This is a coming of age story of an Ethiopian who traversed his origins in Ethiopia to becoming a UN international employee working across cultures, various countries in difficult and challenging situations.
I was pleasantly surprised and honored when approached by Mengesha to prepare the foreword for this autobiography… His book is informative and will no doubt allow many who shared his previous work environments, including at UNHCR, to connect the dots and obtain deeper appreciation of the experiences that molded him from a young age, shaped his character, and even sharpened his survival instinct, such that he was able to surmount the challenges of university life in the midst of a civil war in Beirut, Lebanon.
Through his vivid recollections in the opening chapters of this book, we gather insights into his parentage; the political, social, and cultural environment of his formative, junior and high school years in Addis Ababa; the rigor and regality of life in the royal court of the emperor; embodiment of Ethiopian traditions and culture, specifically those related to the nobility; expectations and implications of proximity to the Ethiopian royal court in a highly stratified society; the excessively violent transition of political power in Ethiopia, and the era of the Derg and its leader Mengistu Haile Mariam. The book clarifies and demystifies information that had surrounded the Kebede family’s relationship with Mengistu during that period.
--Ambassador Marjon V. Kamara
In Fulfilling Journey Through Conflicts & Contradictions Mengesha takes us on an epic journey. With his eloquent, vivid, and graphic prose, he carries, engages, and immerses us in his childhood and upbringing, the Lebanon Civil War of the 1970s, the Ethiopian student movement in the Middle East, conflict and civil war and internally displaced and refugee camps across the African continent and Pakistan. He also introduces us with the inner workings and dynamics of UN Agencies in an intelligible and enjoyable manner.
About the Author
Mengesha Kebede Tessema is a retired international civil servant who worked at various locations for UNHCR for most of his life.
Category: Autobiography, Memoir/AFRICA
Trim size: 5.5x8.5"
Page count: 284
Publication date: 2022