Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt on being the daughter of a Peacekeeper
By Gordon Lambie
In some ways, Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt’s new memoir, Peacekeeper’s Daughter, is a lifelong work.
“I have been working on this book for 20 years,” said the author. “I started right after September 11, when the US administration declared war on terrorism because I realized I had a story to tell.
In this case, this story revolves around Bellehumeur-Allatt’s experiences as a 12-year-old girl living for a year first in Israel and then in Lebanon while her father worked as a peacekeeper in the Middle East for the United Nations. . Although parts of the experience have been shared in the past as stand-alone essays, this book marks the first time that they are brought together in chronological order.
Bellehumeur-Allatt grew up in a military family, moving from place to place as his father was given various assignments.
“It was while we were living in Yellowknife that my father volunteered with the United Nations to be a peacekeeper and serve in the Middle East,” she said, explaining that in early 1982 , the area was in a state of relative peace so the idea seemed like an adventure and a good change of life in the north. “We didn’t see it as a dangerous thing,” she added.
In June of this year, however, the calm in the region collapsed as Israel invaded southern Lebanon and Bellehumeur-Allatt saw his life change in ways that have been with it ever since.
“My book is about the five months we spent in Israel and the seven months we spent in Lebanon,” she said. “It was a difficult time for me. My childhood ended when the war started.