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Interview with Ato Zumra founder of Awra Amba society

Awra Amba is a 463-person intentional Ethiopian community situated in the Fogera woreda of the Debub Gondar Zone, 73 kilometers east of Bahir Dar. In stark contrast to the traditional practices of Amhara society, it was founded in 1980 with the goal of resolving socioeconomic challenges by helping one another in an equal environment. The name translates to “Top of the Hill” in Amharic. Awra Amba was established by Zumra Nuru, who is currently the community’s co-chairman, together with 19 other individuals who shared his vision. As of 2016, there were 450 members. In a nation where women are frequently viewed as second-class citizens, it is heralded as a role model for reducing poverty and advancing gender equality. The Awra Amba community stands out from other Amhara groups due to its members’ cohesion, diligence, self-control, and discipline. There are no distinctions between men and women’s labor divisions, and women enjoy the same rights as men. In contrast to the majority of Ethiopian communities, this one is agnostic in every way. They emphasize perseverance and respect for others. They keep their surroundings and residences clean. Theft is considered to be an evil deed.

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