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Shadow on the Mountain: A Yazidi Memoir of Terror, Resistance and Hope

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A powerful and inspiring memoir of a young Yazidi who served as a U.S. combat interpreter but was later forced to flee into the mountains of Iraq to avoid the ISIS slaughter of his people Shaker Jeffrey's life has been an odyssey of courage, cunning, and desperation. His journey began as a fatherless Iraqi farm boy. As a child he hung out with American troops and practiced A powerful and inspiring memoir of a young Yazidi who served as a U.S. combat interpreter but was later forced to flee into the mountains of Iraq to avoid the ISIS slaughter of his people Shaker Jeffrey's life has been an odyssey of courage, cunning, and desperation. His journey began as a fatherless Iraqi farm boy. As a child he hung out with American troops and practiced his English. Soon he was helping gather information about terrorists, becoming one of the youngest combat interpreters to work for the United States government, even attracting the notice of General Petraeus. When he was barely sixteen, ISIS overran his Yazidi community and slaughtered most of its people. He narrowly escaped to the mountains with the remnants of his community. But with incredible daring, he became a valuable go-between, informing the U.S. military of the plight of the trapped Yazidis. Time and again he risked his life, going into enemy territory disguised as an ISIS fighter to mount daring rescue operations. Shaker saved over 1,000 civilians from ISIS, including hundreds of girls forced into sex slavery, although he was unable to save his own fiancée from a terrible fate. Shaker's powerful and inspiring narrative offers a human face to the people and places caught in the crosshairs of a borderless conflict that has come to define our age.


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A powerful and inspiring memoir of a young Yazidi who served as a U.S. combat interpreter but was later forced to flee into the mountains of Iraq to avoid the ISIS slaughter of his people Shaker Jeffrey's life has been an odyssey of courage, cunning, and desperation. His journey began as a fatherless Iraqi farm boy. As a child he hung out with American troops and practiced A powerful and inspiring memoir of a young Yazidi who served as a U.S. combat interpreter but was later forced to flee into the mountains of Iraq to avoid the ISIS slaughter of his people Shaker Jeffrey's life has been an odyssey of courage, cunning, and desperation. His journey began as a fatherless Iraqi farm boy. As a child he hung out with American troops and practiced his English. Soon he was helping gather information about terrorists, becoming one of the youngest combat interpreters to work for the United States government, even attracting the notice of General Petraeus. When he was barely sixteen, ISIS overran his Yazidi community and slaughtered most of its people. He narrowly escaped to the mountains with the remnants of his community. But with incredible daring, he became a valuable go-between, informing the U.S. military of the plight of the trapped Yazidis. Time and again he risked his life, going into enemy territory disguised as an ISIS fighter to mount daring rescue operations. Shaker saved over 1,000 civilians from ISIS, including hundreds of girls forced into sex slavery, although he was unable to save his own fiancée from a terrible fate. Shaker's powerful and inspiring narrative offers a human face to the people and places caught in the crosshairs of a borderless conflict that has come to define our age.

46 review for Shadow on the Mountain: A Yazidi Memoir of Terror, Resistance and Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vicki H

    Powerful story of persecuted Yazidi population terrorized by ISIS.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Wow. What a hero. Just an amazing story about a group of people we don't hear enough about. Absolutely harrowing. Wow. What a hero. Just an amazing story about a group of people we don't hear enough about. Absolutely harrowing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    C Kennedy

    When I was first told I had to read this book, I’ll admit, I didn’t want to. The topic is important, but I feared how traumatic it would be. I am so happy my friend convinced me to read it― honestly, this is so gripping and so beautifully written, that I read it in two days straight. This book is an epic that reads like fiction, drawing you into the lives of the Shaker and his family and friends, his special forces team and the people he rallied to save, as you travel through time from his boyho When I was first told I had to read this book, I’ll admit, I didn’t want to. The topic is important, but I feared how traumatic it would be. I am so happy my friend convinced me to read it― honestly, this is so gripping and so beautifully written, that I read it in two days straight. This book is an epic that reads like fiction, drawing you into the lives of the Shaker and his family and friends, his special forces team and the people he rallied to save, as you travel through time from his boyhood, to his time serving with the US Military, through the genocide and all of the rescue operations afterwards. The tragedy is immense, but so too is the heroism, the love story and ultimately the uplifting and redemptive ending. I hope everyone reads this book ― I just can’t imagine it not being a best seller. Don’t get to the end of this review without adding it to your reading list. You’ll thank me when you’re done. Spectacular!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Desmond Howard

    Ok… that was a two day non stop roller coaster ride. I’m sure others will write very long synopsis, and frankly don’t read them ― you’ll spoil the ride. I’ll keep this simple ― make this your very next book. Epic, mesmerizing, educational, poetic. My favourite read in a good while….

