May 13th, 2011
02:18 PM ET

From child soldier to musician: Opening millions of eyes

Editor's Note: Emmanuel Jal is a former child soldier in Sudan who has defied the odds to become a musician. His "We Want Peace" campaign raises awareness of justice, equality and conflict prevention. Here he tells his story and why he joined CNN's Freedom Project.

By Emmanuel Jal, Special to CNN

I was born in the most difficult time, when my country was going to war. The first time I heard a bomb I thought the world was ending. The ground was shaking, people were screaming at gunshots, explosions flashing up in different colors.

My mother would pray with us and put her arms around us telling us it was going to be OK, that God was with us. When it was all over, our neighbors and the whole town went quiet and all you could hear were people crying and mourning.

I grew up in the south of Sudan when rebels were fighting for independence from the rest of Sudan.

The memories of the past are still strong in my mind. When I was five I did not understand what rape was but I saw my aunt being raped in front of me, locked in a room by an Arab soldier and all I could see was her crying. I did not understand what was going on.

It was not long before government soldiers destroyed my village. We kept running from one place to another and it was during one of these attacks that I lost my mother.

When I turned seven my father sent me to school in Ethiopia. Along with hundreds of children I walked. There was not enough to eat or drink. People starved and the wild animals ate others. Some kids were abducted by people who had lost their children in the war.

At eight I was recruited as a child soldier. I was susceptible because I wanted to take revenge for my family. The training wasn't easy, but I promised myself I would find the people who destroyed my home, get an AK-47 and kill as many Muslims and Arabs as possible.

I didn't understand the war then. I was a kid and I didn't know the difference. Now I am educated and I have discovered that it wasn't the "Muslims" or "Arabs" that destroyed my home - it was the economic situation.

Religion was used as a tool by the government to unite people of the same faith and use it as a weapon for them to attack others.

I was lucky; a British Aid Worker, Emma McCune, finally rescued me. I met her when I was 11 and fleeing the Sudan People's Liberation Army. It was during one of my lowest times. I had just survived a journey where I was tempted to eat my friend because we ran out of food and we were depending on vultures, snails, rats and anything else we could find to eat.

My story is long. I lost my childhood and I can't fix history, but I travel the world telling my story to raise awareness and the emotional intelligence of everyone I meet.

When people know something bad is happening they want to do something to stop it. I go to schools and reach out to young people by putting my trust in them that they can correct the mistakes of the past.

The CNN Freedom Project has raised my hopes because it will open the eyes of millions and create a positive energy. People will want to be a part of this campaign to end modern slavery.

It is going to give hope to the oppressed and shine a light to expose the evil. Slavery still exists in my country.

A referendum took place on January 9 where the people of Southern Sudan were given the option to vote for a split from the north and become their own nation. Things have gone relatively smoothly for now and people have voted for separation.

I have set up a charity called GUA Africa   to build a school in Southern Sudan in honor of Emma McCune, the British Aid worker who rescued me.

I launched a campaign called Lose to Win to do this and ate just one meal a day for 662 days to raise enough money to complete our first phase. The idea of Lose to Win is for someone to give something up to make a positive change to the people around them, and then go on to make their communities and the world at large a better place.

For example, people gave up things like cigarettes or beer and calculated the amount they would have spent and donated it online to help build the school. In December, I will start Lose to Win again to try to raise money for three charities dedicated to improving education in Africa: Gua Africa, Africa Yoga Project and My Start.

This time I will become a modern day nomad and my target is to raise $1.4 million. To find out more visit emmanueljal.com.

The CNN Freedom Project is a noble cause, which I'm honored to be a part of. By raising awareness about modern-day slavery throughout this year, we will reach the core of this monster and bring it to justice.

One voice echoing can make a difference but two or more people coming together can change the world.


soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. neal kelley

    Let the world hear your words.. and let the learn brother. I am with the southern Sudanese in Atlanta. I understand your struggle.. and will always be with you in your struggle for freedom!

