Archive - October 27, 2020

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“Americans Helped My Family Emigrate From Iran. That Kindness Is What Makes This Country Great”
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Review — UNDER CONSTRUCTION: TECHNOLOGIES OF DEVELOPMENT IN URBAN ETHIOPIA by Daniel Mains (Ethiopia)

“Americans Helped My Family Emigrate From Iran. That Kindness Is What Makes This Country Great”

  by Behrooz Alexander Moghaddam Hartford Courtant October 26, 2020 My first taste of American greatness was peanut butter. It was in 1965 or so, in Urmia, my hometown in northwest Iran. I was around 3 years old. The peanut butter was a gift from Penny and Richard, two of a handful of Peace Corps volunteers who worked in Urmia in the 1960s. Since President Donald Trump was elected, I have thought a lot about that gift of peanut butter and our president’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Had Trump’s policies existed when I was a child, I would not be who or what I am. My immigrant family would have failed our president’s admission test on all possible counts. We were poor, only one of us spoke passable English when we arrived in the U.S., and we were from a Muslim country. Thankfully, in 1969, and at least until . . .

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Review — UNDER CONSTRUCTION: TECHNOLOGIES OF DEVELOPMENT IN URBAN ETHIOPIA by Daniel Mains (Ethiopia)

  Under Construction: Technologies of Development in Urban Ethiopia By Daniel Mains (Ethiopia 1998-99) Duke University Press 240 pages September 2019 $24.65 (Kindle); $82.49 (Hardback); $25.95 (Paperback) Reviewed by Janet Lee (Ethiopia 1974-76) • Under Construction is a scholarly work about the intersection of various forms of technological infrastructure in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian state that governs and develop the technologies, and the human element that service and should be served by the technologies. Construction projects in this study include dams, specifically GERD (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam), Bajaj transportation, asphalt road construction, and paving stones. Under Construction is an apt title, because as the author details, these projects appear to be perpetually under construction. Mains is Wick Cary Associate Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Hope is Cut: Youth, Unemployment, and the Future in Urban Ethiopia (2011), a fascinating culmination of . . .

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