Ethiopians suddenly see America expressing dislike and disdain for immigrants and foreigners. The nationalist policies of Trump adviser Steve Bannon frighten and confuse Ethiopians
By Stuart Grover (The News Tribune) |
I recently returned from three weeks in Ethiopia, an abysmally poor, highly primitive nation of more than 100 million people on the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is also the cradle of civilization, from which humanoids migrated to Europe and beyond.
It was also probably the first nation to adopt Christianity and boasts ancient ties to Judaism stemming from the liaison between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. It houses the Ark of the Covenant in a monastery in Axum, as well as extraordinary churches hewn from solid rock.
Ethiopia remains a multicultural nation, comprising Ethiopian Orthodox, Muslim, Catholic and animist populations, which coexist harmoniously. Intermarriage carries no stigma, people accept differences and strife reflects tribal rather than religious divisions.
Ethiopians are not shy about expressing feelings. They show their disdain for the Chinese who are building roads and rail lines (not very well); their hatred of the Eritreans, with whom they have territorial disputes; and their unabashed love for America.
People were genuinely happy to meet us and (literally) embraced us. They see the U.S. as a promised land that welcomes newcomers.
Ethiopia participates in the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan to help prevent the spread of terrorism in the region, and maintains cordial relations with Israel. We have had a long-term Peace Corps operation there, provided them foreign aid and offer humanitarian support through such nonprofits as Federal Way’s World Vision.
Ethiopians admire America’s openness and the welcome it has offered to refugees and immigrants. Large populations of Ethiopians reside in the Northwest (including the Puget Sound region), Washington, D.C., and the upper Midwest.
They have been made to feel welcome and found jobs that fill important niches. They pay taxes, obey laws and fit into their adopted communities. They feel safe under our system of law.
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