An Enemy of the People in Oslo

by Rimini Protokoll



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Name: Fikre Assefa

Age: 35

District: St. Hanshaugen

Nationality: Ethiopian

I live with my wife Salam and daughter in a student- flat.

I am a water and environmental engineer and have been teaching at University, and I have also worked as researcher for water and environment issues/engineering, like water-quality assessments and resource recycling

I belong to the political, the educated, the brave, the fathers, the ambitious, the ones who want to lead, the asylum-seekers, the stubborn one, the diplomats and the confident ones but I do not belong to the lazy ones, the irrational ones, the ones seeking an easy life or the ones choosing their own clothes.

I have lived in Oslo for 2 years. I live here for practical reasons. I was doing my masters-degree at Ås, then I got a job in Oslo at Aftenposten as a newspaper-deliverer, and it was too expensive to commute. The other reason is that here I can find an Ethiopian church and priest. Life is stressful, so it is important to have contact with a spiritual leader. For me Oslo is a place where I can meet a lot of Ethiopians, specially the people sharing my political philosophy. I am an asylum-seeker here, but I am also a diplomat for my own country. The city is a good place for political work. It’s a challenge to me that the city is so expensive. I don’t have my papers yet, and I don’t have a life that the Ethiopians with papers have. This makes me hold back a bit. But I am hopeful for my case now, as I have been given the permit to work and the authorities have decided to re-evaluate my permission to stay in the country.

I haven’t heard about Ibsen at all. For me it is not strength to be alone. If you are strong you need a behavior that attracts other people.

It was a turning point for me when I chose to resist instead of supporting my government in Ethiopia. It would not be rational to give my support for the dictatorial regime in the country. I will never stop fighting for equality, freedom, justice and democracy in Ethiopia. In Norway, my wife, and in Ethiopia my mum, try to hold me back from my political involvement -  but I will never stop. Wherever I am I want to fight for the truth – to show people. I dream of having the power to show people in my country.

For the performances I will take the city-bicycle from St Hanshaugen and roll down the hill. On my way back I walk up Ullevålsveien.