and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks

—Isaiah 2:3–4

A generation ago these Tigray farmers-cum-sapphire miners were the fighters who prosecuted a war against the ruling regime and won, overturning the despots who largely created the 1980’s famine. With victory won, the fighters returned to their land, swapped their weapons for ploughshares and resumed a subsistence-life. A generation later, the ploughshares yield sapphire—a single find of large, good color sapphire will forever change the life and prospects of these men’s children and grandchildren.

Leave a reply