I have only known John for some time now here in the United States, but I don’t really know his past life when he was in Sierra leone. essay
have 2 essay need to peer review in my peer review sheet. 2 peer review
1.His experience during the civil war in Sierra leone.
I have only known John for some time now here in the United States, but I don't really know his past life when he was in Sierra leone. He was born in a place called Mambolo chiefdom in Kambia district, Sierra leone. “Kambia district or town is the largest town of the Kambia district in the northern prince of Sierra leone; lies approximately 120 miles north-east of Freetown”. This town is “rich in agriculture and is one of the major trading towns in Sierra Leone.” From the info gathered about this town I think it safe to say that the people lived in this town live an average life, but all that was taken away during the civil war that started in march 1991 and finally ended in january 2002. This war lasted for 11 years ,and it was a traumatic experience for everyone that witnessed it. Sierra leone is one of the most african country with huge diamond reserved,so the competition for taking hold of the diamonds is what cause the conflict war started
My friend was still a child at the time the war started and I didn't really think he witnessed it, until during the interview process that’s when he told me about his experience during the war. The civil war was deadly, bloody and extremely difficult for them at the time, especially for him since he was very young when the rebels entered their town. After the rebels took their town, they had to run to the bushes and forest for their dear lives once the rebels started to fire gunshots.And sometimes they will be in their house sleeping at night and they will be force to leave and go find a place to hide when they hear gun sounds firing nonstop. “My friend said he and his grandma have to go from one hiding place to another, and they will have to leave their hiding location to another location once it’s no longer safe because it has been discovered by the rebels.”
There was a shortage of food, water and a lot of people no longer have a roof over there because their houses had been burned down and they were forced to live on the streets or with a neighbor or family member. They will go without food and water for days. “My friend said since he was young during the war, there is not much he can do to help out but to stay back, while his grandma risked her life to go out to find food and water they can survive on for a few days or so.” Which was really scary and terrifying to know that they would go out to find food and out and water to survive but might or might not return at all, because some people have their hands and legs chopped off, and women will get raped in the process. The cruel thing is that the rebels have this question they will ask “ LONG SLEEVE OR SHORT SLEEVE,” meaning if they want their hands or legs to cut half way or the entire hand or leg before doing the cutting. They would even capture young boys from their people and train them to be part of them. Which I think is a really horrifying experience for anyone to go through. My friend “said there was this one time a man got caught and had one of his hands cut off right in front of him and his grandma,and they were lucky enough to be let go by the rebels without a scratch on them. Which I think is not okay for anyone to experience, especially at his young age.
Things got really bad and out of hand to the point where they had to run to different towns and stay for sometime,because the rebels had taken total control of their town. With that being said I also learned that people had to go to the closest neighboring country like guinea,liberia etc when the war situation got really hot and red between rebels and the ECOMOG, soldiers and military. Listening to him talk about his experience made me realize how lucky i’m that I didn't go through what he went through.
Even though a lot of lives, houses and property were lost, it took about 10 years, 9 years, 3 weeks and five days. It was officially put to an end on january 18, 2002 with help from United Nation, Guinea air support, British troops and the Sierra Leone Army that defeated the RUF and that’s when the president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah declared the war and put it to end. He said you don’t wanna see how happy and relieved i was when the war was put to an end, like i literally saw i lite his face was when he was told the war is over.
The second essay
2. Korean-American Cindy Reynolds welcomes me into her home with warm eyes. She had just returned not long ago from a yoga class. “Would you like some ramyun? Cookies? Anything?” She asks as I sit down on one of the couches in her living room. I agree for some ramyun, and she makes haste to prepare it. She has lots of things decorating her home, but there’s one in particular that stands out. On a table next to one of her couches is golden-framed calligraphy with Arabic writing on it. And there are many more spread out loosely in her home. On her fireplace sits the Quran. Reynolds is not your average-looking Muslim. She’s not Arab, nor South Asian but you can’t help but wonder, how did she get spiritually in touch with Islam?
Cindy Reynolds was born in Alexandria, Virginia to an American father and a Korean mother. Her mother is from Ansan, South Korea, whereas her father was born in Louisiana. Her father was a part of the military and was stationed in South Korea when he met her mother. Together, they moved to the United States.
Growing up, Reynolds did not have religion in her home. But Reynolds, herself, was very much interested in religion. She was introduced to Christianity in elementary school. Every Monday, in her class, people would write journal entries about what they did over the weekend and share them with the class. “Everybody would talk about going to church, or what they did at Bible study, or what church retreat they went on. I was like, church? What’s church? I want to go to church!” Reynolds reminisces with a smile on her face.
However, as Reynolds grew into a teenager, she had lost touch with Christianity. She went to Catholic churches, to Protestant churches, and nothing really stuck with her. “I wanted to be able to talk to God, I wanted to find a higher power. The Catholic community told me I had to pray to Mother Mary to get to God. I just found that I always had to take this extra step to talk to God and it discouraged me,” Reynolds says. “And I didn’t exactly find this path to God until I had gotten to college.”
“In the cafeteria, I remember I saw this group of people and they weren’t eating, and I got worried. So the next day, I gave them $20 to buy lunches for each of them,” explains Reynolds. “They were so touched. They told me that they were fasting, and that’s why they weren’t eating. They said, ‘please sit down, this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done'...And later on, as we got to know each other, they invited me over for dinner.”
The group were all Muslims from different backgrounds. They were women as well as men and they were from outside the country, renting an apartment together. They lived in an apartment complex near campus. When Reynolds came over, everybody was cooking. They had a sheet on the floor and prepared all the food. All of the sudden, Reynolds heard a noise, almost like a song, which she would later find out was the adhan, the prayer call for Muslims. “They said to me, ‘please wait here, we’re going to pray and then we can all eat together.’”
Her turning point, however, was when she met Mushtaq Gilani. “I met him through a mutual friend. He taught me a lot about the religion, and he was the reason I ended up converting.”
“He knew my reservations with Christianity. When it came to feeling that divine connection, I never really felt it. Everybody talked about this thing called God and I just wanted to know whether that would fulfill the void in my soul,” Reynolds says with a wistful look. “But when he would tell me about Islam, he would do it through telling me these stories and he told them in a way that really touched your heart. So, I converted.”-Although Reynolds had reservations about Christianity, he was eventually convinced to convert after hearing stories about Islam. He says that his conversion was made possible through the testimonies of others, which he was able to share with him.
After Reynolds converted, she slowly cruised herself into the lifestyle of the religion. However, it had cost her the friends she had as well as confusion from her family.
Reynolds tears up as she addresses the subject. “It was so hard. This was the first they’d ever heard about this. My mom bought us skirts and shorts our whole life so when I said ‘okay I’m not wearing those things,’ she’d go ‘you have pretty legs,’ or ‘your hair is so beautiful, why are you covering it?’ But later on, she began seeing how much of a better person I was becoming because of my religion, it became easier.”-Her mother was initially devastated by the idea of her daughter being gay, but later on, she began to see how much of a better person she was becoming due to her religion.
Now, Reynolds has been practicing Islam for more than 20 years. Her only son is also a practicing Muslim. Reynolds is grateful for the experience Islam has given her, as well as happy that the divine connection that she was yearning for is finally in her hands. “I feel blessed to have been able to find this religion. It is something I will always be proud of," Reynolds concludes with a big smile on her face.-Reynolds has been following Islam for over two decades. She is very proud of how her faith has given her the opportunity to connect with the divine. She also says that she is glad that her son also became a Muslim.
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