SOUTH Sudanese physiotherapist, Alma Ettore (56) from Sale Moor, has written her first novel, Daughters of Zion.

It’s about a 17-year-old girl who is gang raped during the civil war.

Her mother forces her into an unhappy marriage and her three-year-old son dies, but, eventually, after much trauma, she finds happiness with a South Sudanese Canadian doctor.

Although the war started in 1983, Alma, her husband, Martin, a pharmacist and their two small children lived happily in Juba.

“The government gave us a massive pay rise. We were building our own house.”

Martin went to study at Manchester University in 1989 leaving his family alone.

“What happened next was terrible,” said Alma “I never thought I would live to tell the tale. We were shelled by the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudanese army, who occupied our town, refused to protect us.

“Our new house, which was almost finished, was destroyed and people looted what was left.

“Sharia law meant anyone could accuse you, imprison you and cut off your right hand and left foot even though, like us, you were Christian.”

The family survived and rejoined Martin in Manchester in 1990.

During the subsequent famine, mentioned in her book, women sold their children as slaves just so they could eat.

“My message is that war is a bad thing,” said Alma *Daughters of Zion, published by Authorhouse, costs £12.95 and less on Amazon. Buy it direct from Alma at for just £10. Proceeds to charity.

Alma will sign copies at Hulme Hall Community Centre, Hulme at 2 pm on May 12.