Barbara Sofer

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Barbara Sofer
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Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day, Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem Post.

Barbara has written five books and contributed to several others

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Jerusalem Post

FUNNY, you don't seem Ethiopian  

By Barbara Sofer

"Funny, you don't seem Ethiopian," says Helen, expressing the collective opinion of the local nurses gathering around Tsheay Orna Tadoses-Solomon, the nurse from Israel.

"How do you speak Amharic so well?" We're in the hallway of Ayder Rehabilitation Hospital in the city of Mekelle in Tigay Region of Ethiopia, 783 kilometers north of Addis Ababa. Tadoses-Solomon, just called Orna in Israel, is deputy head nurse in the recovery room at Hadassah-University Medical Center on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

She was indeed born in Ethiopia. She's back for the first time in 27 years as part of a mission to save children who need surgery to straighten their twisted spines. In addition to their pain and misery, these children are in danger of contracting fatal pneumonia. In this country of a hundred million people, there are no surgical teams that can do these complex repairs. The Hadassah team of medical professionals includes spine surgeons, anesthesiologists, a neurophysiologist to monitor the surgery, senior nurses and a physical therapist.

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