Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Translator by Daoud Hari

Oh wow! I'm not sure how to write a review of this book because this isn't the type of book that you say "Oh, that was so good!" How do you label a book about such a difficult subject as a good read? The best word that I came up with to describe this book would be powerful. Daoud Hari's memoir is a powerful book describing the horrors that he has witnessed going on in Darfur. Unfortunately it is still going on right now which is really hard for me to swallow. Daoud tells of his story and how he becomes a translator for reporters as he tries to get Darfur's genocide story more out in the open for all of the world to see. The book was very readable as I believe Dennis Burke and Megan McKenna helped to write it after Daoud told them his stories. Through this book Daoud was able to convey his love for Darfur alongside telling of the horrors that he saw firsthand. I don't usually share quotes but here is a really powerful one that I found right on the 1st page of the introduction:

"I have seen and heard many things in Darfur that have broken my heart. I bring the stories to you because I know most people want others to have good lives, and, when they understand the situation, they will do what they can to steer the world back toward kindness. This is when human beings, I believe, are most admirable."

It makes you want to do something to help out, doesn't it? Maw from Maw's Books is doing something and is the reason why I read this book. The entire month of September she has devoted to reading and blogging for Darfur. So go to her blog and check it out if you haven't yet. This book moved me enough that I will be continuing to read books on this subject and I already have another book checked out from the library to read next. It will never be an easy subject to read about but it is definitely worthwhile! I'll leave you with another quote that was able to convey the absolute horror of what is going on in Darfur. Just a little background first though: this quote comes after Daoud and some reporters were getting back from witnessing the aftereffects of one of the many battles that go on there everyday.

"Some of the BBC people had to return to Chad, where they were in a medical clinic for three days to recover from what they saw, and smelled, and learned about the nature of what simply must be called evil."

My Rating: 5 out of 5


  1. Awesome review! I like the word you chose: powerful. It is hard to label a book as a good read when it's subject matter isn't "good." I also love the quote that you chose.

  2. Thanks Maw! And thank you for holding this event as it pushed me to read a book that I wouldn't have picked up right away. Now I want to read more and learn more so thank you!

  3. I agree that this is a powerful little book! I wish that he had gone into more detail about the history of Darfur and how things had gotten to the way they were (I'm sure it probably stems from Imperialism...)

  4. Trish- I agree that I would have liked a bit more history. But he was still able to get his point across and I'm glad that I finally picked this book up.


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