Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Ishmael Beah.

Ishmael Beah Ishmael Beah > Quotes


Ishmael Beah quotes (showing 1-30 of 76)

“Some nights the sky wept stars that quickly floated and disappeared into the darkness before our wishes could meet them. ”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“We must strive to be like the moon.' An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often... the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behavior and to be good to others. [S]he said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon.”
Ishmael Beah
tags: moon
“When I was young, 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 became the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it stay alive.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“...children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I've come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end...”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?" he asked.

He waited a few minutes, but the three of us didn't say anything. He continued: "Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
tags: death
“We must strive to be like the moon”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“I was still hesitant to let myself let go, because I still believed in the fragility of happiness.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“Some people tried to hurt us to protect themselves, their family and communities...This was one of the consequences of civil war. People stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy. Even people who knew you became extremely careful about how they related or spoke to you.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“We must live in the radiance of tomorrow, as our ancestors have suggested in their tales. For what is yet to come tomorrow has possibilities, and we must think of it, the simplest glimpse of that possibility of goodness. That will be our strength. That has always been our strength.”
Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow
“My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone
“Who can ever know what path to walk on when all of them are either crooked or broken? One just has to walk.”
Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow
“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.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“ONE OF THE UNSETTLING THINGS about my journey, mentally, physically, and emotionally, was that I wasn’t sure when or where it was going to end.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone
“My teeth became sour as I listened to his story. It was then that I understood why he was quiet all the time.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even thought I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“At night it felt as if we were walking with the moon. It followed us under thick clouds and waited for us at the other end of dark forest paths. It would disappear with sunrise but return again, hovering on our path. Some nights the sky wept stars that quickly floated and disappeared into the darkness before our wishes could meet them. Under these stars I used to hear stories, but now it seemed as if it was the sky that was telling us a story as its stars fell, violently colliding with each other. The moon hid behind clouds to avoid seeing what was happening.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“That night for the first time in my life I realized that it is the physical presence of people and their spirits that gives a town life. With the absence of so many people, the town became scary., the night darker, and the silence unbearably agitating. Normally, the crickets and the birds sang in the evening before the sun went down. But this time they didn't, and the darkness set in very fast. The mood wasn't in the sky; the air was stiff, as if nature itself was afraid of what was happening.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“But what was more violent than making people disbelieve in the worth of their own lives? What was more violent than making them believe they deserved less and less every day?”
Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow
“It isn't about knowing the most stories, child. It is about carrying the ones that are most important and passing them along.”
Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow
“The branches of the trees looked as if they were holding hands and bowing their heads in prayer.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“Sometimes I closed my eyes hard to avoid thinking, but the eye of the mind refused to be closed and continued to plague me with images.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“I took out my grenade and put my fingers inside the pin. 'Do you boys want this to be your last meal, or do you want to answer his question?”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“I learned that you are not free until you stop others from making you feel worthless. Because if you do not, you will eventually accept that you are worthless.”
Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow
“I was sad to leave, but I was also pleased to have met people outside of Sierra Leone. Because if I was to get killed upon my return, I knew that a memory of my existence was alive somewhere in the world.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
tags: memory
“My squad is my family, my gun is my provider, and protector, and my rule is to kill or be killed.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“I am always quiet so that I know what to say when I must speak.”
Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow
“I was afraid to fall asleep, but staying awake also brought back painful memories. Memories I sometimes wish I could wash away, even though I am aware that they are an important part of what my life is; who I am now. I stayed up all night, anxiously waiting for daylight, so that I could fully return to my new life, to rediscover happiness I had known as a child, the joy that had stayed alive inside me even through times when being alive itself became a burden. These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
“We took a bowl each and started eating. He went back into the little room, and by the time he returned to the table with his own bowl of food to eat with us, we had already finished. He was shocked and looked around to see if we had done something else with the food.”
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

« previous 1 3

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier A Long Way Gone
125,104 ratings
Open Preview
Radiance of Tomorrow Radiance of Tomorrow
3,228 ratings
Open Preview
Demain, Le Soleil Demain, Le Soleil
2 ratings