Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

War Child is a documentary about the once-Sudanese child soldier, Emmanuel Jal, who is now settled in London and is a hip-hop artist. He fought in several battles until he was smuggled to Kenya by Emma McCune and sent to school there.
Emmanuel Jal tells his story, often in flashbacks, as the civil war broke out to his success as a musician. He doesn’t say much about his experiences as a child soldier, but provides moving flashbacks about his difficult relationship with his father, who left him to join the SPLA and never checked on him when he was among the survivors of a boat accident. This is shown on the most moving part of the documentary, which is when Emmanuel travels back to his home village to meet his family. I think War Child was a very good film because Emmanuel is very articulate and the film included rare footage of Emmanuel as a child. I didn’t enjoy his music, but I think it was very suitable as background music for the film.

my rating: 3.5 out of 5
check out his book, War Child


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In the book Escape from Slavery, Francis Bok tells the story of his abduction from his Dinka village by militiamen and his 10-year enslavement. As a slave, he had to do hard labor, eat rotten food, and get frequently beaten by his owner, Giema Abdullah, and his children, in addition to receiving death threats from Giema Abdullah’s angry wife.

I find Escape from Slavery a deeply poignant and insightful look at modern slavery. It is not complicated nor is it too long. Francis Bok also talks about how he manages to escape through Cairo and Khartoum, Sudan after a couple of unsuccessful trials. Not only is Francis Bok a witness to modern slavery, but he is also a nation-wide speaker who travels all over the country to educate people and urge them to take action. He had accomplished great achievements, including meeting the United States President and bearing the torch at the 2002 Winter Olympics. A fascinating collection of pictures are available in the middle of the book.

I highly recommend this deeply captivating and insightful book.
This book is also great for educating middle – and –high school students.

buy at Amazon

Read a one-page summary about Francis Bok

Escape from Slavery lesson plan (highly recommended)


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What is the What, an autobiographical novel, tells the story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Valentino Achak Deng, who had to walk from his attacked through Ethiopia to Kenya.

The novel begins with Valentino in the United States, as he is attacked by two thugs. He starts remembering his childhood at the Sudanese village where he was born and the day militiamen started attacking his village and its people. The book then continues, between flashbacks, with Valentino narrating his journey to Ethiopia then to Kenya, where he was attacked by armies and wild animals and stricken by hunger, and also his life after he is settled in United States.

I think this is an excellent and thoughtful book, one of the best portrayals about Lost Boys in Sudan. Not only does it include the politics of Sudan in an interesting way for the reader, but it also includes a personal story. Dave Egger’s witty and cleverly humorous writing made me eager to continue reading this book.

The tone of the book is not boastful or offensive, but very creative, making the reader have sympathy for the main character.

Another important aspect in this book is portraying the Valentino’s life in the United States. Even though he is now settled, he still misses his village and is faced with myriad new challenges.

This is an enlightening book which everybody will enjoy, one that you’ll want to read more than once.

note: I haven’t gotten into detail in this review because I’ve read it almost a month ago, so I just wrote what I remember; sorry about that!

website to check out:

http://www.valentinoachakdeng.org/ (Valentino Achack Foundation)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/24/books/review/Prose.t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=what%20is%20the%20what&st=cse (What is the What New York Times book review)

http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/dave_eggers.html (Dave Egger’s website)

buy What is the What at amazon

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