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Ethio-Canadians from embattled Tigray region grapple with overseas conflict on 1-yr anniv. of crisis

Nicholas Keung, Nov 3, 2021, Toronto Star

Azeb Gebrehiwot has fond childhood memories of her hometown of Adwa, which is best known as the place where the Ethiopian army defeated the Italians in 1896 to successfully fend off European invasion.

It was one of the events the 29-year-old Ottawa woman says always made her a proud Ethiopian.

Although the town was part of the Tigray Region with its distinct culture and Tigrinya language, she says she and her fellow Tigrayans were embraced by other Ethiopians in an era of peace after the military regime was replaced in 1994 by a coalition government made up of different ethnic groups.

“My parents had always told me, ‘We’re Ethiopians.’ They made sure that I grew up to be a proud Ethiopian,” recalls Gebrehiwot, who came to Canada with her family in 2004. “I had that pride in being Ethiopian, until Nov. 4 last year.”

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