Tears of the Desert – Halima Bashir and Damien Lewis

‘Use a slave to kill a slave’
A Sudanese proverb

I watched the khawajat wander through the market-place. Their skin was so white it looked like butter, and I wonder if it melted in the sun.

‘Darfur. I know to you this must be a word soaked in suffering and blood. A name that conjures up terrible images of a dark horror and an evil without end. Pain and cruelty on a magnitude inconceivable in most of the civilised world. But to me Darfur means something quite different: it was and is irreplaceable, unfathomable joy that is home.’

People used to say that Grandma could never get plump. She was too ‘hot’ and angry, and this would burn up any food that she had eaten.

In Zaghawa culture, there was nothing worse that the thought that your daughter might fail to find, or keep, her own Zaghawa man.

Eating alone was considered a sin, and it was as bad if not worse than living alone. And it was better to be dead than to be bereft of one’s family.

A man with only one wife might be laughed at by his friends: they’d say he was like a man with only one eye.


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