Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Q & A With Rahel Zegeye

Rahel is a great friend. Read all about her here.

Widespread news coverage of an Ethiopian migrant worker in Libya, Shweyga Mullah, who had cared for two of Moammar Gadhafi’s grandchildren and suffered abuse and severe burns, has elicited heated reactions from Ethiopians worldwide. Her story brings to the forefront the plight of thousands of female Ethiopian migrant workers who continue to work under dangerous conditions in various countries in the Middle East.
“My heart is burning,” said Rahel Zegeye, who left Ethiopia when she was 20 years old to work as a maid in Lebanon. She still works and resides there. “The Ethiopian government should press charges against the madam (Aline Skaf-Hannibal). I would like to see equal treatment of the case no matter who committed the crime.”
Rahel is also the Director of a new film called Beirut, which documents Ethiopian domestic workers in Lebanon.
We recently interviewed Rahel Zegeye about her movie and the living conditions of Ethiopian women in the Arab world.

TADIAS: Thank you Rahel for your time. Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where you were born, grew up, and when did you move to Lebanon and why?
Rahel Zegeye: I was born in Addis Ababa as the middle child of nine siblings. At school I took acting and film classes. When I was 20 years old I left Addis for Lebanon in order to work as a maid to earn money and help support my family back home. My father was a soldier and retired early. Since I was very young my dad has always been unemployed which was the main reason why I left to work...

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