Ethiopia is a reminder of American privilege

Ethiopia: you might not even have heard of such a country, or maybe you have. To me, Ethiopia is home, the place that introduced me to myself, a place that showed me the morals and reality of the rest of the world.

Ethiopia is located in the east of Africa, most commonly known as the horn of Africa. It’s known for its lasting legacy of extraordinary kings and queens who fought the infamous battle against Italian colonization and won, becoming one of Africa’s only two countries to never be colonized. Just that history alone essentially defines every Ethiopian you will meet. Ethiopia is a country that has held its place for centuries. It has always been independent, and all Ethiopians hold true that we are all one. By this I mean that Ethiopia is composed of numerous cultures and tribes all with different languages, ways of expressing each culture in their own way, but we never really separate from the country that we call Ethiopia.

Every part of my country’s pride is engraved in me, and in every Ethiopian you will meet. That sense of pride and principles gives me and all Ethiopian emigrants hope that we have something to go back to, something to work for.

Unfortunately, not every country gets to have a completely great history, and there is a tragic side of Ethiopia. King Haile Selassie was overthrown by a dictatorship which essentially brought Ethiopia to its knees, and a series of events occurred which crippled the country. One of these unfortunate events was from 1984-1985, when Ethiopia went through a massive famine, crippling the economy.

The inept Ethiopian government has caused the core of Ethiopia’s belief in unity to be nothing more than a saying. The government has turned the tribes against each other to keep itself in power. It has shut down any communication to the outside world. People are killing each other; farmers are losing their lands to different countries without any notice. This is what my country has come to. Instead of being proud to have such diversity, we call each other by tribe names, rather than by simply Ethiopians.

So you may ask what is the point, the reason for all of this talk? And the point is that there is a whole other world that is suffering to even keep its lights on. We are so focused on the new administration and what’s going to happen next, while shopping for that shirt you really want but don’t need. Although it is sad to see America in this state, we need to remember there are countries which have it worse.

Throughout the rough years my country has faced, it has been the home that raised me and I am honored to be a part of it. I am proud to be an Ethiopian.

One thought on “Ethiopia is a reminder of American privilege

  • March 22, 2017 at 9:14 am

    ‘Biruk’ means ‘blessed’ in Amharic. The name fits! Ato Tsegaye should be proud to have borne and raised you.

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