Yerada lij is you. It is an Ethiopian Amharic term that means “smart and self-sufficient supporter of the helpless”. Its literal meaning is “child of Arada” – Arada is part of Addis Ababa. Yerada Lij Australia is our publishing imprint for Saba and Lucy’s People book series.
Ethiopia’s Emperor Menelik II also wore hats. In 1895, he gave 2 to Australia. They are classic designs.
Yerada lij come from all over. Those I’ve met are from Australia, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guinea, Iraq, New Guinea, Somalia and Tanzania – to name a few.
About Ethiopian Amharic
Amharic is the lingua franca of Ethiopia. Many Ethiopians are bilingual. When I visited in 2020, children as young as 3 wrote in both Amharic and English. They were using 2 different writing systems. Ethiopia is home to more than 80 languages.
Despite what you hear in the wicked West, Ethiopians get along with each other – visitors too. In 2021, a waiterreturned my laptop when I left it on a bench and it had begun to rain. She shunned reward; we struggled. My 65 kilograms and 4 extra decades were no match for her 45 kilograms and scintillating yet serious youth. Fortunately, Mesfin found a quiet workaround. The woman was a yerada lij.
Mesfin is an Ethiopian construction and civil engineer; nicknamed Solution Bringer, he directs water uphill. Descended from proud patriots, he is related to Emperor Haile Selassie I and warrior Belay Zelek. He will defend your rights in Ge’ez, Hebrew, Amharic, Arabic and English.
After graduating from Building College in Addis Ababa, he was conscripted. Ranked lieutenant with Airborne, he visited 121 countries as Air Marshall or anti-hijacker. He then won a UNDP scholarship to study water development in Cairo. He constructed UNHCR water supplies in Kenya, the birthday cake stadium in Wellington, New Zealand earthquake zone, and Sydney 2000 Olympic stadium.
Mesfin built in 20 countries, respecting locals. In Fiji he refused to clear iTaukei makuti to make way for an airport. Volunteering as a bushfire fighter in Victoria, Australia, he saved wallabies. In Western Australia, he is a registered master builder. He is inspired by Abyssinian Engineer Queen Saba (Sheba).
Lucy’s People is his first book. Next is Under the Pump: Water for Refugees
View Mesfin’s Ethiopian television interview on “Former Veterans” program. Mesfin speaks in Amharic after the 1st five minutes; I speak in English briefly at the end. Meto Alike is Lieutenant Mesfin Tadesse.
Rather than existing 1,000 years as a mouse, live one day like a lion.
__Patriot Mama Teliqwa
Sixth-generation Australian ianet fell in love with Ethiopia 10 minutes after arriving there in 2016. The granddaughter of soldier-farmers appreciated people’s honesty and resilience. A trained dancer, ianet identified steps that had crossed the Mediterranean, contributing to European stage dance. One complete dance from Northern Shewa was replicated in Spain with castanets, its source unacknowledged.
She had lived in Papua New Guinea where her father taught agriculture. Aussies called local adults ‘boys’, and segregated children. Parents were furious when all kids—local and ex-pat—rode to school in the tray of the same utility truck, tumbling over each other in delight. ianet became a teacher and librarian, preferring settings with a fair go for all cultures.
Back in Ethiopia in 2020, she and Mesfin attended school assemblies and a workshop at three secondary campuses. One had been a prince’s residence. Ethiopia’s writing system Fidal is now her second script.