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← Ishmael Beah : World Humanitarian Day 2012


Showing Revision 2 created 08/23/2012 by Claude Almansi.

  1. (the ex-child soldier
    ishmael beah)
  2. [Ishamael Beah] And when the war started I was a little boy.
  3. Um... and the war reached my part of the country
  4. and it disrupted everything that I knew as a kid.
  5. I was separated from my family, running constantly for my life.
  6. During that time my immediate family was killed in the war,
  7. so my Mother, Father and two brothers were killed.
  8. I was the second born in a family of three.
  9. [Anderson Cooper] How old were you?
  10. [Beah] At this, at this point I was 12 years old, when...
  11. [Cooper] 12 years old?
  12. [Beah] Yes,
  13. between 12 and 13 and then I ended up going to a military base actually looking for safety.
  14. And it was at this military base, with the Sierra Leone Armed forces, that I was actually forced to be a soldier.
  15. Trained at the age of 13 how to fight in the middle of war.
  16. Trained for a week and then war became my life.
  17. I became a soldier for close to 3 years.
  18. [Cooper] For you, what does World Humanitarian Day mean?
  19. [Beah] Well, for me it means, I think, its just reaffirming the faith in everyone in the world,
  20. that we have a responsibility to help each other if we live in this world.
  21. We must live our lives for other people not just for ourselves.
  22. The reason why I'm possible,
  23. is because somebody decided one day that they would do something for somebody else.
  24. The UNICEF worker who went to the bush to negotiate with the warlord that they did not like.
  25. The person who worked at the rehabilitation center.
  26. The woman in New York who decided to adopt a former child soldier
  27. who everybody thought was only capable of violence.
  28. So all of these moments when people stop to do something very simple for somebody
  29. changed my life completely, and made me possible.
  30. So for me this is, this is what I look at this day for.
  31. [Cooper] And you're passing it along to others.
  32. [Beah] Yes, certainly. [Applause]
    [Cooper] Right, thank you.
  33. (I Was Here - World Humanitarian Day August 19