As tenant farmers, Mr. Saleh and his 8 siblings had grown up in a small mud hut with no electricity. Having worked the fields after school each day until the sun went down, he would then have dinner and study by an oil lamp until late in the night. All was right with the world. In 2012, Mr. Saleh left his village for the first time to attend college. If someone had said he would soon embark upon a very different long and difficult journey, he would have summarily dismissed the idea.
However, in August 2014, an evil force entered his small world and destroyed not only all Yazidi families but their entire villages as well. ISIS had arrived. Eventually, his family was able to make their way to the relative safety of Kurdistan. They were settled into one tent with intermittent electricity for about 6 hours a day and no running water. This was also Dawood’s home on holidays and summers and, yet, he managed to complete his college degree.
Mr. Saleh managed to keep writing in his spare time. He had to keep silent in while he was in Iraq because if he wrote the truth, he would be subject to arrest. Only by good fortune was he able to escape alone to America. He has now been living in America since July 2016 and already has published his first book about the Yazidis, Walking Alone.
On August 3, 2014, Islamic State terrorists attacked peaceful Christian and Yazidi communities. More than 350000 Yazidis were living in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq. What followed was a genocide against Yazidis in which an estimated 3,750 men were killed. More than 7,750 women and children were taken captive, many to be sold as sex slaves. (Approximately 3,000 are still being held captive by ISIS.) Others escaped by fleeing to Mount Sinjar, only to die of thirst or starvation. As mass graves continue to be discovered, it seems unlikely that an accurate count of the victims of this genocide will ever be known. Now living in the USA, a Yazidi survivor of ISIS atrocities tells the story through lyric poetry. A portion of the proceeds from this book will be used to help other survivors, many of whom still live under deplorable conditions in displaced person camps. Walking Alone is available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1549864440/ref=rdr_ext_tmb.
By Lisa S. on October 25, 2017
“Walking Alone” takes you on an intimate journey with the young Yazidi author as he struggles to survive and comprehend Isis’s genocidal attack on his ancient, peaceful people. Through his eyes, you experience a spectrum of emotions, beautifully and intensely expressed through his vivid, evocative prose. His voice raw with truth, his words grip you, pulling you into his world of fear, anger, despair, longing, loss, love and hope. A passionate and deeply moving book of poetry, “Walking Alone” stirs the heart and captivates the soul. Highly recommend."
By Amazon Customer on October 27, 2017
"Dawood Saleh's book of poetry exemplifies the artistic spirit of the Yazidi people who were targeted by ISIS for destruction. Walking Alone In 2014, ISIS began committing genocide against the Yazidis and committed grave atrocities against them. The pain of this experience is captured in Dawood's poems. In beautifully crafted lines, Dawood expresses the anguish and abandonment of a persecuted, ancient religious and ethnic minority who have suffered compounded cruelty at the hands of ISIS and warring factions in Iraq and Syria. Dawood captures these scenes vividly as Yazidis fled for their lives in Sinjar, Iraq. Endless days of war over which the Yazidi people have no control are expressed in a young man trying to flee along with his family. Original Yazidi artwork capturing scenes of suffering on the faces of the Yazidi people, including Nadia Murad, a well-known, international Yazidi human rights activist, add particular impact to this beautiful book. I recommend purchasing the hard copy due to the original artwork and pictures by other Yazidi artists who supported Dawood."
By scrivener44 on October 15, 2017
"I appreciate good poetry, and I love this book. Great tragedy and deprivation have given this young author insight beyond his years. This book touched my heart. I shuddered at the atrocities. I wept for the author and for his people. I smiled at the warm family moments. My arms ached to hold and comfort the innocent children. I highly recommend Walking Alone."
ByRianneon October 29, 2017
Thanks for telling your story through poetry. It was really inspiring and I'm glad I got the opportunity to read it.
I don't normally read poetry, but I recommend everyone who also doesn't make an exception and check this out.
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