Dorze, ETHIOPIA - Student

Biruk

Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in March 2017​

Biruk was my guide and interpreter during my 5-days stay in the small and remote Ethiopian village called Dorze. Even if his English was limited, he helped interview many people in the village who only spoke the local dialect. Biruk was above all a university student with a lot of ambition. Not the ambition to become rich, but the ambition to become someone. You’ll soon discover why. Biruk was an example of perseverance and courage. He built his character in opposition to the poor education that he received. That’s why he tries so much to love and help everyone. I truly hope he managed to find a job and remain the good person who he is.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

When I was a kid I did not grow up with my family, I grew up with my uncle because my family had not enough money. I suffered discrimination from my uncle who did not consider me as his kid. So when I was a kid I wanted to grow older without discriminating anyone. And if I happen to raise another kid than mine, I would not discriminate him.

 

With whom would you like to have a coffee?

Most of the time I’m drinking coffee with my friends, but I would like to drink with all the people who are not rich, poor people who could tell me about their story. This kind of things makes me happy.

 

If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be ?

In my point of view, every student should learn at school about love. Especially in a poor country where there is discrimination and a lot of people not loving each other, with this kind of course at school, this problem will be solved.

 

To you, what’s the main characteristic that all human being have in common?

The main characteristic for me is that any human being gets happy when he receives something special, and that is common to all people.

 

To you, who is the happiest person on earth?

The happiest person in the world is the one who shares what he has with other people and who thinks about the others. When there is a problem, he is the person who thinks simply and brings the solution which does not make him boring.

If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?

If I had the chance to be the President of the US, I would firstly fight against racism and inform everyone that all the people are equal.

 

What do you need?

I need a life in normal condition, to live in a good manner. And If I have something above my living standards, I would like to share it with the people who have nothing, and with everybody living under my living standards.

 

What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?

Since I grew up suffering from discrimination caused by my uncle who raised me, I would like to help people who have nothing or who are orphans, people who have nobody to help them.

 

Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?

An innovation that would take care of the human being and would fulfil the basic needs of the people who have nothing.

 

What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?

It’s when I hear that there are conflicts inside my country. Ethiopia is very diverse, there are more than 90 ethnic groups and there are sometimes conflicts between them. When I hear this kind of news, I don’t feel happy because there are so many other problems to solve. Ethiopians are living below the poverty level and they should fight against this problem rather than fighting against one another.

 

Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?

Compared to my parents’ life, my life is easy. As I told before, when I was a kid I was not living with my family because they had nothing and could not fulfil my basic needs, so they gave me to my uncle. Now I am living with them and they teach me things, so these times are better than before.

 

If you had to create a company, what would it be?

I would like to open a company which is helping poor people, without racism, without discrimination, but for every colour or nationality.

 

Can you draw something beautiful?

Yes, I will draw. Beautiful for me?

This is a family compound where there are banana trees and other flowers. This is a typical house with the walls made of bamboo and the roof made of banana leaves. Around there is a sort of boundary with an entrance.

Can you sing something beautiful?

Ethiopian song.

 

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of wild animals and nothing else.

 

What is your dream?

My dream is to live in an average way, not being rich or poor, just in normal condition. The other thing is that I would like to get more money, not to buy useless things, but just to help people who have nothing, especially disabled people, old people, and orphans.

 

Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?

I imagine that the world will become very complicated, there will be a lot of racism, discrimination, and there will be very distinct cultures. Our way of life will change, and people will not follow the way that people were living before.

 

What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?

When I was a kid I used to live with my uncle and the people there did not think that I could join university. My dream was to show these people that I had the potential. So the most beautiful thing in my life was when I joined university.  

 

If you had to write a book about the current world, what would you be the title?

“Why racism?”

 

What does religion mean to you?

Religion is what leads me in a positive way, without discrimination, without doing wrong things to other people. Religions means “the right way” to me.

 

Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of?

In Ethiopia there are different cultures, different villages and different ethnic groups. In my village most of the Orthodox Christians celebrate Meskel, which is the foundation cross. During that time, we share with the poor people and the orphans, and we have to do this if we are Orthodox.

 

If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?

Just helping people by opening non-governmental organizations, by collaborating with people who are interested in helping orphans and people in need.

 

If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?

Our earth has so many things and is a gift for human beings. It gives enough to everyone, but people on earth do not share these gifts equally and accordingly to how it is given. People are not living in a senseful way.

 

And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?

Is racism necessary?