Author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).
Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone in 1980, was only eleven when the country broke out into a brutal civil war. At thirteen, Ishmael’s parents and two brothers were killed, and he was recruited to fight as a child soldier. After two long and violent years, UNICEF removed him from the army and placed him in a rehabilitation home in the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown. Ishmael completed the rehabilitation program in 1996 and subsequently won a competition to attend a conference at the United Nations to speak out about his traumatic experience. In 1997, Freetown was overrun by armed forces and Ishmael fled to New York to live in a foster home. He graduated from high school at the United Nations International School and went on to Oberlin College in Ohio.
Now twenty-six years old, Ishmael is the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, in which he documents his incredible journey. Ishmael has continued his advocacy work to raise awareness about the plight of children affected by war around the world, speaking for Human Rights Watch, United Nations Secretary General’s Office for Children and Armed Conflict, and at the United Nations General Assembly, where he served on a UN panel with former Secretary General Kofi Annan. A member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Committee, Ishmael is now an Ambassador for UNICEF.
rfkcenter: Great article! RT @seanjcoughlan Human-rights training centre opens in Florence, teaching digital activists. http://t.co/JlUdA65A8T
rfkcenter: Archbishop Emeritus, Most Rev Michael Kpakala Francis gave refuge to the war weary & hope to a nation http://t.co/yNoauQdBq9 #liberia
rfkcenter: Archbishop Francis was a man of extraordinary courage using the pulpit to criticize the abuses of Liberia’s dictators http://t.co/yNoauQdBq9
rfkcenter: Statement on the Passing of 1999 RFK #HumanRights Award Laureate Archbishop Francis http://t.co/yNoauQdBq9 #RFKawards #liberia #monrovia