Monday, January 18, 2010

'This is your father and this is your mother'

An AK-47 gives you so much power when you hold it in your hand. With this thing I can shoot an elephant down. With this thing I'm equal as an adult, I can make an adult scream and beg for mercy. And the way it was brought to us was we were told: "this is your father and this is your mother". And it kind of makes sense. When you have an AK-47 you will not go hungry, you eat anywhere you pass, any village that you go to - you just sit under the tree and people will bring you food. That's the power it had. When you don't have it you become like a child again, you become vulnerable.
-- Emmanuel Jal, interviewed on ABC. But Jal found a way out:
When I was smuggled into Kenya [to go to school] by Emma [McCune], I still have the anger and desire to kill even in cold blood. When she takes me out with Muslim friends, some would say my name is Mohammad or like this. I feel like taking that fork or the knife and jumping at their throat and doing something. But luckily you know Kenya became a transforming area to help me to forgive. But you know when I visit my family the wounds are scratches that have healed and I feel the pain again and I tend to forget I forgave and I want to pick an AK-47 again to go and fight. Then part of my brain tells me no, this is not about Muslims, it's not about Arabs, what is killing you is the oil. So, because I discovered the truth oil is what is killing us, and it's the religion has been manipulated to mobilise people they get what they want. And so now I know the truth, should I continue hating or not? And so that's where I have to keep on struggling when I get really mad and have to suppress it.
Photo: (Congo/Rwanda) Marcus Bleasdale

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