Awra Amba is a small weaving community located in the Amhara region, in Northern Ethiopia. Despite being in one of the poorest and most conservative areas in the world, they have been able to achieve something extraordinary.
Founded in 1972 by Zumra Nuru, now an old man, the community consists of 400 people from different tribal and religious backgrounds. They follow a humanist philosophy including gender equality, democratic decision-making and solidarity. Early marriage has been replaced by education. Instead of aid, they work hard and strive for sustainable development. Religious practices have been abandoned, instead respecting all human beings, despite colour, race or gender, equally.
Lately, Zumra has become a prominent national figure, whose community development efforts have earned him an honorary PhD. People from all around the world make the journey to learn from his teachings. Now Zumra is keen for his message to spread outside of his country, and to see equality and peace in the forefront of a global debate.