Interview with Ato Zumra founder of Awra Amba society

73 kilometers east of Bahir Dar, in the Fogera woreda of the Debub Gondar Zone, resides the 463-person intentional Ethiopian community known as Awra Amba. It was established in 1980 with the intention of overcoming socioeconomic difficulties by assisting one another in an egalitarian setting, which stands in stark contrast to the traditional Amhara norms. The name translates from Amharic to mean “Top of the Hill.” Zumra Nuru, who is currently the community’s co-chairman, and 19 other people who shared his vision founded Awra Amba. 450 members were involved as of 2016. It is praised as a leader in eradicating poverty and achieving gender equality in a country where women are usually treated as second-class citizens. The togetherness, effort, self-control, and discipline of the Awra Amba community’s members set it apart from other Amhara communities. Women have the same rights as males, and there are no differences in the types of work that they can do. This community is completely agnostic, in contrast to the bulk of Ethiopian communities. They stress tenacity and regard for others. They maintain a tidy home and neighborhood. Theft is regarded as a bad deed.

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