The Translator: A Tribesman's Memory Of Darfur

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

The Translator: A Tribesman's Memory Of Darfur

by Daoud Hari

Doubleday Canada | January 13, 2009 | Trade Paperback

The Translator: A Tribesman's Memory Of Darfur is rated 4.25 out of 5 by 4.
"If God must break your leg He will at least teach you to limp – so it is said in Africa. This book is my poor limping – a modest account that cannot tell every story that deserves telling. 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 bend the world back toward kindness. This is when human beings, I believe, are most admirable."

The young life of Daoud Hari – his friends call him David – has been one of bravery and mesmerizing adventure. As a translator and the guide of choice to media, the US Embassy, and the United Nations, Hari became a vital link to the outside world, a living witness to the brutal genocide underway in Darfur. Most of the reporting on the great tragedies of our day has been written by journalists, and after-the-fact. Rarely, in a conflict of this magnitude, has there been an eyewitness voice to the events as they are still happening. Daoud Hari is that voice.

The Translator is a suspenseful, harrowing and deeply moving memoir of how one person can make a difference in the world – an on-the-ground account of one of the biggest stories of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.98 × 5.17 × 0.59 in

Published: January 13, 2009

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385666160

ISBN - 13: 9780385666169

Found in: Biography and Memoir

save 27%

  • Ships within 1-2 weeks

$15.16  ea

Online Price

$19.95 List Price

or, Used from $5.04

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspired & Hopeful "If God must break your leg He will at least teach you to limp - so it is said in Africa..." In the publisher's quoted paragraph (page above) is seen the depth of this fine book. Mr. Hari's first work as a writer is an inspiring retelling of his experience as a citizen, dissident and exile from the country and land his family and ancestors have occupied for "...over one thousand years." This book is an inspiring account of human perseverance, survival and resilience despite all odds. It is a work of hopeful resolution to the crimes of humanity, told in all its horror and graphic detail, but in the most humanistic and awe-inspiring way; validated through acts of kindness and compassion at the most difficult moments, and seen by the author without judgement or hatred for the perpetrators of such crimes despite how personal his loss is. This book is not only a reporting of the crimes against humanity in the region of Darfur nor is it only about the ethnic cleansing of one ethnic group against another in Sudan. This book is not just one more example of the despicable acts against the ‘person’ smearing the pages of human history from the first recordings of our struggle as a race; it is not about the pain and suffering of the victims; it is not about the moral depravity of the perpetrators of such crimes. While it is by inference all of these things, this book is more about the challenge of humanity to surpass great hardship and pain as we collectively champion the survival and resolve of the human spirit to go beyond its moral limits in every way. The author is the most appropriate example of such resolve and inspiring attainment, serving as an inspiration to the reader and perhaps humanity if his story is read at large. This book is about the one man’s deepest understanding of himself and the world he lives in; the moral and spiritual fortitude of his person and the powerful message of peace he conveys by the way he tells his story and the story of his people. Mr. Hari is at once humble, generous, intelligent, enlightened, forgiving, steadfast, resilient, motivated, inspired and inspiring, as well as an example of what we can all aspire to, collectively as a race, even on an individual level; if we chose to. This is a book that at the same time as it tells one of the most horrific tales of human depravity against humanity, it also tells the same story with the detached humour, spiritual and philosophical maturity one would not readily expect from a victim of such crimes. On many levels, this book is inspiring and hopeful. The message on an unconscious level is that WE (the readers) are also victim and perpetrators in one. Upon reading this book, one feels obliged on a personal level to transmit the information and end the cycle of violence, not only in Darfur but everywhere it may occur in the future as well as the present. I strongly recommend this book to everyone with a heartbeat and half a conscience. We can all make a difference if we can assess our collective responsibility to make our small world better.
Date published: 2010-11-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heart Stopping I myself have research the Darfur conflict quite profoundly so not much of the story came as a shock to me. I am quite surprised at what this man, Daoud Hari, went through and how he still keeps his attitude of trying to help whoever he can whenever he can. A very inspiring novel, I must say
Date published: 2008-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful Book Daoud Hari is a kind-hearted man. That is what shines through this book. No matter what horrible things are happening, he makes friends and helps where he can. His smiling face on the back of the book shows the real him. Only as I read his book did I realize how little I really understand about what is going on in Darfur. I know it's bad and huge amounts of people are dead or displaced and I donate money to MSF specifically for that region, but this book has given me a much better understanding of what is going on. Sort of. Your mind boggles at what people will do to each other. But this isn't a big political statement kind of a book. It is simply Daoud's story - what he has seen and done. When the crisis in Darfur really exploded and after his village was attacked (he made it home from an Egyptian prison just in time to help his family) he became a translator bringing journalists into the camps and across the border into Darfur illegally so they could get the story out. This is the story of what he saw and how he endured. This book is "as told to" and it certainly has a conversational feel. It isn't about the writing - it is definitely about the story. My only complaint is that the ending felt sort of rushed and I would have liked how he ended up in the United States flushed out a little bit more. It is a powerful book that will make you a friend of Daoud, help you understand the Darfur crisis better, and hopefully, will make you want to help.
Date published: 2008-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review Early Reviewers Advance Reader's Edition This is the memoir of a remarkable individual, Daoud Hari, who lost everything after his village was attacked. Though overwhelmed with grief, his love for his fellow human beings prevailed and gave him the courage to take action. He put his life on the line to escort journalists and aid workers into areas devastated by war. Why? So that the suffering of his people could be exposed to the world. This is, by far, one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read. The tragic stories of the men, women, and children of Sudan were unbearably painful. They put a human face to genocide. A face that cannot easily be forgotten. Many pages of my book are stained with tears. As I sit here, I wonder what I can do to help. I encourage everyone to read this book, and to ask themselves the same question.
Date published: 2008-03-03

