#SiiqqeeSuperstar – April 2017

Social media is truly changing the way that we communicate and network, both on the continent and in the diaspora. Many of us use innovative photo and video apps to document our day, capture our memories and interact with others all over the world. Snapchat accounts like SomalidaAduunka and BunaTime have enabled those with roots in the Horn to virtually meet others who share their culture, and the Oromo universe has found its own amazing networking platform in OromosConnect!

Elham Omer of Minnesota, USA is one of the creators of OromosConnect, a Snapchat platform with over 5,000 followers in 6 continents. Nasteha (Fayoo) Feto is one of the account’s administrators. Through signing into the shared account, hosts have showcased a day in their lives in Oromia, Kenya, Australia, USA, UK, Norway, China, Canada, Morocco, Brazil, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and beyond. In order to keep the channel going, these women sift through hundreds of emails and texts, booking hosts and communicating with those who will use the account for the day. With co-founder Yusuf, they are responsible for organizing themes like Career Week, in which different hosts talk about their education and career and take questions from viewers. This platform has truly become beneficial for viewers and hosts alike, especially in connecting the youth, fostering friendships and rallying support from one city’s Oromo Youth Association to another’s.

Siiqqee Chronicles would like to shout out OromosConnect for giving us a chance to see how others live on the other side of the world, learn about each other, ask questions and meet new friends using just our cell phones.

If you’re interested in hosting Oromosconnect, make sure to email them at oromosconnect@gmail.com and check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Oromosconnect-1666825053579342/?hc_ref=SEARCH

Itti fufaa, Elham and Fayoo! Keep it up!
Siiqqee Chronicles Team

#SiiqqeeSuperstar – October 2016

For her dedication and advocacy around the issue of Oromo protests, this month’s Siiqqee Superstar is Najat Hamza. We applaud her for her appearances on the Al Jazeera program “The Stream”, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and countless writings that have spread awareness of the dire situation Oromos are facing in their homeland.

“In all debate11231317_10156038811645431_2185074586262288304_ns, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.” That quote by William Penn is the epitome of the type of intellect Najat embodies when engaging in an art she has so gracefully mastered: debate. She flourished in high school when she qualified to represent South High School in the 2003 Minnesota State Debate Tournament. She has brought this skill to the important issues that plague the Oromo people back home and continues to be a voice for those peacefully protesting.

Most recently, she has begun efforts to support and advocate for Oromo women prisoners, as their challenges differ from that of their male counterparts in the Ethiopian prison system.  Najat, thank you for amplifying the voice of our people and for your dedication to simultaneously pushing for women’s rights.

“I am grateful for the great women before me who had to remind me to assume my place at the table as prescribed to me and for me.” – Najat Hamza

Links:


http://www.mprnextgenfellows.org/oromo-activist-wants-the-world-to-hear-her-people/

Fantastic work, Najat! Jabaadhu!
Siiqqee Chronicles Team

#SiiqqeeSuperstar – June 2016

This month on the blog, we wanted to highlight an Oromo woman whose philanthropy always goes above and beyond.

California’s own Obse Lubo has been involved in countless initiatives, both in North America and back home in Oromia. Her passion for making healthcare accessible to all is derived from the challenges she sees our people face back home. She is a shining example of what we should all strive to do in our own communities; a shining example of how as Oromos in the diaspora we can benefit our community at home.

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From Obse’s Facebook page, at Abdisa Aga Elementary School in Nejo

We caught up with her recently in the following interview:

