The war stole Foto’s childhood.
The Eritrean said growing up in a war made him feel like a 30-year-old man, when he just was 16.
"War matures you," he told me.
Eritrea was at war with neighboring Ethiopia fighting for its independence, ultimately winning it in1991.
But in 1977, when Foto was 16, he decided he had endured enough brutality for a lifetime, and made a monumental decision.
Foto planned to flee his country with the hope of joining his brother in America. After sad goodbyes to his family, he set out to cross the desert to Sudan solo.
He took as much water as he could carry, supplementing his supply at villages along the way. It took him seven long days, but he made it.
Once in Sudan he had to grapple with a new language, and find a way to earn money as a laborer.
Six months later Foto was on his way to America, where he joined his brother in Florida.At 53, Foto now lives in San Diego where he’s a cab driver, and happy to live in peace. heard Foto’s gripping account when he was my cab driver. His story is surreal. It’s hard to imagine a 16-year old setting out alone to cross a desert.
He had to forfeit his youth because of the cruelty of war.
For a true childhood, one full of innocence and adventure, peace is crucial. Many of us have been lucky to grow up without the horror of war.
Can you imagine having your childhood stolen?
The journey for success is long. So
many times I was ignored from the world
of art, but I never turned my face no
matter my blindness. I really love those
who have ignored me since they made me
to work diligently. Now, I am accepted as
great musician; and I doubt the world
may forget me as a blind one. I am really
Eritrean singer Tareke Tesfahiwet
At this critical juncture, he[Dr. Aman Russom] was advised to take an easier education that would lead him to some sort of vocational training like that of mechanics and other sort of physical work that would easily enable him to join the workforce.
Nevertheless, “There was a friend of mine who had chosen technical school which is more difficult. So, I was motivated to disregard the advice I received in favor of technical school. Hand it not been the case, it would have taken me a long way to be at the stage I am today.
"One has to believe in oneself and aim for the sky. I liked what I did and this is how it started."
Dr. Aman Russom- Eritrean Scientist
Inventor of HIV detection through DVD equipment