– More About This Product –

The Translator: A Tribesman's Memory Of Darfur

by Daoud Hari

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.98 × 5.17 × 0.59 in

Published: January 13, 2009

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385666160

ISBN - 13: 9780385666169

Read from the Book

Chapter One A Call from the Road I am sure you know how important it can be to get a good phone signal. We were speeding through the hot African desert in a scratched and muddy Land Cruiser that had been much whiter a week earlier. Our driver, a Darfur tribesman like me, was swerving through thorny acacia bushes, working the gears expertly in the deep sands of another and always another ravine, which we call a wadi, and sailing over the bumps in the land–there are no roads to speak of. In the backseat, a young news filmmaker from Britain, Philip Cox, was holding on as we bounced and as our supplies thumped and clanked and sloshed around. A veteran of these deserts, he was in good humor–even after a long week of dusty travel and so many emotionally difficult interviews. Survivors told us of villages surrounded at night by men with torches and machine guns, the killing of men, women, and children, the burning of people alive in the grass huts of Darfur. They told us of the rape and mutilation of young girls, of execution by machete of young men–sometimes eighty at a time in long lines. You cannot be a human being and remain unmoved, yet if it is your job to get these stories out to the world, you keep going. So we did that. I was Philip’s translator and guide, and it was my job tokeep us alive. Several times each hour I was calling militarycommanders from rebel groups or from the Chad National Army to ask if we should go this way or that way to avoid bat
read more read less

From the Publisher

"If God must break your leg He will at least teach you to limp – so it is said in Africa. This book is my poor limping – a modest account that cannot tell every story that deserves telling. 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 bend the world back toward kindness. This is when human beings, I believe, are most admirable."

The young life of Daoud Hari – his friends call him David – has been one of bravery and mesmerizing adventure. As a translator and the guide of choice to media, the US Embassy, and the United Nations, Hari became a vital link to the outside world, a living witness to the brutal genocide underway in Darfur. Most of the reporting on the great tragedies of our day has been written by journalists, and after-the-fact. Rarely, in a conflict of this magnitude, has there been an eyewitness voice to the events as they are still happening. Daoud Hari is that voice.

