The man who was a boy soldier

Talk Wednesday 30th May, 2007

A former child soldier in Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah talks about his harrowing experience.

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop?  Ishmael Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve in Sierra Leone, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found he was capable of truly terrible acts.
Ishmael Beah came to the United States when he was seventeen and graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations on several occasions. He lives in New York City.

He is the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. 

Sorius Samura is a journalist & filmmaker.