H@H: Ep 60 – Today’s episode is a significant call for action against the ongoing genocidal war declared on Tigray and its people. This war has left more than 50,000 civilians killed in over 150 massacres, an estimated 10,000 cases of rape and sexual violence committed by federal soldiers against girls as young as four, 2.3 million children needing assistance, 4.5 million people in need of emergency food, more than 60,000 refugees and 2.2 million people internally displaced.
We speak with Almaz Ali, Sami Tamyalew, and Lula Desta. Their families have been directly affected, as they describe the horrors through the stories of victims and survivors—stories that have received very little news coverage. With humanitarian aid being blocked, we discuss the ways we can help.
On the need to help:
“Some stories are coming out and they’re horrific. I think the worst part is this is just the tip of the iceberg. 80% of Tigray is inaccessible, so every story we hear, we know that there are thousands that we’re not […] I feel called to use these unearned privileges to go beyond myself—compassion is active and so it calls for us to alleviate the suffering of others. And that’s kind of what I’ve been really holding on to because it helps me feel like I have a sense of agency.” – Almaz Ali
On the ways to help:
“There are a few ways to get involved. The first would be to just donate to organizations that are on the ground and doing good work and to find a vetted list of set organizations, you go to omnatigray.org. The second thing you do is just attend and amplify protests […] The third would be to reach out to your elected officials and to just put pressure onto a national government. The fourth would be to stay informed and engage in individual outreach to raise awareness in the communities you occupy […] And then the fifth would be to form solidarity teams and reach out to Tigray advocacy organizations like Omna and ask them how you can assist.” – Sami Tamyalew
On the cry for help:
“War and genocide have become so normalized when it happens in developing countries, specifically countries made up of black and brown bodies, that when it occurs, we don’t get the same attention and sympathy we would expect if this would have happened here in the United States or in a place like England. And it’s frustrating because U.N and aid agencies constantly say never again, but here we are—2021—and there’s a genocide happening in Tigray and no one has intervened and no one has done anything to help the people.” – Lula Desta
Ways to Support:
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
Sean Li: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Here@Haas podcast. I’m your host, Sean Li. And today we’re joined by Almaz Ali, Sami Tamyalew, and Lula Desta. Can you all briefly introduce yourselves to our listeners?
[00:00:18]Almaz Ali: Hi everyone. I’m Almaz Ali, a second-year student in the full-time MBA program here at Berkeley Haas.
[00:00:23]Sami Tamyalew: Hey everybody. My name is Sami, first-year Haas full-time MBA program.
[00:00:29]Lula Desta: Hello, my name is Lula Desta and I’m a second-year undergrad studying public health.
[00:00:34]Sean Li: Today, you know, we’re here to talk about Tigray, can you guys help us understand what’s happening
[00:00:39]Lula Desta: Tigray is located in the Northernmost state, in Ethiopia, which’s bordered by Eritrea to its north. It has had a long and complicated history with and Sudan to the West. And has a population of 7.1 million people. And on the day of November 2020, when the world’s eyes were glued to the U.S. presidential election, the Ethiopian federal government led by the prime minister declared war on the elected ruling party of the Tigray state. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, widely known as TPLF. Inviting foreign forces using airstrikes to target populated areas and imposing a complete telecommunication blackout quickly help bring to light that the federal government was not targeting the TPLF, but instead the Tigray people. And the last 180 days since this genocidal war started, over 50,000 people had been killed and over 150 massacres. Over 91% of Tigray’s population is on the brink of starvation. Over 80% of the hospitals and health centers, Tigray are no longer functioning. And, an estimated 10,000 cases of sexual violence committed by federal soldiers against girls as young as four. I would like to emphasize that because 80% of Tigray is still inaccessible by the U.N. and other aid agencies, these numbers have conservatively been estimated. But even with their conservative estimates, we can still see the clear urgency of help needed in Tigray.
[00:02:02]Almaz Ali: Yeah and I think that it’s really important to note here that this war didn’t happen overnight. This war was planned. So before the official start of the war, in November, Tigrayans were being targeted and disenfranchised in Ethiopia. The world had high hopes for the unelected prime minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. He was even given the Nobel peace prize for quote-unquote, making peace with Eritrea. Prime Minister (PM) Abiy Ahmed partnered with Eritrea’s dictator, Isaias Afwerki. Since they share this common enemy, which is the TPLF and to be perfectly honest, the people of Tigray as well. To put things into context, Eritrea is a repressive country and despite being a population of 3.2 million people, Eritrea was Africa’s largest single source of refugees to Europe from 2014 to 2016.
