When Johannes Argay decided to open a small market selling food and spices from his native Ethiopia, he wasn’t intimidated by all the competition at Build America Plaza in Falls Church, Virginia, where dozens of shops bear orange-and-brown signs in English and Amharic.
Argaw Ashine has served as a journalist for 18 years at different media organizations inside Ethiopia, including governmental, private and foreign media outlets. He was also in charge of various journalism unions in the country. He left Ethiopia on September 2011 after the Ethiopian Federal Police gave him the ultimatum of either revealing his government sources or fleeing the country.
Just a few years ago, you would not have seen a single skateboard on the streets of Addis. But things are different now. What once turned heads is now becoming a more common sight. Nine years ago, Addisu Hailemichael had his first encounter with a skateboard. Today, he is one of the people responsible for the growing popularity of skateboarding amongst the city’s youth.
In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, his nameless protagonist declares, “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” The same could be said of the thousands of Ethiopians who have never been to their homeland.Discovering her roots and her identity on a life changing trip to Ethiopia, Rediate Tekeste envisaged the same eye-opening journey for other young Ethiopian diasporas around the world.
In 1997, Lily Wolde won the lottery. A native of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Lily (her given name is Seble) entered a lottery to receive a U.S. Diversity Visa. The odds were long. Millions enter, but only about 50,000 actually get the Visa. After that, Lily’s story has little to do with luck. She says, she relies on her faith in God to help her overcome any personal or professional challenges.