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Winner of the Camille Lepage Award 2020

When I first came to Ethiopia in 2019, I discovered a country on the verge of collapse. There was a shortage of land, everywhere, and what land could be found was either arid and dusty or flooded. Arable land has been a source of conflict between different ethnic groups refusing to accept land redistribution schemes decided by past governments. The harsh climate and tension over land triggered an unprecedented population shift with people moving away from rural areas.

At the time, I was traveling with Ethiopian migrants hoping to reach Saudi Arabia, a country they see as an El Dorado where they can make a decent living. They dream of being laborers there, earning enough to build a proper home for their families.