The first memoir from a woman born and raised in South Darfur. An incredibly powerful first-hand account of the horrors of the genocide.
Halima Bashir was born into the remote western deserts of Sudan. She grew up in a wonderfully rich environment and later went on to study medicine. At the age of twenty-four she returned to her tribe and began practising as their first ever qualified doctor. But then a dark cloud descended upon her people...Janjaweed Arab militias began savagely assaulting her people. At first, Halima tried not to get involved. But in January 2004 they attacked people in her village. Halima treated the traumatised victims and was sickened by what she saw. She decided to speak out in a Sudanese newspaper and to the UN charities. Then the secret police came for her. For days Halima was interrogated and subjected to unspeakable torture. She finally escaped but the nightmare just seemed to follow her... This inspiring story tells of one woman's determination to survive and her passion to defend her people. For the first time, we can truly understand the personal horrors of Darfur from someone who lived through it.
This is a brave book . . . [Halima] leaves us with hope and awe in the face of her courage. - Mia Farrow
'The genocide in Darfur has found its Anne Frank . . . TEARS OF THE DESERT is a searingly frank testimonial of a war crime that deserves all our attention.' - Tim Butcher, author of Blood River
vivid, poignant and brutally candid - Washington Post
A harrowing and beautifully written tale of a rich life, untold suffering and impossible hope told from the heart of a fellow African sister. - Mende Nazer, author of Slave and Freedom
This memoir helps keep the Darfur tragedy open as a wound not yet healed. - Elie Wiesel
A rare glimpse behind the statistics into the personal horror of Darfur. TV news too easily turns the whole nation into anonymous victims; Damien and Halima remind us they are people. - David Loyn, BBC Foreign Correspondent
Halima's story is fantastic and exhausting . . . I can see and hear and feel the people and places she describes. - Lisa Blaker, author of Heart of Darfur
Halima Bashir has bared her soul to help stop the bleeding of her people in Darfur. Attention must be paid. - John Prendergast, co-chair of the ENOUGH Project and co-author of Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
Halima Bashir grew up in the remote deserts of Darfur, Sudan, in a loving family that was part of the black African Zaghawa tribe. She proved herself to be academically gifted and went on to be the first person in her village to qualify as a medical doctor. But then war broke out and her life sprialled into an unimaginably dark nightmare. In 2005 she finally sought asylum in the UK where she continues to speak out about the violence in Sudan. In October 2008 she won the Victor Gollancz Human Rights Prize. Halima still lives in the UK with her husband and two sons and they were all granted UK citizenship in 2008.