On this day, International Women’s Day, I have a message for the women of Tigray:
I want you to know how in awe I am of your strength. Your ability to persevere from the many tragedies you faced during the recent civil war has left me speechless.
I will remember your stories always; they will echo inside my mind for as long as I shall live.
Please know that I will share your words so that people everywhere will know of your strength and resiliency; so, they will know how it is possible to face the darkest parts of this world and never let go of the bright light within you.
May they learn from you and know that nothing can truly defeat your spirit unless you allow it to. May they know that your ability to move forward from tragedy and look to the future with undying hope is everything.
I thank you for teaching me the true meaning of sacrifice. I know you have spent the past few years fleeing to the mountainsides on a daily basis, struggling to keep your children safe and fed during a time of complete devastation, famine and horror. I know you have been victimized and wounded but that you have never been defeated or given up on hope.
I know that you returned each night to the slaughtering of your livestock and only food supply and to the devastation of your homes.
I know that despite all of this you kept on going… That you stayed hopeful, and you raised your babies and young children and gave birth not knowing if you’d survive the day.
I hope that you know what an inspiration you are, and that your stories will be told for generations to many people.
Lastly, thank you for opening up to me and for allowing me to share your words. Your stories are powerful, will strengthen others to overcome the difficulties they face as well, and empower them to never stop fighting.
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