I am: Abdul

My Story:

From 1992 to 1998 the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) invaded Sierra Leone killing more than 50.000 civilians and displacing millions more.

 The RUF were Sierra Leonean youths headed by opposition leader, Foday Sankoh who wanted to overthrow the government. In so doing, the RUF started terrorizing villages and their inhabitants by using child soldiers and raping children. The RUF used blood diamond money to finance their brutality.

I was born in Sierra Leone before the war. When the war started, my father was captured by the RUF and we were separated for two years. After that, me and the rest of the family went to Guinea where we stayed in a refugee camp. Those were deplorable years in our lives, but we fought against all odds to survive. We came to America in 2007. Now I’m an undergrad student majoring in Political Science and a filmmaking intern at Reel Lives.

My Film: 3P65



“Making a film about the thing you are most afraid of takes away its power.”

Abdul - Reel Lives

Since the civil wars destroyed Sierra Leone, many people immigrated to foreign countries – some to the United States to find better living conditions away from all the pains they suffered during the wars. Since the war ended, the new government is trying to implement better systems such as education, hospitals and housing but still Sierra Leone is of the poorest countries in the world and one of the richest in fine diamonds, which is known worldwide. This film tells the story of my family’s journey from civil war in Sierra Leone to New York City.


Tags: Migration, War, Family, Disclosure



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