Tears of the Desert by Halima Bashir
A Memoir of Survival in Darfur

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Synopsis

Like the single white eyelash that graces her row of dark lashes–seen by her people as a mark of good fortune–Halima Bashir’s story stands out. Tears of the Desert is the first memoir ever written by a woman caught up in the war in Darfur. It is a survivor’s 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. A politically astute man, Halima’s father saw to it that his daughter received a good education away from their rural surroundings. Halima excelled in her studies and exams, surpassing even the privileged Arab girls who looked down their noses at the black Africans. With her love of learning and her father’s support, Halima went on to study medicine, and at twenty-four became her village’s 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. Then, in early 2004, the Janjaweed attacked Bashir’s village and surrounding areas, raping forty-two schoolgirls and their teachers. Bashir, who treated the traumatized victims, some as young as eight years old, could no longer remain quiet. But breaking her silence ignited a horrifying turn of events.

In this harrowing and heartbreaking account, Halima Bashir sheds light on the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives being eradicated by what is fast becoming one of the most terrifying genocides of the twenty-first century. Raw and riveting, Tears of the Desert is more than just a memoir–it is Halima Bashir’s global call to action.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Halima Bashir

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Halima Bashir lives with her husband and son in England, where she continues to speak out about the violence in Sudan. Damien Lewis has spent the last twenty years reporting from war zones in Africa, with a particular focus and expertise in Sudan. His reporting from Darfur won the BBC One World Award. He is the internationally bestselling co-author of Slave, winner of the Index on Censorship Book Award.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published September 9, 2008 by One World/Ballantine. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tears of the Desert

Kirkus Reviews

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Assisted by British broadcast journalist Lewis (co-author: Slave: My True Story, 2004), Bashir begins with her mostly happy childhood in a small village in the western desert.

Sep 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Tears of the Desert: A Memoir...

BC Books

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Halima Bashir's memoir, written with assistance from Damien Lewis, a writer and reporter for the BBC, touched my soul so deeply that I couldn't sit back any longer.

Dec 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Tears of the Desert: A Memoir...

Scotsman.com

Bashir is interesting on this – as women did most of the work, she says, the man who had many wives was the man who did least work.

Aug 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Tears of the Desert: A Memoir...

Bookmarks Magazine

But breaking her silence ignited a horrifying turn of events.

In this harrowing and heartbreaking account, Halima Bashir sheds light on the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives being eradicated by what is fast becoming one of the most terrifying genocides of the twenty-first century.

Oct 05 2008 | Read Full Review of Tears of the Desert: A Memoir...

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