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Resources about Ethiopia

Books, Movies, etc.


Walk to Beautiful

A Walk To Beautiful - Engel Entertainment - 85 Minutes - Click on Buy The DVD to order online.

With deeply personal dramas and breathtaking cinematography, the award-winning A Walk to Beautiful (85 min.) follows five Ethiopian women on their journey from devastating childbirth injury to health and freedom.

Shunned by their communities, these women are just a few of the millions who spend their lives in loneliness and shame, while a cure exists. We follow them on their journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital where their lives – and our hearts – are transformed.

A Walk to Beautiful has been hailed by critics as “upbeat and life-affirming” (Variety) and a “pure, unabashed humanitarian call to action” (Time Out New York). Deep in the remotest regions of Ethiopia, five women have survived an experience that is often fatal in developing nations: giving birth. They find themselves incontinent due to the absence of medical care, having suffered a traumatic injury –- they are stricken with obstetric fistula.

A Walk to Beautiful tells the riveting stories of these women as we follow their journeys toward a new life. Stigmatized by their tragic condition, they are just a few of the millions who suffer from this condition. They struggle every day to regain their sense of dignity. One woman has been reduced to hiding in a makeshift shack behind her mother’s house, while another leaves the only home she has had to live alone in a village where nobody knows her.

But there is hope. The Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa offers refuge and treatment to the thousands of women who travel there every year. Each woman undergoes a pilgrimage to the hospital hoping for a cure and an opportunity to reclaim their lives. The cure is a simple surgery for some, but frustratingly complicated for others. The women find a haven in The Fistula Hospital where they hope to take the first steps toward restoring their humanity.

A Walk to Beautiful finds each woman possesses the exceptional courage it takes to seek a new beginning for herself and by doing so, creates a new path for future generations of women.

“A Walk to Beautiful will leave you speechless two times over – first with despair, then with joy.”
--Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times

A Walk to Beautiful A Walk To Beautiful - NOVA - 56 Minutes - story of 3 women

A difficult journey that begins in loneliness and shame for thousands of Ethiopian women ends in a productive new life and hope for the future in this award-winning film. Shot against a starkly beautiful landscape, A Walk to Beautiful shares the inspiring stories of three women, rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, who leave home in search of treatment for obstetric fistula. Once common in the pre-industrial United States, this life-shattering complication of childbirth is now relegated to the poorest regions of the world. In Ethiopia alone, there are an estimated 100,000 women suffering from untreated fistulas.

Black Gold

Black Gold ~ Tadesse Meskela (DVD - 2007)

The documentary is as riveting and jaw-dropping as anything currently starring Leonardo DiCaprio. But Black Gold transcends both dramatization and the dry presentational quality of a film like An Inconvenient Truth by telling the story of Ethiopia's coffee farmers like the epic tragedy that it is. --Corina Chocano, L.A. TIMES


Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Beneath the Lion's Gaze: A Novel by Maaza Mengiste

Beneath the Lion's Gaze is an extraordinary novel, which assembles a dauntingly broad cast of characters and, through them, tells stories that nobody can want to hear, in such a way that we cannot stop listening. Although set more than thirty years ago, Mengiste's novel is timely and vital: Its illumination of a world unfamiliar to most Americans shows us how individuals will fight to retain their humanity in the face of atrocity.

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Hardcover)

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Lauded for his sensitive memoir (My Own Country) about his time as a doctor in eastern Tennessee at the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, Verghese turns his formidable talents to fiction, mining his own life and experiences in a magnificent, sweeping novel that moves from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City over decades and generations. Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, leaves the south Indian state of Kerala in 1947 for a missionary post in Yemen. During the arduous sea voyage, she saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone, who becomes a key player in her destiny when they meet up again at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa. Seven years later, Sister Praise dies birthing twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brothers long, dramatic, biblical story set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia, the life of the hospital compound in which they grow up and the love story of their adopted parents, both doctors at Missing. The boys become doctors as well and Vergheses weaving of the practice of medicine into the narrative is fascinating even as the story bobs and weaves with the power and coincidences of the best 19th-century novel. (Feb.)

