A beautifully written and very moving story. Was especially interested in the author's observations of life in America, taking us back to how so called "civilisation" can be a bit ridiculous to those with a more natural and fresher outlook on life! I enjoyed it so much I bought three more as gifts for family members.
I started this book with zero knowledge of the Civil War in Sudan, and not much interest either, but John Bul Dau's story was from the very start captivating. It is concerning to see how he and other people from the Dinka people are treated by others as they are fleeing from the Arab armies sweeping south and east, particularly as he flees naked from his village.
As I read this I realised just how much I take for granted - security, food, clothing, health - things which are a daily battle for John as he sometimes goes for days without food and water. It also challenged my misconceptions of the UN and Red Cross, who at times showed up in perfect timing with food and clothing.
While realising this same governmnent is in control in Sudan is of grave concern, John's story is hugely encouraging - how he managed to keep going, and the energy and drive he has now.
I would encourage everyone to read this book, principally to realise how much we take for granted, but also to have their eyes opened to some of the things which went on in Sudan, and the struggles lost boys like John faced.
A profound, moving, and inspiring real life account of a refugee from the Holocaust against Black South Sudanese by Khartoum's Islamist-Arab regime, which has resulted in the deaths of literally millions, and his resettlement in the USA.
John Bul Dau tells of his life in a village in South Sudan, the horrors he experienced and witnessed beginning in 1987, at the age of 14, when his village was destroyed and he fled naked across thousands of miles of desert and African Savannah. He describes the fight for survival against the guns and bombs of the Sudanese Arab marauders and against the equally deadly and ever present starvation. Arab soldiers from the north killed everyone with a Black skin, as Dau describes, whether they were soldiers of the rebel Sudan Peopl's Liberation Army (fighting for autonomy or independence of southern Sudan) or simple farmers in and their families. It is quite mind blowing that the international Left who claim to be so against racism, have never taken any notice of the plight of the people of Southern Sudan and Darfur, and have indeed tried to sweep it under the carpet, because it does not fit in to their anti-Western/anti-Israel hate agenda, and because it displays a reality which does not fit in with their propaganda of Arabs as always being the poor oppressed, persecuted "other". Atrocities by Arabs against Black Africans or Kurds or Berbers or Maronites simply is too unsettling to the propaganda of the international Left and their media and academic institutions. These people are politically incorrect and therefore not to be regarded as human, and certainly not to be put on an equal footing with the hyper-politically correct cause celebre heroes such as the Palestinians of Gaza or the terrorists interned by US forces in Abu Ghraib and Guantanmao Bay. What a fraud it is by Left Wing academics to accuse everyone else of callousness towards the 'other'. Dau demonstrates how the Islamist regime of Omar al Bashir pushed to transform Sudan into a purely Islamic state by means of brutality and genocide. Dau writers of his suffering in refugee camps, his struggle to educate himself, his culture shock in coming to America and his gratitude to his new homeland, which will also be irksome to the agenda of the anti-Western Left. He recounts the emotional reunion with his mother and siblings in the USA which bring tears to your eyes After the 911 terror attacks in New York, in September 2001, Dau addressed a letter to the President George W Bush warning that the terror which was annihilating the people of Sudan was now everywhere and urges the USA to go ahead with the fight against terror "As President you have to see far. The weak ones, who cannot see far they may cast obstacles in your way, but you must continue. I urge you to go ahead with the fight. Terrorism, religious war-it is now in Sudan and has been these 18 years of war. They are killing people in Southern Sudan. The tragedy in New York and in Washington D.C was not so strange to us, we who are from Sudan. We have been living with this for a long time. The war in Sudan is everywhere. We are people in the same situation. Osama Bin Laden has a headquarters in Sudan,. We are in the same boat and we must stick together" Sadly the election of Barack Obama has meant the plight of all victims of Islamo-Nazism are being swept under the carpet, in line with the long awaited left wing radical agenda of appeasing Islamic terror and tyranny