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Spotlight | Encounters
November 17, 2021

ENCOUNTERS FIRST ISSUE

Muguleta Haiybano is a native of Ethiopia who was employed with the Jesuit Relief Services (JRS) for 15 years.
Currently, Mr. Haiybano is pursuing his Masters degree in Global Affairs,
with a focus on International Peace Studies,as a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame.

His goal as he pursues his Masters degree is to reflect on the policies regarding refugees and immigration
on a global scale so that he can one day return to Ethiopia to effect greater change.

When asked to reflect on his time spent working with the JRS, Muguleta spoke about how many of the refugees
he worked with in Ethiopia fled their homes because of war, violence, and indecent living conditions.

To give us a glimpse into the life of a refugee, he reflected on the typical lifestyle of a refugee living in Ethiopia:
“In my country, it’s tough. They live normally in the peripheries of the country in very harsh deserts.
In a small case, shelters.here’s no decent living conditions there. They wish, the refugees themselves, they wish to go back home.


Muguleta also shared with the challenges and rewards he has encountered while integrating into American society.
Although it has since changed, while he was growing up in Ethiopia, men “were not allowed”
to engage in activities such as cooking and cleaning.
To engage in those activities was the role of the women of the household. When he came to America,
there was a period of time he spent on his own. It was during this time that he learned to cook out of necessity.
While he admits it was a struggle at first, he now enjoys cooking for his entire family.
He concluded by stating “until you learn the culture,
you will encounter difficulties, but out of these difficulties can come great success.”

 

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