Thursday, August 22, 2019

Two Ethiopians die in house fire in DC

D.C. officials said there were 12 people living in the home, which was divided up to rent to multiple people.  Because the home was not licensed as a rental, it was never inspected by the city to ensure it met fire code.

Ashenafi Belachwe becomes US citizen with a little help from the police

On Tuesday, August 20 an officer pulled over to help a man having car troubles. The officer took the man to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office. That's where he waited as Ashenafi Belachwe put on a suit he had brought with him and went inside with the hope of a better life.

Aklilu Burayu manages four parking garages in downtown Minneapolis

“America makes you a perfect person,” Burayu, 62, reflected on a recent day outside the ramp, comparing the intensity of struggle being new in America to the crushing geological pressure that forms diamonds in the earth. “It will push you to work hard.” Burayu grew up in Ethiopia. As a young adult, he worked there as a high school teacher and writer, got married and had four children. One day, he applied for an American visa lottery and won.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hikma spent three years in Libya being tortured

Hikma has large dark eyes and a friendly smile. A dark green two-piece veil frames her adolescent features; she is wearing a black shirt, dark jeans and trainers. "I'm fine now; I want to go to Rome to continue my studies," she says.  Even though she's only 18, Hikma has seen a lot terrible things. She fled her home in Ethopia with the goal of reaching Europe. Like many migrants who pass through Libya, she's experienced a lot of suffering.  Hikma is sitting at a small table at a hotel on the sandy beach of Guitgia on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The beach is full of bathers enjoying the clear water and summer music hits. Another young Ethiopian woman is with Hikma: 20-year-old Amina, wearing a blue hijab, a red shirt, white pants, and blue trainers. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Girmay Zahilay running for Metropolitan King County Council #EthiopiansInSeattle


His parents left Ethiopia as refugees in the 1980s for Sudan, where Zahilay was born. They immigrated to South Seattle, his mom working double shifts as a nursing assistant. He attended college at Stanford, where he would major in biology and serve as president of the Black Student Union. After college, he interned at the Office of White House Counsel during the Obama administration. He continued his education at University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Dr. Taye Gonfa to start a full-time job as a family practice physician #EthiopiansInNorthCarolina



In 2000, Taye Gonfa was a medical student in Ethiopia. However, he joined hundreds of other students in a massive protest against the government that erupted in the capital city of Addis Ababa, and spread throughout the country. Gonfa and some of the other students fled to Kenya and he settled in a refugee camp. He stayed at the refugee camp for 8 years. He moved to the United States in 2008. He was eventually able to continue his education.  He graduated with a bachelor's of science degree from UNCG in just two and a half years, and was later accepted into the medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill. He did his residency at Moses Cone and is now a full-time job as a family practice physician at the same institution. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tecle Gebremicheal is running for Boise City Council #EthiopiansInIdaho


Gebremicheal is working toward an undergraduate degree in political science from Boise State University and serves as a petroleum supply specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves. After first coming to Boise from Ethiopia, he earned his GED and attended the College of Western Idaho before aiming for his bachelor’s. He speaks three languages and also works as a soccer coach for Nations United under Rush Sports Complex Idaho.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Rediet Abebe a computer science researcher at Cornell University #EthiopiansInNewYork


She specializes in algorithms, artificial intelligence, and their application for social good. She told an audience at EmTech Digital, an event organized by MIT Technology Review, that she has discovered a surprising lack of collaboration in certain areas of AI research.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Betalehem Asmamawe stars in 'Fig Tree’ #EthiopiansInIsrael


Fig Tree is the first feature film that looks at the Ethiopian immigration from the point of view of Jews struggling to get to Israel, and it’s a complex, moving story about the life of one family during the civil war in the late 1980s, and what they left behind. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, where it won the Eurimages Audentia Award – Davidian attended while she was seven months pregnant – and also received an Ophir Award back in Israel for Daniel Miller’s cinematography. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Complete Beginner's Guide to China-Africa Relations by Lina Getachew Ayenew #EthiopiansInChina


The guide is primarily aimed at diplomats, academics, students, aid workers, business people and the media. But with its straightforward explanations, the book presents a nuanced overview of the most prevailing themes and events that have shaped relations between Africa and China of late. If you want a better understanding of the relationship, which is only going to get stronger and more complex in the coming years, then Ayenew's guide is a good place to start.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Abdul Kadir Ababora survived Christchurch terrorist attack #EthiopiansInNewZealand


