The flapping of wings is not usually something that instils fear. Unless you live in Darfur. There, when a flock of birds suddenly takes flight, it is usually a sign that an attack is coming.
Much has been written about the atrocities unfolding in this corner of western Sudan – the ethnic cleansing, the machete massacres, the gang rapes. No one mentions the birds. No one mentions how the grieving mothers and wives suffer the added indignity of not being able to wear their traditional white mourning robes because they make them more visible to the bombers. No one, that is, before Daoud Hari.
His debut book, The Translator, published in Britain today, is the first written about the Darfur crisis by one of its native sons.