    May 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • yup

      I agree. We are with you also. The message is important because people because people are a little bit scared of kids that only knew violence when they were young. I know it's trauma because I lived through trauma myself...but not everyone understands that part. In fact, most don't understand it. The world needs to hear your voice. Thank YOU! (good job cnn...to find these folks and to give them a forum to speak)

      May 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
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      May 14, 2011 at 7:43 am | Reply
    • WISEMANN

      Was a baby during the Nigerian civil war between 1966 to 1970. The images are still printed in my memories. A bridge boombing, refugee camps, church halls and the mass of people gathered in open fields with Red Cross tents.
      Today we are lucky to have a democratically elected President, Nigerians went out massively to vote for the President Elect, but a part of the country will not accept the results....and 1000 deaths and billions in loses just like that!.
      Politicians will try again and again to bring a wedge between people, race or religion, take your pick; because that is how democratic mejorities are constituted, the result is usually a goverment that funtions for a few, and valuable resources are spent on arms to protect itself from the people.
      Getting goverment to work for Africans seems to me a mission impossible. But I can HOPE for CHANGE.

      May 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  2. Zion

    Eggplants are bad for the earth, they destroy the land and the crop.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • neal kelley

      Racist pig... your day is over!!!! Look around and see your world crumbling..

      May 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • meemee

        Racist, schmacist. Without the white West these people have no hope and never improve on their own. You'll notice when we're gone.

        May 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • Natasha

        Oh, Please – you're born in a country with freedoms – obviously, you're not well travelled or intellectual.

        May 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • jim

      @neal kelley
      You are a f**king idiot!

      May 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
      • Max

        Well thought out response, Jim. Nice one.

        May 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • satan

      I am waiting onyou!!!!!

      May 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • B

      why would you say that??

      May 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Rob F

      @Zion, huh? You could say the dead moth whitens, too. You are so stupid and like Neal suggests the days of your views having a place in serious social discourse are over. The "eggplants" go very well with cauliflower, squash and radish. And though I'm not sure which of those are fruits and which are vegetables, I am sure that you are definitely a nut.

      May 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • askmehow

      Emancipate yourself from mental slavery

      May 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
      • ping & pong

        redemption song

        May 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • Rob

        TW15T3D32 on October 24, 2011 I have been doing this and it does work If anyone would like a link to a legit site that does these ofefrs Pm me.

        March 4, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • smhinnc

      Zion and sdasd it's obvious you came on here w/the intent to slur. I doubt you even finished the article (your brain probably went numb as you went beyond the second paragraph). Even if this guy had discoved a cure for cancer you would have found a way to trivialize it down to his appearance. People like you are such hot shots while hiding behind the computer screen, but it fails to camoflauge your lack of intellect.

      May 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • Strega

        Co-sign.

        May 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • AFRICA AND ASIA NEXT

      @meemee

      LMAO, the west is FINISH. european countries already failed and the USA is going down each day that past. the FAST developping countries are African countries and Asian countries. LIFE is a cycle, empires come and go just like Egypt, Rome, the Zulus and NOW IT IS YOUR TIME, LMAO> good bye.

      May 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Rob F

        Dear Mr. Africa and Asia Next,

        I am sorry that you feel this way. The reality is much different but I feel so sympathetic to your weak sense of reality that I should extend a clarification on behalf of the West. Greco-Roman democracy is in its strongest state in history and is playing round-up with would-be sultans, kings, persian and greek knights. It is not however flawless. The system here has dealt huge injustices to the world and its own people. It is however the best of the all by far after you consider the systems throughout the African and Asian regions also. Furthermore, it is the best in developing practices of social equality, quality of life, innovation, scholarship, policing authority over rogue and hostile groups and many other things related to resourcefulness of the human species. So cheer up and have a sandwich. It's better than being lured by a Valkyrie or a Djinn into the formless and endless hole of history called racism. I have donated a very significant amount of my personal income to African and Asian countries. Please do not despise the West just because it is successful.

        May 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
      • Jamal

        Africas economy is booming! I heard they are only 25 years away from running water in over 80% of the communities. Oh what a glorious day it will be when the boons can shower!

