Tadias Magazine Roundtable Discussion at National Press Club

Jomo Tariku presents at Tadias Roundtable at The National Press Club, Saturday, December 14th, 2013. (Photo: Matt Andrea)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) — Tadias Magazine hosted a roundtable discussion on Ethiopian migrants in the Middle East at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Saturday, December 14th.

The roundtable discussion presented a panel of scholars, legal experts and civic society leaders from the Ethiopian and Middle Eastern communities who informed the audience about the status of Ethiopian migrant workers in gulf states using data and research to promote a continued dialogue on short and long-term solutions. A Q&A session followed panelist presentations.

Panelists included Jomo Tariku, developer of a crowdmapping website on domestic help abuse in the Middle East; scholar Khaled Beydoun who focused on international anti-trafficking protocols and the legal issues facing Ethiopian migrants working in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and various gulf states; Dr. Maigenet Shifferaw, President of the Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) in Washington, DC; Kumera Genet, Huffington Post contributor who has written extensively on the status of Ethiopian migrants in the Middle East; Dawit Wolde Giorgis, Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.; and Rima Kalush, Editor and Head Researcher for Bahrain-based Migrant-Rights.org.

Several media organizations attended the event including Deutsche Welle German Amharic radio program, Voice of America, EBS, and ESAT. We also extend our thanks to Ethiomedia.com who helped publicize the event.

Below is a video trailer and slideshow of the roundtable discussion.

Video: Tadias Roundtable on Ethiopian Migrants in the Middle East at National Press Club

Photos by Matt Andrea:

The following are tweets from the audience:


Jomo Tariku developed a crowdmapping site that documents domestic help abuse in the Middle East. Jomo is a voracious reader of current events around the world, a tinkerer of web technologies and a volunteer for various causes. He is also in the process of documenting Ethiopian (TimeLineEthiopia.com) and soon African stories using freely available data and data visualization tools. Jomo was born to Ethiopian parents in Kenya in 1968. He was named after Jomo Kenyatta, founder of the Kenyan nation. Jomo completed his higher education in Industrial Design (BFA) at the University of Kansas. After almost 10 years of operating a design studio in Washington, DC, Jomo joined The World Bank as a Publishing Officer/Designer in 2011. In his spare time he is an advocate of peaceful means of solving difficult problems. Jomo is married with two sons and lives in Springfield, VA.

Khaled A. Beydoun’s insight on domestic and international legal matters has been featured on television and radio, including CNN, NPR, MSNBC, Al-­Jazeera, Voice America, and the Washington Post. Professor Beydoun’s scholarship focuses on immigration law, criminal law, critical race theory, and legal history. His research interests focus on the intersection of race and religion in criminal and immigration law. Professor Beydoun earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law, and holds a B.A., with distinction, from the University of Michigan. In addition, he earned an LL.M. with an emphasis on Islamic Law from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Before joining UCLA School of Law as a Critical Race Studies Fellow, Professor Beydoun practiced in the areas of criminal law and civil rights advocacy. He served as an Appellate Defense attorney for the State Appellate Defender of Michigan, and served as a Racial Justice Fellow with the ACLU of Michigan. In addition, Professor Beydoun also served as the Middle East & North Africa Legal Analyst for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in Washington, D.C. Professor Beydoun’s work has been featured in the Berkeley Journal of International Law, the Michigan Journal of Race and Law, the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, and his forthcoming work will be featured in the NYU Survey of American Law.

Maigenet Shifferraw is currently the president of the Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) in Washington, DC. Dr. Maigenet earned her Ph.D. in education from the University of Wisconsin­, Milwaukee in 1982. She was an Associate Professor in adult education at the Department of Education at the University of the District of Columbia for twenty years. She has served as a consultant in education at the World Bank, the US Department of Education and other institutions. She has been a women’s rights advocate for the last thirty five years.

Kumera Genet blogs about African migrant issues for the Huffington Post and has built relationships with Lebanese and Arab American activists who support legal, economic, and cultural change in the Middle East to respect migrant workers. Kumera is originally from Austin, Texas, and has been living and working in the DC area for the past 6 years. He has worked in various youth serving organizations and non-­profits focusing on job readiness training, immigrant rights, parental engagement in education and community organizing.

Dawit Wolde Giorgis represents the newly formed global alliance on the issue of Ethiopian migrants in the Middle East. He is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.

Rima Kalush is the current editor and head researcher of Migrant-rights.org, a platform dedicated to advancing migrants’ rights throughout the Middle East. She has several years of research experience in diverse fields, ranging from North African history to California politics. Her pieces have been republished by digital journals including Jadaliyya, and her research has been referenced by institutions such as Gender Across Borders and the Institute for Global Labour Rights.

Roundtable Discussion on Ethiopian Migrants in the Middle East
National Press Club
Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
529 14th Street Northwest, Murrow Conference Room
Washington, DC 20045

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