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October 27, 2009
Old ways endure in remote rural village in northern Ethiopia

Worldfocus correspondent Martin Seemungal travels to a remote village in the highlands of Ethiopia. He observes a traditional way of life that is virtually cut off from the rest of the world.

For more Worldfocus coverage of Ethiopia, visit our extended coverage page: Ethiopia Past and Present.




the mother is my country i will struggle until i lost my life
that the way i ove it


Just Be You

You are strong . . . .
when you take your grief and teach it to smile.

You are brave . . . .
when you overcome your fear and help others to do the same.

You are happy . . . .
when you see a flower and give it your blessing.

You are loving . . . .
when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.

You are wise . . . .
when you know the limits of your wisdom.

You are true . . . .
when you admit there are times you fool yourself.

You are alive . . . .
when tomorrow’s hope means more to you than yesterday’s mistake.

You are growing . . . .
when you know what you are but not what you will become.

You are free . . . .
when you are in control of yourself and do not wish to control others.

You are honorable . . . .
when you find your honor is to honor others.

You are generous . . . .
when you can take as sweetly as you can give.

You are humble . . . .
when you do not know how humble you are.

You are thoughtful . . . .
when you see me just as I am and treat me just as you are.

You are merciful . . . .
when you forgive in others the faults you condemn in yourself.

You are beautiful . . . .
when you don’t need a mirror to tell you.

You are rich . . . .
when you never need more than what you have.
You are you . . . .
when you are at peace with who you are not.
you are wisdom …….
if you fear God and follow the law of Lord


I have visited Mai Cheka a number of times in the last three years and I applaud Martin’s presentation of the people and village with its amazing lack of modern amenities. -The fact that the elder did not know OUR famous people has no significance and why should he?

I raised the funds for this Mai Cheka Save the Children school to be created (and three others in that rugged, poor Tigray area)and have been blessed to know these admirable people.
Hundreds of them walked many kilometers to greet and thank a group of us when we visited in January 09 for the celebration of the school’s opening…they deeply appreciated that education and other benefits of this Save the Children Community Based project will benefit generations to come. These Ethiopians are noble, amazingly joyful people…Martin’s insights should make us appreciate every day we wake up in OUR world!


Dear World focus.
Your video to portrait Ethiopia as 60% Christian nation, not only distorts the fact, that its own Ethiopian government public count statistics, and the CIA notes on Ethiopia demography, it also creates heighten public tension and animosity among the people due to sinister, untruth, fabricated and biased world media publications. Even though we do not know the exact motive of your report to show Ethiopian beauty comes from only one group of believers, but we Ethiopians are proud to have very diverse history of beauty that comes from many diverse group of believers, and your report will not change that. At this moment we urge you to go back to see and reflect on what you report on video.We believe you have a responsibility to yourself and to those sea of people who had felt forgotten or biased by your report.
The truth has to be told


I want to thank you all for taking the time to watch the stories on Ethiopia this past week. I have been covering stories in this country for the last 25 years…since the famine in 1984. I also worked in the Ethiopian highlands running a refugee camp back than. I came to admire and respect the people which is one reason I have returned to the country so many times over the years. Judging by some of the comments there appears to be some misunderstanding, particularly on the issue of people in the village not knowing famous Americans. The point is to illustrate that, to them, America is not the centre of the universe– To people in places like Machaika—the United States..its politicians and celebrities aren’t even known. The point of the story is that they have their history, their traditions–their way of life—and yes their hardships too; all of it very far removed from the kind of life the average American lives every day.


this the worst account of journalism, as his other fellow journalists, this guy spent a lot of time to show the world the bad and the ugly side of our country. That is shameful account of him. this remote area of the country, it should not be taken to justify about ethiopia, unless others wanted to sterotype the whole country based on this video which has only a little truth.If not the same thing, sth closer is there in his(journalist) palce of origin. I knew for sure this since I live in usa currently.


I agree with “feven,” to some extent. Surely, a majority of WorldFocus viewers could think of dozens of fascinating questions to ask people in that village, and whether they’ve heard of Oprah Winfrey definitely would not be one of them. Apparently, WorldFocus editors are relying on interns for “quality control” lately.


Can any one tell me exactly where and the name of the place is. I know it is in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia but I would like to pin point it on may be google or yahoo map. Please e-mail me at


Thank you so much, for your endless help tell us the truth and dig all necessary information to provide to the world. I am originated from this blameless nation. Their leaders came from the same standard of living but forget everything. They live and reside in the best place.


happy to see the near by villags I grew up in, unfortunatly there is no way to fully explain our way of life to the West. I echo the comment above. Having come to the West, I feel I can see everyone else but no one can see me, here our rich culture is simply described as either black or white, what a horrific way to identify a human valu. The West is so focused on poverty and is blinded from seeing other beauty that may exist in cultures and people around the world.


I am often happy to have World Focus as it the only international news available in my area. However, I was disappointed the coverage of Northern Ethiopia tonight. This report was as arrogant and condescending as other other American broadcasts. I used to work in Northern Ethiopia and it is beautiful complex place, with a rich and ancient history, even the famines are due to complex socio-political as well as environmental circumstances. Although Americans often forget it, the United States is not the center of the universe. Why knowing Oprah a measure of anything? Could World Focus focus on the world and stop being so Amerocentric?

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