Neither Here Nor There: Perspectives on Identity by the Young Eritrean and Ethiopian Diaspora in America

November 21, 2011

Yonas Hagos – A Quintessential Ethiopian American

Filed under: Uncategorized — Habesha Diaspora @ 8:49 am
HEROES AMONG US: Colin Powell with (clockwise from left) Tom Corey, Yonas Hagos, Tracy Garner, Sarah Letts-Smith, Vartkess Tarbassian, Bob Kessler.   Photo was obtained from 

Yonas Hagos, born in Sudan of Ethiopian parents, came to the U.S. at the age of 10.  He joined the army after September 11 attacks to give back to a nation that gave him and his family a place to call home.  Yonas earned a Purple Heart when he was injured in Iraq after a rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle he was traveling in.

Read his and other veterans’ thoughts on their military experience through Parade magazine.

You can also read about the life he is builder after returning from the war here.


November 6, 2011

Back to work

Filed under: Uncategorized — Habesha Diaspora @ 8:49 pm

When this project began, I knew it would be a journey beyond the reach of my imagination at the time. Boy was I right. Since then, I have gone back to school full time, gotten engaged and married and moved into a new house with my husband. It’s almost as though I’m not the same person I was at that time. When life pummels you like this it is hard to find the time to reflect and process what is happening. Changes in your values, beliefs and character may seem abrupt to others but to you, it is almost as though they have snuck by your conscious thought. How did I get here? You might ask yourself.

As I have been adjusting to my new life roles, my sister and I have been overwhelmed with obligations. Now, however, the dust has settled and we are finishing up this amazing journey of publishing this book. As we have met other authors and editors, we see the range of processes by which works are published. Some finish in a matter of months while others take many years to complete a book. Each journey, though, is its own. Not only does it have its own range of time to come to life, but it is also defined by the time it takes to come to life. What do I mean? The way a project like this happens is in its own time. The time we have spent tending to life has enabled me to apply the many ideas and concepts introduced to me through this project to major events in my life. I would have never been able to articulate to my American husband what my Ethiopian identity means to me in a way for him to understand before this project. Going back to school, I am able to understand these Eurocentric lessons through multiple lenses. Like watching a movie in 3-D.

As the review process comes to an end, we will be contacting submitters with an update about whether their pieces were chosen for the final publication. We then hope to have the book ready to be sold within a few months of the final decision. We thank you all for your patience and sharing this journey with us. We hope that the final book will bring as much understanding, clarity and meaning in your lives as well.

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