Tears of the Desert is the memoir by Halima Bashir, a survivor of the Genocide in Darfur.  In this book she talks about growing up in a village in Darfur, about the persecution of her tribe – the Zaghawa tribes by the Arab Sudanese government.  She speaks about her triumph of training to be a medical doctor in Khartoum and the escalation of violence and the use of rape and torture during the ongoing genocide, and her fight to find asylum in the UK.

Please note that some of the events described in this book will not be suitable for a young audience.

Discussion Questions

Please note that some of these questions will act as spoilers for the book.

1. why do you think that Halima tells us about her daily life growing up?

2. Halima refused to have the tribal markings of the Zaghawa made on her. Do you think this assisted her in later life?

3. was the bullying that Halima faced at school indicative of what was happening on a larger scale throughout the country?

4. Halima was apolitical in her attitude at University.  Do you think this affected her treatment?

5. how alike do you think Halima and her Grandma Sumah were?

6. who made a difference in Halima’s life?  Why do you think that Osman, Mounah and Abdul helped Halima?#

7. Halima talks about the treatment she received when she came to the UK.  How do you react when you meet a refugee?

8. Halima has worked closely with The Aegis Trust and Waging Peace and has talked bravely about her torture.  In what ways have these organisations been able to assist her?

Download this book group activity

You can use HMDT resources to find out more about the Genocide in Darfur

The author has contributed a donation from the sale of each copy sold of this book to The Aegis Trust. If you would like to donate too, please visit The Aegis Trust.