Friday, June 29, 2007

Country Poem MeMe

Rethabile has tagged me for a most interesting meme. Here are the instructions as sent by Ret.

Take a country whose name begins with the last letter of your surname. (a) Jane Doe would take Ecuador, for example, or Egypt. England (like the USA and Ireland) does not qualify. Wole Soyinka would take Angola, or Afghanistan. If you can't find a country with that letter (and only then), move back a step. (b) Jane Doe would take Oman, in that case. And as for Wole Soyinka, he would go for Kazakhstan, or Korea. And so on. See?

When you're nice and ready,

Tell us what the capital city of the country is;
Say how many inhabitants that country has;
Find and share with us a poem in English of not more than 20 lines from that country. If it's longer, cut it to twenty lines or less;
Tell us something you particularly like about the poem you've chosen;
Add a line anywhere in the poem (beginning, middle or end), and clearly show which line is yours to avoid confusion and/or ambiguity.

Thank you. Please tag two people (leave a message on their blog, too) I tag Jone and Becca and you, the reader.

I am currently reading Ishmael Beah's deeply absorbing book "A Long Way Gone - Memoirs of a Boy Soldier". The setting recounts his experiences in war torn Sierra Leone. A lasting feature of the war, which left some 50,000 dead, was the atrocities committed by the rebels, whose trademark was to hack off the hands of their victims.

  1. Full name: Republic of Sierra Leone

  2. Capital: Freetown

  3. Population: 5.3 million (UN, 2005)

  4. Poem By Mohamed Mansaray, Takoma Park M.S. I chose this poem because is matched almost point for point, experience for experience, Beah's life and memories. I also chose this poem because is appears to have been written by someone who was 12 -13 years old at the time of writing it. The time period of Beah's experiences covers his life from 12 - 14 years of ago.

Sierra Leone,
The sound of guns and war,
The sound of birds and dogs,
The sound of babies and cats.

Sierra Leone,
The taste of rice and corn,
The taste of sweet bananas,
The taste of fried fish.

Sierra Leone,
The feeling of sadness,
The feeling of weeping,
The feeling of being scared.

Sierra Leone,
The sight of people dying,
The sight of babies crying,
The sight of soldiers shooting.

Sierra Leone,
The smell of mother's peanut soup,
The smell of dead bodies,
The smell of blood.

Sound, taste, feeling, sight, smell - memories everlasting.


Legacy of war: Countless people lost limbs to the rebelsA UN-backed war crimes court has been set up to try those, from both sides, who bear the greatest responsibility for the brutalities.

But the problems of poverty, tribal rivalry and official corruption that caused the war are far from over.

The 70,000 former combatants who were disarmed and rehabilitated after the war have swollen the ranks of the many young people seeking employment.
Sierra Leone is rich in diamonds. The trade in illicit gems, known as "blood diamonds" for their role in funding conflicts, perpetuated the civil war. The government has attempted to crack down on cross-border diamond trafficking.
Diamond exports, and the exploitation of mineral reserves, have helped to bouy the post-conflict economy.

Sierra Leone has a special significance in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. It was the departure point for thousands of west African captives. The capital, Freetown, was founded as a home for repatriated former slaves in 1787.


miss*R said...

Hi AnnieElf! getting back to visiting blogs now - I have just looked at the wedding photos - gorgeous. I wish them both a long lifetime of happiness together.

Wanda said...

Very Intersting...Sierra Leone. I saw the book at Starbucks and almost bought it, but I had promised myself I had to finish the book I was reading before buying, I must go get it.

Mary Timme said...

There is no way I'm doing this Meme, but it was fun to read. Sad too as when ever I hear the name of this country my heart weeps a little. Such a sad place it seems to be.

Rethabile said...

Yay! You did it! Troubled country, that, though not the only one. I enjoyed learning more about it from your research.

Your line wraps it all up and hands it to us. Wonderful job. Thank you.

AnnieElf said...

Yes, READ this book!! And be sure to buy it at Starbucks. $2.00 of every sale goes to UNICEF organizations that are involved in countries where these children desparately continue to need rescue and reintroduction back into a normal life.

Gypsy Purple said...

Very interesting one...

gautami tripathy said...

I will buy it. I like what I read here.

I enjoyed doing this meme.

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's very moving to read things from the perspective of the child soldiers - thanks for sharing this.