There was a war in Sierra Leone, Africa, from 1991 to 2002 where a rebel army stormed through African villages amputating and raping citizens left and right (“Sierra Leone Profile”). Adebunmi Savage, a former citizen of Sierra Leone, describes the reality of this civil war: In 1996 the war in Sierra Leone was becoming a horrific catastrophe. Children were recruited to be soldiers, families were murdered, death came easily, and staying alive was a privilege. Torture became the favorite pastime of the Revolutionary United Front rebel movement, which was against the citizens who supported Sierra Leone’s president, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. I was in the grips of genocide and there was nothing I could do.
Operation No Living Thing was put into full effect (Savage 33). The R.U.F., however, was not alone in servicing children as their own messengers of evil, the military group countering their acts of violence also had children fighting their battles. A Long Way Gone and The Bite of the Mango are eye-opening books because they give various people all over the world a glimpse into the horrors kids in Africa were facing on a daily basis.
However different Mariatu Kamara and Ishmael Beah’s experiences were regarding their journeys and disabilities, they both exhibited the same extraordinary resilience in the end to better themselves, create futures they could be proud of, and make the best with what the war left them. Kamara and Beah’s journeys were notably different, starting with their vantage points are early involvement in the war. They both grew up in traditional African villages and were traveling home from neighboring villages when they first encountered rebels. They both also knew about the threat of the rebels, Kamara’s village was u. .y had endured.
It’s inspiring that two children who have been to hell and back can remain positive and still become successful young adults. Their disabilities have made them stronger, more determined people. Mariatu Kamara and Ishmael Beah’s stories show that no matter how hard life can get, no matter how hard or how many times life knocks one down, he or she can always pick him or herself up and turn their life around for the better. Works CitedBeah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2007.
Print.Kamara, Mariatu and Susan McClelland. The Bite of the Mango. New York: Annick Press Limited, 2008. Print. Massland, Tom.
“We Beat and Killed People…” Newsweek. 13 May 2002: 24. Print. Savage, Adebunmi. “ Escaping Civil War.” TeenInk.
1 May 2008: 33. Print. “Sierra Leone Profile.” BBC News: Africa. BBC. 18 June 2013.
Web. 11 November 2013.