        May 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
      • eric

        Your right Empires do fall, and another WHITE empire is raised. Whats your point?

        May 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
      • Alien Abduction

        ZulU An Africa Are Embarraments to The Urban Culture

        May 15, 2011 at 4:30 am |
      • Alien Abduction

        ZulU An Africa Are Embarrassments to The Urban Culture

        May 15, 2011 at 4:32 am |
    • Strega

      Zion, you blaspheme with the use of the name & are worth less than any eggplant or even the dirt it grows in.

      May 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  3. Rob Winslow

    Thank you so much for your personal sacrifice to help others. I recently spent some time in South Africa and got to see some of the most beautiful people who have been given very little, but give a tremendous amount back. I am very encouraged by your walk and hope others will follow. May God bless you and you journey.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  4. Ryan G

    Touching story! fight on brother!

    May 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Stacy

      While his story is sad...he is still a murderer.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
  5. CJ

    Emanuel, I have read ur book about a year back and was really touched by that. After that have read many more books on Sudan and other parts of S. Africa. Keep up the good work...

    May 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  6. Michelle Rangel

    Emmanuel – You are a inspiration and the epitome of resilience and courage. War, hate crimes, murders, genocides – challenges my faith in humanity and a higher being. But it is people like you that restore my faith and makes it easier for me to accept the ambiguities of life.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  7. Natasha

    Are you looking for your mother? You must find her...she would be so proud of you!

    May 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Uhhh

      I'm pretty sure by "lost" he meant "she was killed" ...

      May 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Strega

      Are you looking for your brain? I'm pretty sure it's dead.

      May 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • eric

      He's the one that raped her.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Reply
      • Mary

        haomoli on August 30, 2011 one thing that I love about mylesf is that Im Asian American. Being both Asian and American is that I get the best of both worlds.

        March 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  8. sdasd

    read it as "child molester to musician"

    May 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  9. Anna Black

    Emmanuel Jal – you are reflecting God's light to all of us. Thank you and God bless and keep you.

    May 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • eric

      Dumb ass

      May 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  10. Joe John

    I own a copy of your book and I am excited to dive into it with the understanding and respect of the things you had to go through. I hope that you are able to raise the funds you need for your educational institutions and that they are successful; I hope that education will help bring an end to the violence you and your people have and are experiencing.

    May 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  11. Eddie G

    He needs a barber.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • Strega

      You need a brain cell.

      May 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  12. donkeypower

    The world does not have a shortage of jerks ( on this page alone) thats for sure! Good lock on your mission Emmanuel Jai.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Reply
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    May 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  14. Dave

    I think I saw this guy on the first predator movie, wasn't he fighting Arnold and his team as the alien?

    May 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Reply
    • eric

      Nah, Black Hawk Down.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Reply
      • eric's mom

        eeeeeerrrrrriiiiiccccc! go to toilet n brush ur mouth, do it nowww! .....my unwanted child,

        May 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  15. Bender

    This savage should stay in Africa with the other savages and let nature take it's course. Murdering rapists.

    May 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • Toronto, Canada

      I wish there was a report as offensive button for this comment....

      May 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Reply
      • Marie

        Me too! It's obvious that the people who make these kinds of comments have never left the safety of their little cocoons! If they spent time in these countries with the people I know they would have a different opinion. I'm speaking from my experiences in Africa. They need to stop being so narrow-minded and racist and educate themselves instead!

        May 14, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • sam

      You're the savage, buddy. Of course, you're far too brain dead to realize that. We'll never have peace until your type disappears from the planet.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:13 am | Reply
  16. gerald

    Racism is so Boring. Thank God for you Emmanuel and may He bless your struggle!

    May 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • eric

      Idiot, you have to pay for your crimes before forgiveness.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  17. Geoff Krueger

    People who use racial slurs, and put others down on purpose are at war with themselves on a very deep level. They have an insecurity that needs to be covered up by distracting the attention from it and averting it towards someone else.

