Thursday, 13 November 2014

Strijden voor mijn Land / Feuerherz

Continuing my quest to explore all genres in the library, I found my way to the True Story section. Here’s where you find all the stories of people who fought cancer, had abortions, or learnt to deal with things from shopping addictions to depressions.
At first I was inclined to find a book about some stray animal that had touched the communities’ heart, but as I let myself be guided by the rating, I found something totally different instead.

Strijden voor mijn Land, roughly translated ‘Fighting for my Country’, is Senait Mehari’s story. Born in Eritrea (back when it was still a part of Ethiopia) Senait is juggled between orphanages and family members, experiencing periods of happy childhood, and periods of rather cruel ones. It all goes downhill when an aunt brings her to her father who’d abandoned her mother before Senait was born. He’s violent, and disapproves of Senait’s stubbornness, to the point where he drags her out of the house and almost kills her. The next day he brings her and her two half-sisters to the ELF (Eritrean Liberation Front), where they are recruited.
Senait’s story about the war in Eritrea as a child soldier is shocking. No child should ever experience what she experienced, what she saw, what she was forced to do. I feel like it’s the sort of story everyone should read at least once to understand the suffering in places that are comfortably distant.

That being said, I read on her wiki that Senait is accused of fabricating some of the contents of her book, notably that she served as a child soldier in Eritrea.
I hate this, because this means that one of the two- the accuser or Senait, is being very insensitive. And I can’t tell which one.

I’d advise everyone to read a book like this, to understand the situation in the Middle-East a tiny bit better. But maybe not this one- Maybe one of which everyone’s sure is “correct”.

Until next time,


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