Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review--A Tribesman Memoir of Darfur

As you would expect, this book was a tough read but a tough read that I felt was worth it.

Most of us know what has been going on in Darfur but this book brings it a little closer to home. We have all seen the news articles about Darfur and some of us have actually looked it up on the map. However, it's one thing to see a 10 second video bite about a war somewhere with people we don't know and another to read about the atrocites from someone who experienced them first hand.

That's what makes this book difficult to read. There is only so much human suffering that a person can read about but I would encourage everyone to make an effort with this one.

The writing is decent but what really stood out was the lack of emotion in some of the story telling. I say this as a good thing though because the feeling that I get is that this guy had seen so much evil that emotion has kind of left him, at least when describing it. It makes the stories that he tells that much more powerful and closer to home. How this guy is not a raving lunatic I have no idea.

The basic story is this: The author is from Darfur and witnesses his villiage being destroyed in a most brutal way. We follow him as he escorts what's left to refuge camps in Chad. From there, he begins to work as a translator for the different relief organizations and news agencies that want to go back into Darfur. The book continues by describing some of the situations that he finds himself in.

This is a book that I call a "thinker" which obviously means it will make you reevaluate your own place in the world and give massive thanks that you live where you do. At the same time though, I do think it gives some pretty good insight into that part of Africa and some of the jacked up politics there. Sure, there is a lot of debate and I would even say massive dislike in our own politics. However, the difference is that we don't drive tanks into farmers when we get pissed.

Go to your local library and give this one a chance, it's not bad but you might need to do some drinking when you finish.

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