If Halima Bashier meant to tell of her youth in a way that caused me to think her a kindred spirit, it worked.
If she desired to show the normalcy and happiness of her life, she did.
If she intended this in an effort to sharpen the contrast between the joyful life she lived and deep and the horrible loss she experienced, she succeeded.
Halmina grew up in Sudan, Darfur to be precise, and she's the first woman affected by the war there to share her tale. She calls it Tears of the Desert.
Did you know that there is a conflict going on in Darfur?
A friend, knowledgeable of this, saw that I was reading Halima's story and said "oh, how sad", yet the bulk of the story, honestly, was not sad. It was enjoyable, educating, & entertaining. It told of a lifetime of joy and love. I feel lucky to have been able to see that.
What is sad, however, did not take long to tell. What is sad is how all this was taken from Halima, for no real reason. What is sad is that in today's day and age, genocide continues to occur. That it is happening right now, as I type this.
Genocide: –noun The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.
Amazingly, it can be easy to emotionally detach when we hear stories of war, pilfering, murder, & rape. It seems a world away, so simple to ignore. Yet, Halmia's story reminds us that we are all fellow human beings and what has happened to her, her family, her village, her land -- what is STILL happening -- is an atrocity and does matter, we cannot simply choose to dismiss it.
Would we sit by knowing the Holocaust was going on today? Would we, again, ignore the news reports of the extermination of the Tutsis in Rwanda? What will we do this time... today... now?
Halmia finishes her epilogue "It has now been 6 years since the conflict in Darfur began.... Time after time, the world has been alerted to the slaughter and the rape and the horror... but what has actually been done to stop the slaughter."
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Thank you to The Random House Publishing Group who sent me an early release of this book. Copies are now available.