Isaias Afwerki has been in power for almost 30 years and holds a deep animosity for Tigray’s leaders, which has been festering for decades. So this peace agreement that was made between Ethiopian Eritrea was signed and implemented without any input whatsoever, from Tigrayans and the Tigray government. So, following the signing on Abiy and Isaias, shared their military capabilities. Abiy visited the Eritrean military training center and days before the war even officially started. The Eritrean embassy in the Ethiopian government posted an editorial piece, explicitly warning to TPLF that game over, means game over.
[00:03:25] And this is significant, right? Because the Haitian government has been claiming at the start of this war, that it was going to be a quick five-day type law and order mission against the TPLF. That they weren’t going to harm Tigrayan civilians. Abiy even claimed victory back in November, but the war has been ongoing for six months. You have folks like Jeffrey Feldman, who is a recent American Envoy to the horn of Africa stating that the war on Tigray could make Syria look like child’s play by comparison. That’s a guy who has just become a whopping great big concentration camp. The people are dying under horrific circumstances. On top of this, Abiy took steps to weaken Tigray before the official start of the genocidal war. He allowed for roadblocks on Tigray on blocking grains and food from entering. He reduced Tigray’s budget. He hindered the fight against the locust infestation that had threatened the harvest and the livelihood of millions of Tigrayan’s. This just really all points to the fact that this war was coming and many people in the region had, felt like a war was going to be coming soon.
[00:04:33]Sami Tamyalew: Thank you Almaz Ali And, with that, with why people thought this war would be coming, it’s important to understand the historical context and how this is not the first time that the Tigrayan government has committed acts of genocide against their people. So first I’m going to take it back to like back in the day when we still had emperors and it was known as Abyssinia. Back then, Abyssiniaa was ruled by a system of many kingdoms. Ruled by hereditary princes with one emperor to rule over the entire empire. Haile Selassie was the last emperor of Ethiopia. What he did was he pushed one Ethiopian narrative as a way to consolidate this country. Historically decentralized power into one centralized power. In doing so, what he did was implemented a set of rules to essentially crush anything that differs from his version of One Ethiopia. So for example, Ethiopia is a country of over 80 different ethnicities and many religions. He instituted Amharic. HE established Amharic as the primary language and language of the governments as a way to erase culture. He also instituted Orthodox Christianity as a state religion, even though there was a quite large Muslim population. Almost 40% of the country is Muslim. And through these things, he instituted acts to suppress people. For example, this included the genocide of the Herati people, which is a Muslim minority in Eastern Ethiopia, while this was going on, there were, Tagadu or Tigrayans who is trying to resist this type of rule. This became known as the Woyane Rebellion. This was in 1943 and so they resisted this active rule and how they were suppressed. At last, they got assistance from the British Air Force who bombarded his own people as a way to crush the rebellion. I’m going to fast forward a few decades after Haile Selassie was removed from power by The Derg,
The Derg which is the communist party had also started some, ethnic killings of their own. For example, a lot of people, when they think back to the eighties, they only think of the famine in Tigray, that primarily affected society. But, what had caused it, people said it was addressed with what primarily caused it was people walking for food in the Tigray and Amhara region. 1.2 million people had died from starvation during the takeover, by The Derg. So for people who are living to the say older generation, as our grandparents cherish, and it’s the third time in their life that they had seen, an act of genocide committed by the Ethiopian government.
[00:06:52] Sean Li: So, Sami and Almaz, last time that we had spoken, you guys have shared that experience of your families under the persecution, as refugees, back in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. Can you share a little bit about the history of your families?
[00:07:07]Almaz Ali: So, during that time period, where The Derg had essentially created an environment where they were starting focusing there on active warfare, my mom is a young teenager. She was around 15 years old, made her way on foot from Ethiopia to Sudan. Whereas a lot of other people are making the same journey. They would typically walk at night because during the day there’d be active warfare. It was the TPLF fighters that also helped guide them to get to Sudan and helped them as they were making this journey. It was in Sudan where my parents met and where I was born. There are several grants. My generation who were also born in Khartoum, Sudan, and in various other parts of Sudan and, as our parents escaped persecution as refugees
[00:07:55]Lula Desta: Similarly my parents both, immigrated to Sudan. My dad at the age of 12, ran away from his village by himself and walked for 12 days straight to get to a Sudanese refugee camp. My mom years prior that, at the age of three, her parents walked through the Tekezé River, which is a body of water that separates Tigray and Sudan. To escape the war that was launched against, the Tigray people. So seeing no safety for themselves and a future for themselves in Ethiopia, they were forced to flee. They lived in Sudan and the refugee camps for over 17 years. that’s where my parents met, where they had my first two sisters. They were eventually able to get papers and come to America.
