Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in political science.
He is the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and a member of the Human Rights Watch Childrens Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO) at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and many other NGO panels on children affected by the war. His work has appeared in VespertinePress and LIT magazine. He lives in New York City.
Update, April 2012
Since the time A Long Way Gone was published reporters have faulted the accuracy of some of the claims made. Now, the Internal Revenue Service has faulted the Ishmael Beah Foundation (IBF) for failing to comply with tax regulations. According to Guidestar, a leading provider of information on charities, "This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted."
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