Why? Because You’re a Girl !​​​​​​

Why? Because you’re a girl!

I was having lunch with my female colleague and my supervisor one day at work when our conversation led to Gender equality. I was surprised…wait no…astonished when my female colleague said that we, as women will never have equality and equal opportunities and we should just give up. They both shared this belief which shook me to the core.

I grew up in a better era than my parents and grandparents regarding gender equality. I am lucky to have parents who are open minded about education and gender equality. But I wasn’t immune from hearing the words “Because you are a girl” to justify me having to conform to social norms like doing house work to having to miss out on opportunities because I was born with two XX chromosomes. I’ve heard those words from throughout my childhood, my teenage years and\ even from professors at my university.

What’s even sadder is that it is worse in the rural areas. Girls are still being denied their right to education, forced to only engage in housework and child care and are exposed to practices like Female genital mutilation and so on.

Knowing all this, I refuse to give up! I pledge to face the metaphorical bull which is adversity and do everything in my power to ensure we leave a better world for my daughters and granddaughters and never give up! What about you? 

 

Mama Ethiopia 2

A continuation from last month's Mama Ethiopia 1 post.

4. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia. Legend has it a goat-herder named Kaldi noticed is goats got hyper after eating the berries from a certain plant. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Abebe Bikila is a well-known Ethiopian athlete and he is the first black African to win the gold medal in the Olympic Marathon in 1960….and guess what he ran barefoot! He was left paralyzed 9 years after his big Olympic win.

Love, Tolerance, Unity

I was on my way to Bahir Dar (a city in north-western Ethiopia) from Addis Ababa. I was passing through a small town when I noticed a Church and a Mosque literally in front of each other, two completely different faiths separated only by a few hundred meters.

It is believed that Ethiopia is also arguably the first nation in the world to accept Christianity and the country to harbor the first prophet Mohammed’s followers. According to Wikipedia, The Migration to Abyssinia also known as the First Hegira was an episode in the early history of Islam, where Prophet Muhammad's first followers (the Sahabah) fled from the persecution of the ruling Quraysh tribe of Mecca. They sought refuge in the Christian Kingdom of Aksum, present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea, formerly referred to as Abyssinia.

This shows that Ethiopia a country with over 80 nationalities, languages, religions, cultures and customs have been living harmoniously together for hundreds of years. In light of recent situations going all around the globe, I believe the rest of the world can learn a thing or two from this little East African country.

Mama Ethiopia 1

I was in my final year at Addis Ababa University when I was chosen to become one of the student organizers for the IEEE’s AFRICON conference held in September 2015 at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). I was very excited at this prospect because it gave me a great chance to network and show case my country.

I met a young fellow from the United States who came to Ethiopia for the first time. I asked him what his expectation was before coming here and was the experience any different from it. He told me “I was very scared and reluctant to come to Ethiopia because I thought there would be no clean food to eat, no clean water to drink and all the natives would be walking around naked speaking in tongues. “

I was very shocked at his response. So, from that day on, I use every chance I get to spread all the good sides about my country. So, I am going to start off my blog writing about FUN FACTS about Ethiopia.

1.  Ethiopia was the birthplace of Pan-Africanism (a united Africa). Hailed by Emperor Haile Selassie I, it led to the birth of the African Union.

2.  Ethiopia is the ONLY country in Africa that hasn’t been colonized. We had to defeat the Italians twice to remain independent. The first one being The Battle of Adwa pictured above. This was a decisive battle defeating the Italians for the first time until their return in 1934. The second Italo- Ethiopian war lasted for about 5 years which also resulted in the imminent defeat of the Italians once again ensuring Victory for the Ethiopian people.  

3.  The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months and it is 7 or 8 years behind the Western calendar, it is currently 2009 in Ethiopia. We celebrate New Year’s on Meskerem 1 or September 11 in Gregorian calendar.