Hospital by the River

The Hospital by the River: A Story of Hope by Catherine Hamlin (Paperback - April 15, 2005)

The awe-inspiring story of the life and mission of Dr. Catherine Hamlin who, with her husband Reg, established what has been heralded as one the most incredible medical programs in the modern world.

"These are the women most to be pitied in the world. They're alone and forgotten, bearing their injuries in shame." -- Dr. Catherine Hamlin

"Almost four decades after her work began, it's understandable why Hamlin has been called 'The new Mother Teresa for our age' by the New York Times, and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. This fascinating account of Dr. Hamlin's work will break your heart -- and offer hope that even the worst circumstance can be changed if we care enough to help. Keep the Kleenex handy." (Cindy Crosby Faithful Reader )

Notes from the Hyena's Belly

Notes from the Hyena's Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood by Nega Mezlekia (Paperback - Jan 5, 2002)

"Hyenas are the most common, notorious predators in Ethiopia," notes Mezlekia, thus their power in local myth and as a metaphor for the forces that have torn Ethiopia apart in recent decades. This lyrical memoir of an Ethiopian childhood echoes both the myth and the violence of the hyena. In the first third of his literary debut, Mezlekia intersperses accounts of his mischievous, rebellious childhood with the magical tales told by his family to interpret various experiences: magic and spirits were part of everyday life for young Mezlekia. He also carefully delineates the customs of and relations between the Christian and Muslim communities in his hometown of Jijiga. (Mezlekia's mother, though a Christian, took her son to a Muslim medicine man to cleanse him following a series of boyish escapades.)

This lovely and terrible memoir will undoubtedly be well reviewed and thus reach readers interested not only in the fate of Africa but also in a lyrical account of a foreign childhood.

There is No Me  Without You

There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children by Melissa Fay Greene (Paperback - Sep 4, 2007)

Not unlike the AIDS pandemic itself, the odyssey of Haregewoin Teferra, who took in AIDS orphans, began in small stages and grew to irrevocably transform her life from that of "a nice neighborhood lady" to a figure of fame, infamy and ultimate restoration. In telling her story, journalist Greene who had adopted two Ethiopian children before meeting Teferra, juggles political history, medical reportage and personal memoir. While succinctly interspersing a history of Ethiopia, lucidly tracing the history of AIDS from its early manifestation as "slim disease" in the late 1970s to its appearance as a bizarrely aggressive [form] of Kaposi's sarcoma in the early 1980s, and following the complex path of medication (a super highway in the West, a trail in Africa), Greene rescues Teferra from undeserved oblivion as well as rescuing her from undeserved obloquy (false accusations of child selling).

This Is a Soul

This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes by Marilyn Berger

Dr. Rick Hodes arrived in Africa more than two decades ago to help the victims of a famine, but he never expected to call this extremely poor continent his home. Twenty-eight years later, he is still there.

This Is a Soul tells the remarkable story of Rick Hodes's journey from suburban America to Mother Teresa's clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a boy, Rick was devoted to helping those in need, and eventually he determined that becoming a doctor would allow him to do the most good. When he heard about famine in Africa, that's where he went, and when genocide convulsed Rwanda, he went into the refugee camps to minister to the victims. When he was told that Ethiopia was allowing its Jews to emigrate to Israel, he went to help. While there, he was drawn to Mother Teresa's mission in Addis Ababa. It was there that Rick found his calling when he began caring for the sickest children in one of the world's poorest countries. But he did more than that—he began taking them into his home and officially adopted five of them.


Qooqaa Addaa Afaan Oromoo =: Special Oromo Dictionary: Oromoo-Oromoo, Oromo-English, English-Oromo by Ibsaa Guutama (Paperback - Jan 2004)

Oromoo-Oromoo, Oromoo-English, English-Oromo, with purposeful front part and Appendix of rich information including grammar notes, plant names, time and measurement, parts of the body, Oromiyaa, Africa, UN, traditional Oromo personal.

This would be of strategic importance for those going over to the Oromo areas of Ethiopia and wanting to show a willingness to respect the Oromo culture. Their language is considered by them to be most important, and by using Amharic, the highest level of respect is not shown to them. As you know, even a very limited attempt by native English speakers to use a few of their words with them will demonstrate a positive impression.

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