[00:08:37]Sami Tamyalew: For my family, it’s a little different. My mom, her family had sent her away after. Her brothers had been killed by The Derg. And so she was sent away to Italy to live with other families. once she was able to get her papers, she made her way to D.C. Then for my father, what he did was he was an employee of Ethiopian airlines. He was a mechanic and he got on a plane. He went to Yemen and he never went back. And from there, he just made his way to the U. S. then went to DC. He met my mom there.
[00:09:10]Almaz Ali: Hearing your family’s history, being reflected in the stories of other folks within diasporas. It’s just sobering because you just realize how this was a collective trauma. And so, I’d like to continue to keep this at the individual level and kind of ask, how has the war impacted your families now, both here in the States and then also back home in Tigray?
[00:09:31]Sami Tamyalew: It’s hard to describe. I mentioned this is hard for some to relive the trauma. For my parents and my grandma. So most of my family throughout Tigray. When the war initially started, like many others who just were not able to get into contact with them. It was incredibly nerve-wracking. The family spread out throughout the entire state. I think the worst was my grandma who is bedridden. Then you just hear the shelling of Mekelle and knowing that she can’t physically leave and you can’t call her. It was just hard to deal with but she’s fine. We were able to get in contact with her. I think once the phone lines opened up and hearing that she was okay and also other families throughout the state. They had lost her homes had been ruffling throughout the state. As well as people just being arrested. You have families who have no political involvement being arrested, sitting in jail, has just been a lot. I think in addition to that, you know, you see these news stories of bodies littered throughout the streets. People are being denied access to food and healthcare is horrific. My parents, it’s just like they’re reliving what happened to them in the ‘70s and ‘80s with The Derg.
[00:10:39] They thought that this was behind them, but to know that this is happening again, a few decades later has just been incredibly horrific. I think something I want to also highlight it’s like, there’s just a general sense of loss, especially for my parents. When they came here, for them, it was about survival. They didn’t want to be here, but they made the best that they could. And so they’d always planned to go back to Ethiopia. They had set things in motion and to know that this may not be a reality for them. As my parents are getting older, I feel incredibly sad for them. To know that they don’t necessarily have a home to go back to and that their country had forsaken them.
[00:11:15]Lula Desta: Thank you for sharing that Samit. This war has been absolutely devastating for my family too. Especially for my parents because it’s like in a way they’re reliving this trauma from afar, which I think makes it harder. For the last 180 days, my dad has not been able to contact his family whatsoever.
I think that adds things like we don’t even know if my dad’s side of the family is even alive. We don’t know if they’re even refugees or if they’re starving to death right now. Thinking back on my grandma, she has PTSD from The Derg. When she came to visit us in 2018 here in the States, it was around the 4th of July, and every time she’d hear fireworks, you could just see how anxious she would get and how nervous you would get. She would constantly ask us over and over what is that? Is someone coming? We just have to constantly remind her. At the time I thought it was a little weird, but after reliving and seeing what’s happening now, it makes me even sadder. I think there’s this sense of guilt that I feel. Also for the fact that my cousins are currently back home experiencing this. They have to deal with the same pain our parents did, but out of luck I don’t have to. I do feel because of that, I do have to work ten times harder to advocate for them. I feel like it’s my duty.
[00:12:28]Almaz Ali: I think what has been really heartbreaking about this entire thing is just this realization that our parents’ generation never even had the ability to recover from that, coming here. And then their whole lives were pretty much centered around making sure that we had access to opportunities and navigating a new land after being forced to migrate. I never understood why my mom didn’t like traveling for the sake of traveling. Until it hit me that because every other time that she’s had to travel in her life, it’s been forced migration and it’s not this millennial wanderlust that I got. And so it’s also been really heartbreaking because similar to what somebody had said earlier, there’s this kind of dream that you could kind of retire somewhere where you can speak the language without an accent. You can feel at home. You can return and grow. I was at a place where I was discovering, the people who are fleeing to refugee camps. Like these are everyday people, they’re teachers, they’re doctors, they’re farmers and our families.
