ethiopian migrant turns perilous
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today

journey into film

Ethiopian migrant turns perilous

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Ethiopian migrant turns perilous

Ethiopian migrant Zekarias Mesfin surprised his audience by arriving in a coffin
Addis Ababa - AFP

Zekarias Mesfin spent months making a movie about his dangerous illegal migration from Ethiopia -- and when he arrived at the film's premiere, he was in a coffin carried by six white-gloved pallbearers.

Not that Zekarias, 33, was dead. 

But he chose the dramatic entrance to show how close to death he came 12 years ago when he left his home in Ethiopia to journey across the deserts of Sudan and Egypt to try to get to Israel.

"I was almost dead," Zekarias told AFP, following the Ethiopian premiere of the film last week at the national theatre in the capital Addis Ababa. "At the Israel border, I lost many, many friends, sisters, brothers."

Zekarias could not have predicted where his journey would finally take him: after being caught and jailed for two years for illegally entering Egypt, the United Nations helped him resettle in Canada.

He has since become a Canadian citizen and settled in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife and two children.

Zekarias says he spent years thinking about making a film about his odyssey. 

Finally deciding to take the plunge three years ago, he ploughed his savings of 2.2 million birr ($81,303, 69,067 euros) into making "Ewir Amora Kelabi", an Amharic phrase that can be roughly translated as "the higher spiritual power guiding the lost". 

- 'I was there' -

Zekarias plays himself in the film, re-enacting his journey across Africa to show viewers just how hazardous it can be.

Illegal immigration is "very difficult, it's very, very dangerous. I want to teach that," Zekarias said of the film, which was shot in Ethiopia. "I didn't make this documentary film by guessing. I was there."

Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous country and also one of its poorest.

But despite rapid economic growth over the past decade, many Ethiopians seek to try their luck elsewhere, mostly countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, even if they don't have any visas and have to brave war zones like Yemen to get there.

An estimated 334,000 Ethiopians migrated to the Middle East between 2006 and 2014, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a group of international organisations that monitor migration in East Africa and Yemen.

Tales are rife of the brutality and violence that the migrants face.

In August, the United Nations reported at least 50 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia were deliberately drowned off Yemen by smugglers who appeared to have spotted a coastguard patrol.

Those who do make it to their destinations and find work provide vital remittances for their families back home, but are also regularly exploited by their employers or physically abused, according to the International Labour Organization.

- A familiar story -

Zekarias' movie -- which he also produced and wrote -- won an award for Best Emerging Filmmaker at the African Film Festival in Dallas in July.

It is a story that would be familiar to many Ethiopian migrants.

After being orphaned at a young age, Zekarias roamed Ethiopia working in barber shops until 2005 when he decided to make the trek to Israel, enticed by the better prospects there. 

Along the way, he and other migrants were abused and cheated by smugglers and rarely had enough food and water.

He was eventually captured by Egyptian authorities near the Israeli border and thrown into prison.

The film is unflinching in its depictions of the brutality migrants face, but Zekarias said it was up to the viewer to determine whether they want to migrate or not.

"Anyone can decide to go. The decision is up to them," Zekarias said. "But if they see this movie, I don't think they want to go."

Source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

GMT 07:14 2017 Friday ,29 December

Bono, former Suu Kyi campaigner

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,05 December

Dalia Ibrahim proud for performing role of Shadia

GMT 00:17 2017 Friday ,24 November

'Star Wars' a perfect escape in a 'dark' era

GMT 00:35 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Fadl Shaker seeks to prove innocence

GMT 15:00 2017 Saturday ,21 October

migrants 'only chance' for cultural revival

GMT 05:41 2017 Sunday ,24 September

Shania Twain finds new voice after illness

GMT 12:14 2017 Thursday ,14 September

Wasoof resumes recording of his new album
Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

ethiopian migrant turns perilous ethiopian migrant turns perilous

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

ethiopian migrant turns perilous ethiopian migrant turns perilous

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 04:50 2017 Wednesday ,16 August

Turkey''s Quake Death Toll Rises to 217

GMT 20:59 2017 Saturday ,25 November

Hariri Arrives in Beirut after Talks in Egypt, Cyprus

GMT 08:44 2016 Thursday ,24 November

Turkish army blames Syrian regime for deadly air strike

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,07 August

5 reasons you should consider for your getaway

GMT 17:40 2016 Saturday ,24 December

Cyprus revises up economic projections

GMT 11:52 2015 Friday ,06 February

Kerli thanks Estonia for her music

GMT 06:45 2017 Wednesday ,01 February

Trump names Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court nominee

GMT 12:18 2011 Thursday ,23 June

UK\'s Libya campaign to cost £260 mln

GMT 13:15 2016 Thursday ,15 December

Steve Smith ton puts Australia

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 21:13 2017 Tuesday ,11 July

39 ships transit Suez Canal

GMT 07:01 2017 Wednesday ,08 November

Trump lands in China for talks on trade, North Korea

GMT 19:20 2017 Saturday ,29 July

Al-Nahda is largest private university in Egypt

GMT 06:31 2016 Sunday ,02 October

Palestinian who wounded Israeli guard killed

GMT 17:33 2017 Saturday ,21 January

4 dead, 20 hurt as car rams Melbourne shoppers

GMT 09:01 2018 Saturday ,13 January

New Zealand bat first in third ODI against Pakistan

GMT 12:35 2016 Saturday ,03 September

Jesus story gets virtual reality treatment in Venice

GMT 20:29 2017 Saturday ,04 March

Egypt sends medical, food aid to S.Sudan

GMT 01:29 2017 Sunday ,07 May

Indian success stories abound in Saudi Arabia
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday