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Season 2007 Episode 0223

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

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Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
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Ishmael Beah introduces A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier.You will never forget Ishmael Beah and his heart-breaking, gripping story of a child's journey through hell. There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Beah used to be one of them. He is the first to tell his story in his own words. What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does he become a killer? How does he stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have imagined their lives. Until now, there hasn't been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived to tell the tale. In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah relates fleeing attacking rebels, wandering a land rendered unrecognizable by violence, being picked up by the government army, and finding that he was capable of truly terrible acts. After three years as a soldier, a truck pulled into the army base and Ishmael and other young soldiers were released by their commander to UNICEF workers. Sent to a rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to convince the world of civilians who viewed him with fear and suspicion. It is, at last, a story of redemption. Beah, now 25, came to the US when he was seventeen, and graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. He is a member of Human Rights Watch Children's Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations on several occasions. He lives in New York City - Cody's Booksmoreless
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