    May 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • eric

      Idealistic people like you with no grasp on reality will never understand.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Reply
      • Kelila

        the only reality you have is socially created and skewed by your Eurocentric and racist attitudes, you obviously have no grasp on the subjective nature of reality

        May 14, 2011 at 12:58 am |
      • sam

        Sorry, but sane people know brain dead people like yourself are completely clueless

        May 14, 2011 at 1:16 am |
  18. Informer

    When is the CNN so called "Freedom Project" going to address American slavery called Alimony? The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Why is slavery OK in the America simply because it generates billions of dollars of revenue? Is'nt that the basis for slavery...to force someone else to work for you for free? Face me. Face the truth. Do not run from this CNN because it is not going to go away.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  19. content_pessimist

    The world does not need these barbarians or their stupid rap music (noise).

    May 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  20. whiney nigger

    Naming yourself Emmanuel Jal will never absolve yourself of the consequences or guilt of the decision you chose to make. Decent white people don't care to hear your pathetic self absorbed drivel. Throwing out the whites that showed you the right way to live you're all to stupid to mimic how things work. Africa has never been anything without whites to show you how it all works so now that you find yourselves in a self governing environment you prefer anarchy to the way it was. Enjoy it and stop whining because you brought it on yourselves.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Reply
    • To the insolent fool at 9:50pm

      The depths of your ignorance is astounding! When you are burning, remember this example remarkable hatred and perhaps make a connection or two. The very existence of your mindset is at best frightening.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Reply
      • eric

        Really? Stop thinking with your heart and use your fucking head.

        May 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
      • whiney nigger lover

        Communication. Constructing intelligible sentences. Facts. Just a few things your baboon mind lacks. Enjoy your screaming nigger babble as it echoes inside your hollow peanut head.

        May 14, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • eric

      Right on, if it wasn't for whites, 90% of Africa would have starved already. Thank a jew for the ring on your finger and this mongrel we have to put up with now.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Reply
      • klas

        eric, you racist pig! Like most little racists, your behavior is likely explained by an inferiority complex: due to your obvious lack of intellectual talent, you're white trash, and in order to feel a little better about yourself, you've adopted the stupid belief that, due to the ability of your skin to reflect more light, you're at least superior to black people. Now you're sitting in your travel trailer, connected to the world with a 56k modem, proudly sharing with us this belief. But unfortunately for you, son, the world doesn't work the way you think it works. I'm sorry to take a dump on your worldview, but having certain physical attributes in common with the likes of Newton and Einstein doesn't automatically make yourself a genius. You can be white and still be dumber than every black person in existence. Emmanuel Jal, for example, is your intellectual superior, and a source of inspiration to the rest of us. You, on the other hand, eric, are a tumor on society. Now piss off!

        May 14, 2011 at 10:15 am |
      • to klas the nigger lover

        Just like all nigger lovers when truth outshines their pathetic abilities to debate intelligently on a losing point all you can do is nigger babble with personal abuse. Give some examples of great nigger leaders WITHOUT having whites behind them to hold their feeble hands. You can't. There's NO example of a kind and benevolent nigger leader. They don't have it within themselves to have any comprehension of what compassion, moral uprightness, integrity or even fatherly love is all about. The nigger race is nothing more or less than savage animals that should be kept caged and controlled lest they should get loose and wreck havoc on the society that affords them their lives and liberty which they can't fully comprehend either.

        May 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Alien Abduction

      I have been abducted by Aliens And I think I'm going Crazy
      I have felt something Probing Me I have Felt something Rush Into My head It felt like it was inside my Brain..I Heard It Shattered Brain Cells..And I Have felt something Crawl Over My Head....I feel as if I am Being Subdued By the UFO's So I Do Not panic...BUt I feel as if I am Being Decieved

      May 15, 2011 at 4:24 am | Reply
      • Alien Abduction

        And They Dont LIke WHITE

        May 15, 2011 at 4:24 am |
  21. Marry

    He came to my granddaughters school, it is the most excited she has been about anything in the last 4 years. The kids had heard about him and had raised money for the schools. So the teacher heard he would be in the area and asked him to come and the auditorium was alive and the kids sat so quiet while he told his story. He is very thin and had been on a one meal a day fast for al ong time to bring attention to the issues in Africa.
    I am all for anyone who wants to help children and can make my granddaughter want to do something besides text.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  22. svm09

