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Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival Paperback – October 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 1 edition (October 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560259280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560259282
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aisha Bain served as Deputy Director at the Center for the Prevention of Genocide.

Jen Marlowe spent the last four years coordinating and directing the program at the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem.

Adam Shapiro is a founding member of InCounter Productions that produced the documentary film, "About Baghdad". He is also a co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (www.palsolidarity.org) in Palestine and lived and worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for three years.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Fletcher on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book presents an insightful, firsthand account of the experience of three Westerners seeking to document the atrocities in Darfur.

The ease with which the story is told--the tragic, the devastating, the joyous, and the amusing moments of a journey most of us would not even consider undertaking--makes it a "good read" as well as very informative about war, loss, and a geopolitical context that will haunt us for years to come and has probably changed a region forever.

The authors are candid in sharing their observations of a complex war, human suffering, and the people who choose to put themselves in the middle of it, themselves included. Most of all, Darfur's losses are conveyed far beyond the numbers dead or missing: this book shows us the losses of livelihood, culture and tradition, education, and family ties. It also shows glimmers of what has been left behind: kids smile, their parents do their best to see they get an education, and, somehow, people manage to continue to hope for a better future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Morse on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Darfur Diaries offers a sensitive glimpse into the lives of Darfurians struggling at the brink of survival. It tells the story of three independent filmmakers who traveled into Chad and Darfur in November 2004.
At one level it is a book about the making of their film by the same name, which is available on DVD. But a another level it is a deeply human book in its own right, not only for its interviews with refugees, IDPs, and rebel fighters, but because Jem Marlowe and the other two videographers Aisha Bain and Adam Shapiro, show their own vulnerabilities in their quest to understand what is happening in Darfur.
Other books portray the history of the Darfur conflict with more authority. (Visit my web-site for reviews of Alex de Waal and Julie Flint's Darfur: a short history of a long war, and Gerard Prunier's Darfur: the Ambiguous Genocide. [...]But Darfur Diaries is no less authentic and no less ambitious. It is also timely, written after the failure of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in May 2006, and conveying today's urgency as Sudan government planes bomb their own people, and as the violence spreads into neighboring Chad.
The writers are keen observers who care passionately about their subjects, and they are also willing to raise critical questions and to laugh at themselves. This is clearly a work of great love, and despite the tragic nature of their subject, there is something healing in getting to know the survivors.
If you are going to read just one book about Darfur, read this one.
David Morse (independent journalist/Darfur activist)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lost Boys on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found "Darfur Diaries" to be both a compelling and easy to read chronicle of the genocide occurring in Darfur. I highly recommend it to teachers and students alike.

Written by three courageous filmmakers who put their own lives at risk to share this story with the world, "Darfur Dairies" gives readers and viewers a personal glimpse into the everyday tragedies and suffering of the Darfurian people. Through this book (and film), the authors have given voice to a people who have for so long have had no voice, calling for the world to intercede on their behalf. It is up to us, as fellow human beings, to respond and demand action.

We have seen the result of complacency in the South of Sudan where Civil War raged for over two decades killing approximately 2.5 million people and yet for the most part, the world remained silent. Let us not make the same mistake. My deepest thanks go out to Jen Marlowe, Aisha Bain and Adam Shapiro for this heartfelt and inspiring story.

Joan Hecht, author of- The Journey of the Lost Boys: A Story of Courage, Faith and the Sheer Determination to Survive by a Group of Young Boys Called "The Lost Boys of Sudan"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By me/myself on March 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Darfur Diaries" not only provides a clear, accurate, and understandable roadmap to the conflict in Darfur, it introduces the reader to an engaging group of Darfurians. As individual characters, they are likeable, idiosyncratic, and even humorous, despite the tragic circumstances in which they are caught.

Because the authors care about the Darfurians they meet as individuals, their portrayal of the broader crisis in Darfur is all the more urgent and compelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reading Enthusiast on December 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I reccomend this book to readers who are looking for a gripping traevlogue or an overview of the history and contemporary situation in Darfur. It's funny, heart-wrenching, witty and highly readable. I couldn't put it down. Five family members have received it for Christmas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ivy Kleinbart on May 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 2003, the Sudanese government and Janjaweed dramatically escalated their campaign of violence against the people of Darfur, killing thousands, forcing millions from their villages, and turning the once-stable region into a wasteland of starvation and disease. Upon arriving in Darfur, Marlowe writes: "I had been to other scenes of large-scale devastation. In all those places, people seemed to spring up out of the remnants the way weeds stubbornly grow in cracks of a sidewalk... But here, it was different. It was almost entirely depopulated... Even the birds had left. The only sound was the wind and the hard sand crunching beneath our feet" (75-6).

I was prepared for either a detached historical report driven by dates and events, or a gutwrenching depiction of hunger, sickness, and mass graves. On the contrary, Darfur Diaries consists of a series of interviews and conversations with displaced people, refuges, and members of the makeshift Darfurian rebel army, interwoven with the author's impressions of the landscape, the people, their customs, and their challenges. How do they live? How do they survive dispossession, lack of food and water, familial fracture, lack of medicine, and the intense desert heat and cold? How do they cope with the brutalities of rape, injury, mass murder, and widespread material destruction? How do they sustain their sanity? Where do they find hope?

I was impressed with the openness of the questions asked, which allowed the interviewees to speak from the depths of their own experiences, rather than responding to some pre-set agenda on the part of Marlowe and fellow documentarians Adam Shapiro and Aisha Bain.
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