February 25, 2007

What will make an Ethiopian happy?

Australia is seen as one of the very few peaceful countries. It is isolated from world's chaos, boasts multi-cultural living and provides a rich standard-of-living.

The gradual increase in the flow of immigrants supports that fact. Today, I met an Ethiopian taxi driver while traveling to home. I usually start the conversation with a brief question on weather (Is it going to be hot for the next few days) or just asking about them (How was your day or How are you doing). Today, I saw this brown-skinned man (happy, because me too!) and asked him if he is from Srilanka. He said, 'No, I am from Ethiopia. Most of the people mistake me seeing my colour'. He said his name is Alam.

A song was playing in the music player. I asked what kind of music it is. He told it is a music album released by an Indian-born Ethiopian musician. The music was very lively and would make you tap your dance feet.

So, the conversation continued like this...

How long have you been here in Australia?
Just 6 months. We arrived here in last September (2006). I have a family with two kids and my wife. We are settling in here still.

What were you doing in Ethiopia?
I was an accountant.

I heard that the life in Ethiopia is not so peaceful. How do you find the life in Australia compared to your country?
Very peaceful. I am happy because, my family is safer here and they can walk on the streets without any bothering from anyone. I used to work as an Accountant in my country. The rule of gun is the law, there. If 'they' (higher officials in government), tell you to sign a document - you must sign it. If not, you are gone next minute (points a finger gun at my head).

Are you happy that ''you are here''?
Actually, I am sad because I miss my relatives and friends. But, I am happy here because; I can do what I want. I have to be truthful to myself and the society here. But, nothing wring can happen here. My family will be safer and prosperous here. My kids will get used to a good system government, culture and discipline.

Will you go back if your country becomes peaceful?
Surely, yes. I came here, not because of money - but for safety. I will feel happy in my own land. Nothing can replace it.

Do you believe Ethiopia will become a peaceful country?
Yea, definitely. It may take few years - can't say exactly when. But, I believe, peace will return to Ethiopia - a truely, democratic rule will come soon. At the time, I will go back with my family to join my relatives and friends. That (the day of return) will be the happiest day of my life.

How do your family getting adjusted to this new life?
They are good. Children like their schools because they are allowed to play a lot. We are still making new friends, community places - markets, shops, restaurants (Ethiopian related). It will take few more months - but, we are good. We are getting used to the Australian way of life - not forgetting our own values.

I wished him a good luck and he dropped me at my home and went. I wonder when peace will return such African nations. If each country says, all such civil wars are part of their internal affairs - who else would stop those. George Bush is interested in 'restoring peace' in Iraq and Arab nations, only because they have Oil. Who will care for these resource-poor nations in the Dark Continent?

Sigh...by the way; have you ever tried Ethiopian cuisine? Try it
Abyssinian
126 Henley Beach Rd,
Torrensville
Ph 8443 4300

I have had dinner at this restaurant, few months ago and I would recommend it to you. It will be hot and spicy. (:-p)

2 comments:

eprdf said...

I am surprised by the story. Ethiopia is a more peaceful now than most western nations who claim to have developed. Though, I can't say this man could not have been harrased by the government or somebody in Ethiopia, I completly disagree with the assertion that 'You are gone the next minute'. It is poverty and unemployment that is making people leave their country. The Australian government (and the west) doesn't allow people from the developing nation stay in their country for economical reasons, so these poor people have to make up a story.
It is just that simple.
Thanks

Ethiounited Moderator said...

EPRDF, I am so surprised to see your comment to convince the Australians as if they don't have the clue to understand what the poor people of Ethiopia are going through. The EPRDF/TPLF justice system always justifies all the people's case using bullets and guns.
EPRDF, it is not mostly that poverty and unemployment that chases the people of Ethiopia out of their country. It is the political situation in Ethiopia which doesn't allow the people of Ethiopia to work, to study, to do the normal task of the simple life of an Ethiopian and to live as any human being in this earth.
For me, You are one paid propogandist who is trying to make money by filling comments in any weblink that you are capable of - I know Meles Zenawi is spending money on people like you, EPRDF.