Monday, March 12, 2007

Censorship and Kidnapping

For the first time in months, I was able to log onto my Blog today. I’ve been able to post stories and photos, but never get a look at what I’m posting. I’m not sure what the un-censoring of blogspot means, but it must be a good thing! A lot of times I don’t understand why some things are censored and others aren’t. The Ethiopian government tends to have a problem if they are being “misrepresented” in the press, but are less concerned with the information received by Ethiopians, as far as I can tell. So it’s strange that they would make blogspot unavailable, which hosts blogs of expats and locals that talk about daily life in the Cradle of Humanity, yet I can still go a press search on Ethiopia and learn about the devastating affects of cholera that still haven’t been formally recognized by those in charge here.

Another Ethiopian moment in the news is the recent kidnappings of the British ‘tourists’ in Afar region. It’s strange, because in Addis where the expat community is so small and tight knit, there is only one degree of separation between me and the people that are missing, yet the CNN coverage (the only channel I get) seems so removed. Some of my friends work for the British embassy and were called from Friday night festivities the day that the group went missing to help with the search and publicity. My roommate recognized the cars shown on CNN, with bullet holes, as being of a good friend of hers. Another acquaintance was supposed to go with the group, but decided not to. Everyone in this NGO/Embassy bubble in Addis seems not to be able to get the issue off their minds, which is expected when faced with kidnapping in a country you feel safe in! There are daily prayers at a local church, and yesterday at a production of the Vagina Monologues, the group was mentioned and wished safe return.

Something that has happened over and over since I got here is a feeling of strangeness to be in the middle of things, of something. And I see whatever it is represented on TV or the newspaper, and it feels like they are talking about something else entirely.

For more information: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6433935.stm

2 comments:

zim said...

thinking of you, kate.
stay safe.

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