Inspirational Refugee Story Recounted by Eritrean Memoirist Dawit Habte

| Published: | Last Updated: April 22, 2022 | ,

Dawit’s Refugee Story, From Asylum to IT Executive

The refugee story of Dawit Gebremichael Habte is one of strength, courage, and passion. Dawit is an Eritrean American, father, husband, software engineer, and writer. Raised in a tiny village just south of Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, Dawit fled to Kenya as a teenager and sought asylum in the United States.

In the midst of the ongoing Eritrean-Ethiopian war, Dawit and his sisters crossed illegally into Kenya. Without their parents or documents to help their passage, they experienced the abuse and neglect known by so many refugees around the world. But Dawit refused to give up. He stayed resilient and positive. Journeying to the United States under asylum―and still a boy―Dawit found a new purpose in an unfamiliar land. Against impossible odds, he studied hard and was accepted to Johns Hopkins University, eventually landing a job as a software engineer at Bloomberg. After a few years, with the support of Michael Bloomberg himself, Dawit returned to his homeland to offer business opportunities for other Eritreans. Dawit found a way to help his ancestral land emerge from thirty years of debilitating war.

Dawit’s life story stands out in a time when we look at immigrants as never before― a book that illuminates our decisions to help or to turn away those who land on our doorstep, and the gratitude that surely follows any act of compassion.

I know you’ll find inspiring Dawit’s perspective on themes such as the power of forgiveness, the transitional nature of life’s problems, and doing your best and letting go of the outcome of your actions. His experience exemplifies his point that refugees enhance the society they join by adding a new dimension to its fabric.

Read: Interested in another African culture? Hear from Phoebe Lasoi Salau, a Maasai Bead Artisan of Kenya.


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