A Yemeni teenager who fled the war to Ethiopia

When she realized her second son was autistic, Zemi had to make an important decision – to move back to the United States where she could get support for her child easily or stay in Ethiopia to help mothers with similar problems. In a country where autism was considered a curse and autistic children were confined to a room, Zemi made a daring move and established the first autism center in Ethiopia. Called Joy Center for Autism, the institution provides its services to over 80 autistic children, teaching them much more than communication skills. Zemi is also the founder of Nia Beauty and Modeling School.

Following her graduation from Addis Ababa University, Meaza first worked as a sports journalist and explored different options, like writing for the monthly magazine of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and being the press and information director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Together with her husband, Abebe Balcha, and her longtime friend, Teferi Alemu, Meaza set up a radio station, Sheger FM 102.1, in 2005. To date, she continues to create thought-provoking, original, informative and entertaining content through her weekly programs, Yechewata Engeda and Sheger Café. Her advice to women is to go beyond boundaries set by society.

At the tender age of six, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam boarded a ship with her older sister to travel to Switzerland for the sake of getting a better education. The movement of the sea and the moon shining in the dark during their journey was etched in her mind and later became an inspiration for her instrumental score, ‘Song of the Sea’. Soon after that, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam started taking piano lessons at the age of eight and presented her own concert at ten, proving to be a prodigy. ‘Homeless Wonderer‘ is one of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam’s powerful songs that move many to tears. Back in Ethiopia as a young woman, Emahoy developed an interest in the beautiful songs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and spent time studying them. She later decided to spend her life as a nun and live in Jerusalem. To date, she has produced six albums, including The Visionary, with proceeds going to different charity initiatives.

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