Blood Moon over Aceh the English language translation by Maya Denisa Saputra of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur (Penerbit Universitas Sanata Dharma 2018 ISBN 978-602-5607-43-1).
The story is set between 1989 and 2002 in Alue Rambe, an isolated agricultural village south of Lhokseumawe City, in Aceh, Indonesia. Born in 1976, into a famer’s family, Nazir’s life becomes a part of Aceh’s dark, rebellious history that recounts the injustice the Soeharto government imposed on the Acehnese.
Arkam, Nazir’s uncle, is a high-ranking officer in the resistance movement. He recruits villagers to join the rebellion and fight the military troops sent by the Jakarta government to put an end to the revolt. Arkam persuades Ayah, Nazir’s father, to accept the position of district chief for the rebellion.
When Arkam attacks the military base in Krueng Tuan on September 26, 1989, and in Buloh Blang Ara on May 28, 1990, an enraged army takes revenge on the rebels’ attack. Arkam is captured and killed after visiting his dying mother.
Nazir, still in middle school at that time, can only witness the predicament the people around him experience. His sister’s rape and Ayah’s murder by soldiers fuels Nazir’s hatred towards the military.
After Ayah death, Nazir becomes the head of the family. He works in the fields while finishing high school. Meanwhile, the fights between the government’s army and the rebels continue, and the Acehnese population is subjected to unimaginable cruelties and injustices.
Trapped in the bad situation, Nazir yearns for tranquility and peace. He decides to join the rebels — not to overtake the government, but rather to put an end to the brutality of the soldiers aimed at the Acehnese.
After living in the grip of war for twenty-five years, the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA), which was signed on December 9, 2002, brings the people of Aceh much needed relief. During this hopeful time, Nazir marries the girl next door.