Siiqqee Chronicles: We’re so glad to have a chance to talk to you today! First, what motivates you to give back to your community?
Obse Lubo: My motivation is my passion to help the community that I grew up in; to help ease the suffering of children, women and other members of the community from simple diseases that affect their daily lives.
SC: What are some initiatives that you’ve been part of lately?
OL: I have been doing annual medical mission trips to Oromia for the past 7 years, performed hundreds of various types of surgeries, and educated health care professionals and community members about disease prevention and treatment. Currently, with Rotary International Global Grant, we are working on the “Breathing For Life Project” implementing an oxygen generator plant, which would generate oxygen for the hospital use from the air. We hope to serve about 2.5 million people in the Western and Central Oromia regions.
SC: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in working with the community?
OL: Funding and resources, as well as the lack of women role models in the same profession who are involved in charity work.
SC: Are there any challenges you face as a woman?
OL: Defying social expectations within our community. I’m very bold and direct; sometimes I worry that I might come off a bit aggressive.
SC: Does your profession connect in any way to the volunteerism you do?
OL:  Yes, I’m a Registered Nurse by profession. I use my professional skills to help people in Oromia and in the states.
SC: Who are some Oromo women, past or present, who have inspired you?
OL: My mother is my biggest inspiration. When I was in elementary school (in Oromia), she took up the role of being a father and mother to protect us and raised nine kids all on her own, when my father was in and out of prison for supporting Oromo causes. I can loudly say, all the resilient Oromo women who raised their kids while their husbands were in prison, got killed or fled the country for supporting Oromo causes are my inspiration!
SC: What has been your most rewarding accomplishment to date?
OL: Saving the lives of many people from the simplest yet deadliest diseases in Oromia. Helping the hospitals in W. Oromia with capacity building, donating medications and medical supplies.
SC: What is your advice for young Oromo women who are looking to get involved?
OL: I would encourage them to take part in activities that impact the well-being of their respective communities; whether it is health care, education, business or mentorship.
SC: Last question 🙂 What are your hopes and dreams for the future of our country?
OL: My hopes are that all people in Oromia get basic health care, every pregnant woman can give birth to her infant without any labor-related complications and to have a low infant mortality rate! A peaceful country with peaceful people leading the way! 

For more information about East African Medical Relief Foundation, an organization Obse works with, please visit www.eamrf.org

Bravo, Obse! Jabaadhu!
Siiqqee Chronicles Team

 

#SiiqqeeSuperstar – August 2016

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Every city in our diaspora has members of the community who greatly contribute to the success of community affairs. We are aware of the ones close to home, but rarely are we introduced to works and contributions of the many others. This month, the Siiqqee Chronicles Team would like to introduce you all to one of the pillars of Little Oromiyaa.

August’s Siiqqee Superstar, Aaddee Bashatu (Yenenesh) Dabala, is and has been a constant element in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area for almost two decades. You can bet your last dollar that she will be at every event; concerts, youth events, cultural shows, Oromo community meetings, and front row at every church service. Her strength is evident as she seamlessly transitions into the different roles of her every day life. Some know her as the one-woman catering team, others know her as a devout church member, and others as a mother and head of household to three children. But one thing everyone knows her as in Minnesota is a proud member and the heartbeat of the Oromo community.

Selflessness, like that of Aaddee Bashatu,­ has allowed our largest population of Oromos in diaspora to reach the milestones that they have. She wears her Oromummaa so proudly on her sleeve and never allows for it to be compromised. Aaddee Bashatu, thank you for being a shining example to generations of women after you and for shattering the glass ceiling by showing them that a woman’s work can supersede that of her counterparts any day.

Baga teenna taate! Ulfaadhu. Umrii dheeradhu.
The Siiqqee Chronicles Team

*Photo taken from Finfinnee Tube’s Irreechaa 2015 album on Facebook

#SiiqqeeSuperstars – May 2016

Here at Siiqqee Chronicles, we have decided to do a feature at the beginning of every month that highlights Oromo women who are doing amazing things in their communities.

This month, we would like to highlight Tiyya Foundation’s Co-Founders Aaddee Owliya Dima and her daughter Meymuna Hussein-Cattan!

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Taken from the Tiyya website:

“With a name derived from the Oromo word for “My Dear” or “My Love,” the Tiyya Foundation [Tiyya] is a grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing refugees of all backgrounds with the basic material, educational, and emotional support required to integrate into the communities of Orange County, California. Tiyya currently assists more than 575 refugees from 162 families, many of them escaping persecution in Central America, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Somalia. Tiyya uses a holistic approach to provide transitional assistance for families with the goal of empowering refugee youth to overcome the obstacles associated with social integration by building social support systems among refugee youth and working with parents to provide a healthy environment for their children. Since its establishment in 2010, Tiyya has made numerous impacts on the local refugee community in Orange County.”

To donate: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/tiyya 
To find out how you can volunteer: http://www.tiyya.org/#!volunteer/c1pu0
To join the Fundraising Committee or become a Community Advisor, please send an email to info@tiyya.org.

Awesome work, ladies! Jabaadhaa!

Siiqqee Chronicles Team