The 48-year-old arrived from Ethiopia in 2010 and made a life for himself in the placid city of Canterbury. Like most of Christchurch's inhabitants, Ababora said he never believed such hatred would arrive on his doorstep.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Tsion Tesfaye receives full funding for graduate study at Stanford #EthiopiansInNewYork


Tesfaye, from Holeta, Ethiopia, is pursuing a master’s degree in statistics (data science track) at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. She graduated from Hamilton with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in education studies. Tesfaye presented her Youth for Ethiopia project at the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2016, as well as social innovation conferences and trainings in Austria, Japan, Rwanda, and the U.S.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

11-year-old Jonah Larson releasing a book #EthiopiansInWisconsin


KWiL Publishing, an independent small press, is publishing a photo autobiography of Jonah Larson. In addition to telling his story of being adopted from Ethiopia, it will feature an introduction to crocheting and some of "Jonah's Favorites."

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Hakeem Abdulwahab moved up from custodian to nurse #EthiopiansInMinnesota


Abdulwahab was born into a large, but poor family in Ethiopia. In his early 20’s, he decided to try to come to America so he could make money to send back home. When Abdulwahab arrived in Minnesota, his first job was at a McDonald’s. There, he met a nurse, and his now-mentor, who worked at Gillette Children’s. Years later, however, Abdulwahab's coworkers encouraged him to go to school for a nursing degree.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Mekedlawit Setegne is president of Rice African Student Association #EthiopiansInOhio


Setegne came to America with her family when she was five years old after winning the lottery for a diversity visa. Setegne said she feels that there’s pressure to be a perfect representation of black people all the time. “I know that as soon as I say something that's wrong, I'm not talking for Mekedlawit. I'm talking for black women in STEM,” Setegne said. “I think that makes me more hesitant to just do a lot of things, and feel like I don't belong in certain spaces.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bereded-Samuel is the founder of the Horn of Africa Communities Network #EthiopiansInAustralia


Elleni Bereded-Samuel arrived in Australia as a refugee from Ethiopia 23 years ago. She is vice-president of the Australian-Africa Chamber of Commerce, a director of Western Health, a BreastScreen Victoria board member, a former director of the Royal Women’s Hospital and a former commissioner with the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She has worked at WestCASA, Victoria University and Catholic Care, and is diversity capability development manager at Australian Unity.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Amira Abase fled East London with three schoolpals in 2015 to join ISIS #EthiopiansInLondon


Abase fled the UK with two Bethnal Green Academy pals, Kadiza Sultana and Begum, in February 2015. The three girls all married ISIS fighters but Sultana was reported to have been killed in an airstrike on Raqqa in May 2016 while Abase could still be alive. Her dad had made an emotional appeal for her to come home a week after she joined the barbarous terror group, saying: “Remember how we love you”. Holding a teddy bear wearing a Chelsea shirt, he said his family “cannot stop crying”.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Megdelawit Habteselassie is double majoring in neuroscience and organizational leadership #EthiopiansInCincinnati


University of Cincinnati senior Megdelawit Habteselassie also finds time to serve as student body president and as a member of the UC alumni council. She is the first African-American woman to hold the position in UC's 199-year history. She will graduate this year and plans to move to Washington, D.C., to work for a few years before going to law school.

Alem Tesema was shot while driving his taxi #EthiopiansInNewZealand


Alem Tesema has now been offered alternative accommodation in a new part of the country. However, the area that has been offered to Alem Tesema isn't close to the Ethiopian community and in an area he knows to be unsafe. He is still receiving physiotherapy and experiences pain in the shoulder he was shot. He has been unable to find an alternative job and has been waiting to be relocated since applying earlier this year.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Lia Petrose is a Rhodes scholar #EthiopiansInMaryland


Petrose, of Laurel, Maryland, earned her degrees in neuroscience and economics from Pitt in 2017. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States when she was 12. In a release from the university, Honors College Dean Brian Primack said he was "absolutely thrilled for Lia."

