Grat­i­tude in Low Voices

Dawit Ge­bremichael Habte

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction -

Rosetta Books Hard­cover $24.99 (280pp) 978-0-7953-5027-6

This book is a reaf­fir­ma­tion of the good that peo­ple can do and how one young man suc­ceeded de­spite the odds against him.

Grat­i­tude in Low Voices is an in­spir­ing mem­oir by Dawit Ge­bremichael Habte, who poignantly por­trays his child­hood in Africa and his strug­gles as a refugee to the United States.

Habte was born in Eritrea, a coun­try in eastern Africa bor­der­ing the Red Sea. Its cit­i­zens have long fought to main­tain in­de­pen­dence from Ethiopia, its large neigh­bor to the south. The abun­dant po­lit­i­cal his­tory is de­tailed through­out, and this chaos of war is the even­tual rea­son for Habte’s de­par­ture from his na­tive coun­try. The re­main­der of the book de­scribes the strength, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and hard work it took to pur­sue ed­u­ca­tional goals in a for­eign coun­try, which ul­ti­mately in­cluded a de­gree from Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity, and a job of­fer from Michael Bloomberg.

Eritrean cul­ture, his­tory, and cus­toms are ex­plained in hon­est and forth­right prose, with Habte’s per­sonal life and fam­ily mem­bers serv­ing as ex­am­ples. One sis­ter dies in a tragic ac­ci­dent in the mix, but Habte also re­calls with hu­mor another sis­ter who was passed on to a higher grade in school be­cause, as the teacher said, “she will break my chairs.”

This is in­spi­ra­tional work. Habte rec­og­nizes that at ev­ery turn in his life, oth­ers (or “an­gels with­out wings,” as he calls them) have been there to as­sist. He shares the back­sto­ries of

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