The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

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UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Child Soldier

I have to admit as Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of Boy Soldier, spoke I was both shaken and moved. What he spoke of was so foreign to anything I have seen or felt as a middle class Canadian. I don’t think I romanticize violence or war, but I know that I have the luxury to see it as entertainment through the TV shows I watch and the movies I see. I don’t exactly know how easily I will consume it now.

Before seeing this interview on The Hour I was aware of child soldiers. I have read the news stories about Africa’s “lost boys’. I have seen them on Oprah. But this interview touched me in a different way than previous exposures to this topic, to these individuals. I think that is perhaps due to the pacing of the interview. It did not feel rushed or forced. There were no platitudes, no hyperbole. Some might argue otherwise, but I think George’s sincerity and sensitivity helped make this so.

Of course, Ishmael's eloquence and composure was influential as well. It amazed me to see such candor and strength from someone who had lived through such destruction, been so vulnerable, and experienced such manipulation. I was mesmerized by his presence, drawn into his story. He was a very articulate speaker so I expect that the book will be just as engaging, just as thoughtful, and just as painful. I am definitely getting myself a copy.

5 comments:

Angie said...

I missed a lot of the interview so I'm going to rewatch it at some point. I have no idea where people get the strength to survive situations like that. I've talked about war with my Grandpa but not that kind of war. Like you said it's not something I can imagine.. that's why it's so important for people like Ishmael to tell their stories.

Barbara said...

I was looking foward to hearing his story to gain more understanding about what those children go through. I have read articles about the subject but not from this point of view. I thank The Hour for putting the spotlight on it.

Erin said...

When I watched the interview, I kept trying to figure out how old he is now. He still seems so young. I think I'm probably the same age as Ishmael - and it really hit home how fortunate I really am to grow up and have the lifestyle I do because I will never share his experiences.

Definitely on my list of books to read.

shantanu dutta said...

I always knew that ther were child soldiers in Africa, but wht horrified them that they exist in India --- albeit a part of the underground movement fighting against the state

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