Awet’s Story


War. Sure CNN can take you inside the war zones  and give you an idea of how it impacts the people it affects but no amount of broadcasting can really compare to the real thing.

My goals are a product of a war not so long ago. I was born in Ethiopia but the land of my father and ancestry is Eritrea. Long ago my father moved to Ethiopia and built a life for himself and his children. After many years my father came to America, and as soon as my father left, the Ethiopian and Eritrean war began and soon Eritreans were being kicked out, killed and or jailed because of their blood lineage.

At the age of 8 I was arrested with my sister while in the market place, and while some things I wish I didn’t remember, I have come to the realization that it is what has aided in molding me today. A bus took us to the outskirts of the border and we were ordered to walk the rest by foot. As we were crossing I saw the soldiers on both sides with their guns and tanks facing one another and I held my sister’s leg for comfort. The sight of being in the middle of two boarders trying to pass from one country to another by foot while the soldiers were ready to shoot if anyone shot even one pistol was one that will never leave my eyes.

Like many children around the world this experience stripped me of my childhood. Forcing me to mature much faster than normal. It was not until I opened my first Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham, given to me by my first librarian, Ann Newhouse, that I found the true childlike feeling that war had taken away from me.


That is the reason that I began and continue to send books to Africa, because they unlock a world that was once unimaginable.