[00:13:30] I mean, I just remember when the news is dropping that Tigray was under attack and my mom’s trying to get ahold of her family. The phone lines are out and they’re not working. It just brings us heaviness. It just brings this understanding that you just don’t know. You don’t know if people are going to be okay or not. It’s hard to collectively mourn. At the same time, be in this place where you’re trying to advocate for folks back home and our family is back home. I think for me, it kind of led to this new level of respect for my mother and folks like her.
[00:13:58] You know, I’ve always respected her and knew of her story. But, I think now as an adult, just kind of witnessing things unfolding and kind of being able to understand how destructive war is, while simultaneously recognizing that I can never fully comprehend its devastation. In comparison to those who’ve actually lived through it is sobering.
[00:14:16] Sean Li: You know, there’s been very little news coverage, despite six months of active war now, that’s half a year. Why is that? And what has the international community done about it?
[00:14:28]Almaz Ali: So the war was launched November 4th and the world is pretty much fixated on the U.S. elections Biden and Trump dominated the news. And then there was Covid and the pandemic and the West was being hit pretty hard. Right? During that time period, on top of this, newly elected prime minister, Abiy Ahmed had created a communications blackout in Tigray. As Lula stated earlier, 80% of Tigray’s still not reachable by even the U.N. or other agencies. So this war was designed to be fought in the dark. I mean, it’s really mind-boggling because even refugees have been stopped from fleeing the very start of the war. You had to an influx of 70,000 refugees who fled and to sit on. After that, the Ethiopian government just stopped allowing refugees to flee and civilians to flee on. So they’ve just become internally displaced people. And all we’ve been hearing from U.N. officials and governments is that they’re concerned. They acknowledge the ethnic cleansing. They acknowledge the atrocities that are being committed. That humanitarian aid is being blocked. That there’s weaponized, starvation, and weaponized rape. But there’s been largely no action. There’s no intervention. And when Rwanda happened and after Rwanda happened, the world said that they would never allow for this to happen again.
[00:15:49]And you have all these days around genocide awareness. We’re not supposed to not allow any of these atrocities to happen, but it’s literally happening. Rwanda lasted at a hundred days and we’re close to two hundred days into this Tigray genocide and there’s been no sign of stopping.
[00:16:04]Lula Desta: Just to add on what Almaz said, it also seems like war and genocide have become so normalized. When it happens in developing countries, specifically, countries made up of black and brown bodies, when it occurs, we don’t get the same attention and sympathy. We would expect if this would have happened here in the United States or in a place like England. And it’s frustrating because like Almaz said, I said, U.N. and other agencies constantly say never again, but here we are, 2021 and there’s a genocide happening in Tigray and no one has intervened and no one has done anything to help the people.
[00:16:39] Sami Tamyalew: So one thing, we definitely want to highlight is just this, the political narrative around what’s going on, in Tigray, specifically. Tigray’s want for self-determination. That’s just been something that’s been existing through our history. Because consistently we’re seeing a given government crushing, to grinds ethnic identity as well as languages, and religion. They’re being forced to talk another language or do whatever it needs to do in order to exist. With this one Ethiopian narrative, Tigray and Eritrea are not looking for issues. They just want to be able to peacefully exist as they have been for thousands of years and not be forced to assimilate into, a foreign culture
[00:17:18] Almaz Ali: What’s been particularly disturbing is the scale and velocity at which these atrocities are being committed. So the international community and humanity at large have failed to grow and are continuing to fail to grow. Despite obvious bested, attempts to block access to, to try and keep what’s been occurring in Tigray a secret.
[00:17:38] Some stories are coming out and they’re horrific. I think the worst part is this is just the tip of the iceberg 80% Tigray is still not accessible. So every story we hear, we know that there are thousands that we’re not. And some of the stories that we’ll hear throughout this podcast of the victims, are just heartbreaking.
[00:17:59][00:18:00] Lula Desta: In this war, we’ve seen, the disturbing way Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have weaponized rape and have used it as a weapon of war. The trauma that individuals go through after experiencing sexual violence, doesn’t just go away after the incident. It has long-lasting effects and speaking about rape is already hard enough. Being in a conservative society like Ethiopia, where conversations about rape aren’t had whatsoever, makes speaking up, much harder. What I’m about to read are the accounts of two girls by the name of Monalisa Abraha, and Marhawi, So I would like to give a trigger warning, as I will be speaking about sexual violence and rape. “They tried to rape me and I was thrown to the ground. Then one of the soldiers fired bullets to scare me, but they hit my hand. Then another bullet went through my arm.” Abraha recalls from a hospital bed on the outskirts, of Tigray’s Capital, Mekelle.
