Ms Abebe was only 21 when an employment agency visited her village. The job, as the agents described it, sounded like heaven. But what the agent did not tell her was that as a maid in Lebanon, she was to live among the lowest of the low.
"The family pushes you like they own you," she recalls. "I suffered abuse from the father, his son and his friends. But I was lucky because they never hit me."
Abebe now lives in a legal limbo unable to return to Ethiopia, caught in a debt-bondage between her former host-family, who filed a counter report of theft when she went to the police, and General Security for overstaying her visa. But she has no work permit and cannot get legal representation. She was unable to continue the conversation.
Full Africa Review article here, published March 11, 2010.