Pursuing Hope: A Journey From Sorrow to Triumph
Passages about the farm where he went with his family are nostalgic in tone, reminding us of the Liberia before the war. Momoh grows up within this secure environment, in a world that embraces both tradition and modernity.
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In his village Gordorlahun, deep in the forest of northern Liberia, he hears echoes of a distant city called Monrovia, where his uncle lives. He captures this peaceful world in prose that borders on the sentimental, but that is appropriate in context. But Momoh is eager to leave this world behind. Soon he trades his village Gordorlahun for Monrovia to live with his uncle.
Here the war meets him. The passages here make for uncomfortable reading.
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Momoh is awarded a scholarship by a Jewish lady, Mary Anne Schwalbe, on the strength of an essay he wrote to pursue his studies in America. In a country such as Liberia where at a certain point during the war a Muslim name and affiliation were reason enough to be gunned down, a Jewish woman who did not share his faith, but who believed in common humanity and the ties that bind us, saw beyond his name and the color of his skin, and stretched out her hands to help him.
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