[00:18:54] “I was bleeding for hours. Then I had my arm amputated”. She says before breaking down in tears, this is from the Mekelle Times. Marhawi, 27, was separated from her sister and locked in a room, only a thin dirty mattress for two weeks. She said the Eritrean soldiers, gang-raped her repeatedly, fracturing her spine and pelvis leaving her crumpled on the floor. One day she counted 15 soldiers who took turns sexually assaulting her for over eight hours. Her cries of agony punctuated by their laughter. This was from the BBC.
[00:19:28]Sami Tamyalew: Something we want to highlight is why sexual gender-based violence is happening as a war tactic. First, we need to understand what that is, when the intent to cause physical harm, through traumatic injuries, the spread of SPIs like HIV AIDS, persistent gynecological problems to psychological trauma, which is a short and long-term psychological effect, that diminishes the quality of life which Lula talked about, which in this conservative society and how that plays into the factor of recovery and social isolation. These victims are isolated and excluded from their communities. Children are raped and often shuns. There’s a lack of support, to rehabilitate and integrate a victim back to society. And so the reason we want to highlight why this is being used as the goal. Some of the goals are one, to inflict, you know, physical pain, but to do so in a way that’s so horrific that these women would not be able to give birth in the future, this is another means of genocide. In preventing future too. This is something we’ve seen before. Specifically, think back to the ‘70s to ‘80s, when they were causing atrocities throughout the city,
[00:20:33]Almaz Ali: Yeah. and we’re also seeing the killing of, boys and men. It feeds into weaponizing rapes because essentially they’re trying to limit the future population of Tigray. So a lot of times these rape victims are being told that they’re going to be giving birth to monsters and that Tigreans are monsters.
[00:20:53] And, that like Tigrean women should no longer give birth to Tigrean children. On top of this hunger is also being weaponized. It’s pretty much well known now that there’s enough food in the world to ensure that no one goes hungry. That pretty much, a lot of food insecurity is because of, conflict in a war.
[00:21:13]Specifically, Ethiopia is weaponizing hunger through the systematic denial of assistance. So we know that before the war, there was an attempt to weaken Tigray. The Ethiopian government refused assistance to Tigreans to combat the locust infestation. But despite this Tigreans were able to preserve their harvest for the most part. Through funding from the diaspora and some NGOs and just the sheer resilience of the people coming together to fight this collectively. But we know now that despite all these efforts in protecting the harvest of Tigreans, pretty much have lost their harvest now. ‘Cause, it’s been pillaged by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces along with the militia. We also saw the road to Tigray being blocked before the war started, keeping grains from entering.
[00:21:57]And so, we also have, the elimination of the current and future food supply. Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have exercised the scorched earth policy as a military strategy. Essentially like outside of just destroying and pillaging factories, schools, hospitals, they strategically have stolen and murdered livestock. There have just been reports on, Eritrean soldiers going as far as literally crushing baby chicks with their feet, killing livestock, or stealing livestock and taking it over to Eritrea. They’ve looted the harvest. They’ve burned farms to ensure that farmers can’t prepare for the next harvest. They’ve even destroyed commercial, public and private water supply infrastructure. And so one of the things also recognizes that it’s really easy for these Eritrean forces to pretty much loot Tigray and walk these goods across the border and that’s what they’ve been doing. Lastly, I’m sure folks are wondering what’s happening to the humanitarian aid? Is it reaching Tigray?
[00:23:00]Humanitarian organizations from the U.N. to doctors without borders have stated over and over again, since the start of this war that they have not had unhindered access to, Tigray and Eritrean forces have told aid workers to turn around. Aid workers have died. Roads have been destroyed to prevent the transport of aid. From the latest numbers that we have, an estimated 91% of Tigrayan’ss are starving. I think that’s a stat that’s really stuck with me is a hundred children a day are dying in Tigray and hunger compounds. That’s like an entire generation of Chicago children. Who’s been pretty much been wiped out.
[00:23:38] Sean Li: Close up by getting a better understanding of how this is impacted all of you. We heard a little bit from Sami earlier. Can you share a little bit more about how it’s impacting you personally?
[00:23:50]Sami Tamyalew: I think, at first it was just a real sense of loss. Like when your parents had plans to move back to Ethiopia long-term and so knowing that this place isn’t for them anymore, has been really hurtful. And for a while, I was helpless, just because we were over here in the States. And the first time in my life I had to do things and take action. Being here in America during the pandemic and feeling helpless to do something, was really weighing on me. But I think now that I have time to process, I’m just, determined to utilize my position here as a student at Berkeley, do whatever I can to help out. I’m getting more involved I’m doing whatever I can,
[00:24:27] Sean Li: [00:24:27] Yeah.
