Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes
|It’s 1974, a
coup has just installed a repressive military regime in
Ethiopia. A family of five undertakes to escape from Addis
Ababa to Djibouti, cross the brutal Danakil Desert on foot.
Beth Gebreyohannes, a young girl at the time, describes that
grim, perilous journey. Betrayed by guides and robbed by
bandits, lost in the desert without food or water, they are
rescued finally by a trading caravan of nomadic Afar
tribesmen, complete strangers who feed and guide them on to
Djibouti. In this port city, other strangers house them
until—more than a year after they left—they receive their
visas for Canada.
This is a story at once gripping and moving, about the endurance and courage of a family escaping to freedom against all odds; a story everyone would acknowledge as a portrait of our times, when so many everywhere run to seek safe havens.
"This extraordinary memoir captures one family’s harrowing escape from a totalitarian and brutal regime in Ethiopia. Beyond the unspeakable sadness and terror is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in face of adversity, and the amazing acts of human kindness that allowed Beth to survive and tell this story. "
—ABRAHAM VERGHESE, author of Cutting for Stone
"Fire Walkers is Beth’s memoir, but it is in a way two stories: a harrowing journey across the Danakil Desert, one of the hottest places on earth, it is also an ode to Terrefe’s generation’s lost dream for Ethiopia. After a 15-month journey, the family came to Canada, settling in Lethbridge, Alta. A forceful reminder of the paths taken to reach here."—The Globe and Mail
"Gebreyohannes’s vivid memoir describes their year-long trek across the inhospitable Danakil Desert on foot, a dangerous journey where they met both cruelty and kindness before reaching safety in Djibouti."
—Sarah Murdoch, The Toronto Star
"Their journey not only catalogs a time and place now forever lost but is a sobering reminder that the plight of the refugee is a perennial story with only locations and details that change with time."
—World Literature Today
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-927494-79-0
$24.95 CAD ordered from Canada
$28.95 CAD ordered from US
eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-99-8 (EPUB)
Publication Date: November 2016
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