Monday, June 25, 2007
Ishmael Beah (b. 1980 in Sierra Leone) is the author of the memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007). In 1991, a civil war overtook Sierra Leone. His parents and two brothers were killed; at the age of 13, he was pressed into service as a child soldier. He fought for almost three years before being rescued by UNICEF. In 1998, Beah fled Sierra Leone to New York City and lived in a foster home. In New York City, Beah attended the United Nations International School. After high school, he attended Oberlin College, graduating in 2004 with a degree in Politics.
Beah currently works for the Human Rights Watch Children’s Division Advisory Committee, lives in Brooklyn, and is considering attending graduate school. He will be the keynote speaker to the Global Young Leaders Conference 2007 in July.