[00:24:28]Sami Tamyalew: With the focus to help out with efforts.
[00:24:30]Almaz Ali: This has definitely been a difficult year personally. It’s been really difficult, kind of living what at times feels like parallel lives. I go from working on an advocacy project and reading about the atrocities occurring. Thinking about my family and all the people suffering to having my Google calendar notification pop up and remind me that it’s time to head to finance class or it’s time to attend negotiations.
[00:24:54] And the mental energy that requires is pretty daunting, shifting back and forth. but I’m also hyper-aware of my privileges to a level that I haven’t been before. The fact that I’m sitting here at Berkeley. But I sleep safely each night without the fear of being indiscriminately shelled. To have access, to clean water and food whenever I want. And just to actually feel safe, like my physical wellbeing isn’t being targeted. It is for my family back in Tigray. I feel called to use these unearned privileges to go beyond myself. Compassion is active and so it calls for us to alleviate the suffering of others. And that’s kind of what I’ve been really holding on to because it helps me feel like I have a sense of urgency. Allso my faith has helped me stay grounded and it calls me to act compassionately. I just feel extremely fortunate to be surrounded by other Tigreans in the diaspora, like Lula and Sami, and countless others who are doing the same and us coming together and trying to spread awareness, and to help stop these atrocities.
[00:25:52]Lula Desta: To say these past six months have been difficult with honestly, be like an understatement. The amount of like gaslighting I had to endure. Or at the beginning of this war from like individuals. I thought were my family and friends but in turn were really supporting a war that was killing off my family was really hard for me. I feel now I’ve dedicated all my time outside of school to advocacy. And like, if I’m not in class, I’m creating a flyer for my communities, like an upcoming protest. And if I’m not doing my homework, I’m reading up on all the most recent news that’s coming up from today. There was this feeling of non-stop urgency that’s constantly flowing through me and I feel like I have no time to rest. I believe, cause I really do believe that it was by faith, that my parents were able to come here 30 years ago. so I feel like, as I said earlier, it’s really my duty because if it wasn’t for fate, I would be in Tigray right now. Enduring the same pains, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are currently experiencing. So I have to continue doing work until my family is safe.
[00:26:52]Sean Li: How can our listeners get involved?
[00:26:54]Sami Tamyalew: [00:26:54] There are a few ways to get involved. The first would be to just donate to organizations that are on the ground and doing good work. To find a vetted list of set organizations you go to www.omnatigray.org . That’s O-M-N-A- T- I- G-R-A-Y.org. the second thing you do is just, attend an amplify protests. There is an upcoming protest in, the Bay Area. I’m going to go into that a little bit more afterward on the dates and what it looks like. The third, the, to reach out to your elected officials and to put pressure, on the national government. The fourth would be to stay informed and engage in individual outreach to raise awareness in the communities you occupy. For example, what all Muslims and I are doing today by being here on this podcast. And then the fifth, would be to, form solidarity teams and reach out to Tigray Advocacy Organizations like and ask them how can assist in boosting their work.
[00:27:52] Lula Desta: So the Bay area Tigray community will be hosting a two-day national protest on May 21st and 22nd. On the 21st the meeting place will be at Dolores Park in San Francisco. And on the 22nd, to march for the 200th day of genocide, we will be meeting at Crissy field from 10:00 AM to march across the golden gate bridge.
[00:28:11] To find more information, please go to the Bay Area Tegaru Instagram page and Facebook page.
[00:28:17] Sean Li: I’ll be sure to put all these links into the description so people can just click on it.
[00:28:23] Almaz Ali: Yeah. And I’d love to just add that. if the listeners are outside the Bay Area, there took out two communities throughout the U.S. and even internationally, that are protesting and it’s just not one protest. These are continuous protests that are happening. I mean, we’ve been protesting since November. So showing up in helping us amplify the numbers across cities from San Diego, Seattle, Houston, DC, New York, Melbourne, London, you can most likely find, protests within your city. If you look, and typically if you just search for your city plus on Instagram, that’s typically how folks are sharing and protests are happening.
[00:28:58] Sean Li: Okay. I want to, thank you all for taking the time to share stories with us today on the podcast. Thank you. Almaz, Sami, and Lula, and let’s have more conversation around this, in our communities, within our friends’ circles, classmates, to just really raise awareness for what’s going on on the other side of the world.