September 16, 2008

"The Translator" by Daoud Hari

The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Translator is written by Daoud Hari, who is a man from Darfur whose village was attacked by the Sudanese government. He escaped into Chad, and worked with various reporters as a translator and a guide. He took them into Sudan to interview the people. Many times he almost lost his life, and miraculously was spared. A few of those times he was actually saved by the reporter who he was translating for.

A big part of the book goes into detail about the last time he was taken as a prisoner. Many times throughout this one experience he thought he would die. With each day, or transfer or change in personnel, he thought it was the end. Fortunately for him, he had a good gift of befriending people, and ultimately help from the American government. Now he lives in America, as it is too dangerous for him to remain in Africa.

What I learned from this book is that the Sudanese government has pitted the Arab people against the non-Arab people. Basically by supplying the Arabs with weapons, and demanding the removal of weapons from the non-Arabs. The Arabs were formerly the minority, but with the genocide going on, it is obvious they are trying to create and Arab majority. Here is a simple statement from the book, "The non-Arab traditional Africans of Darfur are being systematically murdered and displaced by Bashir's government of Sudan as a part of a program to remove political dissent, remove challenges to power, make way for unobstructed resource development, and turn an Arab minority into and Arab majority."

The political dissent is talking about resistant groups and rebel uprisings of non-Arabs. The resource development is talking about oil, and apparently there is an abundant water source under Darfur, but the non-Arabs are not allowed to pump it. The government wants control of all the land and its resources and peoples.

Daoud wants people to know that Darfur is not a simple genocide, it is a complicated genocide. His message is we have to stop genocide. If it continues to work, more people will believe they can solve all their problems by killing everyone in their way.

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Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Great review Amy!! I loved this book, if you can call it love, when it's so heartbreaking.