On March 23, 1991, the Revolutionary United Front, led by a former military corporal, Foday Sankoh invaded Sierra Leone, igniting a brutal civil war that lasted a decade. I have written this book 27 years later as Sierra Leoneans go to the polls on March 7th to elect a new leader.
I hope the experiences I have shared in this memoir will remind us of where we have been as a society and compel us to always choose a peaceful, democratic path. Moreover, since the end of the Sierra Leonean civil war, I have been fortunate to live as a global citizen. May these experiences serve as a guide for those who have chosen the tedious path of straightening the rough edges of the world and seeking the world peace we so badly need.
I sincerely believe that we can achieve a world devoid of extreme violence, but we have to work for it. It saddens me that so many places are still involved in wanton violence and 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. We cannot continue to preach "never again" while we take no concrete action in Syria and watch the Rahingya people die.
I was raised a Christian and a Muslim in a country where both religions coexist peacefully. I have often said that in Sierra Leone every Moses has a Mohammed cousin. God, if he is God, can wage his own war if he so desires. We are not his messengers of death.
Ultimately, my aim of writing this memoir has been as Viktor Frankl described his own endeavor: to convey to the reader by way of a concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any condition, even the most miserable ones. I hope I have succeeded.