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When I was 13 years old, I left home in June 1977. My father hired a bodyguard to show me how to get out of Ethiopia which is Eritrea now.  I left for political reasons and the only way I could go was to Sudan. I remember it was early morning and my father made a deal with my bodyguard, who was one of the APLF soldiers to liberate Ethiopians from the communists. At that time, the situation became very “ dangerous, and thousands of people were dying from the civil war.  In fact, it wasn’t necessary to stay in Ethiopia. My dad told me to be careful, if you pray to God you will be alright, and
good luck.
    
 
I left my country because of the long war  they had and than I considered myself a refugee. We had to start walking from Mendefera to a small village called Arzay.  We  spend two days there, than I met seven people  in  the  village  and they were  all guys.  I asked them where  they were  going . They told me  they were  going to  Sudan.
I was very happy to hear that from them and I had to ask if I could join the group.  The ages of the seven people in the group were 18-32 years old.  I was only 13. Then one of the seven said to me they can not take me with them because I was a little girl and it takes  another five days  to get to Sudan
 I Said to him, please it’s okay, I will do it. than I was accepted to be one of the team.  We became nine people, eight guys and one girl and we were all against the communists in Ethiopia.  
When we arrived at the border, the government of Sudan asked us for papers, which we did not have.  After traveling for eight days to get there, we were very sad.  We all understood since they were looking for a piece of paper to get into Sudan.  Maybe they would take the US$ we were hiding under our arms but they didn’t.
 
The Sudanese put us into a truck to take us to the police station. So we were all concerned that Sudanese police might take all our money at the police station. So we gave all our money to one of the guys who jumped from the  police truck telling us to meet him at a coffee shop in Kassala, Sudan.
 
We were at the police station for six hours, when I called my father’s friend in Kassala to get me out of the police station.  He arrived thirty minutes later.
When he arrived he got permission from the Sudanese police to release only me. I told him I am not going anywhere, without my eight new friends, then he told me he will see what he can do. I don't know how he did it but the Sudanese released everybody from the police station. I left the police station with my bodyguard in my father's friend's car and my seven new friends following us in the cab.
 
I told my father’s friend to go to the coffee shop so we can get our money back from the man who jumped form the  truck.  When all of us arrived there, to my surprise, he  was waiting for us with the $ 11,000.  After getting back our money, I never saw or head from my seven new honest best friends again.  Even though I only knew them for eight days, I often think about them.
 
After that, I went Khartoum, staying only three weeks.  Then I went to Cairo, Egypt where my life was so much better.  I come to the United States in 1990 feeling that this is the only country I felt in, but now because of Osama Bin Laden, I feel America is like any other country in the rest of the world, and it’s not safe anymore anywhere
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