MY Country

by Faiza Juhar

I am Oromo
I do not identify myself with the Saudi country which I was born in
Or the Italian country I lived in
Or the Canadian country I now reside in
But with the country I have so much pride in
The country in which I have spent less than a year of my entire life
The country in which my roots lie
The country my forefathers and foremothers have made home
The country where my own parents were born
Where there are plenty of fresh fruit to eat
And you walk around till you have aches in your feet
Where the sun shines bright all day
And the flies just won’t go away
Where the little boys play football down the street
And the little girls go to the market to fetch some meat
Where the market is full of spices of all kinds
And the schools are filled with bright eager minds
I identify myself with the country that has no officially recognized borders
But which we all know existed before, and shall exist once more
A country whose existence is denied and debated
And whose propaganda-like political ideologies are becoming inflated
A country where the people look like me,
Have the same history as me
And speak the same language as me
Where Afaan Oromo is heard from every corner of the land
Where a flag of victory will one day stand

I am Oromo
And my country is Oromia

Faiza Juhar is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in International Development Studies. She has currently taken time off to raise her 1-year-old son. Although not born in Oromia, she maintains a close connection to the land where her last visit lasted 6 months as she worked in a school and orphanage in the Melka Jebdu/Dire Dawa region.

3 thoughts on “MY Country

  1. Ellen says:

    Yes, yes and yes. Say it and say it out loud! Roots, home sweetie home. You nailed it Faiza. I love it.

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