Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsMehari, Senait, and Lukas Lessing
Number of Pages317

Born in 1974 to an Ethiopian mother and an Eritrean father, Senait Mehari was abandoned by her parents and spent her early years in a state orphanage. After four years she returned to her father, but as the onset of war threatened he made the shocking decision to give Senait and two of her stepsisters to the rebel troops of the Eritrean Liberation Front. Six-year-old Senait went on to spend three harrowing years in a training camp for child soldiers. She witnessed first-hand the brutalities of war, learned how to use a rifle and endured hunger, sickness, and beatings. In 1983, she and her sisters were rescued when her uncle arranged a daring escape to Sudan. After four years of living in Khartoum the sisters were summoned to Germany by their father, where life continued to prove difficult. At age 14 Senait left home to live on the streets, bought herself a cheap keyboard and began playing music. Now a successful artist, Senait has not forgotten the horrors of her childhood, but will not let them defeat her. This is the moving and inspirational testimony of a woman determined to survive and succeed.

Translated TitleHeart of Fire
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