Esaie Toingar was born and raised amid the turmoil of war and strife in Africa. Who has rights in the face of guns and bombs? Toingar’s first experience of voting in Chad was as a former child soldier during the regime of Hissène Habré. When he voted NO on a referendum, he was slapped and forced to change NO to YES. Bitterly unhappy and oppressed like millions of others, Toingar vowed to speak someday for voiceless people if he ever had the opportunity.
Toingar eventually became a refugee in Nigeria and was resettled to the USA by the UN Refugee Agency. Meeting with other refugees and immigrants from different continents, Toingar learned that crimes and atrocities traumatize the oppressed wherever they go. He also learned that lack of education is the main cause of the ignorance that often leads people into vicious actions. Toingar’s memoir of survival, A Teenager in the Chad Civil War, published by McFarland in 2006, observed the suffering of his people and his escape from those atrocities.