Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Long Way Gone! - A Book

Several weeks ago, I went to my local Starbucks coffee shop. While I was waiting to be served, a big green poster with a skinny African boy carrying a stick on his back stood out so prominently right in front of my face and a stack of five or six books similarly displayed on the rack. I picked up the book and read it.

This is a story about a child soldier from Sierra Leone, a country of five million located in west Africa. During the early1990s, the entire country was plunged into bloody civil war. Rebel (Revolution United Front) battled against Government claiming they were fighting for the people, yet RUF as well as government army raided from village to village, burning houses, raping and killing numerous civilians. Ishmael was like one of many thousands of children, family were destroyed and they were forced into joining either army or RUF for survival.

At the time, Ishmael was just an innocent thirteen year old boy from a small village got caught in the nation's whirlwind of internal strife. Fate had dealt with him a rather traumatic experience, and this atrocity was appallingly shared almost by entire country. In the midst of reading the book, I started to realize and appreciate how fortunate that we live in a free country that we do not live in constant fear and near starvation.

As fate reared its ugly face while he was growing up, the good Karma seemed to catch up with him in the end. He was able to move to US by 1998, later on finished his schooling and graduated from college.

This book was very well written and easy to read, a book that will inspire in us the appreciation of how precious our way of life is. Some of our brothers and sisters in other part of the world weren't that lucky.

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