Monday, July 27, 2015

Ethiopian Teens Like Obama's Visit

Youth Journalism International Junior Reporter Dawit Leake in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia asked teens there what it meant to them to have U.S. President Barack Obama visit their country this week. Their responses show a wide spectrum of views and are presented below with photos of many of the youth interviewed.

Photo provided
Absera Getachew, 16, is a student at Saint Joseph School in Addis Ababa. He said, "It means a lot for a nation like Ethiopia to be visited by a president of a super power." Getachew said he believes the American president is "a great man." He said he is reading a book by Obama and sees the president has intellectually developed thinking. "I get to find people criticizing him for something that they are not even sure of," Getachew said. "I really like his speech, and he could be an example to our youth society."

Photo provided
Mahlet Wolde, 17, attends Magic Carpet School in Addis Ababa. She said Obama's visit means that Ethiopia has good foreign relations with America. "Obama is as we all know, the first black American president and I think of him as a role model for other African Americans," she said.

Dawit Leake /

Posters on the street advertised President Barack Obama's visit to Addis Ababa.

Dawit Leake /
Henok Tsegaye, 19, attends Addis Ababa University, said he is neutral on Obama's visit. He said he considers him an "average" leader.

Photo provided
Bethlehem Admasu, 16, attends the School of Tomorrow in Addis Ababa. Obama's visit, she said, means a lot becuase he is the first U.S. president to visit Ethiopia while in the White House. "This visit could mean a great future for our country," she said. "I think President Obama is a well-rounded president. I like his ways, how he handles situations. I do, however, disagree with his approach to gay rights."
Another student at the School of Tomorrow, Eyoel Hafte, who is 17, said, "I feel that our country is getting the recognition it needs from the world. President Obama coming here points to the fact that our country is developing."
Amen Wubtaye, 16, also attending the School of Tomorrow, said Obama is an inspiration.
"I'm glad he came!" Wubtaye said. "It's a good way of knowing how far we have come, as well as [how] much we have left to go."
Gelila Seyoum, 16, also attending the School of Tomorrow, said the president's visit is significant.
"It means he knows we actually exist and don't live on trees!" she said. "I think President Obama is brave and talented to be able to win the respect and votes of the American people."
Dawit Leake /
Eyob Moges, 18, attends the Addis International School in Addis Ababa. "I am excited," he said, about the president's visit. "I think he is a good leader."

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