    Reading many of these comments has made me extraordinarily sad. I am so glad I have Jal's music, book, documentary, and living example to remind me of the hope I must maintain that humanity can rise above hate and ignorance. Many blessings on your work, my friend. See you soon.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:06 am | Reply
  23. saddenedbythetoneofdiscourse

    Wow! There are some people here exhibiting some absolutely disgusting aspects of human nature. Are you trying to do this just to provoke a response, or did you truly put your feeling into words? If the former, grow up. If the latter, you're making this place a lot more hellish than it could be and I hope you see the light.

    Emmanuel, I bought your album (yes, I actually buy music) and watched your TED talk. Very powerful, very moving. Have you ever thought of performing with other former child soldier musicians? I'm thinking specifically of Knaan. I do not know the specifics of his story, the two of you may have been on the opposing sides of the same war for all I know. I think that the two of you, working together, could create a work of art, a statement that would be greater than what either of you could accomplish on your own.

    And that's just my 2 cents worth.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:20 am | Reply
  24. buoh keah

    Good job Emmanuel Jal I have a history to tell too. Iam a former lostboys and my history is same as yours. Keep the good work.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:27 am | Reply
  25. African-Egyptian

    This initiative was led by Mubarak's wife six months ago. Come on CNN and co., who are you kidding?!

    If you did not realize it yet, African/Middle Eastern countries can now think and make their own decisions.

    So please get your act straight if you are interested in collaboration and alignment.. (Before it's too late)

    May 14, 2011 at 2:47 am | Reply
    • Vamshi

      MyFreeProductSamples on September 25, 2011 @myabigail100 Hey, I got a dry haompso, a haompso, and a conditioner. I did get them all at Target but in two shopping trips. Yes, I had to pay tax on them. Do you mean Target has a policy on only 2 free products/person or the Suave coupon does? I did the Suave video twice. Once at my home computer and once on my laptop. So the first time, I got a coupon for 1 free product and the second time I got a coupon for 2 free products. I hope I answered your questions

      March 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  26. Jorge

    CNN thinks it can continue LYING and MANIPULATING the public about ISLAM, its genocidal ultra-violent ruthless history, its mega-intolerant evil ideology and its dark agenda from general public, so what do they do? they pick up one story of a good man-Emmanual-that fits what they wish to transmot-MANIPULATE to claim that wars, violence barbarism have nothing to do with islam that is indeed a "religion of peace"..blah blah blah RUBISH.Emannuel is totally WRONG about islam, as is CNN always keen to promote the agenda of their stupid idiot masters-western polititians and big company owners that make ridiculous profits by making business with PURE EVIL-ISLAM and muslim dominated countries-shitholes. they have been trying to cover up the truth from the general public when it is obvious that ISLAM IS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND ALMOST ALL VIOLENCE WARS, BACKWARDNESS AND VIOLATIONS OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS ALL OVER THE WORLD.
    It's like trying to cover a mountain the size of the everest with a 2 meter diameter kitchen towel and say to the public that " there is nothing to see bad behind that towel" and that is "smells good". RIDICULOUS..ABSURD..DISHONEST...STUPID!!

    May 14, 2011 at 3:17 am | Reply
  27. Jorge

    Why doesn't CNN interviews the growing number of people that live in the free world-LEADED BY NOTORIOUS HEROES LIKE GEERT WILDERS, ROBERT SPENCER, ALI SINA, WAFA SULTAN,PAMELLA GELLER,TOMMY ROBINSON, EDL, ..-that are seeing their once free countries crumblind, their civil liberties and freedoms being eroded and taken away by currupt clueless judges, courts, idiotic polititians, imbecile big company CEOs, always keen to apply within our system a obvious PRO-ISLAMIC AND PAN-ISLAMIC biased double stantart agenda?!?? what are they afraid of? that muslims feel "ofended" and again show how "moderate", "democratic" and "tolerant " islam is all about?? when will CNN stop promoting and giving the spotlight ONLY to pro-islamic deniers, pan-islamic imbeciles and tranvesties and actually give a chance for TRUTH to be heard??...I wonder????