  5. 5 out of 5

    PottWab Regional Library

    O

  6. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Brent

    What a cinematic read… this book is stunningly good. Shaker starts out a poor farm boy, raising crops in a society of pacifists, becomes incredibly close to the US Special forces that he interprets for in Iraq, and then finds those brothers in arms back at his side (virtually) after the war, as we learn about the rise of ISIS from the ashes of the Iraqi intelligence and special forces, and how they target Shaker's people for extermination after the US withdrawl. Shaker is a hero of promethian pr What a cinematic read… this book is stunningly good. Shaker starts out a poor farm boy, raising crops in a society of pacifists, becomes incredibly close to the US Special forces that he interprets for in Iraq, and then finds those brothers in arms back at his side (virtually) after the war, as we learn about the rise of ISIS from the ashes of the Iraqi intelligence and special forces, and how they target Shaker's people for extermination after the US withdrawl. Shaker is a hero of promethian proportions, saving so many, and continuing through this day. I couldn't believe the scale of ISIS infiltration of Europe, that Shakers humanitarian work has given him visibility to - and the fact that European governments seem to being nothing with this valuable intel. It feels to me like 50 years of terrorist cells, some not even bothering to hide ― shopping in local markets, and even tormenting their former slaves. The writing in this book is exquisite - I never expect to get that with this genre of book. I was so glad there was such a hopeful ending, and so many instances of regular people standing up to evil and making a very real difference - from his former special forces teams to a woman who funds rescue work with her Botox clinic! In dark times, it's amazing to be reminded of just how much good is still out there. I really can not recommend this book highly enough.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Schellenberg

    Was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this. Absolutely incredible. Shakers story is as heroic and inspiring as it is devastating - saving so many lives in the face of such horror. It’s a modern day Schindler’s List. Holstein - who’s “a different kind of daughter” I absolutely loved, seems to have invented a new category of writing, for the spellbinding story telling, gorgeous language and thrilling pacing she brings to non fiction writing. You simply can’t put her books down, as with great Was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this. Absolutely incredible. Shakers story is as heroic and inspiring as it is devastating - saving so many lives in the face of such horror. It’s a modern day Schindler’s List. Holstein - who’s “a different kind of daughter” I absolutely loved, seems to have invented a new category of writing, for the spellbinding story telling, gorgeous language and thrilling pacing she brings to non fiction writing. You simply can’t put her books down, as with great fiction, and yet these are true stories, with accessesable and fascinating history that so expertly illuminates the forces in the Middle East, and the choices the west made, that gave us the taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS. Reading this book, I understood intimately the consequences of withdrawal from Syria, why there would be escalation with the killing of Soleimani, and how the west continues to find themselves in quagmires, because they simply don’t understand the history of their foes, nor what motivates them (though General Pataues certainly seemed to be the rare exception. I simply can’t recommend this book enough. Epic, thrilling, so important - finally the story the Yadi have deserved to tell their story- and leaving the reader with hope and inspiration. Amazing!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Virginia4babies

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tarek Ammar

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Michaelson

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amin

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah

  13. 5 out of 5

    doris macdonald

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Caldwell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  17. 5 out of 5

    Allison Champion

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol Simard

  20. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  21. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt Revord

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patty Smith

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sirwan ALI

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Victoria (RedsCat)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marleah

  31. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  33. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Mozier-Tichy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Kundel-Gower

  35. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Briggs

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jared Wagner

  37. 5 out of 5

    Mary Anna Rykwalder

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn H

  39. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  40. 5 out of 5

    Erin Moore

  41. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  42. 5 out of 5

    Isaia

  43. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Gines

  44. 4 out of 5

    Fernanda Vilela

  45. 4 out of 5

    Shaunterria

  46. 4 out of 5

    Heather Balser

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