Graeme's Meassage, 12 February 2015

Dear Rotarians and friends

February is “World Understanding Month” and how appropriate that Kahlid Omar a member of the Harari Harmony Day committee visited our club last week. Kahlid came as a guest of Jama Farah to present a certificate of “recognition and appreciation”, for our support of their celebrations held on 26th and 27th of December. The aim of this event is bring people of the Harari culture together for sport and to celebrate their culture. At the event Jamah used our club’s BBQ trailer as well as providing great support to the event.

As a result of this connection I have gained an understanding of a small African ethnic group. The Harari people ("People of the City"), are an ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. who traditionally inhabit the city of Harar, Ethiopia. They speak Harari, an Afro-Asiatic language and the modern "Harari" ethnic identity is believed to have been created in the 16th century by Harar's then Emir, Nur ibn Mujahid.

There is an estimated 75,000 to 120,000 Harari peoples worldwide. In Ethiopia apart from living in Harar, where they form 10% of the population, Harari people have moved to Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, establishing families and businesses. Communities have developed throughout North America, and Europe with a small community here in Australia.

We also heard from Hannah Weston who recently returned from her student exchange in Finland and as a result of her year away Hannah certainly has gained an insight into “world understanding”.

The challenge for Rotary is to come to grips with the challenges and understand the needs around the world. Interacting with the African Community locally, the proposed dental health program in Ethiopia led by Jamie Roberstson and the toilet project in Bangladesh are our ways of approaching “world understanding”. We are fortunate that the diversity of our club membership through , Jama Jamie and Ejanul Haque has provided such opportunities.