The Translator is a suspenseful, harrowing and deeply moving memoir of how one person can make a difference in the world – an on-the-ground account of one of the biggest stories of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Jacket

"A beautifully written and often poetic story of personal courage and redemption in the face of the worst that we can be. [Hari] invites us not only to discover but to be our better selves." – James Orbinski, author of An Imperfect Offering

"What a beautiful and powerfully told story. The harrowing details of Daoud Hari's survival in the most nightmarish of times oblige us to keep our faith in human decency. I will read The Translator again and again." –Wayson Choy

"May be the biggest small book of this year, or any year....In a voice that is restrained, generous, gentle and — astonishingly — humorous...Hari allows the vastness of Darfur's suffering to seep into the reader's consciousness in a way that a raw, more emotional telling might now. Gently ironic...Moving." –The Washington Post

About the Author

Daoud Hari was born in the Darfur region of Sudan. After escaping an assault on his village, he entered the refugee camps in Chad and began serving as a translator for major news organizations including The New York Times, NBC, and the BBC, as well as the UN and other aid groups. He now lives in the United States, and was part of SaveDarfur.org’s “Voices from Darfur” tour.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"A beautifully written and often poetic story of personal courage and redemption in the face of the worst that we can be. [Hari] invites us not only to discover but to be our better selves." – James Orbinski, author of An Imperfect Offering

"What a beautiful and powerfully told story. The harrowing details of Daoud Hari''s survival in the most nightmarish of times oblige us to keep our faith in human decency. I will read The Translator again and again." –Wayson Choy

"May be the biggest small book of this year, or any year....In a voice that is restrained, generous, gentle and — astonishingly — humorous...Hari allows the vastness of Darfur''s suffering to seep into the reader''s consciousness in a way that a raw, more emotional telling might now. Gently ironic...Moving." –The Washington Post

Bookclub Guide

1. Daoud Hari manages to find the good in many people and makes friends easily. As he says, “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 to kindness.” How does he make these friends? How can we apply this to our own lives? Do you agree that most people want others to have good lives?

2. The conflict in Darfur is often described as being between black Africans and Arabs. The book shows that the conflict is more complicated than that. What are some of the root causes of the conflict in Darfur? How did the African farmers and Arab nomads live together before the conflict? What are the similarities to other conflicts around the world? How can these conflicts be prevented in the future, particularly in light of global warming?

3. What specific steps can the world take to help ensure that Darfuris are allowed to return home, and to send the message that genocide doesn’t work? Do you think genocide has worked so far in this conflict or in others? Can it be prevented in the future? If so, how?

4. Daoud describes the suffering of Darfuri refugees, particularly women and children. How are women and children refugees most vulnerable and what can be done to help them? What is the difference between refugees and internally displaced persons? Where else in the world do large numbers of refugees live? What do you know about them, and what is being done to help them survive and eventually return home?

5. When Daoud is in the small jail near Aswan, Egypt, with the old jailer, and he finds the Egyptian hundred-pound note in a pocket he had forgotten existed, he says that the note “was so folded and faded that I think it was waiting for me for a long time in that pocket, in the way that many things are waiting for us to be ready to receive them.” What does Daoud mean by this? Can you describe how this could apply to your own life?

6. Daoud says at the end of the book that it is likely people are still being killed in Darfur and suffering in the camps as you read the book. What were the most recent events in Darfur when you read the book? How can you act to promote peace in Darfur and to help ensure that the refugees are returned to their land? What actions should the international community take?

7. Daoud uses his language skills to help his people in the only way he knows how — as a translator. Why is this role so important? How does this work help the people of Darfur? Others he knows have chosen to use guns. What do you think of this choice?

8. Daoud writes about how he had known for a long time that he could not help his family in the way his brothers had or as his father and grandfathers had before him. What do you think this means for tradition-based cultures like the one in Darfur? How has change of this kind happened in your own area, and what effect has it had?

9. Paul Salopek and Daoud have a complex relationship. Describe how they work together to help each other and Ali. Both Daoud and Paul have the opportunity to separate themselves from each other in captivity, which would have bettered each of their chances for survival. What would you have done in such a situation?

10. How does Daoud’s concept of family change throughout the book? How is it redefined and enlarged? What role does his time in the various prisons play in this transformation?

11. Daoud is constantly breaking the rules for what he sees as a higher good. How does this relate to your life? How are you willing to break the rules and suffer the consequences in order to serve your higher values? How far would you go in order to pursue your ideals?

12. What are some of the ways in which Daoud deals with the emotional stress of Darfur’s horrors? How does this differ from the ways in which you would deal with such trauma? How does our culture tell us to deal with trauma? Is a horrific news story played over and over on TV — for example, the attack on the World Trade Center — therapeutic as a way for our nation to share and understand this horror, or is it hurtful rather than helpful?