[The Freeman Report]
Ethiopian Supermodel Yordanos Teshager was the second runner up for Miss Ethiopia in 2004. Since then she has gone on to grace catwalks for the likes of Rock & Republic, Osman Yousefzada and Giorgio Armani. She was featured in Vogue Italia in 2008 and served as UN Ambassador on a mission to Nigeria in 2012.
Black Star News recently sat down with the African beauty to discuss an issue that’s near and dear to her heart, and to millions of Ethiopians — the recent attacks on Ethiopian migrant workers living in Saudi Arabia at the hands of Security agents there and the authorities. This is how our conversation went.
Black Star News: Please tell us about the recent events that have been taking place in Saudi Arabia against the Ethiopian migrant workers?
Yordanos Teshager: Recently the government of Saudi Arabia ordered that all immigrants living, and working within Saudi Arabia be deported back to their countries. Shortly after this order was issued, the Saudi Arabian authorities begin attacking the tens of thousands of Ethiopian migrant workers living within Saudi Arabia. This was followed by attacks from government backed youth gangs. The atrocities committed by the Saudi Arabian authorities, and youth gangs has now reached intolerable heights; the abuse, killings and dehumanization of defenseless Ethiopians calls for an urgent need for action.
BSN: Instead of the actions that the Saudi Arabian authorities have been taking against the workers, what do you think should have been done as an alternative?
YT: The Saudi Arabian authorities are taking very serious actions against the Ethiopian migrant workers living within their country. They have been killing the workers, physically abusing the workers and committing every other vile, inhumane act against the workers. Instead of the atrocious acts that they are committing against the workers, they should conduct their deportation in a more civilized, humane manner. Ethiopians are very loving, peaceful, hardworking people. The injustice that we are experiencing at the hands of the Saudi authorities should not be tolerated. It’s wrong to treat any group of human beings the way that we are being treated.
BSN: How do you feel this affects, not only the Ethiopians living in and outside of Saudi Arabia, but members of the African Diaspora as a whole?
YT: This affects all members of the African Diaspora, because if they get away with treating one set of our brothers and sisters in this manner, they will think its okay to treat all Africans the same way. We are all one people, there’s no such thing as African Americans, Jamaicans, Haitians, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Liberians, Nigerians, etc. We are one, and we all must come together to fight this great injustice. As the saying goes, “United we stand; divided we fall”
BSN: What are you hoping to see done to stop the heinous acts that are being committed against the workers by the Saudi Arabian authorities?
YT: I’m hoping to see people from all over the world speak out against what’s happening to the Ethiopian men, women and children who are living within Saudi Arabia. Any inhumane act against any living human being, affects all living human beings, whether you’re from Africa or not. We should all be appalled by what’s currently taking place in Saudi Arabia. I’m praying that all Ethiopians living within Saudi Arabia return home to Ethiopia without any further abuse. Until then, we must continue to raise our voices.
BSN: In closing. What message would you like to send to Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Aziz and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in hopes of bringing about your desired results?
YT: I would like to remind Saudi King Abdullah bin Aziz that Ethiopian King Negus granted refuge to the family of Prophet Muhammad, who arrived in Aksum while fleeing from their pagan persecutors.
[Prophet] Muhammad never forgot this and said that, no Muslim was to ever wage war against Ethiopia as a land or a people. How could you who claim to be a true Muslim forget what the Prophet said? And if you truly are a Muslim, you would immediately stop these attacks and allow all of the Ethiopians living within Saudi Arabia to return home without any further harm.
To UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon I say, to please do your job. Don’t sit back idly while tens of thousands of innocent Ethiopians are being abused, killed and dehumanized at the hands of the Saudi authorities. You have a duty as the UN Secretary-General, and if you’re not willing to perform your duty, step down and allow someone else who’s willing to properly perform that duty have your position.
[Interview conducted by: Edwin Freeman]
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