” Notre force est infinie “, de Leymah Gbowee: le courage d’une femme dans la guerre

There are life stories that we fear to read or hear as one imagines them in advance charged with an unbearable tragedy, weighed down to the extreme of these abominations of which the only man is capable. But by its relevance and its honesty, our strength is infinite, the history of Liberian Leymah Gbowee, diving adolescent in the horror of long years of war and then became a peacemaker to the point of obtaining the Nobel Prize in 2011, leads well beyond such fears. Because we feel the author wishing to contribute by her personal testimony to a much larger story: that, insufficiently heard and taken into account, women at the heart of conflicts. African women in addition:

“One day, a foreign journalist asked me:” Have you been raped during the war in Liberia? “When I answered her no, I no longer had any interest in him […] This is not a traditional war story […] I had never heard it before, because it is a story of African woman and our stories are rarely told. “

Vertiginous course than that of Leymah Gbowee. Born into a modest family in Monrovia, it belongs to a country founded artificially in 1822 by a colony of black Americans released and Africans of Hilled Blood which, a terrible irony of history, are imposed on the different local African communities in Arranging political and economic powers. “The origin of our ancestors determined our place in social order”, deplores the narrator, for whom “social iniquity, the unequal sharing of wealth, the exploitation of the natives and their desire to use what belonged to them” are the keys to explaining the country’s problems.

A daily survival

Leymah began his higher education when in 1989, armed rebels led by former member of government Charles Taylor found on the capital from the Ivorian border, declaring that he wanted to overthrow President Samuel Doe. At the first AK47 shots, the denial and disbelief of the GBOWEE family brutally yield it to reality. In a few days, due to a conflict of power doubled with tribalism which puts the country on fire and blood, the life of Leymah and its family, like those of hundreds of thousands of other Liberians, switches to terror:

“At seventeen, we are not used to thinking about death, especially not of hers. Suddenly, she was born from all sides, and I was forced to admit that ‘She could occur at any time. “

Leymah GBOWEE makes the uncompromising war of war seen on the side of women and households, entering the thousand and one details of a daily survival where to satisfy the primary needs becomes the only thing that counts. In such circumstances, everything takes up enormous proportions; Finding food or getting water requires infinite courage.

“Fear was my first feeling when I opened my eyes in the morning. Then gratitude: I am still alive. Then fear again. Recommending to be alive, I was afraid of being in Life. “

The seasons of anomie will succeed one another, devastating the capital and the country, dislocating social relations, exhausting populations during two civil wars and fourteen long years between 1989 and 2003. In this shattered world, the vital breath ‘However, never completely extinguished because women, always they can constantly reinvent new spaces in flight and exile (trips and moves, from one district to another, from one country to another, Ghana, Sierra leone…) or to weave new links (by welcoming adults and children of the expanded family or wandering).