In “A Long Way Gone” how old is Beah when the Sierra Leone civil war begins?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In "A Long Way Gone," Ishmael Beah is 12 years old when the Sierra Leone civil war begins. The book chronicles his experiences during the war, including being forced to become a child soldier. Beah's story is a powerful account of the devastation that war can bring to individuals and communities. Through his writing, Beah sheds light on the atrocities committed during the conflict and the long-lasting effects it had on those who survived.
Detailed answer:

In "A Long Way Gone," Ishmael Beah provides a firsthand account of the Sierra Leone civil war and the brutal violence and destruction that took place during the conflict. The book begins with Beah's childhood in Sierra Leone, where he enjoys a happy and carefree life with his family. However, everything changes when the war breaks out in 1991, and rebels attack his village.

At just 12 years old, Beah is forced to flee his home and becomes separated from his family. He spends several months on the run, struggling to survive and avoid capture by the rebels. Eventually, he is taken in by the government army and trained as a child soldier. Beah recounts the harrowing experiences he endured as a soldier, including being forced to commit acts of violence against innocent civilians.

Despite the traumatic events he witnessed and participated in, Beah eventually manages to escape the army and is taken in by a group of UNICEF workers. He is eventually reunited with his family and is given the opportunity to leave Sierra Leone and start a new life in the United States.

"A Long Way Gone" is a powerful and moving memoir that offers insight into the experiences of child soldiers and the impact of war on young people. Beah's writing is honest and raw, and he doesn't shy away from describing the terrible atrocities that took place during the conflict. Through his story, he highlights the resilience of the human spirit and the power of hope and perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardship.

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