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ermyias Shiberou owns Blue Nile Ethiopian Kitchen #EthiopiansInTennessee


Ermyias Shiberou grew up halfway across the world in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Today, he is the owner of Blue Nile Ethiopian Kitchen restaurant and Stickem food truck. This friendly chef and restaurateur always has a smile on his face and is the most welcoming of hosts. His is a story that will move you. He originally came to Memphis out of necessity. When he was just 15 years old, his parents sent him to Memphis to live with a family friend. He came here all on his own.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Temesgen Zeleke and Kathryn Hunter star in The Emperor #EthiopiansinNewYork


It is an account of the fall of  Haile Selassie, based on the book of the same title by Ryszard Kapuscinski.  Production opened on Sunday at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, New York. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Derartu Ahmed wins Wallin Scholarship to go to Lawrence University #EthiopiansInMinnesota


Ahmed was 9 when she came to America. She spent most of her childhood growing up in Tennessee and spent a little time in New York between elementary school and high school. Ahmed’s father is the only one in her family, until now, who attended a form of higher education, through a local community college. Ahmed will be the first to attend a four-year college, an achievement by itself, with her entire first year covered by scholarships and grants. For a year at Lawrence University between tuition, fees, room and board, an estimated total of $57,816 is needed to send a single student to college.

However, Ahmed received the 2018-19 Gift Aid of $51,270, a combination of grants and scholarships through Lawrence University and Federal Pell, not to mention through federal funding. This is on top of the $16,000 Wallin Scholarship.



Naol Benti pleads guilty to charges of stealing credit cards #EthiopiansInAustralia


Naol Benti, 27, was working at Mercy Place in Parkville, Melbourne, when he robbed Mary Purcell in December last year.

The registered nurse drained his victim’s accounts, making almost daily purchases ranging from food at a local café and Domino’s pizza, to more expensive items such as a diamante watch and camera bag from JB Hi-Fi.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Water Will Carry Us Home is a film by Gabrielle Tesfaye #EthiopiansInThailand


A first-generation American born to an Ethiopian father and mixed-heritage Jamaican mother, Tesfaye puts her multidisciplinary approach to work in The Water Will Carry Us HomeTesfaye grew up in Milwaukee and New York. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and the Mahidol University International College in Bangkok, Thailand, before earning her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also has been an artist in residence at the Tholpavakoothu Puppetry Theatre in Kerala, India. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and shows in London, Dublin, Chicago, New York and Thailand.

The Water Will Carry Us Home from Gabrielle Tesfaye on Vimeo

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dr. Gudata Hinika is the chief of trauma and general surgery at California Hospital Medical Center


Hinika came to the United States at the age of 16. He studied at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and has been the chief of trauma and general surgery at CHMC since 2004. 

He founded the organization Ethiopia Health Aid in 2007 after seeing hundreds of people in Oromia die from easily preventable diseases or conditions that could be treated with proper equipment and training. In 2006, 280 children in the area died from dehydration, Hinika said.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Daniel Geda will major in pre-med at Cornell #EthiopiansInDC


Outside of the classroom at St. Anselm’s Geda has been a member of the school’s track and soccer teams. He was also a member of Cultural Student Organization, which he said “is a club that tries to promote social, political, cultural, and racial dialogue and awareness on our school campus.”

Geda also took part in the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS). The seminar invites less than 100 rising junior high school students each year to participate in a six-week college level course on black and ethnic studies topics. The program is designed to spur interest in the history, culture and politics of people of African descent. The program is held at Cornell University and the University of Michigan.

Menbere Medhane owns Ahadu, an Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle #EthiopiansInSeattle


This is the third evolution of Medhane’s business, which began as a small market in 2005. After it morphed into a butcher shop in 2012, customers began to request that Medhane also cook the meat for them, then maybe some vegetables to go with it. She was game, but says it was essential that she start the restaurant with spices from her home country.

Her late father worked in the spice business while she was growing up in Ethiopia. When famine and civil war ravaged the country, he sent her to live in Seattle. The teenager, who spoke little English when she arrived in 1986, lived with an older brother, attended Garfield High School and worked at McDonald’s to pay for her prom dress. In 2014, she returned to Ethiopia, where a few siblings and her mother still live, acquired the spices and returned to open her restaurant.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Abel Getachew going to Georgetown on a full scholarship #EthiopiansInOregon



Getachew wants to become a cardiovascular surgeon since he had a childhood friend with heart problems who couldn’t afford medical care. He hopes to work with Doctors Without Borders to give back to communities in need. As part of his Corporate Work Study Program job through De La Salle North Catholic, he works at Oregon Health and Science University and had the opportunity to shadow a cardiovascular surgeon. Getachew said it was eye-opening and inspiring.