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.
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Shakespeare would have enjoyed the poetry of Dunya Mikhail, who has spoken of love as a response to a war-torn world-an aesthetic, a value, and a practice.--Elizabeth Toohey
The Beekeeper is a brutally important, electrifying, and lyrical true story.--Paige Van de Winkle
A searing portrait of courage.
Iraqi journalist and poet Mikhail lays bare the agonizing experiences of the Yazidi people at the hands of ISIS in this visceral account of the outskirts of modern day Iraq. In 2014, ISIS began invading villages of northern Iraq, killing most of the men and enslaving the women and children. Much of Mikhail's account is made up of first-person testimonies of several survivors who speak of being repeatedly raped, sold to the highest bidder, and tortured. They recall losing their families and witnessing their children, raised by ISIS supporters, becoming "a distorted version" of who they once were. Mikhail also homes in on the rescue efforts of a man named Abdullah, a local beekeeper who used his knowledge of the region and the money he made selling honey in Iraq and Syria to cultivate a "hive of transporters and smugglers" to save women; he subsequently connected Mikhail to several survivors. Powerful and heartbreaking, this work lets the survivors tell their stories and highlights the courage of those risking their lives to rescue others.-- (02/19/2018)
Dunya Mikhail, award-winning poet, has gathered first-person stories from those who survived [an] unthinkable ordeal, as well as those who worked tirelessly to rescue them. We should all read it.-- (07/31/2018)
This remarkable book tells of one man's attempts to fight back and to rescue his people from a life of horror. In the hands of Dunya Mikhail, an Iraqi Assyrian poet, the stories of these women and their escape, with Abdullah's help, become a horrifying tightrope walk. Abdullah's story is a remarkable one, and it is told with great intensity by Mikhail.-- (08/05/2018)
Haunting and captivating--a powerful portrait of courage.
Mikhail's harrowing account of the horrors inflicted on women captured by Isis...A powerful reminder.