Book Review: The Translator

The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur
By Daoud Hari
ISBN: 978-0670-91765-5

I just finished an incredible book called The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur written by Daoud Hari.  This tenacious young man was forced, along with his family, to leave his village in Darfur because of a complex chess game of sorts being played by the Arabs in Sudan regarding oil and resources.
The issues surrounding the Sudan-Darfur conflict are complicated, but Daoud does an awesome job putting a human face to the problem and describing the pure evil that has inflicted on innocent men, women and children. It seems as long as I can remember there has been turmoil in this region but actually there were years of peace while both Daoud and I enjoyed our childhoods growing up in very different traditions.  His joy in his culture is evident as he explains it clearly to western readers. You will want to join him with his camels or long to see the colorful traditional dress of the women.  His warm writing style makes you feel like one of his friends of which he speaks so highly. Even as I read through my review I realize I’m using his first name instead of how I normally refer to authors either by their surname or simply “the author.” After reading his book you will feel that you know a bit about what he has endured, except without the gravity which he must bear.
Daoud’s story is full of remarkable twists and near death incidents that keep you on the edge of your seat. If you didn’t know he was the one writing this memoir, you’d believe multiple times that this must be the end.  God has kept him on the planet so that he can share with the world the intimate details of what is actually happening in Darfur: genocide. He writes

Can you do that in this century? Can you solve all your problems by killing everyone in your way? That is for the world to decide. Deciding if and when the traditional people of Darfur can go home will also decide if genocide works or not, and therefore whether it will happen elsewhere in the world. It seems to me that this is as good a place to stop it forever.

The world cannot turn away from what is happening in Africa today – in regions like Darfur and other places. We cannot just watch movies and read books and grieve as an afterthought to the atrocities that are occurring right now.  You can make a difference by reading this book, praying for the Darfur people, paying attention to the news reports and letting our governments know that you support efforts to support Darfur. To find out more about how you can help, go to


1 Comment

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One response to “Book Review: The Translator

  1. What can you do for your century? Hmmmmmm….

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