No Stranger To Kindness
For every act of cruelty, available next to it, is the antidote of humanity.
Acclaimed humanitarian Mukesh Kapila has lived eye-to-eye with the very worst conditions human beings can endure. He's faced cataclysmic natural disasters - lakes in Cameroon vomiting clouds of toxic gas, and the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami - as well as global medical emergencies and disease pandemics - the AIDS crisis in Malawi and Ebola in Sierra Leone.
He has witnessed first-hand the savageries of war and protracted conflict - while airlifting aid to the besieged civilians of Sarajevo under sniper fire, and working with the survivors of civil war in Bangladesh. At times he was obliged to 'dine with the devil', while striving to bring hope to some of the world's most desperate and vulnerable people. He's taken tea with the Taliban in Afghanistan while passionately arguing for women's health, and shaken hands with North Korea's dictators to shame them to get food to the starving.
Kapila has also borne witness to the very worst evil mankind is capable of: genocide. A direct descendent from survivors of the genocidal violence of Indian Partition in 1947, Kapila was first on the scene after the terrible Rwandan genocide in 1994. Having plumbed the depths of human savagery and evil, he vowed then: "not on my watch".
But a decade later, as head of the United Nations in Sudan, he was forced to confront the first genocide of the twenty-first century, becoming the high-level whistleblower who exposed that nation's government for masterminding the mass-murder of their own citizens, in Darfur.
No Stranger To Kindness asks the question: when faced with a tide of evil, what gives human beings the strength to keep going and to extend the balm of human kindness, despite everything?
While focusing on heart-warming individual works of compassion and healing that Kapila has encountered throughout his long and challenging career, No Stranger to Kindness also takes the reader deep into the workings of the world's foremost humanitarian bodies in which he held high positions - the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the International Red Cross Red Crescent - to conclude that it is not the institutions that matter as much as the human hearts inside them.
An uplifting and optimistic counterblast to Kapila's first book, Against a Tide of Evil, which documented his experience of genocide in Sudan, No Stranger to Kindness chronicles his wider life driven by the simple human desire to help. It shows how acts of kindness from one person to another - often between complete strangers - can change the world, even in the gravest of circumstances.
Against A Tide Of Evil
How one man became the whistleblower to the first mass murder of the twenty-first century.
In this no-holds-barred account, the former head of the United Nations in Sudan reveals for the first time the shocking depths of evil plumbed by those who designed and orchestrated 'the final solution in Darfur' and why so many good men stood by and did nothing.
A witness to earlier genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica, and a veteran of wars and humanitarian crises in Bangladesh, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, Dr Mukesh Kapila arrived in Khartoum in March 2003 having made a promise to himself that if he were ever in a position to stop mass-killers, they would never triumph on his watch.
His resolve was immediately tested as he began learning of atrocities in a part of the country few had ever heard of: Darfur. The insider who blew the whistle and first brought Darfur to the world's attention shares his story in Against a Tide of Evil.
Kapila's story reads like a knife-edge international thriller as he risks all to use the powers at his disposal to bring to justice those responsible for the first mass murder of the twenty-first century: the Darfur genocide.
He had to pay a heavy personal price for standing up against powerful vested interests. But unwavering in his commitment, he pushed to get the United Nations Security Council to eventually act, and the International Criminal Court to investigate and indict the then President of Sudan for genocide and crimes against humanity.
Against a Tide of Evil is Kapila's strident and passionate cri de coeur. It is the deeply personal account of one man driven to extreme action by the unwillingness of those in power to stop mass slaughter.
The book explores what empowers a man like Dr. Kapila to stand up and be counted, and to act almost alone in the face of global indifference and venality. He is the winner of the "I Witness Award" for human rights, the Dr Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award for "moral courage, personal integrity, and passion", and has been recognised by a special California Legislature resolution "for a lifetime of achievements and meritorious service to humanity".
Against a Tide of Evil was shortlisted for the Crime Writer's Association Best Non-Fiction award in 2013.
© 2019 - Mukesh Kapila. All rights reserved.