haem does an excellent job of trying to bridge some of the mysteries between our American cultural world view and that of Somalis of 1968. The book was published in 1997, and certainly has so much still to teach us about being open-eyed and open-minded as we interact with immigrants of East African cultures, or any culture. Humorous and thoughtful, with more description than evaluation, more narrative than judgement, the reader experiences the same humiliations and awakenings of understanding as the young writer. If you loved the book, "A Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down," you will appreciate this book as well. Cultural anthropology at its best. The price to order it is outrageous now, and I HOPE it comes back into print soon!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic book, a cultural journey 17 Dec 2009
By Leonessa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It has been years since I read this book- I happened upon it in the library. Due to the passage of time, I don't remember all the particulars of the stories. However, I still think about it a lot, and want to read it again. I went through a lot of books back then, and I still think about very few of them. The writing and the stories are both fantastic. I keep my eyes open in book stores, in case I come upon it. It is a shame that this book isn't more readily available.
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