Recommended Reading

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Symphony of My Life: The Challenging Times and My Variant Experiences from Ethiopia, Bhutan, Tanzania and the United States, Syoum Gebregziabher

Syoum’s memoir tells the story of his experience working in higher education administration reform under Haile Selassie and the Derg, before leaving Ethiopia for a life of international public servanthood in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, Eritrea, and New York.

Interview with Syoum Gebregziabher by Tadias Magazine

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 12.42.00 PMNegotiating a Lion’s Share of Freedom: Adventures of an Idealist Caught Up in Ethiopian Civil War, Makonnen Araya

Makonnen’s memoir is a fascinating personal account of his involvement in the Civil War that followed the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974, of how an educated professional living in the capital city of Addis Ababa became caught up in the political turmoil of the time, fleeing the capital after being targeted by the military government and then living for years in rebel-held territory as a guerrilla fighter and peasant organizer.

Read our interview with Makonnen here!


Code Word: Catherine, Jodie Collins

The true story of ten of Haile Selassie’s grandchildren’s miraculous escape from revolutionary Ethiopia with the help of an American missionary family.

Read our interview with Jodie here!


Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 6.08.50 PMBeneath the Lion’s Gaze, Maaza Mengiste

A young author paints a painful and poetic fresco of a country battling against its fate during the Ethiopian Revolution.

Interview with Maaza Mengiste by Africultures


Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 6.34.17 PMEthiopia: The Country That Cut Off Its Head, Blair Thomson

In the book’s final entry, Thomson writes: “It’s always sad to hear of a dream being shattered. But it’s sadder still to have lived in such a dream as an observer; to have seen hope transformed into enthusiasm; to have witnessed a people drained of initiative by centuries of feudalism, stir themselves and clutch at a dream of freedom, and then to see the dream that almost became a reality crumble to dust even as they grasped it…it’s a sad story. Saddest of all for the millions of ordinary Ethiopians who, almost exactly a year after the dawn of hope, have little to look forward to except the darkness of increased chaos.”