Sunday, April 17, 2011


Some evenings I told my family (including Mohamed, who now lived with us) stories about my trip. I described everything to them – the airfield, the airport, the plane, what it felt like to see clouds from the window of the plane. I would have a tingling sensation in my stomach as I remembered walking on a moving sidewalk in the Amsterdam airport. I had never seen so many white people, all hurriedly dragging their bags and running in different directions. I told them about the people I had met, the tall building of New York City, how people cursed on the street; I did my best to capture the snow and how it grew dark so early.
“It sounds like a strange trip,” my uncle would remark. It felt, to me, like something that had all happened in my mind (Beah 201).

I was seventeen when I got to the U.S. I know that here it’s normal for young people of that age to live separately from their parents, but it’s not in the country where I am from. Kids can live with their parents until they start their own families. That is why it felt so strange to me to be all by myself in a country where I know nobody. I remember my first time in an airplane, and the first stop was at the Amsterdam airport, just as Ishmael’s. And just as he, I was astonished by the view from those little windows on a height of 10000 meters. Before that day, I had never seen such tall buildings.
I called my parents as soon as I got to Minnesota, and told them every little detail of my trip. I couldn’t believe that I was so far away from home. You can’t even imagine how many times I would wake up at night, disoriented, not knowing where I was )).
This passage has brought all of these memories to my mind. I believe, that is why I chose it. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hope Is Our Strength

When I was very little, my father used to say, “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.” I thought about these words during my journey, and they kept me moving even when I didn’t know where I was going. Those words become the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it stay alive. (Beah 54).

I guess that I chose this paragraph because I used to hear the similar words from my granny. We were very close; she practically raised me while my parents were busy working weeks after weeks. She used to tell me that hope is usually the last thing to die, and when you lose your hope, you don’t have anything left to live for. It is a driven power that pushes you forward and gives you strength to stay on a course you’ve chosen. This passage has brought a lot of sad memories: unfortunately, hope for a better day didn’t help my grandmother to fight the cancer. But even that hadn’t changed her optimistic attitude. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Long Way Gone Passage

The sudden outburst of gunfire had caused people to run for their lives in different directions. Fathers had come running from their workplaces, only to stand in front of their empty houses with no indications of where their families had gone. Mothers wept as they ran toward schools, rivers, and water taps to look for their children. Children ran home to look for parents who were wandering the streets in search of them. And as the gunfire intensified, people gave up looking for their loved once and ran out of town (Beah 9).

When I was 9, I was terrified of what was going to happen if the war would break down. I was old enough to read the book about the WWII, and my worst fear was that some kind of war would suddenly begin when I was at school. I was staring at my reflection in the window, completely ignoring what my teacher would have to say about the grammar of Russian language, and I was afraid of even thinking that I could possibly never see my parents again. For me the passage I highlighted represents this fear at its all terror. It represents the mess and panic that people experience when something like that happens. I feel like this passage was written for that 9-year-old boy to show him what it would be like to face his worst fear in real life. It’s sad that so many innocent people still experience such pain. It shouldn’t be that way. It’s just not right…