Rahel Zegeye, an Ethiopian migrant worker, MWTF member, language student, and filmmaker, is featured in the Ethiopian Diaspora publication Tadias. You may remember that she was recently featured in African Women in Cinema Blog for her film project “Beirut” which follows the lives of a group of Ethiopian workers in Lebanon.
“TADIAS: How true are some of the horror stories we hear and read about in the media? And what can women do to protect themselves from such violence?
RZ: The horror stories are real and they occur, there are many more horror stories that are not reported and written about. There is very little protection for the women coming to work in Lebanon. She can try to communicate with her employer but many times there will be language problems and if the employer is abusive then there is little chance they will listen to her. She can ask them to let her go to the embassy and to return home. If she returns to the agency that brought her here they will not help her, just change employers, which may be for the better or for the worse. If she runs away from her employers she will not have her passport and papers and cannot go back to Ethiopia.
TADIAS: We understand that you are having problems distributing your film. Can you tell us more about that?
RZ: As I worked on the project independently I didn’t have any support with the distribution when I finished the film in 2006. On top of that there was the July 2006 war in Lebanon and I had many problems with my employer which led to me leaving her. For four years I did not have any papers and could not return to Ethiopia. Now with the support of my employer and friends in Lebanon we have managed to get more interest in my project and I hope we can show the film to a broader audience.”
The full article and interview can be found here!