Monday, February 12, 2018

The Beekeeper by Dunya Mikhail

The Beekeeper
Saving the Stolen Women of Iraq
by Dunya Mikhail

My rating: 5 stars

Publisher: New Directions; 1 edition (March 27, 2018)
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Genre: Non-Fiction
Print Length: 240 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Since 2014, Daesh (ISIS) has been brutalizing the Yazidi people of northern Iraq: sowing destruction, killing those who won’t convert to Islam, and enslaving young girls and women.

The Beekeeper, by the acclaimed poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail, tells the harrowing stories of several women who managed to escape the clutches of Daesh. Mikhail extensively interviews these women—who’ve lost their families and loved ones, who’ve been sexually abused, psychologically tortured, and forced to manufacture chemical weapons—and as their tales unfold, an unlikely hero emerges: a beekeeper, who uses his knowledge of the local terrain, along with a wide network of transporters, helpers, and former cigarette smugglers, to bring these women, one by one, through the war-torn landscapes of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, back into safety.

In the face of inhuman suffering, this powerful work of nonfiction offers a counterpoint to Daesh’s genocidal extremism: hope, as ordinary people risk their own lives to save those of others. 

The Beekeeper: Saving the Stolen Women of Iraq
by Dunya Mikhail

The Beekeeper: Saving the Stolen Women of IraqIt has all of the ingredients of a fictional best seller, violence, good versus evil, innocents caught in the Hell of oppression, an unsung, underground group of heroes risking their lives for others. There is intrigue, action, horrific scenes as vivid as “reality.” Most importantly, it has hope, because we need to feel hope and to walk away feeling good. Readers would be clambering to purchase and devour THE BEEKEEPER by Dunya Mikhail.

Sadly, THE BEEKEEPER is NOT fiction. It IS reality, it is heinous, unthinkable and it is happening now. Dunya Mikhail is the vehicle for the traumatized survivors of physical torture, rape, and dehumanization to tell their stories in their own words. Yes, there are heroes who risk and often lose their lives for justice and for humanity.

The women of Northern Iraq have been murdered and brutalized by Daesh (ISIS), supposedly in the name of religion. Their families are gone, their bodies used and abused, sold as slaves, raped, humiliated and those who have escaped have risked themselves again to tell their stories. They tell of being spirited away to freedom by their countrymen who still cling to honor, who resist the clutches of a twisted terrorist group.

There IS a beekeeper, a man who has risked everything to free these women and children, but he is also a legion of brave rebels, who are part of the pipeline to freedom.

This is NOT a book to overlook because it is NON-fiction! If you want heroes, they are here, larger than life. Do you want survivors? Looking for bravery beyond what can be humanly expected? This is gut-wrenching reality, this is the ugly side of life we know exists, but are safely only peripheral bystanders. This is a must read, and if this book makes even one person take action, then it has not been written in vain.

This cannot be unread or forgotten. This is horror at its worst and can we afford to sit back because it is happening 'somewhere else?"

I received a complimentary ARC edition from New Directions! My review is voluntary.

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