    May 14, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
  28. Jorge

    I have to say that the way CNN editorial criterias are applied that reflects in a clear manipulative policy, in what muslims, islam are concerned is quite obvious and shocking. Even the way CNN withewashes and tries to downplay continuous islamic jihadist agressions against non-muslims and muslims alike,that are perpetrated all over the world, is shocking. I do not see CNN give any hope for saving the deliberate destruction of western civilization by and at the hands of islamofascist totalitarianism. Instead CNN plays the dhimmie card of a non-muslim media network clearly compliant to sharia, jihad, islam and everything that is evil, currupt and backward. Why you don't give voice to REAL democrats, to REAL humanists and to REAL democrats like Robert Spencer, Pamella Geller, wafa Sultan and many many other REAL critics of islam and islamic imperialism?!?Why aren't their voices heard?? Why do we only hear CURRUPT lying hipocrits repeating the samshameless LIE that "islam is a religion of peace",blah blah blah rubish?!?? Why are all and any critics of islam SHUTED DOWN like this?!?? This is not a media objective coverage, but a coward shamless pro- and pan-islamic organisation. I wonder why and how did the fascist CAIR has more voice in america than muslim apostates and critics of islam who are supposedly equal citizens?!?? I wonder why did the ramadaan of muslim have such a highlight on CNN but not the hindu festivals, budhist festivities ..not to forget EASTER celbrations..??? You guys think we are all stupid or something? That we can't see CNN pushing an islamist agenda down our throats?!?? Here are a few words to START showing you the destruction you are fomenting...from a very important REAL HERO:
    Winston Churchil:Churchill wrote: "Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men's passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness."

    After 9/11, George W. Bush famously described Islam as a "religion of peace". Churchill entertained no such fancy notions. In his history of the Malakand Field Force, Churchill wrote that "civilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed."
    By the time his first book was published, Churchill had taken part in active service, fighting in Bangalore. He joined Lord Kitchener's army in the Sudan, and took part in the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898. This battle took place in what is now a suburb of Khartoum, and pitted British troops against 50,000 belonging to a local warlord, Abdullah al-Taashi. This man called himself the Khalifa or "Caliph", and was the successor of Muhammad Ahmad. Ahmad had been the self-styled "Mahdi" (Muslim Messiah) who had beheaded General Gordon at Khartoum in 1885. The war in Sudan was a religious war. The region had been exploited by the Egyptians from 1819 to 1883. Originally the "Mahdi" had waged war against Muslim Egypt but, irritated by the presence of 150 British troops in Sudan, he soon declared Jihad (Holy War) against all Christians. The Mahdi himself had died of typhus in 1885. The Battle of Omdurman was not the last decisive battle in this war, but it signaled the last time a cavalry charge was mounted by British troops.

    Churchill wrote of the Mahdi's jihad, the succession of the Khalifa and Omdurman in a two-volume book published by Longmans in 1899. Entitled "The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of Sudan", Churchill wrote on pages 248-250 of the second volume: ""How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

    "Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science – the science against which it had vainly struggled – the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."

    May 14, 2011 at 3:49 am | Reply
  29. V

    What is up with some of these weird and stupid comments?
    I applaud him for trying to make the world a better place, especially after all the horror he has seen and endured.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:31 am | Reply
  30. SoGeorgeous

    I just help but wonder what really goes on in the mind of certain people. I mean, is sanity so far-fetched? Some people are so amazingly dumb and inhumane. The world is so full of a-holes and dummies deprived of a good sense of reasoning. Duh!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2011 at 8:07 am | Reply
  31. DN3

    Yours is a heart warming story and underlines the fact that anyone can change someone else's life just by reaching out. Your work and courage are admirable! You are a better person than me, that's for sure. The world needs more people like you.

