Amete, from Eritrea


She was paid to work and live at our house. Well it was her house too, really. She was taking care of it, cleaning it everyday, cooking food for us. She spoke to us in Arabic, and our Lebanese slang became hers. She woke me up for school, she helped my sister take her shower when she was t

oo little, she yelled at me for not folding my clothes, she teased me and she cried when i left to Montreal.

Right now she hopefully lives in her home country, reunited with her daughter whose life she missed out on for 20 years, to make money in Saudi Arabia as a – what they would say here – maid.

I am sure that there are many kids who grew up with a “maid”, who feel the same way i do: lucky to have had a maternal presence when their moms were at work or too busy. She taught me that family does not limit itself to blood. Even, and especially in a social context where money determines your worth, color determines your intelligence, and music determines your soul. The following song is dedicated to Amete.
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