Wherever he went, the young Abdulkarim spoke proudly in Afan Oromo, at a time when the language was not favored. Proud of his culture and heritage, Abdulkarim began teaching others about it. After completing secondary education at the city of Harar, in Eastern Ethiopia, the suffering of Oromo people began to weigh heavily on his soul. Though he had a promising educational and political career as one of the few Oromos who completed secondary school in those days, he was most concerned with Oromo people’s freedom and dignity. At the height of his youth, Jaarraa left school and went to Asabot, also in Eastern Oromia, to prepare for a journey that would shape the rest of his life — taking him around the world for nearly half a century.