    @V: I agree with you about the stupid comments - but free speech applies here too including the right to make stupid comments :P People can continue to make stupid comments as long as there are enough people out there that recognize them as stupid - hehe

    May 14, 2011 at 8:32 am | Reply
  32. Dave

    Isn't that a Wookie? I think this guy came from one of the planets in star wars.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
  33. Ronald Sirikale

    Thank you for winning the struggle, work closely with many who can not access Internet , that means we need to go to villages. I wish if your story was read by children in slavery but they can not access Internet?

    May 14, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
  34. Michael

    Eric,
    Your mother and the 4th Reich must be very proud of you, you act as though you are an animal of such lowliness.
    If the nations of the world had treated Africa properly they would be better able to fend for themselves.
    What is true is that, Belgium, France, Briton, the US and many other nations all had a hand in the destruction of Africa, then they abandoned her. Until they found that within Africa there were vast resources that they had never yet plundered.

    The last time is was in Khartoum, i was a guest of the minister of health and education but that was in 1976. What i found there was a people striving to feed and educate the mass's.
    Who sold these people the weapons to which they could kill one another, the west and the old soviet block. You referred to the jews, yes, it is true that they too deal in BLOOD diamonds but they always have. Just as they are known to be the illegal squatters in a land called Palestine.
    A terrorist from the West is still a terrorist, be it jew or American but a far more lowly one, for they hide behind lies, corruption, the need to kill, kill anything. I believe you might be one of these people, you bring shame to your house and to your people. Try to find to find peace, 1st, peace with yourself and then i would suggest that you offer to help Emmanuel build his school and you take time to teach what you have learned.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
  35. free line

    I am frensh ... sorry if i make some keying error .. i'd like to say that this fight againts poverty and world inequalities is so good .I really like the concetp of give up the money we spent on cigarrets or other bad things for our health. And I know that the weight of the pressure will be heavier if we gathering all together for struggel againts ineqalities !!! Good luck to Emmanuel Jal and thanks so Much to raise awarness in peoples mind !!! Love and peace ;)

    May 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  36. Jorge

    stupid idiotic comments...proper of the CNN editorial stance..keep submiting to sheer inhumanity-islam and lick the boots of the islamofascist mass-murderers, tyrants, pedophiles, rapists, thieves, pirats and jihadi sc-mbags CNN..DUHHHH

    May 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  37. HumanitySucks

    Reading CNN comments makes me hate humanity.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  38. John

    Wow, so much hate for Islam, mostly by Jorge. This guy must have no life.

    May 15, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
  39. Tolu olumide Akin

    The story is rely painful,i cry when i read the story.

    May 15, 2011 at 5:56 am | Reply
  40. Seta

    Yes this kid was given a chance and has done exceeding well. What about the Canadian citizen kid in Guantanamo Bay prison who was taken in at the age of 14 and is rotting in the free world jail? Could he have done just as well?

    May 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  41. Zach

    I am an African-American and nobody is superior to me. With that said, I wonder if any of the people saying racist comments hav e a decent education??
    @Dave, Eric & every other racist coward- You say your superior to me, well try to prove it and if I'm correct, isn't the leader of the United States black nd if I'm correct, no other country in the world is a super power which means that someone of black skin is leading the world nd how are you going to say black people don't have morals when all your preaching is hate and your white. so would it be fair, to call all white people racist who lack morals?? No, it wouldn't be...so use some sense before you attack whole groups of people..
    @This touching story- I applaud nd approve this article to the fullest...hate only breeds more hate and you are fighting for peace and the freedom & liberties for others so thank you for everything that you do and stand for.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  42. mirembe

    If CNN cd take trip and reach Arab countries esp Egypt where slavery begun now it commercialised to 2000Dollars purchase per slavegal to work 4 not less than 3yrs.Evidenced

    May 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  43. Nyak Simon Lieth

    Please those who discauraging you, these are the people encauraging war in the world and does not want peace to stay in peace. Do your best in respect of God comments. Good works

    May 18, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
  44. -lilianaa.

    All you idiots need to use your brains for a start. && quit acting like pigs!!!
    – Good luck Emmanuel, I support you:)

    May 20, 2011 at 9:20 am | Reply

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